A website is a requirement for any new business or project. Typically when someone is searching for your brand, they will look at your site to find more information about your product or service before committing to a purchase. It is for this reason why building a website is essential for your customers or readers. Starting a new venture can be expensive, which is why we have created this guide to help you start building a website with almost no budget.
Web hosting bundles can save you money
Regardless of the type of site, you will need to store the website files somewhere so that that can be published online to for your audience to access. Fortunately, web hosting for startup websites can be very reasonable, and some providers will offer it for free for a specified period. Look out for deals and see if any of your contacts have referral links for more significant discounts.
If you are not too worried about advertising or having another brand affiliated with your website, you can find completely free web hosting. Be aware that free hosting often puts sponsored content in random areas on your page and insert links back to their website in compensation for providing you with the hosting for free.
Domain names do not need to be expensive
When searching for a domain name, look for cheaper alternatives to .com and be aware of renewal fees after the first year. Many web hosting providers will bundle web hosting and a domain name together to save you even more money. If you have no budget at all, you can get free subdomains from hosting companies. However, these are usually in the form of yourname.theirname.com which could be inferior branding for your company so be sure to consider this.
You probably don’t need expensive DNS
When setting up your website, you are going to need a DNS system to allow users accessing your domain name to be directed to the server hosting your web files. Almost every domain name registrar and web hosting will include DNS as part of their service, so there is no need to buy it separately. This also saves you the cost of hiring experienced systems administrators to look after those things for you.
Website building platforms are free
If you need flexibility but without the cost, consider using a free website builder tool or a full web building platform such as Wordpress. Free software such as Wordpress is advert free and has a built-in editor to make website building easy. These types of website builders often come with free themes and templates for your website with the ability to edit the text, colors, and some of the formatting. Systems like Wordpress are also flexible so that you can upgrade to a paid theme should your business expand and require a better look and feel for your website at a later date.
Consider an all in one solution
It might be cheaper to get your website up and running by subscribing to all the different services that you need separately (Web Hosting, Domain Name, DNS, Website Builder, etc.) However, keep in mind that you can get everything done for you in one package to save you considerable effort and misconfiguration. Be sure to shop around to find the best options that fit your specific needs.
Don’t get caught out
We’ve already alluded to the fact that free might not be complimentary for life, and renewals might be expensive. You should also assess your bandwidth and storage usage every month and optimize your uploads, specifically images, to remain on a free tier. Check the terms of any agreement that you enter to ensure there are no expensive “gotchas” in the fine print.
Many of the free website builders lock you in, making it difficult to move to another provider in the future. Be aware of such builders that do not let you export your website data. If the web builder is a custom tool, then you are unlikely going to find it easy to switch the provider at a later date.
There are many free systems available online to get your website up and running quickly and with no budget. Keep in mind that “free” sometimes comes at a cost for either using up your valuable personal time to customize the pages or by the provider(s) placing adverts onto your site. It isn’t always the case though, and we hope that this article provides some insights on how to get your website up and running for little or no cost.