It’s the age of the internet. Over the last few decades, individuals have turned to the internet to locate businesses to serve their needs. According to Yelp, 85% of consumers utilize the internet to find local businesses. Individuals utilize Google, Bing, or Yahoo to search out businesses in their area that will serve a need, look at reviews on third party websites, and study the company’s professional website to evaluate the business’ potential.
As a brick and mortar business, a website serves two overarching goals.
- To entice customers to try out your service or product.
- To prevent loss of customers to technologically savvy competitors.
Diving into website creation can seem like a daunting and expensive task, but the rapidly advancing web development technology and knowledge base available online can make it easier than ever to create and maintain a fairly sophisticated website.
Part 1: Pay to Get it Off the Ground
For individuals with zero web development and minimal technological experience, you might need to hire an individual or business to create the website. Hiring freelance web developers or development companies can cost anywhere from $35 to $200 an hour.
If you can’t afford an experienced freelance developer or a business, you might still be able to find an individual who can create a serviceable website at a lower cost price. I would recommend asking around. Relatives, friends, or acquaintances might know someone who has the technological skills to create a serviceable website that will either do it as a favor or for the experience at a cheaper price.
If you can’t afford to pay for the service, I would recommend offering free services in exchange.
Part 2: Choose an Easy to Utilize Program
Whether you hire a professional, seek help from a friend, or tackle website creation on your own, you should ensure that the website is developed on a platform that will be easy for you to maintain. Due to the fact that it can be cheaper and faster to run your own website, you should at least leave yourself that option.
There are a variety of different platforms and tools that can be utilized to build a website.
A solid option that I would recommend is WordPress. WordPress is fairly easy to utilize and has a number of free or low-cost website templates to easy the website creation process.
If you don’t fancy any of the free templates available and don’t feel like paying a fee to utilize paid templates, I would recommend looking into a few Add-Ons or Applications that modify WordPress to make the website creation process easier.
Site Origin’s Page Builder, for example, is an application that alters WordPress in a manner that virtually eliminates the need to utilize HTML to create a sophisticated design. It’s freemium service. The basic tool is free, but if you want speedy, advanced troubleshooting help or paid templates it will cost you.
I have had a good experience as an extremely green web designer with both WordPress and Page Builder. If you do opt for a WordPress modifier like Page Builder, you should check YouTube for visual guides on how to create a website from scratch.
Part 3: Domain Names and Hosting
You will also need to choose a website hosting service and purchase a domain name. Purchasing a domain name is usually a fairly small yearly fee. While you can have a very basic “.wordpress” site, if you actually buy the domain it will look far more professional. The free version of WordPress, unfortunately, doesn’t allow individuals to download plugins or make major edits to the theme or blog design.
If you opt to purchase a domain, you will need to choose an entity to host your website. Here is a variety of options that you can consider. As you look into potential companies to host, I would recommend balancing out the cost with the quality of the service provided.
Part 4: High-Quality Images
Pictures add style to what could be an extremely dull wall of text. Don’t quite get the need for images? Professional, high-quality images, on their website is one of the reasons that Airbnb, once a small start-up has ballooned into a multi-national powerhouse. Not long after the company switched from a poor web site with low-quality images to a sleek website design with attention-grabbing images, the business became more successful.
If Airbnb can send professional photographers to take pictures of new listings, you can provide one or two high-quality images per page. Warning: Be sure to utilize images that you have the right to use. Illegal use of copyrighted images can lead to an expensive legal battle and a monetary penalty.
How do you go about that without breaking the bank?
- Search for high quality, free to use stock photos. I would recommend that you check out UnSplash. You can 18 other free stock photo options, here.
- Purchase stock images. Some stock photos are ridiculously bad, but you might find some serviceable images that you can pay to utilize.
- Not bad at photography? Grab your best camera and take a few pictures.
- Hopeless with a camera? Have an employer or pay someone to take a few images for you to utilize. If that individual is a family member or a family friend, you might be able to receive the service in a fairly low-cost manner.
The internet has altered the means that individuals locate potential businesses to patronize. The creation of a high-quality website can be a vital aspect of your company’s future success. Technology has advanced enough that it has created applications and free resources that make it easier than ever to create a stellar company website at a relatively low price tag.