Building a website yourself can save you a lot of money. Typically, hiring someone for a simple, small business website costs anywhere between $300 and $5000. Building one yourself could be completely free when using a subdomain, or just a few dollars when using your own domain. In this article, I’ll go into both free and paid websites.
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Free website on a subdomain
So, you can actually build a website for free! The only downside with free websites is that you won’t be able to use your own domain name.
My preferred way to build a website is with WordPress. WordPress is a content management system (CMS); software that helps you build your website. WordPress itself is free, and currently has the largest CMS market share.
There are two options for a free WordPress website that I’m familiar with; Siterubix, and WordPress.com. Both are limited versions of WordPress; you can’t intstall new plugins, and there are only a limited number of themes you can use. WordPress.com has another downside; they’ll display their own ads on your website!
Therefore, I highly recommend using Siterubix if you want to build a free website. If you’re interested in a free website using SiteRubix, check out my full video tutorial on building a website using SiteRubix.
WordPress isn’t your only option though. For a full list of free solutions, see ‘Free web 2.0 properties’ on the startpage.
Cost of a website on your own domain
If you’re going for more professionalism, using your own domain name is the way to go. The bare minimum you need to build a website on your own domain, is the domain name, and webhosting. With your own webhosting, you can install the full version of WordPress. This full version of WordPress allows you to add more themes and plugins. Both of these could be free or premium (paid). To make your website look more professional, premium themes are often a better choice than free themes. If you want to add extra functionality to your WordPress website, then sometimes your best choice is a premium plugin.
A domain name is the first part of the URL for your website. Domain names usually cost around $10. The cost depends on the TLD. The most used TLD’s, like .com, .net, .org, as well as most country-based TLD’s, cost about $10.
If a domain name is already registered, you’ll have to purchase it from the current owner, which can be very expensive if you’re looking to buy a good domain name.
A website is actually a just a bunch of files that are interactively put together. Webhosting is a service that stores those files for you, and allows people to access them through the internet.
Hosting for a single website usually costs around $5 a month. For a hosting package that allows you to host multiple websites, you’ll usually spend around $10 a month on hosting fees.
A WordPress theme determines how your website looks, and where everything is displayed. Most people who use WordPress, use a free theme. While there are a lot of good free themes out there, premium themes often look, and feel better. A lot of them also offer a lot of extra functionality, like more customization options. Because they’re premium, the theme developers can spend a lot more time and resources to perfect them, keep them updated and secure.
Another reason to use a premium theme is to stand out from the crowd. Most websites use free themes, so the chances of running into another website that uses your theme is smaller when using a premium theme.
Most premium themes cost anywhere between $25 and $100 for a lifetime license. A good place to browse for premium themes is MyThemeShop. Readers of my site will actually get a 50% discount by using the discount code: halftheprice.
If you happen to be interested in using the premium theme I’m using on this website, check out Iconic One Pro.
Premium plugins are used less often than premium themes. However, there are a lot of premium plugins you can use for your website, for all kinds of functionality. For instance, payment terminals, forums, image sliders, social sharing, image or video galleries, etc. Prices for different premium plugins vary wildy. When you first start out though, you’re probably not sure if you want to use any premium plugins, so it’s hard to tell how much will cost you before you get started. In most cases though, a free plugin will do.
Don’t fall for upsells!
When you first sign up for webhosting, webhosting companies will try to sell you services you don’t necessarily need. For my recommended way to get a cheap domain name and hosting, while avoiding upsells, read this article.
Building a website yourself is very affordable. You can build a website for free on a subdomain. With your own domain, you’ll spend about $10 for the domain name, and $5-10 for webhosting per month. This means you can get started building your very first website for $20 or less!
Spending money on premium themes and plugins is optional. A premium themes will usually cost between $25 and $100. It’s hard to tell how many, and which paid plugins you’ll need for your site when you get started.