12 Tips to Designing Websites for Businesses on a Budget

tips designing websites for businesses on a budget web design

Did you know there are over 2 billion websites on the internet, and at least 400 million are active?

If you're in the process of starting a business, creating a website is essential. However, what happens when you don't have the budget to hire a web developer?

Although creating a website is hard work, it's not impossible to do it on a budget. 

Read on to learn about these tips for designing websites for businesses.


1. What is the Purpose of Your Website?

If you're trying to build a website for your business on a budget, the first thing you need to figure out is your website's purpose. Business websites, for the most part, focus on creating brand awareness and increasing sales. 

Since the purpose is to build the website on a budget, you need to have a focused idea on what the purpose of your website will be. 

Chances are if you plan on using your website to conduct business, you will want to have an e-commerce extension. You can either sell products or services or accept payments. 

Those who don't plan on accepting payments on their website won't have to do as much work. 


2. Come Up with the Domain Name

If your business is already established, chances are you already know what your domain name will be. However, you also have to keep in mind the domain name might not be available. 

Before you settled on a domain, you have to make sure the domain name is available. Once you double-check, you can use your business name as a domain name; you will be ready to go.

If you're starting a new online business, you can start the domain search from scratch. There are a few tips you should follow when picking a domain name. 

Choose the Right Domain Extension

You might have noticed that many websites have different extensions such as .com, .org, or .net. If you have the choose your website extension, it should be a .com as it is the most popular extension.

Think about it; when you perform a website search, your first instinct is to type .com. However, if you're really set on a domain name and .com is not available, you can always settle for .net.

Pick a Brandable Name

When you're in the process of creating a domain name, you need to think of a name that is easy to brand. The last thing you want is for your website's name to get lost among the competition. 

Think of the most catchy website names you know, and figure out what they have in common. These domain names are short, catchy, and easy to remember.

Easy to Type

While it's tempting to create a unique way to spell your domain name, it can cause more harm than good. You want visitors to your website to be able to spell it without any issues. 

If you're not sure if your domain name is easy to spell, you can put it to the test. Have a few people try to spell your top domain name choices. 

Avoid Hyphens and Numbers

Hyphens and numbers are a tricky thing when it comes to domain names. Imagine trying to spell out your website name and the person using the wrong type of hyphen. 

Also, you have never seen any major websites using hyphens and numbers. 

Reflect Your Niche

No matter what your niche is, you should ensure it reflects on your domain name. For example, if you have a travel website, make sure it's clear in the domain. 

Using your niche on your domain will also make your website easier to find in search engines. 


3. Choose an Affordable Web Host

When trying to create a website on a budget, the next step is to find an affordable web host. A web host is a service that, as the name calls, allows you to host your website view their service. 

Before you pick a hosting service, you need to think about the needs of your business. Here are some of the most popular and affordable host service. 


Bluehost

Bluehost is one of the most popular hosts currently hosting more than 2 million websites. Since it offers plans for beginners and webmasters, Bluehost is one of the most popular hosting services out there. 

Bluehost offers introductory rates as low as $2.75 per month, and once the introductory period is over, you will have to pay $7.99 a month.

Other features include: 

  • 99.99% uptime
  • 380 ms loading time
  • Free email and SSL 
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Hostinger

Hostinger is a great service if you're looking to pay the lowest price for web hosting. This service currently offers a low introductory rate of $0.99 per month for 48 months. If you choose to renew, you will pay $2.15 per month.

Other features include:

  • 99.95% uptime
  • 363 ms loading time
  • SSL, free domain for one year, and unlimited storage
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Hostgator

If you want a reliable and affordable web host service, Hostgator is the best choice. Hostgator has been around for over 19 years, and it has more than 10 million domains.

Hostgator offers an introductory deal of $2.75 per month for 36 months. Once the introductory promotion ends, you will have to pay $6.96 per month. 

Other features include:

  • 99.99% uptime
  • 1113 ms loading time
  • Free email and SSL
  • 45-day money-back guarantee

Although these are the most popular and affordable hosting services, you can research more options that fit your budget.


4. DIY SEO

Although you can hire a company to take care of all of your SEO and optimization needs, when you're trying to build a website on a budget, you will have to take care of it yourself. 

SEO seems like a scary thing when you're a beginner, but it's not impossible to optimize your site. 

Title Tags

When you open up a new browser, and you look at the text display on the top of the browser, that's a title tag. The title tag makes it possible for search engines to find your website. 

As you create title tags, you need to decide if they make sense? Does the tag reflect the content on the page? 

