Unconventional Ways To Get A Website For Less

web building
Image by Bogie Garry / Flickr
You already know you need a website, but how can you get one and still stay on budget?

There are numerous ways to create a beautiful traffic-driven site. But normally they are not easy on the wallet. Not what the average entrepreneur or solopreneur is looking for. So here are a few unconventional options you may not have thought of.

Drag It, Drop It, & Watch It Shine

If the idea of creating a website paralyzes you with fear then relax and check out the future of the internet. It’s called drag and drop website building and it’s kind of a big deal. It works like this; You sign up for a free account from one of the providers that specializes in it, such as Weebly or Wix. Choose an initial design template to start with and from here all you do is drag and drop elements on to their design editor. It really is that simple.

You can copy and paste text in from another source or write it yourself. You can also drag images or even photo gallery slideshows to your page and position them how you please. These services even allow you to put audio and video on your site (although, some may charge a fee for it.)

When you are ready, hit the publish button and presto, one live website ready and a raring to go. They even host it for you at no cost. They’ll also provide a domain name if you like (I don’t recommend that route, in case you choose to use another service at a later time).

There are two main points to keep in mind with Drag & Drop websites:

  • How good your site looks is in your hands. You can always hire a graphic designer to create something for you on a drag and drop platform, however if the goal is to save as much money as possible than you’ll need to use your visual skills. If you don’t enjoy designing, barter with one of your artistic friends. It really is an intuitive and simple to learn interface that they’ll be able to pick up in no time, especially if they are good with computers.
  • Many drag and drop Solutions are Flash-based. Weebly is the only drag and drop site that is built on an HTML framework. The other big players in the drag and drop arena all run on Flash. If you choose to use a Flash system you need to keep in mind that it will not work on iPhone’s or iPads.

Use Your Field In Your Favor

Another solution to creating a fantastic customer driven website is to find a company that does website hosting aimed specifically at your business niche. These are companies that provide pre-designed templates and content aimed at optimizing websites for a few specialized niches.

The way it works is even simpler than Drag & Drop. You sign up for a company that does website hosting in your field. They run on a monthly payment plan option, and many have payments in the $50 or less range. Once you have signed up and signed a contract, you can pick a template you like. The company will then customize it however their business practices dictate. Some will change the web banner, some will just put your logo at the top and some will even customize colors for you. It all really depends on what price point and company you choose.

I’ve found that this kind of genre specific method works best for companies and professionals in the health and wellness field; Occupations like dentists, chiropractors, naturopaths, and other similar niches. It’s also very common in real estate, law, and the financial advisor markets.

If you provide a product or service to any of these kind of companies this might be a great opportunity to try something new. This option may not be available in your company’s specific niche (it mostly depends on demand) but if you want to do some Google searching it can’t hurt to try. The best part is, in many cases they wave the up front costs and even give you 30 days to try out their service. Many businesses are using monthly payments to save on overhead and costs, so why shouldn’t you?

Don’t fret if your business model doesn’t seem to have a specific hosting niche. Many of these companies will work with you regardless. I once worked for a hosting company that did chiropractic websites, yet we ended up doing a site for a tattoo artist. So if this solution seems like one you want to explore, call up your chosen company and make some magic happen.

I hope this has given you a few possibilities you didn’t know existed for creating a quality website. Do you have an unconventional website option not listed? Leave your comments below

About the Author: P.R. Chase is author of The Design Democracy a digital resource that helps small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs get high quality design without working with a graphic designer.