If you’re starting a bootstrapped business, you’re likely to have few funds available for web development. Fortunately, there are several affordable options for building a functional and appealing website that don’t require you to know how to code. Here are some DIY user-friendly options as well as outsourcing solutions that won’t set you back thousands of dollars.
Drag and drop web builder
Many domain registrars also provide web hosting and drag and drop web-building tools to its customers. GoDaddy, for instance, offers a website builder package for businesses for around $5 a month with a 12-month subscription. With it, you’ll receive a free domain, access to 300 website templates, 500 GB of bandwidth, among other things. Using the drag and drop tool is easy and your customized site can be live within a couple hours of tinkering.
Wix is another no coding, easy to customize drag and drop website builder. Its eCommerce package offers 20 GB of storage, free hosting, access to hundreds of templates, and shopping cart functionality to use on your site. Simply connect your domain and go. Wix also allows users to design sites for free, but with limited features and mandatory Wix banner ads. Try out the free version first to get a feel for the platform. If it suits your needs, then upgrade to a premium account.
If you want to include a blog or other dynamic content on your site, WordPress is by far the most popular choice among free content management system (CMS) users, with over 43% of websites choosing WordPress as their go-to CMS tool. First, find a web host that supports WordPress. Next, download and install the WordPress app to your site. This step can be tricky, but fortunately, WordPress offers a comprehensive installation guide to walk you through the process. Lastly, get designing! Select a theme that matches the feel of your site and choose from the hundreds of plugins available at no cost for added customizability and capability to your site.
Outsourcing to a freelancer
Forgoing the DYI method and opting to work with a freelance developer is another option available to you at a reasonable price, depending on the functionality you require. Freelance job marketplace site oDesk allows employers to connect with freelancers from all over the world. In 2012, 1.5 million jobs were posted to oDesk, and there are 4.5 million freelancers registered with the site.
To get started, create a free account and post your web development job. Include many details about the task (timeline, functionality sought, budget, etc.) then wait for the bids to come in. Though it may be tempting to select the lowest bid, you’re better off choosing the freelance developer with a healthy portfolio, several contracts in their oDesk work history, and outstanding reviews from past oDesk employers. Chances are that you’ll be able to find an experienced and talented freelancer for under $600.
For more advanced functionality
The above options are great starting points for beginner sites. If you’re opening a brick-and-mortar store or a simple online business and only need a basic but attractive website, then these solutions are practical. However, if you’re launching a SaaS startup, are designing a native app, or are looking for more extensive functionality for your site, then working with an experienced web developer like NapkinBetaBeyond is your best bet.