I’ve personally watched many entrepreneurs & small businesses, waste money precious dollars on a website set up. It’s killing me softly so I’m going to show you how to set your website up for less than $60.
Don’t get me wrong, Squarespace is a great product. But they suck the life out of a small business’ pockets. Their packages are priced at:
- $12/mo – Personal
- $18/mo – Business
- $26/mo – Online Store Basic
- $40/mo – Online Store Advanced
This monthly fee is just another liability on an already budget-constrained business. They do make it easy for a new business owner to set up a website but the easy route isn’t always the best route.
I love Wix’s marketing and their free co-working spaces they call The Wix Lounge in New York City but I believe that their user experience (UX) is horrible.
As a customer, I’ve always found it generic and more importantly, hard to navigate the pages. If your customers cannot find their way around your site easily, you’ll high drop off.I do not believe I’ve purchased anything ever from a Wix site. When I visit one, I always know it’s hosted by Wix.
- $5/mo – Connect Domain
- $10/mo – Combo
- $14/mo – Unlimited
- $17/mo – eCommerce
- $25/mo – VIP
These packages include Wix removing their ugly ads from your site. Having an online store, connecting to your dot com (or domain), and a bunch of other things I’ll show you how to get for free.
Essentially, what you’re paying these guys for is SAAS (Software as a service), CRM (Customer Retention Managment), CMS (Content Management System), and finally, HOSTING. Their rates for hosting are ridiculous but they can sell their product because they offer software for “easy-to-build” websites.
Let’s say you needed a place to stay that was affordable so you shacked up with a few friends. The landlord is the host, the house or apartment is the server. This is a shared host. Let’s say you get on your feet and are ready to move out on your own, this would be a move to a dedicated host. Only your website would live on this server. The dot com or domain is the address.
As far as website speed, of course, shared hosting is going to be slower and dedicated, faster. Early on businesses start with a shared host because they don’t have much traffic coming in and out of their web pages. But once they really start driving those clicks, they’ll move to a dedicated host. But that comes with a price.
Hosting is where you’re going to save money. There are two big dogs in my eyes. GoDaddy.com (which everyone knows) and 1and1.com. GoDaddy has some decent introductory priced hosting packages but the price inflates after the first year, as do most other companies. GoDaddy has EXCELLENT customer service so they can justify their pricing and many guarantees.
1and1.com is my recommended choice. Their introductory rate is $0.99/mo and their website speeds are much faster than GoDaddy and speed is key to impressing customers. People that visit slow websites, LEAVE! Now, you may wait super-long for customer service and they may be in the Philippines but hey, justified pricing, right? Ha!
I’ve worked on the backend of both Squarespace and Wix. If you can figure these systems out then you can figure out WordPress. There are two versions. WordPress.com, which is their free hosting version, and WordPress.org which you need your own hosting for. You want to be on WordPress.org.
WordPress is a great CMS capable of managing blogs, e-commerce businesses, consulting businesses, et cetera. What I like most are their plugins. You can find plugins for almost all of your business needs like social media integration, commenting and sharing, advertising, analytics, and so much more. Best of all, WordPress and most of these plugins are FREE.
We’ve just covered where and how your website is going to “live”. All you need now is a design and blog. Just visit Themeforest.net and you’ll see a myriad of website themes. The really good ones go for about $49-$59.
It’s not that difficult to set them up, especially if you’ve tried to design one on SquareSpace or Wix. Most of the themes come with a Page Builder that makes designing web pages simple. Installing WordPress through 1and1.com is just clicking an install button then setting a name and password. Done!
The Themeforest process is a bit more involved, I must admit. But each theme includes documentation and tech support for some period of time, usually for 3-6 months.
You were paying $480 for the year but with a little extra work, I just showed you how to save about $420 in your first year of business. The 1and1.com package is only $0.99/mo for the first year and your theme only cost you $50.
Take the extra time, sit down and build your website the right way. If you’re an entrepreneur with a blog, it would behoove you to know how to set up, manage and maintain one. If this is important to you, why would you leave it in someone else’s hands?
When it’s time to add new team members to your company, who’s going to set that up? Are you hiring an IT person to handle each and every need of your business? That’s going to get expensive.
It’s almost 2020. The future is here and tech is only going to get more techie. People need to lose their fear of computers and get with the program. We live in a world of autonomous cars and augmented reality. Welcome to the future! Adapt and adopt or fail.