When you have a great business idea, it can feel like there is a lot you need to do, and a lot of startup costs you need to pay for, in order to start trading. In actual fact, for a lot of web-based businesses, all you really need is to register as a company, have something to offer or sell, and of course, have a web presence. Before you can do any marketing or SEO and start bringing in clients or customers, you need a hub for people to be directed to, and while in some cases you can use a social media page or your store on something like Etsy (if you are selling physical products), in reality, you need your own website to really start building a brand you can promote.
If you are not someone with any website development skills or experience, it can seem like this will be a big expense before you can get your business online and run in any real form, however many people save on this part of starting up by creating their own sites.
Can You Really Build a Professional Looking Site Without Any Design or Coding Skills?
Developing a website used to be something that was very hard to do without knowing any scripting languages, as even with HTML skills which can be learned quickly, all you could really do is create an amateurish static page. Happily, in the past decade, with web technologies becoming more advanced and more and more people running things like blogs and e-commerce stores, there are now a wealth of tools that can help you create a site using a simple interface that requires you to have no coding skills at all, or even knowing HTML! Thanks to things like WordPress themes and site building wizards, just about anyone who is remotely internet savvy can have a professional site up and running quickly. If you want to do it for no cost at all, look at these free website builders for small businesses.
So I Can Do the Whole Thing for Free?
While you can build a site for free, you will still need to pay for a domain (that is the address your site will be at) and for hosting. Hosting comes in a range of different forms, but for a new small business site, unless you expect to scale up very quickly, the cheapest option of what is called ‘shared hosting’ is adequate, and this only costs a few dollars a month.
Is There Anything Else I Should Pay For?
You can really launch your site using only free tools to build it and inexpensive hosting, however, it can often pay off to get a professionally designed logo if you aren’t very good at design yourself. Freelancers often design logos fairly cheaply, and this can be a good investment in your brand. However, you do want to set some money aside for marketing. This includes a budget to get your site ready for a marketing campaign and potential ads costs that might appear.
If you want to add specific types of media on your page too, it might be worth speaking to someone who can help you implement this. Not only will you need to ensure that your server is able to host the extra media, but an expert may also be able to give you tips regarding how to convert YouTube to mp3 or how to optimize image sizes correctly. Whilst you can learn this kind of thing on your own, it can actually work out cheaper in the long run to employ someone with experience to help you do this at a reduced cost.
Using a good tool, you can save a lot of startup costs by creating a website yourself – in fact, this needn’t even take more than an afternoon of your time!