How To Get A Great Website For As Little As $500 (Without Building It Yourself) or How to get the best Website For The Least Amount Of Money
If you were to Google “how to save money on building a new website” you may be surprised that there are very few answers. There are plenty of solutions on how to build your website or how to create a successful website. I even got more answers on how to save thousands on building your own home! Really? But if you don’t know how to build it yourself, and have to hire someone, it is really hard to know what it should cost.
You will find lots of articles on what a website costs. But by the time all the options are explained, you’re so confused you’ll either forget about it or pay whatever. So when we decided to offer to build great websites for as little as $500 we had to figure out how to do it. First are there people who need a website that we can build for $500? Sure, we could easily build what is called a Landing page which is basically a one page website. But then are those businesses that need a little more?
Below is how we can build a fully functional website with most of the important basic features most small businesses would need. Let’s start with what you paying for.
The main thing you are paying for is the time spent building the site. You can find very competent website developers in the U.S. who work for $50.00 per hour, or less. In many cases, there are no other costs. Our company, like many others, build websites in the WordPress Format. WordPress is the most used format in the world. At last count, there are about 75 million WordPress sites which are about 25 to 30% of all website on the internet. The next most popular format is Joomla with just about 3%. That being said, let’s make the following assumptions.
First Objective Of Your Website
You have a small business that needs a website. You do not plan to sell your product or service online. So you do not need an online store. Your main objective is to give people who are looking for your product or service information about your business so they can decide if they want to buy from you or hire you.
Second Objective Of Your Website
Make it as easy as possible for your website to be found. You do not have a lot of control over how to do this. But there are some things you can and need to do so you will have a fair chance of being found. We will talk about that in a minute.
Final Objective Of Your Website
Your final objective is to get people interested enough in your business to contact you either by phone, email or in person. So all you need is a website that gives an accurate impression of what your business has to offer. Plus you will want it to be interesting enough for people to want to contact you.
With these objectives in mind, here are the next steps you’ll need to take. You will need to buy a domain name which will cost about $15 per year or less and is not part of the cost of building a website. Next, you need a web developer. There are few web developers will agree to create a site for a flat $500. But if you can find a web developer that will work on an hourly basis, divide their hourly fee into $500 to determine the amount of time they will have to build the site.
WordPress developers work with WordPress themes. Themes are pre-built websites that can be re-designed. WordPress developers can make changes fast and efficiently because they have experience with the WordPress platform. There are also many free WordPress themes. Sometimes it is faster for the developer if he or she can find one that is close to the design you want for your site because they will spend less time modifying it.
To determine what theme to use, you will want to show the developer some sites you like. If you can find a free WordPress theme that is close to the design you are looking for, that is ideal. But there are many more WordPress themes that you can purchase. Many of them cost $100 or less. You will probably need the developer to determine whether it would be faster to work within the theme they are familiar with or to find another one. Sometimes it is cheaper to buy a new theme if it requires less modification by the developer.
Once you choose a theme, the developer will need to place it on a web server, which takes very little time. The developer will probably use a program that will set the theme on the server automatically, or if placed manually it could take an hour or so.
By this time the developer may have spent less than an hour helping you decide what theme you’re using and setting it up on the server. Next, you need to decide what content you want on the site and where you want it placed. Content is usually one of the most time-intensive portions of the development. When you take the time to gather and create the elements you need such as your company logo, pictures, graphics and write the text, this is where you are going to save money. When writing the copy for your new site, you will want to use words as often as possible that people will use to find your business. This is how people will find your site through search engines like Google.
Now, All you will need to do is give the elements to the developer with instructions on where you want them. You will need to tell the developer what pages you will want on your site and what content goes on each page. The developer will only need to copy and paste the text if you can give it to him or her via email or a text document like Microsoft Word. The developer may only need to do some processing of the pictures, which usually would not take more than a few minutes per image.
Typically most websites will have a home page, which will have some text and pictures introducing your visitors to your business. Other pages could be a products page, services page, price page, and contact page with your hours, location, phone number and email contact.
At this point, the developer is ready to build the website. By now the developer may have only spent a couple of hours working with you to determine what theme to use, setting it up on the server, and discussing design aspects such as background colors and how to lay out the text and images on the pages. Your only cost at this point may be a few hours for the developer, and maybe $100 for a theme.
If you purchased a theme for $100, and your developer charges $50, per hour, that would leave 8 hours of developer time. If the developer has spent three hours at this point, they would have five more hours to build the site. With all the content in hand and a good idea of the design you want, a good developer should be able to build a seven or eight-page site in five hours or less.
If you need a website with some unique features, you can always add them later, or ask the developer how much additional time it would take to include them. Almost any feature you would want on a website has probably already been created as a plugin. Plugins are pieces of code that are written to enable a website to expand its features. Common plugins are things like slideshows, shopping carts, signup forms, and so on. Many of these plugins are free and in most cases, your developer can implement them in one to three hours at most.