Websites play an essential role for all businesses, small ones included. However, if you think its costs are prohibitive for your small business, think again. Your cost options range from zero upwards, depending on how much time and money you have to dedicate to your website.
Free hosting and a free domain combined with your design and content can mean you don’t need to spend a cent. Still, if you want something more professional and authoritative, you can find several alternatives that won’t cost you a fortune.
Website Building Considerations
These are some of the primary considerations when you decide to build a website:
Free hosting is available from most website builders. However, when they provide this service for free, you need to give something back by allowing them to advertise on your website. Since you are getting free hosting, you may not mind the intrusion, but always read the fine print when signing up. Also, remember that your host can delete your website at any time when you don’t own the web hosting.
Therefore, your safest alternative is to pay for your web hosting – plenty of affordable options exist. In addition, several reliable web hosting sites make website building a dream with their user-friendly templates and drag-and-drop features. Depending on your level of skills and the type of online presence required (eCommerce, Blog, etc.), Bluehost, Wix, Gator, Squarespace, WordPress, Weebly, and GoDaddy are some hosting services to consider.
Use and cost are vital criteria, so when looking for a website host and builder, don’t pay for elements and services you don’t need. But on the other hand, ensure that it provides room for growth to accommodate your future business needs.
Your website’s URL or address is known as its domain name. Your visitors see it in the browser bar. However, your domain name has another purpose, branding your website. Most web hosting services provide you with a free domain name for the first year and then charge you for it annually, while others will give it to you for free if you keep hosting with them. You can also purchase one at an average cost of between $10 and $30 a year.
When you decide on the web hosting service and the package you prefer, create the domain name you envisage. The next step is to search for the availability of the domain name before purchasing it. However, with most hosting services, you can use your own if you already have one. Also, you can search for a domain name later if you are still unsure of the best name.
Remember: Once you have found the perfect domain name, it is a good idea to purchase it before it gets snatched by someone else.
The design of a website can be the most expensive part of the exercise. However, developments have made it easier for anybody to design an attractive website with some website builders, even with no coding skills.
Choose Your Theme – Most website builders have a good choice of pre-made templates, drag-and-drop, unlimited pages, stock images, marketing tools, and SSL images. Some things worth considering are mobile friendliness, integration with third-party builders, business integration tools, plugins, and widgets. You can install a third-party theme on some website builders, like WordPress.
Customize Your Website – In this stage, you can use all the tools available on the builder to customize your website, making it your own.
Set Up the Domain Email – An optional step that makes you look more professional is to set up the domain email. Your domain email lets your customers contact you through your site.
Up to this point of building your website, you need not have spent a fortune. However, a website does need quality content. Unfortunately, outsourcing can be expensive, but if you aren’t good at writing, look for cost-effective solutions online.
When building your small business website, determine your budget and enterprise needs before choosing your host and package. Next, compare what website builders and hosts provide, and once you have decided on the best website builder and host, you are ready to start creating. Your options for building a website without spending a fortune are plentiful, whether you have the technical skills or not, so take advantage of them and ensure your business has the online representation it deserves. Now that you have your great-looking website, the next step is to start marketing your website to create leads that become paying clients.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way to build a small business website?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to build a small business website depends on your budget, enterprise needs, and technical skills. However, some tips on how to build a small business website on a budget include choosing a cost-effective web hosting service and using a drag-and-drop website builder.
How much does it cost to build a small business website?
Again, there is no definitive answer to this question, as the cost of building a small business website depends on your specific needs and budget. However, you can generally expect to spend anywhere from a few dollars per month to a few thousand dollars for a custom-built website.
Do I need to hire a professional to build my small business website?
Not necessarily. There are plenty of cost-effective solutions for building a small business website without hiring a professional. For example, you can use a drag-and-drop website builder or install a third-party theme on WordPress. However, hiring a professional web developer may be worthwhile if you have specific enterprise needs or want a custom website.
How can I market my small business website?
There are a number of ways to market your small business website, including search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, and content marketing. The best way to market your website will depend on your budget, target audience, and goals.
What are some common mistakes when building a small business website?
Some common mistakes when building a small business website include neglecting SEO, failing to integrate social media, using low-quality images, and not having enough content. Also, proofread your content and test your website before launch!