If you’re about to launch your own business, one of the first things that you should do is create a website.
Even if you’re not planning on selling your products and services online, having a digital presence is essential if you want to compete and engage an audience.
Below, we’ve put together five money-saving techniques to consider when launching your first company website.
Buy your own domain and hosting
One of the cheapest parts of launching your own website is your domain name and web hosting.
You can pick up a domain name for your business (that is, yourbusinessname.com, .co.uk, etc) for less than £10 a year, and some quality web hosting for about the same per month.
The chances are that your developer or marketing company will add a fee when registering a new domain name and charge you over-the-odds for web hosting, so don’t be ripped off.
It’s seriously easy to do it yourself – you can have an idea for a new site and buy a domain name and connect it to a web hosting package in less than ten minutes, even if you’re a beginner.
Use a pre-made template
Web design is one of the most expensive and time-consuming parts of launching your business site, but in the majority of cases, using premade templates is often good enough.
If you use a content management system such as WordPress, you’ll have access to thousands of free templates (known as themes), which you can customise with your own fonts, colours, and logos.
If you don’t want to use one of the free templates, you can find ‘premium themes’ on websites across the internet.
Such themes typically range from £50 to £100 but are more advanced and professional looking than their free counterparts.
Again, with a little bit of time, you can put your own spin on one of these premade templates to make it look like it was custom made.
Outsource to an agency
Another great way to make sure not paying more than you should for a new site is to outsource development to a company outside of the United Kingdom or the United States.
Companies such as Zen Devs connect talented web developers in countries such as Indonesia to businesses in the UK, allowing them to offer development services at rates much lower than the current market.
You could get a custom designed website that would cost you thousands of pounds from a UK developer for a fraction of the cost, and have money left over to market your new site and convert visitors into customers.
Remember that there’s always going to be a cheaper option out there, but being an entrepreneur is about finding the balance between quality and price.
Make sure you’re in control
When you work with a web development company on your new website, make sure you understand the terms and conditions of your agreement.
If you’re on a retainer, does that mean you no longer own the rights to your website when you stop paying?
Ask for the login details for all of your accounts, such as your FTP account, email account, and backup server, so that you maintain ownership and control over your website.
And don’t pay stupid amounts for a designer to make a small tweak to your site or add a new page – learn to do it yourself to save money.
Don’t use a site builder
While WordPress continues to be a popular option for most small business owners (the CMS has a 60% market share), it can be tempting to opt for an easy-to-use site builder instead.
The chances are that you’ve seen a hundred different adverts for Squarespace, and while that platform is great for micro businesses and personal blogs, it becomes restrictive when you want to scale your business and add more pages, functionality, and customisation.
Wherever you are on your startup journey, make sure that your website takes a priority.
After all, it’s the first thing people will see when they search for your business, so it’s essential that you do a good job and deliver the right user experience to increase conversions and lead generation.