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Build A Website On A Budget: The Ultimate Guide

Build A Website On A Budget: The Ultimate Guide

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When you first launch your business, you may not have the capital or technical know-how to build a website. In this case, creating an online presence using a cost-effective and quick solution such as a WordPress blog or a Facebook page makes sense. However, once your business grows and you have more money and time to invest in marketing, it could be a period to consider building your website on a budget. And that's where things get tricky. Creating a website can seem like an expensive venture when you're just starting. However, some simple tips and tricks will help you build a professional website on a budget. Creating your site is an investment in your business, and the best way to see returns is by keeping the costs low and focusing on functionality instead of aesthetics. Let's dive right in…


Decide on a Business Model

When making a website, the first thing to do is to decide on a business model. Your choice here will impact almost every other decision you make throughout the process. First, you need to determine if you want a free website or if you want to purchase a domain and hosting. The first option is free, but you'll likely have to put up with advertisements and branding from your website. Following, you need to determine whether you want a static or database-driven website. Each option has pros and cons, and it's essential to pick a model that aligns with your marketing strategy.


TIP: Don't be scared to ask for bargains.

If you're tight on funds, you may consider asking for a discount or special offer from the people you're planning to hire for design and development. This approach will save you money and put it towards other aspects of the build. However, if you want to ensure the people you hire receive a fair wage, you can ask for a payment in advance. This action will secure the services are done, and you don't have to worry about additional costs. Finding a company that will accept this payment method can be challenging, but it's certainly worth asking around.


Determining Your Website's Purpose

The original item you want to do when building a website is to decide on its purpose. Knowing exactly why you want a website will make it easier to create one that is fully functional and relevant to your business. First, you want to determine if your website will be transactional or non-transactional. A transactional website will be where potential customers, clients, and partners sign up and make purchases on your website. And this is the most common type of website in 2019. A non-transactional webpage, on the other hand, is where customers can look at products and services but can't make purchases. This type is typically reserved for companies who want to showcase their work or provide information to their customers.


Select a Platform and Toolkit

Once you nail the kind of website you want to build, you need to choose a platform and toolkit for your website. You have two options for your website's platform: go completely custom or use a pre-made platform. Both choices have pros and cons and are often the source of fierce debate in the entrepreneur and development community. Custom website: When you build a custom website, you're in charge of everything from the front end to the back end. And consequently, it means that you decide on your website's design, features, and functionality. You're also hiring a developer to code and program your site. Custom websites are often scalable, secure, and can be used in any industry. However, they require the most money and resources to build and maintain. If you want to make a custom website, search for "custom website development," and you'll find plenty of companies who can help you.
Pre-made platform: If you don't want to invest much time and energy into building a website from scratch, you can use a pre-made platform. Pre-made platforms are great because you can customize them to suit your company's needs. Pre-made platforms are often cheaper than custom-built websites. They can also be great for starting businesses because they're easy to implement and maintain. Pre-made platforms come with tradeoffs, however. They don't always work for companies that need specific features or functionality. They also may not be scalable and may not be secure.


Markup and Wireframe Your Website

Once you settle on the kind of website you want to build, you need to start marking it up and creating a wireframe. Marking up your website will help you understand what content is going where. It's essential because it will help you identify potential issues with your hosting provider. Let's say you desire to show an image on your homepage. If you put the image file in the wrong folder, it won't appear on your website. You must also mark your website if you want to integrate with an eCommerce solution. If you wish your website to sell products and services, you'll need to integrate with a shopping cart program. Marking up your website may sound easy, but it can be tricky if you're unfamiliar with the process. You want to guarantee you get everything right so your website runs smoothly.


Choose the Right Hosting Company

Once you finish building your website, it's time to think about hosting. Hosting is the thing that physically stores your website on a server so that people can access it. You have two hosting options: managed hosting or dedicated hosting. Managed hosting: Managed hosting is the cheaper option but has some tradeoffs. With managed hosting, you don't have full access to your server. Theoretically, your host can lock you out of your site if they find it unstable or if there are some issues. Managed hosting also relies on a shared server. Your website will be sharing the space with other websites. If one website on that server goes down, the others may also go down. Dedicated hosting: Dedicated hosting is a more expensive option. With dedicated hosting, you gain full access to your server so you can code and run your website how you want to. Managed hosting is excellent for people who don't have much technical knowledge or want to focus on their business and not their website. Dedicated hosting is better if you want to have more control over your site and want to ensure it's always up and running.


Wrapping up

Creating a website from scratch can appear like an incredibly daunting task. However, it doesn't have to be expensive or take up much time. Once you maintain your business model, it'll be easier to decide on the type of website you want to build and find the right developer. Once your website is up and running, you can focus on marketing and getting customers to visit your site. Ensure you have an easy user experience, and remember to stay on top of your website's hosting.