One of the things that scare people away from building a website is the potential cost. A lot of people ask me what the average cost of a website is and it’s a difficult question to answer because there really is no average cost. The cost of a website depends on what kind of website you want, if you’re going to hire a web designer, and what kind of features you want. You can easily spend thousands of dollars having a website built.
But there are some ways that you can have a website built for a $100 or less…if you know how to economize. Here are a few tips on how to save money on your website.
1. Do your research – The basic components of a website are your domain name, web hosting, and web design. If you are going to sell from your website, you’ll also need to look at a shopping cart, merchant account, and possibly a secure server. When you’re looking at these components, be sure to do your homework. A lot of people get stuck with an expensive service because it’s the first one they run across, not realizing that there might be better options. The “deals” that you get from your domain registrar or web hosting company might not actually be the best ones available.
Ask for recommendations from people who already have a website. If you’re hiring a web designer, ask them for recommendations on hosting and other services. In many cases, they’re familiar with the different services and can give you an idea of what things should cost. And don’t forget to do your own research by typing “web hosting” and “shopping carts” in a search engine and getting a price range.
2. Stick with simple, uncomplicated websites – A lot of small business websites don’t need a lot of flashy animated stuff and complicated programming. Flash animation and websites cost more to build and maintain because you’ll need a web designer to build it and update it. And a Flash website might end up being counterproductive anyway as they can be bad for search engine rankings and many people find them confusing and annoying.
3. Build some of the site yourself – Learn some basic HTML and invest in a web building program. You can then purchase a pre-made website template or hire a web designer to build a template and use it to build the website yourself. Yes, it will take a bit of time and effort to learn, but it’s less expensive to purchase a pre-made template or to have a web designer design a template than it will be to have them build the entire website.
4. Maintain the website yourself – Instead of having a web designer or webmaster maintain your website, purchase a web building program like Expression Web or Dreamweaver and have them train you on how to maintain your website yourself. Even if you don’t build your website yourself, you can learn enough so that you don’t have to chase down a web designer to make minor changes to your site.
5. Consider using WordPress as your website platform – The blogging software WordPress is flexible enough to be used as both a blog and a website. Once it’s set up, you can easily change the design, add new features, and create new pages without having to learn how to design a website. Some web hosting companies have an easy install feature that will do a basic set up of WordPress with a few easy clicks. It only takes a few more adjustments to turn off the blog feature and make WordPress look like a regular website. You can literally have a WordPress website set up in less than a half hour and if you do the work yourself, you can do it for free!