If you want to create a website, either for yourself or for your business, you may be wondering how much you need to invest. The truth is that building your own website can be done very cheaply. If you know where to look and what tools to use, you can create a great website for as little as $50 per year. All you will really need to pay for is a domain name and hosting. There are also free options available that allow you to create a blog or website without paying anything at all.
If you have a very small, or even no budget, you have the option of creating a free website. If you want to create a personal website or blog, using a free website builder/host can be a good option. Some examples of good free site builders and hosts are Wix and WordPress.com.
Both of these services allow you to create a website or blog without the need for any coding or design skills. They will give you a free subdomain (yourname.wordpress.com or yourname.wix.com) and will host your site for free as well.
If you want to create a business website, however, you should avoid these free services for several reasons. First, you do not get your own domain name, which is essential for a business site.
Also, most free hosts will put at least some ads on your site, which makes your site look amateurish and distracts potential customers. Compared to paid hosting services, free hosts do not have as many features and come with several limitations.
The first thing you need to buy when thinking of building a website is a domain name. While personal website or blog can get away with using a free host’s subdomain, commercial sites absolutely need a unique .com address. Not only does it make your site look professional and inspire trust in potential customers, it also gives you a lot more freedom. When using a subdomain you are completely dependent on the free host and if it ever goes out of business, you lose your site’s address completely. With your own domain name you don’t have to worry about this.
In many cases buying a domain name separately is not necessary. Most hosting companies will include a free domain name when you sign up with one of their plans. In some cases, registering a separate domain name may be necessary. You may, for instance, want to add another one to your existing hosting account or you just want to buy a domain and save it for later. If this is the case, a separate domain name will cost about $10 per year and you can register one at specialized domain registrars like Godaddy.com. If you want to save money, it is always best to register a name for several years at once.
In order to create a website you will need some place to store your files and make them accessible to your visitors. If your goal is to build a commercial site, you need a good, reliable hosting package. You should look for a host that offers enough storage space, and has a good uptime (at least 99.9%).
When building a website, hosting will probably be your biggest expense. Fortunately, there are many reliable web hosts out there that are also quite affordable. Most basic hosting packages cost about $4-5 per month and offer more than enough features for the vast majority of small websites. Unless you want to build a huge, very high traffic site you will not need to pay more than that.
In order to actually create your site, you have several different options available. In most cases, there are free programs available that will be more than sufficient for your needs.
If you are new to creating websites, one of the easiest ways to get started is by using WordPress, a free CMS (Content Management System). It is very easy to use and allows you to create professional-looking sites very quickly. Another option is to use a free HTML editor like Froala. With these programs you have a lot more control over the way your site looks. You will also need FTP software to upload files to your host. A good free FTP program is FileZilla. In order to create graphics for your site you can also use free tools like Canva.
What about paid options? Well, if you want to become a professional web designer or developer it will probably be a good idea to invest in powerful (and expensive) software like Adobe Dreamweaver or Photoshop. However, if you just want to build a simple site, for yourself or your business that will not be necessary at all.
As you can see, building a website does not have to be expensive. In most cases you will only have to invest about $50 per year for a hosting account and domain name. If you want to build a more complex, or very high-traffic site you will need to pay a little more.
There is no need to pay for site building software with all the great free tools that are available. Only if you want to become a professional web designer or developer should you consider buying expensive software like Photoshop or Dreamweaver. Otherwise, free options are more than enough.