A web site on a shoe string budget

Do you need to throw up a quick website without exhorbitant costs?

Google can find you a mountain of freeware and shareware tools for your website and it will do the job for free.  You can also find low cost web hosting.  Just type the word `free’ in front of  what ever you want and work through the list.  (Be aware of what will appear to be `free’ can actually be a free trial to an expensive product).

You can find a relatively inexpensive web hosting package for around $50/year that will suit the average micro or small business needs in Australia.  These web hosts will usually have free Content Management Systems (CMS) that can be installed through an `installer’ program.

Your host will usually use Fantastico or Softaculous and this makes it simple to upload from your host’s list of free CMS.  Or your host may have their own simple website building program for simple brochure type websites if you just want a simple promo site.

One of the world’s most popular free CMSs is Joomla.  Joomla can be used as a normal website but you can also enable a blog, sell products, run polls, mass email marketing and many other options – either at no cost or for very little.  You can have other people contribute directly into the site with their own username/password and security levels, create a forum, add a support desk and social networking capabilities.

If it all seems too hard or you do not have time for the learning curve:

  • Get help from a school kid that knows what they are doing or for a very modest fee.
  • A good PR exercise is to ask the local high school, TAFE or University IT class to design and create it for you.  If possible, find some kind of reward for the class or purchase an item useful to the school.

There are adults that will do the job for you at a reasonable price, depending on what you want.  If you do, ensure that you are the person that buys the domain name for your site.  When your domain name is purchased through a third party sometimes it can be almost impossible to access your registration information if there is a falling out between you.

Ask around and talk to other businesses.  You can usually find someone that created their own website or can lead you to a fair website builder just to get started.  Most importantly ensure it is someone that is willing to teach you how to administrate your website and has a reputation for after sales service.

When you have your website up and running you can experiment with different text styles and web site colour themes for your site.  The aim is to test which combination will sell your product/service better to your target audience.

For example, red usually incites aggression or excitement, love, sex, fun, etc.  Various shades of blue can imply a sense of communication, calmness or an authoritive air or credibility etc.

Green is a cool, healing, peaceful or peaceful colour.

Black is a sombre colour but can be seen as background that highlights text and graphics, making the eyes more focused and concentrating on the content.

However, white also makes it easier for the eyes to read content.

Yellow is an intellectual colour.

Grey gives a sense of  disconnectedness that sends the background into the background for the reader so that the content is the focus.

Have you found any great websites that supply free support for businesses to get a website up and running?  Leave a comment and share the info with everyone…