Whether you’re interested in giving blogging a try or want to start your own business, your website will be a big part of your success.
Websites can be expensive, but with a little creativity you can build a website for very little money. User-friendly website platforms, affordable hosting service companies and abundant online forums make it possible for nearly anyone to build a website with very little outside help and an affordable amount of out-of-pocket cash.
Here are five tips that will help you build your own website without spending much money.
Create your site name
This is an important part of any successful website. Many companies offer free domain registration with a hosting purchase. A memorable and inviting domain name should be relevant to your niche. Make the name unique, but not so unique that people will have a hard time finding it on the web.
As an example, let’s say you want to build a site to advertise your lawn care and landscaping business. A domain name such as www.mikesprolawncare.com or www.apluslawncare.com would give originality to your site while still making it clear what your business does. On the other hand, a name like www.keepyourgreenlookingmean.com might be too out of the obscure for people to find on the web and might be better used as a tagline instead.
The goal is to make your domain name easy to find, easy to remember and to give some idea as to what your business or blog specialty is.
Get a hosting account for your website
Web hosting is a necessity for professional-looking websites. The great thing about web hosting is that companies are always running specials. New customers can often get 50% or more off their first year of hosting service by searching for company specials. The great deals on first year hosting will allow you to test the effectiveness of your site and see how you can use it to increase business or spread the word about what you do.
When considering which hosting company to use, check online reviews and forums. Some of the bigger tried-and-true brands such as Bluehost have a solid performance history and good reputation and might be a better choice for a first-time website owner. It’s a good idea to make sure that the hosting company you choose has 24-hour customer service care and a history of providing quality products and services.
Wordpress is the go-to website platform for beginner website owners and seasoned professionals as well. Wordpress offers two options for websites -- fully hosted and self-hosted versions.
If you want to give an air of professionalism to your site, self-hosted is the way to go. Self-hosted Wordpress sites have a more expansive array of tools, themes and plugins that can help you create a website that is unique, professional and has its own style. By contrast, fully hosted sites are limited in design and functionality. Potential clients often tend to view a self-hosted site as a part of a professional business package. If you want your start-up business to have a professional feel, use the self-hosted version of Wordpress.
Find a theme
There are many themes to choose from when you choose a self-hosted Wordpress website. The theme will determine the layout of your website. Some themes cost money, but there are plenty of free themes available through self-hosted Wordpress that will help you to create a website that fits the message you want to send to potential clients. Most themes are highly customizable and allow you to change the different aspects of the theme such as font, color and to add a custom logo and other features.
Most themes – even free ones – are also easy to learn to manage and design thanks to tutorials on how to modify the features of the theme to fit your specific design ideas. A simple Google search such as “tutorial on Wordpress 2017 theme” will help you find videos that will show you how to customize your theme the way you want it.
If you’re not a techie...
If despite your best efforts you still can’t get the hang of designing your site, there are other options for websites such as Squarespace. In many ways, Squarespace is easier to build than Wordpress, but it does have a much more limited design functionality than Wordpress.
If you want to use Wordpress but need help, consider checking sites such as Fiverr or Upwork to find affordable design help, or ask a friend or family member who is knowledgeable about website design. In today’s tech-filled world, you’ll likely be able to find someone you know who is versed in Wordpress design.
Your website should be a tool that helps drive people toward your business or blog. By using the tips above, you can build a site quickly that will attract visitors without breaking your budget.