How to Build a Website for Your Startup on A Budget
Startup companies in today’s market are faced with an overwhelming amount of crucial decisions concerning their new business venture. A prime example is how to go about building and launching a website on a budget.
If you’re going to be creating a new website there are a couple unavoidable items that must be paid for up front before getting started:
- A domain name is extremely important because it represents your business name on the Internet. Domain names (ex. www.yourbusiness.com) need to be short and as easy to remember as possible.Domain name search websites like register.com can help you find what’s available to purchase. Once you find a suitable name you can use a place like GoDaddy to buy and complete the domain name setup.
- Hosting provider: now that you have a domain name you have to choose a company that will host your new website on their servers. The majority of hosting providers offer very similar packages, but it will be up to you and the type of website you’re creating to know what will work best for your needs.You want a host that has excellent customer service reviews (including fast response times) if an issue were to arise. I use A Small Orange because their customer service is top-notch and I’ve never had any issues using them for my websites or my clients.
Price: $35-$100+/yearly based on needs and size of your website
Now that those two conditions have been met, what’s the most effective way to get your website in front of your target audience? There are numerous options available that encompass a wide range of budgets including:
WordPress is a free content management system (CMS) and the most popular blogging system on the Web today with more than 60 million websites. WordPress thrives on the use of free and paid plug-ins that add extra pieces of functionality to your site.
Free WordPress themes are readily available, but I suggest buying a high-rated quality theme from a marketplace like Themeforest to ensure you get exactly what you want for your business.
Template price: Free or $50-80 one-time fee for a quality theme
Free website creation companies are growing in popularity and if what you’re looking doesn’t require more than a few pages or highly customizable options, then either Squarespace or Wix might be perfect for you.
Surprised to see this on the list? Don’t be. Facebook is perfect for any business that doesn’t possess the time, budget or content to warrant a full-fledged website. This is also the one option where you don’t need to pay for a domain name or hosting because you’re using Facebook’s built-in service.Since you have complete control over the content you post you can succeed in creating discounts and highly shareable content as well as providing common items such as contact information and your address.
Hiring a Web Developer or Freelancer
Web developers can generally be split into two groups. Front-end web developers focus primarily on the presentation of your website. They control the images, colors and layout including things like mobile responsiveness. This controls how your website adjusts to smaller screens such as tablets and smartphones. Back-end developers are programmers who can connect to new or existing databases, run complicated scripts that automate certain processes and much more.
Using one or both can almost guarantee your site will look and function the way you envisioned, but the cost is going to be much higher for their time and expertise.
Price: starting at $35/hour and going up to well over $100/hour depending on the requirements of your website.
When all else fails — do it yourself! If you’re familiar with computers or perhaps took a web design class at some point, you can still get your skills up to speed quickly.
Online resources like w3schools.com and Lynda.com are perfect destinations to get familiar with the advancements in HTML5, CSS and tools like Dreamweaver to create a website from scratch. Dreamweaver is especially helpful by providing code hints, color coding and simple templates (including responsive) that you can customize easily and quickly.
Price: Your time!
Not every startup is the same just as no two websites are exactly the same. Decide what option you’re willing to put a little time and resources into and keep in mind the budget that will be required. Remember that it’s possible to get a quality website up and running for as little as $50, but make sure it includes all the features you’re looking for before you settle for a watered down site.
Best of luck with your website endeavors!
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