When I wanted to start my business, I understood the benefits of having a business website. However, I didn’t have a lot of money, and if you’re like me, the first thing you think about is the expense. Starting a business website doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, my first website cost me less than $10 a year.
Free websites are still out there. All you have to do is search “Free web hosting” in your favorite search engine and numerous hosting companies pop up in the results. Of course, if you want a business domain, you have to pay for that domain which costs between $7 and $10 a year, but finding a free webhosting company saves between $65 and $150 a year or more. The drawback is that these sites often include limited monthly bandwidth, limited storage, and ads. If you can deal with all those things and having ads on your business website that aren’t directly related to your business, it’s not a bad deal.
If you can’t, there are also low cost alternatives like Yahoo Small Business webhosting. All you have to do is search for web hosting. Free and affordable web hosting is out there.
Lots of web hosting companies offer easy to use site building tools. The learning curve is typically short. The last site building tool I used took me about a day to learn. Of course, it took me about 80 hours to get my business website the way I wanted it. Being able to design my own website saved me at least $350, and I got to incorporate as many webpages into the site as I needed. I wasn’t limited to five or ten. After all, the main page, about us page, products and services page, contact us page, and guestbook take up five pages by themselves and for most businesses, including mine, I need to be more detailed.
The drawbacks to designing my own website included: the time it took and maintenance. It took me about 80 hours to fully design my own website. That’s a lot of time when considering I also had to run my business while I designed the website. The other drawback is maintenance. If something changes for my business, I have to update my website.
At a minimum, it’s a good idea to update and check links at least once a month. I don’t want search engines to forget about me due to old content, and with some search engines using a newest first algorithm, it’s even more important to stay on top of updates and to make sure every link and webpage works as intended and that the content is fresh.
All and all I spent about $10 on my first business website.