Whatever type of business you run, be it a small cafe or a huge enterprise selling cutting edge machineries all over the world, it is important that you represent your business well online. People intuitively turn to the Internet when they need something. If you’re not on the internet, chances are, you’ll be losing tens and hundreds of your potential customers without a fight.
What most people don’t know is that being online and having a website doesn’t need to be expensive. You don’t need to spend a fortune to get a nice looking website. You can create a website where you can talk about your business or products and services from your point of view for very little, or even for free if you do a little research.
The key is to do your research, know your options, and choose the best one based on your budget, needs, and goals. The following options will outline how to create a website on a budget.
Option 1: Hire a Freelancer
Let say you’re an old school entrepreneur who runs a do-it-yourself laundry-matt. You’re looking for information on how to create a website, but know nothing about the Internet. In this case, your best option to get website on a budget is to hire a freelancer. Without basic internet skills you won’t be able to create a website yourself, but hiring a freelancer and advertising it as a work from home job to create a website for you is cheap and efficient.
There are hundreds and even thousands of freelance web designers and developers that you can find on what they call global job marketplaces where skilled individuals are constantly looking for work that they can do at the comforts of their own home. Some of the most reputable are Odesk and Freelancer.com. You can also hire freelancers based on recommendations of your friends and if you have this option, I would say go for it as it is more likely to help you make the whole process pain-free.
Hiring freelance web designers online is a piece of cake. You post a project on Odesk or Freelancer, provide detailed information on what kind of website that you’re looking for, and you’ll get more than a couple of bids in less than an hour. Other designers would also be willing to offer you expert advice for free as to what kind of platform or themes to use in case you have zero knowledge in this area.
Hire a designer who shows commitment in actively listening to your needs and who has great reputation of offering past clients with amazing results.
As for the payment, do not offer anything in advance. The good thing about transacting over job marketplaces is that you can use their escrow feature. This means that the funds will be held by a third party and it will only be released to the freelancer once the project has been completed to your satisfaction. Freelancers know how to create a website to meet your needs and requirements, so once you’re 100% satisfied with the completed website, simply release the funds and deem the project compete.
Option 2: Get a free website from WordPress
WordPress offers two options for free websites – WordPress.com offers 100% free website which is very easy to set up and will cost you noting out of pocket. WordPress.org on the other hand is the more professional solution which requires your own domain name and hosting, but is by far the better choice.
Although you can get a free website from WordPress.com, you will have to deal with certain limitations that can affect your business. With free websites, you’ll get a sub domain and people online consider these types of websites to be inferior and not trustworthy. Also, free sites have ads that may or may not be related to the products or services that you sell. Meanwhile, hosted websites such as that offered by WordPress.org are generally more respected with search engines and thus, attract more organic traffic.
If you’re looking for instructions on how to create a website yourself and have little to intermediate knowledge of the internet and are able to use a FTP client to upload files to the internet, then WordPress.org is your best option, and is in fact what we use here at Ignition Media for all our professional website designs. You will need to do a little research, but if you can follow simple directions, you’ll find WordPress.org a piece of cake.
The growing need of having a website for whatever purpose has paved the way for the creation of free and open source tool and content management systems like WordPress.org which is based on MySQL and PHP. With WordPress.org, you can create your very own website, purchase the tools that you’re going to need, and be online within minutes and the only fees you’ll have to outlay is your website hosting (around $54 per year) and your domain name registration ($9.95 per year), which is very affordable when you purchase it from a budget provider such as Crazydomains.com.au.
One of the main advantages of choosing WordPress.org to create a website is that the process is relatively easy as it doesn’t require you to have HTML or any other programming knowledge. All the design elements that you’re going to need are typically controlled by an intuitive menu or icons. Plus, if you stumble along the way, there are several resources online where you can find detailed DIY guides – YouTube had hundreds of “how to” video tutorials for creating a WordPress website.
WordPress.org offers you with thousands of free themes to choose from. When making a choice, always consider not just the overall look but also usability. Some of the features that you’ll find useful along the way include unlimited updates and support, out-of-the-box control and flexibility, easy customization, social media, and multi media integration, highly adaptability with built-in SEO, and logical, easy navigation that makes a visual impact.
Option 3: Give it a go yourself
If you want to know how to create a website yourself and really want to learn from the experience or if you have in-depth programming language and if you’re confident of your technical skills, why don’t you give it a go yourself? This way, you’ll get exactly what you’re looking for without having to pay anybody in the process.
Just like when you create a website with WordPress.org, you will also need to get your domain name and choose a reliable web host to get started. The only difference is that instead of using templates, you’ll build your own website from the ground up and this will take a bit more time. Right now, there are several commercial web editors that you can choose from. One of the most highly recommended is Dreamweaver. When you buy this software, you’ll typically get a free tutorial where you can find all the steps that you’re going to need to create a fully-functional website with multiple pages and feedback form, this software will set you back $19.99 per month. There is also free software that you can use like KompoZer. However, unlike paid commercial web editors, free ones typically have several limitations.
To make the process of learning how to create a website a little bit easier, be sure to take advantage of all the tutorials that you can find online. These will help to ensure that you develop and design your website in such a way that it is visually appealing, user-friendly, easy to navigate, and most of all, search engine-friendly.
Option 4: Hire professional web designers like Ignition Media
Contrary to popular beliefs, hiring a web design firm to create a professional website doesn’t always mean spending thousands of dollars. There are companies out there like us here at Ignition Media that offer affordable yet functional and visually appealing websites that are specifically designed to help clients get their message across in the online arena.
If you choose Ignition Media as your professional web designer, you’ll get to take advantage of our 15 years of experience and expertise, which give you the best chances of getting ahead from the pack.
So whatever your budget, there are affordable solution out there to meet your needs and requirements. If the process of creating a website yourself becomes all too much, and you’d prefer to leave it to the experts, please email me at [email protected] or call (07) 55 687 515 and together we’ll create cutting-edge, search engine-friendly and fully functional website that will not only showcase your business but give it the online presence its screaming out for.