Keyword Research

As the name suggests, keywords are the words people use to browse for content. Think of the last keywords you used when you wanted to perform a search on Google. Chances are Google gave you a number of suggestions before you finished typing. 

Your goal is to use the rights keywords that users will use to look for your website. Using a service such as Google's Keyword Planner, you will have a better chance of finding the right keywords. 

Using this tool, you will be able to determine:

  • Words and phrases used on searchers
  • Specific words to target
  • Keywords for products on demand

Take a Look at Your Competition

Before you plan your use of keywords, take a look at what your competition is doing. You don't have to copy what they're doing, but you can get an idea of what they do right.

Did you find them performing an organic search? Which keywords do they use? How do they engage their visitors?

Map the Keywords

Once you come up with your bucket of keywords, you should decide where to place them. Make a list of the keywords and tie them to each one of your pages. 

Many experts recommend you use a spreadsheet and list all of the pages along with primary and secondary keywords.

Optimize Your Website

Once you have those elements in place, it's time you being optimizing the rest of your site. Start by updating all of your content using the new keywords. 

Incorporate the keywords into your photos, video, and graphics. 

Follow Up on Analytics

After you put all those measures in place, you need a way to track it to make sure everything works. 

You should sign up for a Google Analytics account to track all of your metrics, such as location, bounce rate, and more. 


5. High-Quality Images

While your website needs blank space, you also need to add images. Building a website on a budget doesn't mean you should display poorly produced images.

High-quality images will give you credibility and provide you with a platform to build your brand. Although you don't have to spend a lot of money on these images, they're an important investment. 

Places such as PixaBay, Pexels, and Unsplash have high-quality images at a reasonable price. 


6. Build Pages

When you create a website for your business, you create more than just the homepage.  The next step is to create several pages, depending on the needs of your business.

For example, if you plan on selling products, you will need multiple pages for each of the products you sell. Also, you need to create an "About," contact, blog, and other pages. 

Be careful not to create unnecessary pages, or else you could make it difficult for your clients to navigate. Create different pages thinking about what your business does and have a clear mission.


7. Create Your Own Content

When it comes to creating content on a budget, you might have to do a little bit more work. For example, if you had the budget, you could pay writers to create material for your blog.

Creating your own content is a lengthy task but not impossible. 

If you plan on having written content, make sure you write with your clients in mind. Although you want to produce quality material, make sure the copy is conversational. Make sure you use conversational English, keep the sentences short, and use plenty of headers.

Think about what your clients want to see. Depending on your website, you might have to create more than just written content. If it benefits your business, you can also think about creating videos or infographics.

Make sure you apply all of the SEO practices you learned when creating content for your site. 


8. Free Plugins

If you're not working with a web designer, then you will have to download all of the software you need for your website yourself. This software or apps for your website is also known as plugins. 

You can download these plugins to help with everyday functions on your website. Plugins are available to control spam, social media icons, sharing tools, and more. 

Once your business starts taking off, you can afford to hire an online SDS management service.


9. Use Social Media to Market Your Website

After you create a website for your business, you will need to tell your clients that it's up and running. The best way to promote your website is by sharing on your social media handles. 

For example, whenever you publish a new blog post, you can share it with your followers on your social media accounts. Some of the most popular social media platforms to share your site on include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram. 


10. Payment System

Setting up a website for your business means you will likely accept payments. You will only be able to accept payments if you set up a payment system. 

The best way to set up a payment system is by installing e-commerce or related software on your website. By implementing this software, you will be able to process electronic payments. 


11. Test and Publish Your New Website

Before you formally launch your site and announce it to the rest of the world, you should test it. Ensure that your website is live on all of the major browsers such as Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera, and more. Check it on desktop, tablets, iPhones, and Android smartphones as well to make sure it works on all devices.

Also, you should test all of the links to make sure none of them are broken. If you set up Google Analytics, it's important to make sure it also works before launching your site.


12. Maintain Your Website

Your work is not done even after you publish your website. When it comes to technology and the internet, some materials get old pretty fast.

If you want to have the best website possible, you need to stay on top of the trends to keep your website operating as it should. An updated site will keep you in the good graces of Google and visitors.


Creating Websites for Businesses on a Budget is Possible

Now that you know the path to take when creating websites for businesses, you're ready to get started. Although there are many things involved when creating a website, these tips will give you a solid foundation.

Start by finding the perfect web host, pick a domain name, optimize your site, test your site, and maintain your website. Keep updating and improving it over time for best results.

If you enjoyed these tips and would like to learn more, check out the rest of our blog. Visit the Web Dev section of our Bootstrap Business Blog to learn more about designing websites for businesses on a frugal budget.

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