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Friday, August 16, 2013

Saving money by using free websites

Having your website done professionally can be expensive.  I have seen several websites that offer really impressive website templates but at a ridiculously expensive cost.  I am honestly NOT surprised.  Designers have taken too much time to compose and do their magic "C++ languages" blah, blah, just to provide their clients with a really attractive websites.

For others, especially stingy people, like me, I have settled for the common (say boring), old free website templates and themes provided by free website providers such as "Blogger".

Now, I am not bashing Blogger.  I actually like it's features.  Once you get used to it, you will look for features that aren't available in other website templates.  I admit I prefer WordPress theme but who cares?

Why would you need a website?
If you are like me, aspiring entrepreneur, website makes your business more legitimate and hmmm.... professional, I guess.  Most people look online first, to research about a product or learn more about a service.  Your website basically broadcast your business locally and internationally.

What should be in your website?
Depends on the purpose.  If you are into blogging, I guess an email address and a contact form will suffice, so you can be contacted by your readers.  You can also put a comment box at each of your post and reply (and I do mean, reply) to all of them, when you get a chance.  You also need to come up with wild, wacky, or unique posts (whatever!) and let your readers know what your blog is about.

If it is utilize in providing a product or service, your business address and your contact details should be included, as well as the services / products you provide.  What are the descriptions, etc. - the works.

Why the emphasis on FREE?
Free, for obvious reasons, means you don't need to pay for it.  Free websites, such as Blogger, helps you have an idea on how to create a website, by basically providing you with the necessary tools to operate the website itself.

FREE, because when you are starting your business and you don't have enough to make pay professionals to do your website, free websites are enough to get you started and connect with your customers and prospective customers right away.

Free websites that can be used for business: - WordPress provide pretty much everything that you can use, suited for your business.  Choose the themes / appearance to get that feel of the website.  Also, I noticed that most business websites are in WordPress format (not all).  Unfortunately, since it is free, they only give limited customization.  There are certain features that you have to pay for. :( you also get a type of domain.

Blogger - a Google website.  I like that I can change the background and the header that makes the site look as if I have it made professionally.  If you have an eye for design, you can actually create a really great looking website in Blogger, as well as WordPress.  I like that I can post as many Google Adsense widget as I want.  Unfortunately, you get a for domain.  It doesn't really sound professional. :(

Googlesites - If you got the hang of Blogger and WordPress, Googlesites would actually be easy for you.  They have templates for business, professionals, personals, church, organizations, even NGO website templates.  You can also add Google Adsense there.  Although, the for a domain would be unappealing and also, hard to memorize.  Unless we put a link, customers wouldn't remember the site right away.

How can you save using Free Website?
Your business is already operational and existing.  Customers are starting to visit.  You start to get money from the site without paying yet for a domain name or hosting.  You save costs on having your websites done professionally. 

Comparison between free websites and professionally done websites

Free Websites
Professionally done websites
Domain name and hosting
Free domain name and hosting
Paid domain names and hosting
Site customization
Limited customization of the site
Fully customizable website (some, for a fee)
Domain name extension /
.com / .net / .org / .info
Site Templates
Only what are available in the site
Can design own template

Can it be used for business
Can it be for personal use
Can it be customize for selling
Can add pages
Can put pictures
Can add widgets
Can add Google Adsense
Yes, but not on

Domain name costs at least $10 per year, which should be renewed in order to have that name forever.  Hosting can cost about $10 or higher every month to accommodate the site traffic.

Bottom line:  If it functions the same as the professional website, try to use the free websites first - unless you can afford it.  Websites can drain the cashflow that could have been used for business operations.

At the start of your business, free websites can already get the business running and helps us focus on the business operation more.  Eventually, when enough cashflow is at hand, we can have the site done professionally and customize it to our preference.

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