Build a Website for Less Than $500
Every business is working on a tight budget these days. They use
every opportunity to cut costs and save for the rainy days. However, nothing is too hard for a budding
entrepreneur – especially one with an idea.
Sometimes, you may have to start by ‘testing the waters’ or getting a web presence to establish the
kind of market opportunity that may exist once you take off the ground running.
In other instances, entrepreneurs have achieved success with brick-and-motor establishments and
then felt the need to get an online presence to grow and expand their businesses.
So, what can a budding entrepreneur use $500 for? More than you can imagine. Whereas you may not
build a fully fledged e-commerce website, there’s quite a lot you can achieve with $500 or less.
Here are a few ways you can get off the ground.
To start with, you need to obtain a domain name which reflects the nature of your business. When
you’ve come up with a list of possible names, you need to establish whether it is available for registration;
otherwise it could be costly to buy a name from someone. Websites that allow domain registration can help you check
whether a name is available for registration.
When you’ve obtained your domain, you need to find hosting services for your site. Typical hosting
fees range from $6 to $9 per month but if you feel that you don’t want to spend money at the time, you can host
your site at your small office server until when you’ve really taken off.
After the hosting is in place, you can then think
about the content. A lot of people think that you cannot build a Web 2.0 site for $500 or less but it is very
possible. Web 2.0 basically means that the site is based on a more social- network kind of theme which
encourages user participation in the online community.
It’s really about user interaction and allowing customer engagement with one another. You may hire
a designer to create the content but that may eat into your $500 budget. Your best option would be to use a content
management system (CMS) like WordPress, Drupal or Joomla.
You can learn how to integrate the CMS on the respective websites and save about $300 in monthly
updates. You will then have to find a cheap template based on the type of CMS you chose. Average cost of a template
ranges between $55 and $65.
Now comes the tricky part. You still need to edit the template to fit within your specific needs
yet you’ve used up about $100. Most probably, you’ll have to hire a web designer with some SEO knowledge. Content
for a six-page website would need about $300 to $400. Neglect quotes above that range.
You can now take some time to learn some SEO skills
so that you get your pages well optimized for search engines. It pays off later when you save on hiring SEO
Next comes integration. Luckily, most of the major CMS have free tools – or very cheap at least –
and modules available online for integrating Facebook, Twitter, contact us page, RSS feeds, and the like. You can
then set up a merchant account. Set up PayPal and then accept payments with a little bit of CMS integration (at a
Most other integration can be done at no cost – blogs, YouTube videos, among others. Before
launching, ensure you test your website, especially the security features.
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