A lot of people think that making a website will cost them a lot of money, there are plenty of websites selling for thousands of dollars, some based on their traffic while others are based on their design. Far too many people spend a lot of money on the design of their website, only to end up selling them for pennies. At some point in my internet marketing journey, I was flipping websites and one of my strategies was to buy websites that have spent most of their budget on the design, I just added some content and sold them for a profit.
Building a website costs around $14, domain name $9, WhoisGuard is free, SSL certificate is free, hosting around $5 per month, site design is free if you are using free themes, you do not need any paid plugins, and if you outsource the content then it will cost you at least $10 for a 1000 words article.
If you don’t have time to make your website then you should probably hire a professional, my personal recommendation is to use a service which builds awesome websites Click here to check it out
There are a lot of sites that are offering the domain, the hosting, and the SSL certificates for a monthly fee like Wix. My personal recommendation is to stay away from these, even as a complete beginner you will still have to learn how the platform works so you might as well learn WordPress, which is free. In addition to this, it will be extremely difficult if not impossible to get off these platforms.
Anybody can build a relatively cheap website in a matter of minutes, I can slap together a website in less than 30 minutes, although without content. There are several ways on how you can approach building a website, there are plenty of free resources and tools which you can use. Although you have to spend money on some of them, generally speaking, the domain and the hosting must be paid for.
There are sites that offer free domains and free hosting but these are traps for beginners. The websites which offer a free domain will charge you as much as they want when you have to renew the annual subscription of the domain. On the other hand, if you go with free hosting you might find your website deleted, or simply stolen. If you want to know how to choose a good domain name then check out my recent article How to choose a good domain name for your blog ( In 15 Steps ).
The first step of building a website is buying a domain name, the domain name is the address of the website, as you can see mine is bloggingforafuture.com. Generally speaking the shorter the domain name is the easier it is to remember but the more expensive it will be. There are domain marketplaces that sell premium domains, these are generally speaking fairly expensive as they are selling brandable and established domain names.
You should head to a domain registrar to register your domain, there are plenty of them out there although my personal recommendation is to use NameCheap, I have been using them since I can remember without having any problems. If the domain name has been taken then you can make an offer to the owner, although the chances of them responding to you are slim to none. Just search around until you find a domain that can be registered.
When you are searching for a domain name you should always use the .com extension, and a domain name with a .com extension will cost you $9. Other extensions are a lot cheaper but from an SEO perspective, they are not as good as a .com. There are free domain registrars, with .tk extensions or similar to it, stay away from these at all costs. One thing to remember is that you have to pay for the domain every year, so it will cost you around $9 per year.
No matter where you are buying your domains from, make sure to check for discount or coupon codes, these will make the purchase of the domain even cheaper although they can not be applied when you are buying in the second or third year.
PRO Tip: Never ever register a domain with your hosting company, not even if the domain is for free, as it will be a nightmare transferring the domain to another registrar, and you will find it extremely difficult moving your website to another hosting company.
After you have decided which domain to register you should also add the WhoisGuard, this protects your information, and it is extremely important. A lot of domain registrars sell the WhoisGuard protection as a subscription service for which you will pay a yearly fee just like you would for the domain. The main reason why I recommend NameCheap is because they do offer the WhoisGuard for free, and that is forever.
If you go with a domain registrar that sells the WhoisGuard than you will have to pay for the WhoisGuard every year. If you have bought a domain without WhoisGuard then you can add the WhoisGuard later, so don’t worry about it.
An SSL certificate is a must, especially as google chrome will show “not secure” next to your domain if your website doesn’t have an SSL certification. The SSL certificate encrypts the data between the user and your website, this is especially useful if you are selling some items on your website or if you allow users to log in. The SSL certificate is also extremely important when it comes to ranking on Google, as Google tends to favor websites with SSL certificates.
Generally speaking, there are several places from where you can buy the SSL certificate, although you will most likely get them either from your domain name registrar or from your hosting company. If you get them from the domain name registrar then you have to pay for it and you also have to install the SSL yourself. If you have never installed SSL to your website, trust me it is complicated. Your other option is to get them through your hosting company the main reason why I recommend this method is because they will actually install it for you, saving you a lot of headaches.
