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How to make a website fast & on a budget

28 May, 2023 · 5 min read·Website design
How to make a website fast & on a budget
Learn how to quickly and affordably create a website that looks professional and meets your needs with our step-by-step guide. From choosing the right platform to optimizing your content, we've got you covered.

More than 70% of businesses now have a website, which is crucial if you want to establish a professional online presence and grow your audience. A website is where you can showcase your products or services and connect with potential customers. 

However, the cost of website design and development can be daunting. This is especially true if you’re on a tight budget. That's where website builders like Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, and B12 come in. They provide affordable and easy-to-use solutions for creating a website.

In this blog post, we'll guide you on how to build a website on a budget. Read on to better understand how to make a website fast and cost-effectively using website builders.

What is website building and why is it important?

Website building is creating a website from scratch or using a website builder platform. Website building has become a vital aspect of modern business. 

Having a website is absolutely necessary. Why? Because it’s the face of your business in the digital world. Through websites, businesses can showcase their products and services to a global audience. It provides a platform for customers to learn about the business. Plus, they can easily connect with the business owner through the website's contact page. 

A website is often the first point of contact between a customer and a business. That’s why it’s vital to have a well-designed and user-friendly website. This can help build credibility and trust with potential customers.

Website builder options

Website building can be complex and time-consuming. It’s even more overwhelming if you’re not familiar with coding and web development. Fortunately, there are various website builders available. They can simplify the process. They make website building more accessible for everyone. These platforms provide templates and have a drag-and-drop editor. This allows users to create a website without any coding knowledge.

Website builders such as Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, B12, and many others have become increasingly popular, each offering unique features and benefits. Some website builders specialize in professional services, while others focus on blogging or portfolio sites. Users can choose a platform that best suits their needs or objectives. This all depends on the type of website you want to build.

Website builders also offer several pricing plans that cater to different budgets. While some builders offer free plans, others have premium plans that require a monthly or annual subscription fee. 

Why website builders are important for small businesses

Small businesses often have limited budgets or resources to invest in website development. Website builders are an excellent option for small business owners who want to create a website quickly and efficiently. Website builders are user-friendly, require no coding knowledge, and offer various templates and customization options.

In contrast, hiring a professional website designer or web developer can be costly. And it may take longer to complete the project. Moreover, website builders allow users to manage and update the website on their own. This makes it more cost-effective in the long run. With a website builder, small businesses can have a professional-looking website that can compete with larger businesses in the industry. 

Choosing the right website builder

Selecting the right website builder is crucial. Below are some key things to consider. 

Comparing website builders

Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, and B12 are popular website builders, and for good reason. All four of these website builders are straightforward and easy to use. They also offer a wide range of templates and customization options. In addition to these popular names, there are also other website builders such as WordPress and Shopify, which are designed for more specific needs.

Factors to consider when choosing a website builder

Choosing a website builder that meets your requirements would vastly depend on the goals of your website. Consider your website’s purpose. What type of content do you want to share? Some website builders are more adept at specific tasks than others. Professional service websites, for instance, often require payment processing and client engagement features, which website builders like B12 are expressly built for. You'll also want to consider other features. For instance, email marketing integrations, search engine optimization tools, and customer support.

Signing up and logging in to your chosen website builder

Done selecting your preferred website builder? The next step is to sign up for an account. Website builders typically offer a free plan or a trial period, allowing you to test the functionality of their platform.

To create an account, you need an email address and a password. From there, you can log in to the website builder's dashboard. And you can start building your website. There's an option to transfer domain names or buy custom domain names. Some builders may also offer you a free domain. The dashboard is where you will have access to your website's customization options, templates, and content management tools.

Designing your website

Once you’ve chosen a website builder, the next step is to design your website. Website design is crucial. Why? It can make or break the success of your online presence. Here are some tips for designing an effective website.

Best practices for website design

Design your website with your target audience in mind. Keep things simple and intuitive. Make your site easy to navigate. Use color schemes and fonts that are consistent with your branding.

Customizing templates and themes

Most website builders offer pre-made templates and themes that can be customized to fit your brand. Choose a template that aligns with your brand aesthetic. Then customize it by adding your logo, colors, and images.

Adding content and images

Once you have a basic design in place, it’s time to start adding content and images. Your homepage is the face of your website, so make sure it’s attention-grabbing and conveys your brand message clearly. Use high-quality images and engaging copy to keep visitors on your site.

Optimizing for mobile

The majority of web traffic comes from mobile devices. That’s why you must optimize your website for mobile devices. Make sure your website is responsive, meaning it will adjust to fit different screen sizes. Test your website on different devices. Make sure it looks good and functions properly on all of them.

Making your website fast

Speed is a critical factor for website success. Users tend to leave a website that takes too long to load. This can result in lower traffic and revenue. So make your website as fast as possible. This way, you can retain visitors and increase engagement.

Importance of website speed

Website speed is crucial for a good user experience. A fast website can improve user engagement, reduce bounce rates, and increase conversions. Google also considers website speed as one of the ranking factors for search results. The faster your website loads? The more likely it is to rank higher in search engines. