No company can hope to thrive and prosper in 21st century unless they have a strong online presence. In this scenario, a quality-looking website is both the first and the last line of defense. Now, a lot of people believe that the key to making a great website lies in hiring a skilled designer. Naturally, this would also mean paying a small fortune for this commodity, which is something a lot of SMBs can seldom afford. Luckily, in 2016, things are not so grim and there are many ways to make a quality website on a budget. Here are some tips and tricks for making a frugal, yet stunning website.
Register Your Domain
No matter what kind of website you want to make, the first step on this path lies in registering your own domain name. However, you would need to come up with a good name. Best choices here are either your company’s name or a keyword. Next, you need to check if your preferred domain name is available and the easiest way to do so is to just google it. If you see that this address is vacant, you should go to find a reliable domain name registrar and pay a registration fee for that particular name. Usually, this goes somewhere between $10 and $35, but seeing how registration is a one-time investment, this really isn’t that much.
After you registered your domain, you need to figure out what to do about hosting. You will have several options available, one of which is a free one. Unfortunately, this alternative has some serious drawbacks. First, they can publish ads on your website without your permission, and second, they offer little to no technical support. Sure, some would argue that their services being free is a privilege enough, but seeing how hosting via third party sometimes costs as little as $4,00, most people decide to go with this option.
What you will need next is think about an appropriate content management system (CMS), and here WordPress has no equal. It is exactly because of this that 26 percent of all websites on the internet are made through this platform. One of the main reasons why so many people use it is the fact that installing WordPress is as simple as it gets. First you download the latest version from wordpress.org (not wordpress.com; these are two completely different things). Second, you upload these files to your web server. Third, you create a WordPress account and a MySQL database. Fourth, you configure your WordPress and connect it to this database. Finally, you complete the installation and start with the setup of your website.
Focusing on the Visuals
In the end, you need to take care of your website’s visuals, since no matter how low-cost it was to set it up, you mustn’t allow it to look cheap. Every visitor should believe you paid an expensive designer to do the layout and this impression will add the most to your website’s value. There are two areas you should focus on – finding an appropriate theme and making an adequate logo. For the theme, you know what would fit your business the most, but with logo you can save some more money by going with free and reliable logo maker. Remember that your site’s logo is going to be the thing people come to know it by, so invest as much effort as you need into making it admirable.
Paying someone to do all your work is always the quickest and easiest solution, but sometimes you won’t have this commodity at your disposal. When that happens, you might be forced to do everything on your own. Luckily, today most website design tools and logo makers function on the drag-and-drop principle. This means that you don’t have to learn how to code or even become an IT expert in order to setup your own website. An encouraging thought and practical as well.
Marcus is an IT support professional. He’s running his own business, working with companies that outsource their IT maintenance. He often writes about technology, business and marketing and is a regular contributor on several sites.