How To: Building a Website on a Budget

Website Promotion Confusion Shows Online SEO Strategy And DevelopmentOur prices here at RockinWebsites is not for everybody.

Many prospects that I talk with love our style, design, and the customer care we offer, but their budget is not too happy. There are also times where we decided not to work with a client due to where they are on their journey.

I have personally went through a number of changes in my business, colors, layout, and brand and I have to say I’m glad I am a web developer. If I had to pay for that each and every time I don’t know if RockinWebsites would ever exist. So because of this knowledge I find myself letting people know that right now may not be the time to invest in a website, maybe you just need a landing page, or I give them tips on how they themselves can get a site up rather quickly for less than $500 dollars. 

So because of this I decided to write an article giving you step by step instructions on how you can build your own website. I have to admit that posting this article has a few selfish reason. First, I am part of a content marketing group and we needed to pump out 10,000 words in one day (I did not succeed) and when thinking about information I find myself writing in emails many times I thought I could make an entire post on it. Secondly, I can direct people to this article on my site so they can get step by step instructions, but hopefully they read it, find it interesting and want to sign up to get my other informative articles by providing their name and email in the box at the end of this post, ? shameless plug.

So let’s get started:

Site Under construction

Purchase Your Domain

I’m not going to talk about how to pick a domain, but what I will share with you is how to get a domain at a reasonable price. There are quite a few places to get domains, Godaddy, Namecheap, and even a few hosting companies can offer you the option to purchase your domain. Now I’m not sure if this is true for other companies, but I encourage clients to purchase their domain name with Godaddy. I have been able to get domain names super cheap, even as low as $0.99 for the year. They way I do this is by typing “Godaddy coupon code” into google and try the various coupon codes. I think the most I’ve ever paid for a domain name was around $8, I’ve paid more when I was paying attention and it was automatically renewed.

I must share with you that sometimes the codes do not work. However keep at it and you can luck up and get a domain name super cheap.

Please note: I am not an affiliate of Godaddy, I will not make any money off of this post. This is what I do to purchase domain names super cheap.

Purchase Hosting

The next step is to get hosting. Even though Godaddy offers hosting I do not recommend getting hosting from them if you are going to use WordPress as your website platform. I have spent more time trying to get things to work properly on client site that host with them, then on those that host elsewhere. So because of this I want to give you a few hosting companies I recommend.

RockinWebsites: Of course! We have recently decided to offer hosting to our clients. It is $10/mo or you can pay $100/yr. Also, depending on what web design package you choose you can save even more on our hosting packages.

Momwebs: Prior to offering our own hosting, we were with Momwebs from the very beginning. I must share that I am an affiliate of this company so I do make money if you use this link to go with them, but I have hosted with them for years and it’s been AMAZING!! Customer support has been quick, helpful and informative (I know the guy by name, hehehe) and I think my site has only been down twice through the 6 years I’ve been with them. That’s pretty darn good!!  As for pricing their mini package is $55 for the entire year.

Bluehost: I’ve never hosted with bluehost, but some of my clients do. They are also pretty good when it comes to hosting WordPress sites. I haven’t had any major difficulties when it comes to hosting for my clients and their customer service have been very helpful as well.

Please note: I am not an affiliate of Bluehost. I do not make any money if you choose to sign up with them.

With the above hosting they offer a 1 click install for wordpess so you can actually install it yourself. I know with RockinWebsites and Momwebs they will point your domain over to their server at no extra charge, and RockinWebsites will also install wordpress for you (not upload any plugins or themes) at no extra charge. 

Theme/Template

Now here is where the fun part begins.

We have a few different wordpress packages based on the client budget and need. We offer custom designs and we also offer configurations. With the configurations based on the reasearch and development stage of the process we find a theme that we can configure to give you the look that you want. This package is lower in cost because we are working from a template and we don’t have to do too much coding like in the custom design. But even if you are not able to afford that you can still get an amazing theme at a reasonable price.

Below is a list of 4 places I go to when researching the perfect theme for a client project

  • Headway Themes  – This is my absolute favorite theme. It’s drag and drop so I can design rather quickly. It’s so flexible and have cut down the time spent on developing websites.  But if you are looking for as little work as possible I would not recommend this theme. The cost: $59 (personal site) for support and updates for 1 year
  • Themeforest – If you would like to have something that you can pretty much have built right out of the box, then I would recommend Themeforest. They have a wide range of websites for various platforms. You can purchase a theme for $50 or more (or less).
  • Studiopress – Studiopress is based off the Genesis framework and has a bunch of great wordpress themes you can use as well. You can grab an amazing template plus the genesis framework for $99.95
  • Elegant Themes – Elegant themes is another place where you can buy premium themes. I’ve seen some pretty eye catching templates here. The cost starts at $69

Finally you can always type “Free Wordpess Themes” inside google and see what comes up. It’s no longer my preferred method getting a professional site, but it’s another method to save on cost none the less.

Once you have purchased and downloaded your theme. You can now upload it to your new wordpress install and “BOOM” you have a professional website.

If installing the theme is a bit much for you, you can always ask RockinWebsites to install it for you. We will install your theme and make sure it’s set-up exactly like it is on the demo and also install our recommended plugins for only $197.

So if we tally this all up using the cost on the more expensive end. You just paid a total of $220 to build a professional website. That is not bad at all!!

Before you go, I want to share with you prior to purchasing your wordpress theme, really thing about your marketing strategies and what you need your visitors to do when they come to your site. This will dictate what layout you chose. Also make sure you have integrated some forms such as a contact form or a form to get a free offer. Please make sure this forms are connected to your email marketing solution. There are quite a few out there and I can write a different post about the various ones out there if you’d like.