Every company needs a website. Even if you are not into online business, you still need to be found on Google for potential or existing customers search for you online.
Of course if you want to save cost, you can choose to set up a Facebook page, a Linkedin Company page, a Google Brand page or even a Pinterest Business page. With social media, you can still be found online when your customers search for you.
However, having a website is essentially Brand building. You design your website to depicts your company values and fill it with contents to showcase your company’s portfolio, products, capabilities and specialisation. In my opinion, you should have your website working in conjunction with all your social media pages.
You can build a Website for free
If you engage a web developer, your website will cost you in the range of $2000 to as high as $10000 or more, depending on the type of websites, the amount of contents and functionalities. Then whenever you want to add new features and or need to update your content, your developer will charge for each service. In total, in the long run, you can end up paying a lot.
The reason for web development to cost thousand of dollars is not because it is difficult to build but because it takes a lot of time and effort to design, plan and build your contents so that your website can perform like an online sales person to sell your products and services. It takes minutes to get a website installed but it takes weeks and months to plan and strategise its contents. Your web developer will have to work very closely with you to get the website populated with contents and hence they charge for the time and effort. You, on the other hand, will need to do a lot of work too because you are the business owner and only you know best about your products and your business objectives.
If you foresee that you will need to make a lot of enhancements to your website and if your funds are very low, then you may be better off not engage a web developer. Especially for startups, the direction of the company and the type of products and services to offer changes rather frequently during the early stage of the company life cycle. You may want to consider using Content Management System (CMS) to build your website. CMS are packed with powerful features that enable you to build a website without having to write a single line of code. Moreover, these platforms are constantly being enhanced by developers and you will get to enjoy the enhancements and new features without having to incur additional cost.
Nevertheless, you need to know that when you opt to build your own website, although you do not have to pay thousand of dollars to a web developer, you are still incurring time which has its opportunity cost. The time needed to learn up the CMS software and to design and build your website may be better use to meet potential clients and close business deals. So you need to weigh the pros and cons. Only you know your business well enough to make this decision. This post will explain how you can use WordPress to build a website for free.
There are more than 300 hundred CMS available to build a website. WordPress has 60% of the market share. If 60% of all websites built with CMS are built with WordPress, there must be a reason why it is the leader of all CMS.
WordPress is the best because it is an open-source software designed with architecture that allows developers to extend the functionalities of a WordPress website. There are hundreds of developers around the world developing for Wordpress.
WordPress offers 2 types of platform for building a website:
- WordPress.com – This is a WordPress hosted platform. Much like registering for a social media page, you simply need to sign up for an account and you get a WordPress website up and running within minutes. Then you just need to spend your time and effort strategising what contents to write and fill into your website. There are hundreds of free and premium themes for you to choose from and you can change your theme any time with just a click. You just need to invest a little time to familiarise with WordPress dashboard to know how to write an article, upload an image and customise the site to your liking. The customisation, however is quite limited for this free hosted solution.
- Self-hosted using WordPress solution from Wordpress.org – For this, you need to get your own web hosting from a web host (e.g. Inmotionhosting, Dreamhost, GoDaddy, Bluehost, etc). This, however, can sometimes get a bit too technical especially when you have to do File Transfer and database management. Nevertheless, these hosting companies have also make it very easy to set up your website. Simply purchase a hosting plan that cost less than $10 a month and you will also get a free domain name for the first year. Once you have made the payment, you will be taken to the hosting dashboard (usually called the cpanel). Look for the One-click install for WordPress and your website will be up and running with just a few clicks. For this solution, the options for you to customise your website is almost infinite. WordPress.org enables you to extend the functionalities of a WordPress website with Plugins. A plugin is a piece of software that conform that can be added to a WordPress website with just a few clicks of installing and activating the plugin. There are hundreds of developers around the world developing plugins on WordPress. WordPress has more than 45 000 plugins and this number is ever growing. Today, you can add any complex functionalities to your website, ranging from photo galleries to online stores and learning management systems, with just a few clicks.
If you do not want to be spending too much time trying to figure out all the technicalities and if your requirement is to have a simple company website, then going for a WordPress.com hosted solution would be good enough. As your business progress and if you need to add other functionalities, you can go for the paid plans in WordPress.com and if that does not meet your requirement, then you can migrate your WordPress.com website to a self-hosted WordPress website.