With websites and website builders being much more common these days, the cost to start a website isn’t as steep as it used to be. Don’t get me wrong, if you go and hire a web designer and web developers, you could be paying out thousands of dollars, but if you do it on your own and follow the advice in this article, you can get a website up and running for less than $200.
Making Sure Your Budget & Expectations Line-Up
Before you run out and purchase access to a website builder, you need to make sure that your budget and your expectations line up. If you want a $5,000 website for $200, unless you learn to code and are able to customize your site like a pro, that might not happen. Instead, you should shoot for having a website that is attractive and provides a good user experience for the money you’ve put out.
If you aren’t tech savvy, being able to use drag and drop editors is one of the ways that you can even the playing field. Even if you don’t know how to code, that won’t keep you from having an awesome website these days. There are some website designers that only use drag and drop and use no code so you’re in good company and they get paid to build sites. WordPress developers are the ones that use code most but other people are moving away from it with these drags and drop abilities.
Before you move on to how you can start your site, you need to think about why your budget is where it is and if you are going to have more money to put into your site at a later date. It is important to know where you are starting, but you should also figure out where you are going to progress to as well.
Options for Creating Your Site for Less Than $200
When you are on a shoestring budget, every penny counts and when you are trying to market on a shoestring budget, that can be even more challenging. Marketing with your website can be one of the best ways to get your message out without spending a fortune.
There are plenty of websites that will allow you to build your website on their platform without much of an investment and some even allow you to operate at the free level for as long as you want. Some of those options are Wix, Weebly, Jimdo, GoDaddy, and WordPress.
While all of those are good options, we like WordPress the most since it has more capabilities and allows you to be able to customize your site, add plugins and anything else that you see fit. Some of the other platforms are more limited. If you don’t plan on growing and building a bigger site, they will work fine but if you plan on expanding and needing more customization, WordPress.org is the best way to go.
Domain & Hosting
If you decide that you want to go with WordPress.org for your CMS, you are able to use it for free but you do need to get your domain and hosting.
Your domain is how you get to your website and your hosting is where your website lives on the internet. You can get a service that will both register a domain for you and serve your website or you can use different services to do each of these things separately.
Some popular domain and hosting options are GoDaddy, Bluehost, and Hostgator. You can get a domain around $15 a year and hosting for around $10 a month.
Themes & Customization
When you have a WordPress site, you are able to customize the look of your site with themes. Themes are like skins for your website and allow it to take on different looks and functions. There are thousands of free themes available online (about 40,000) for free and even more paid themes available for you.
Many people wonder if it is worth it to pay for a WordPress theme or how much money they should put out for a theme. If you see a theme that you want and would fit your site, you have to make a decision whether you think it is valuable enough to you or if it is going to eat up too much of your $200 budget.
Creating the Best User Experience
Having a great website is all about creating a great user experience. When people come to your website, you want them to enjoy their time there, learn and convert to whatever goal that you have whether that be opt-ins, sales or another action that you have set.
Even when you are building a website for under $200 you can make sure that your visitor has a great experience on your site. If you have money left over after you’ve bought the essentials, you can look for other plugins that are going to help your site operate better and give you more function for what you need. The sky is the limit with WordPress.
Creating a website for your business is necessary and with a great website being within your reach for less than $200, the only thing that is holding you back is not taking action. Building your website might seem a little scary, but if you get started, you are going to see that your site starts to take shape right in front of your eyes.
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