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A website can take under an hour to fully make, and only cost you time. There’s nothing wrong with doing it completely free unless you want to do something business-related.
- Fastest is £0-£200
- Intermediate is £15-£1000
- Hiring developers is £200-£10000
- 📚 See this handy summary!
Pro Tip: How much does a website cost per month? As little as a few pounds (for the web host, and a yearly domain charge). If hiring somebody, there may be maintenance costs too.
Fastest, Cheapest 🇬🇧
Making a Free Site
Truth is, free designer options aren’t good for business but are great for casual blogging — something like WordPress.org will give you a free subdomain rather than a full domain, e.g. YourSite.WordPress.com not YourSite.com.
In short, a free plan is great for a free blog that doesn’t make money. But it allows you to purchase better plans when you decide that your blog should start making money.
Want to quickly build a website that can also do great business? Then, for portfolios, it’s hard to beat one of these Fast Designers. Tip: To compete on the search engines, WordPress has very good SEO so is better than Squarespace, etc.
Setting up a business site...
The easiest way to get a WP site with a cheap host that costs only a few pounds monthly:
1) Use a good web host with Shared Hosting or better + a custom URL.
2) Choose a “drag-and-drop” (v. important) theme like SeedProd or Beaver Builder.
3) Use a YouTube tutorial... Find one that ends in a site you would love to have. Follow it step-by-step!
Better SEO / More Customizations
If you want to use a more customizable WordPress theme, you will need to invest quite a bit of time into learning how to use that theme. Don’t underestimate how much time! Before choosing your theme, decide what features you need, such as special e-commerce capabilities.
Weebly, WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace are extremely good at getting you online without migraines. But their weakness is in reduced customizability and competitiveness in the search engines.
Still, consider keeping things simple… In many cases, you’ll be able to find these features with something like Wix or sticking to a simple drag-and-drop WP theme as we covered in Option 1.
You might also want a higher-performance plan than VPS, such as dedicated hosting. I would only recommend this option if you already have an audience from somewhere else.
Perhaps you have lots of reader fans on GoodReads, or a popular podcast. You will need super powerful hosting unless you are doing a product launch and expect to have to serve 1000s of customers…
The last thing you want, for an important product launch, is for your website to crash because it cannot handle all of the demand.
Use Live Chat...
If you’re going the DIY route for the first time, use the Live Chat option in your web host as much as needed. Live Chat saves beginners tons of time and the support staff are paid to help. They’re often widely knowledgeable.
Hiring a Developer 👨💼
Scaling Up a Business You Already Have
You’re a busy entrepreneur or small business with a clear vision of how you can scale up things… Perhaps you already have a basic website, or you generate traffic from a different source such as social media.
Hiring a freelance developer or agency can free you up to focus on entrepreneurial work, by investing a portion of your revenue for making a website to offer your sizable audience. Having your own site has the following perks 📓:
- ✔ Directly sell your products without cutting profits with someone like Amazon. One example is author Michael-Scott Earle, who earns an enormous amount.
- ✔ Generate organic traffic to your blogs. This also allows you to do affiliate marketing — without spending lots of time fiddling around.
- ✔ Create membership areas & forums. Like Penny Arcade’s comic, capture your audience directly, rather than relying on other providers, who may change their terms of services in a way that doesn’t benefit you in the future.
Using Cheap Hires
Hiring doesn’t need to be expensive. You could choose a cheaper or more expensive developer. And you could ask for a basic website; a good-looking blog that lets you easily add posts…
If you’re a busy person, hiring can save time while accomplishing superb features. And time is money. If choosing a freelance developer/agency, Upwork is an extraordinary talent pool, or Fiverr.
Think carefully about what you want your website to look like, perhaps choose a pre-existing site to base yours on. I would also suggest requesting a Fixed Fee for the full project, rather than using an hourly rate.
This will make sure that the price doesn’t snowball out of control. Use advanced filters to select freelancers who are more likely to fall within your budget — and choose those with great feedback from similar projects, plus a high Job Success score, rather than just the cheapest.
Handy Summary 📝
Business Sites (£15-£10,000)
Just sorting out one small design issue can take hours for beginners. So keep everything really simple. Busy entrepreneurs who already have a good business and want to add a website to their roster can hire a developer or agency using something like Upwork. For a fast and cheap business site:
- Use WordPress, as it’s best for SEO. And drag-drop WP themes like SeedProd or BeaverBuilder.
- Find a great YouTube tutorial after choosing your theme. Follow it step-by-step.
A Fast Portfolio Site 📓 (£15-£200)
Finally, if you want more of a “portfolio” type of website for your services/business, there are many great cheap website builders to use (scroll down, in that above link, for guides on setting up your domain, web host, and SSL). These will get you up and running FAST, no matter your experience.