There are some hosting companies like WPXHosting which offer the SSL certificates for free and they will also install the SSL on your website. No matter which hosting company you go with you should ask them if they provide the SSL certificate for free and if they will also install it for you.
A lot of people think that they need a server to host their website, the truth is that for a brand new website that doesn’t get any traffic you do not need a dedicated server. Your best option is to use shared hosting, this is basically a server on which there are several websites and the resources are split between the websites. Once you get around 100k visitors per month you can think of a dedicated server but until then a shared hosting is the best for you.
I personally use WPXHosting as it is extremely fast, although it costs a bit more than regular hosting. While you are looking for a good hosting you will have a hard time finding a good one as most people will promote the hosting companies which pay the most for affiliates, so you should ask around forums and Reddit. Generally speaking, you should avoid hosting form the EIG company, and there are a lot of hosting services owned by them, the quality of their hosting is bad and their support is extremely bad.
When looking for hosting your main goal should be to find one that has a good hosting service and excellent support. If you are a beginner then you will rely on the help of the support team a lot of times. In addition to this, some hosting companies also do regular backups of your website which is also nice if you can’t back up your website.
On the actual design of your website, you can spend as much or as little as you want. Some people go overboard by hiring a design company to design their website, this is not necessary, there are plenty of WordPress themes both free and paid ones which do the job for you. I am personally using the XTheme wp theme, it looks ok but it comes with a lot of bloat which will slow down the website.
If your main goal is to have the website load as fast as possible then you should go with Astra, GeneratePress, or OceanWp. All of these have a free version and a paid version as well, the paid version comes with added functionality. There are a lot of sites selling WordPress themes, so pick one which you like, generally speaking, the premium version for most themes are around $60. Just keep in mind that most WordPress themes only allow you to use the theme on one website if you want to use the theme on more websites than you need to purchase a lifetime version of the license.
In addition to this, there are some themes that are subscription-based, meaning you have to pay every year for their support and updates. No matter which WP theme you decide to go with, you should never use a nulled or cracked themes, these usually have malicious code in them and will hijack your traffic and website.
If you want to customize your website even further than you can use Elementor which is a theme builder, although it is a paid tool, it is well worth its money if you know how to use it. In addition to this, you can also hire a coder to modify some of the things which you want to change. Whatever you do never hire a company to make the website design as most of them will literally slap on some WP theme, modify it with Elementor, and charge you thousands of dollars for it.
PRO TIP: Most WP themes have a demo section, make sure to check it out both on mobile and desktop. Although most themes are responsive there are some which haven’t been updated in a long time so you should stay away from them.
Plugins add more functionality to your website, there are a lot of wp plugins which you can install both free and paid ones. Right off the bat, I am going to tell you that you do not need any premium plugin. If you have been following some SEO gurus than you have most likely noticed that they all recommend at least a couple of premium WordPress plugins, but trust me you do not need them, no matter how good they might seem.
Generally speaking, most beginners think that they need an SEO plugin if they want to rank on google, this is totally false. Most of these SEO plugins do not actually do anything, and they just come up with buzz words and elaborate fixes for inexistent or irrelevant problems. There are 2 extremely popular SEO plugins on the market, one of them has made 2 updates that deindexed websites, and the other one is basically malware and spyware. If you want to know why I do not recommend using SEO plugins then check out my recent article Should I use an SEO plugin?.
If you have a budget to invest in your website then you should invest the vast majority of your budget into content. Far too many people spend thousands of dollars on a good looking website with 10 articles and then wonder why they are not ranking. How your website looks doesn’t really matter, as long as you have good content and a functional website you are good to go. When it comes to content you have two options, either write them yourself or outsource them.
You have to either trade time or money to get content, if you don’t have time to write the content than your best option is to outsource it. On the other hand, if you have 2 free hours every day then you can easily write one article every day, and the best part that it won’t cost you anything. If you are outsourcing content than the average price for a 1000 word article starts at $10, although the quality of the content isn’t determined by the actual price.
You have to invest some money into testing different writers out, I won’t go much into depth about this as I have already written an in-depth article bout it How to hire a writer for your blog ( In 11 Steps ).
As you can see building a website is not as expensive as some might want you to believe, although there are a lot of services which handle the entire process for a monthly fee but I would rather pay $9 per year for the domain and 5$ per month for the hosting than spending $30 every month for the same stuff.