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How To Build A Budget Website

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    How To Build A Budget Website

    By Lee Asher

    Once upon a time, building a website was very expensive. Now, though, you can have a site up and running for the price of a used book, if you're frugal and careful. Getting the cheapest website you can is a great first step on the ladder, to get started on the web and see if it's for you.

    <b>Five-Dollar Domains</b>

    If you're willing to take the less popular domains like .info, or some of the ones for specific countries, then you should easily be able to get your hands on a domain for less than $5. Some countries, such as .tk (the small island of Tokelau), even offer their domains for nothing!

    <script type="text/javascript">google_ad_client = "pub-8949118578199171";google_ad_width = 728;google_ad_height = 90;google_ad_format = "728x90_as";google_ad_channel ="";google_color_border = "EAEAEA";google_color_bg = "EAEAEA";google_color_link = "4271B5";google_color_url = "99CC66";google_color_text = "000000";</script>
    <center><script type="text/javascript"src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"></script></center>

    <b>Free Software</b>

    Nowadays, it's easily possible to build a website using nothing but software you can get for free - most of the best scripting languages are free, and each one has had a lot of free software built for it by hobbyists. Check out sourceforge.net, which is a big repository of free software.

    You might think that free software would be less functional than paid-for software, but you'd be wrong. Plenty of free software is simply implementations of standard software, and it works perfectly well - if you want a forum, for example, there's no clear advantage in paying massive license fees to vBulletin (the biggest seller of forum software) instead of just installing the free phpBB. The free software gives you more flexibility, and yet comes at no cost.

    Free software has become an ideological movement, for people who want to be able to modify their own software, and much of the free software out there is quickly becoming widely-used and standard. Using free software doesn't make you look cheap, because users are used to seeing it everywhere - even better, the chances are that they already know how to use it.

    <b>Templates</b>

    Depending on what kind of website you're running, you could use the design templates that come with your free software - they're usually perfectly adequate. If you don't want to do that, then a quick look around at a site like templatemonster.com is sure to turn up something suitable for your website that only costs a few dollars.

    <b>Pay as You Go Hosting</b>

    Instead of asking you to pay monthly for hosting, more and more hosts are starting to offer 'pay as you go' hosting, which means that you only pay for what you use. This saves you a lot of money, because websites that are starting out rarely use all the features and bandwidth they're paying their host to provide.

    At nearlyfreespeech.net, for example, you add money to an account and then pay one dollar for each gigabyte of bandwidth you use. Most of these hosts allow you to start an account with very little money - the minimum is usually $5. If you keep your site light on graphics, that first $5 can last you a very long time.

    <b>Guerrilla Marketing</b>

    Finally, one of the biggest costs associated with any website is marketing it - whether you're planning to pay for banner ads or ads in search engines, marketing is a big cost. You can save money, though, by resorting to more 'guerrilla' techniques, such as becoming involved in online communities than you think might be interested in your website. The biggest free marketing technique out there is SEO (search engine optimisation), which is when you build your website in a way that makes it more attractive to search engines, getting you targeted visitors for free.

    <b>Taking it Further</b>

    Once you've built your budget website, do you need to upgrade it later on when you start to get lots of visitors? Often, the answer is no. You might wish to buy a more prestigious .com domain name, and you might want to pay a professional designer to improve your design, but in most cases the path from a budget website to a big one isn't all that costly either. You might think you're building a website 'on the cheap' but, really, that's the most sensible way to do it now - while you can go and spend thousands of dollars on software and hosting, you're unlikely to see any real benefits at all.

    **********************
    Lee Asher is the owner of <a href="http://www.eclipsedomainservices.com/">Eclipse Domain Services</a> Domain Names, Hosting, Traffic and Email Solutions.

    #2
    Re: How To Build A Budget Website

    Great tips!

    My humble site is hosted for $54/yr with about $8 for my domain name registration. I make that in 1 decent day, so that gives me 364 days of profit per year.

    I have tons more bandwidth than I need since I don't have huge images to load on each page. Huge .gif banners look nice, but 10 300k gif banners takes a lot of bandwidth each page load so try to keep your ads to a minimum by using a banner rotating script (free) which rotates any number of banners you want...much like the banner at the top of these pages.

    Never ever go with a free hosting site!!! I did and most beginners think this is the way to go. Once I built up a decent following I decided to get a better domain name and had 2 sites to maintain and update...big mistake for me at least. What looks better www.savingadvice.joeshosting.com or www.savingadvice.com ?

    With a little luck and planning you can easily make enough to cover your hosting!

    I have helped several people open gambling promoting websites who make good part time money, but you gotta love gambling to make it worth your time.

    Ask for help on what to do or more importantly what not to do. Don't be afraid to pay for help either, since it will save you tons in frustration. One way to pay is not by using cash, but by signing up to be affiliates under the person helping you. This way the person helping has a vested interest in your success and wants to see you succeed!!!

    There is money to be made on every single subject...period.
    Good luck!

    Comment


      #3
      Re: How To Build A Budget Website

      Wow, great tips. Wish I saw this earlier.

      My current web host provider has a free, no-frills package for web-hosting essentially static pages. The only "catch" if you want to call it that is they would rather you register your domain name with them, but that's only $18/year if you lock in the 5-year deal.

      Not the cheapest out there, but the service is still pretty good.

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