Where Do I Buy a Low Cost Website?
There are not many website designers that will build you a low-cost website that will be robust, functional and full of the options that you will need if you are a business that is looking for anything more than just a two to four page site. If you believe that you can be successful with just a small, “brochure” type site, then your best bet is to use a domain registration company service like GoDaddy, Network Solutions, Yahoo!, Register.com and the like.
All of these domain registration companies offer packages that are ultra-low cost and will give you a decent looking website for very little money up-front. Generally, you will pay monthly for this service. The drawback here is, who owns the site? Can the site be optimized? Does the site allow for the embedding of codes for tracking actions like Google Analytics?The drawback here is, who owns the site? Can the site be optimized? Does the site allow for the embedding of codes for tracking actions like Google Analytics?
The next level of low-cost websites is what I call Do-It-Yourself “drag and drop” type sites that give you the tools to build a more fully functional site yourself, and still add pages and functions that you might need for a larger business. You might consider Wix.com for a free website and options for paid services. Another low-cost website builder service is SquareSpace.com, which charges a low monthly fee. In most cases you do not own your website and you do not own your domain. Neither of these services offer email either. But again, they are dirt cheap and a great way to get a site up with little upfront cost.
If you want to own your site, want to host it wherever you want, move between website design firms as you wish, then you may want to look at a custom website design company that can offer you payment terms. It is rare, but Detroit Website Design has come out with a new “pay-as-you-go” plan that gives you your own website based on your design requirements, but pay for over a year. This eliminates the large upfront cost that all web designers charge because that is their business model. They have to eat, and thus, they have to be paid for their services when they are delivered. Detroit Website Design is big enough that they can finance you and provide SEO and Paid Search consulting too, as a part of the fee.
Now, the fee at a place like Detroit Website Design is a lot more than at GoDaddy, Wix and others like 1and1.com, but that’s because their designers are doing the work and not you. In addition, the requirements for your website might involve sophisticated functions that are not offered by the free website design firms and just might be above your skill level to develop on your own. As mentioned before, most of the free sites will own your website forever and may or may not offer email service.
So, bottom line: Determine what you really want and need. If you don’t see your website being the center of your marketing, then you can really save a lot of money by doing it yourself. If, on the other hand, you do see your website as being absolutely critical to your business, then you will want to talk to a company like Detroit Website Design, or see if you can negotiate a “pay-as-you-go” financing plan with the website design company you have now, or the ones you are considering for your new site or redesign. It’s a great way to have your site and pay for it later.