Building a website may seem like a daunting task, and many expect it to be an expensive endeavour, but the truth is you can create a high-quality website on a small budget.
These days, if you’re going to run a successful business, get a startup off the ground or start a blog, you’re going to need a website. Whether it’s for marketing on a grander scale, or using an online store as your primary source of revenue, a website is your most useful tool in the highly competitive digital age.
That all sounds very expensive, doesn’t it? With so much power and the potential for success, you would think setting up a website would cost big bucks, but you can actually build and maintain a high-quality website on a relatively small budget. Let’s take a look at a few tips to get you started.
Domain Name Registration
Your first step when creating a website is registering your domain name. If you already have a business name then this will be easier and require less thought, but if you’re still thinking of a name for your blog, you may want to take some time to think of something worthwhile.
Ideally, you want a .com as your domain extension as it’s the go-to when you type in a website. Any internet user holds that instinctive muscle memory to enter .com when they type a site into the address bar. If your domain name is hard to spell or awkward to type, then it’s going to be limiting your traffic. Keep it short, sweet and memorable — so not ‘www.comeandcheckmywebsiteoutitsreallyawesomethanks.com.’
The cost of domain registration depends on your domain extension, but you can get a standard .com domain for around ten dollars. If you go for something more specific or unique, it will up the price. A less authoritative domain extension (.co.uk, .web, .net) will cost less, but it decreases the potential of web users easily finding your site through the address bar.
The internet has completely revolutionized the business world, and a company’s website is a constant advertisement and marketing tool. So with that in mind, your domain name needs to be picked wisely. This article featured on Moz’s blog provides a quick rundown of the rules of choosing a domain name, which features some helpful branding advice.
While there is the option of free web hosting through sites like WordPress, these sites are very limited in regards to design and performance. If you want a site that’s high-quality, professional and gives you a lot more control, you’re going to need to pay for website hosting.
Doing so gives you your own web space, providing you with the resources and freedom to create something unique — which, when used for a business, can be a key selling point. There are a few different types of web hosting so it’s important to check each of them out and decide which would be best to suit your needs.
Most website hosting providers tend to have different tiers that cater for the different intentions of a website. More often than not, you’ll see web hosting plans for everyday use, for a business, and a “pro” plan. This is ideal if you don’t know much about web hosting, offering up a detailed breakdown of what you will be getting for your money.
In regards to cost, website hosting is very manageable and cost effective, even if you’re working on a tight budget. Depending on your requirements, the cost will change, but you could host a blog for as little as a few dollars a month — as cheap as a cup of coffee or maybe even cheaper. We know: coffee is getting expensive, right?
So, you’ve registered an awesome domain name, paid for web hosting and have designed a brilliant website, now what?
Social Media is Your Best Friend
In case you hadn’t noticed yet, social networks are kind of a big deal — not just for chums to stay in contact, but also for businesses to market themselves to a global audience. Sharing your website’s content via social media gives you an easy — yet massively effective — way of connecting with your target market.
Facebook and Twitter are the social network powerhouses, but having your online presence spread as wide as possible will help you to get a larger following. Sites like LinkedIn for business connections, and Instagram for further establishing your brand, will go a long way to solidifying yourself as an authority in your industry.
You may well be working on a tight budget, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have options when it comes to online marketing. You can advertise on Facebook for very little expense, and when you consider how powerful it can be to reach new audiences, it’s usually a bargain.
These ads can be catered to suit the specific needs you have, but more importantly the budget that you’re working with.
Update Your Content Regularly
Updating your website’s content on a regular basis is not only good practice for keeping things fresh and engaging for your audience, but it’s also an effective way to improve your SEO. By producing new content on a regular basis, it shows sites like Google that your website is relevant and highly active.
Maintain Your Domain, Web Host and SEO
Now that you have a domain, web hosting and have worked to improve your SEO, now’s not the time to make silly mistakes. Maintaining your domain and web hosting will prevent your site from being taken offline, which could have major effects on your profits — like if you run an online shop and your site goes down for a few days. Who do you think your customer’s next stop will be? That’s right: your competitors.
Make the Most of Free Resources
With the abundance of free information online through various websites, blogs and social media, you’d be foolish not to take advantage of it. A great example of this is Moz’s Blog, which is a goldmine of posts to help you further develop your marketing and SEO skills. You could also check out the blogs of some of the awesome marketing companies out there, as they are regularly updated with guides, advice and features that could be the game-changer your website needs.
In today’s digital age, a website is a perfect platform for marketing a business, and online stores give companies the ability to reach out to a global audience. In the past, large corporations would dominate every industry online because of their massive budgets, but being able to set up a website on far more restricted funds gives small businesses and individuals the level playing field they need to be successful.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.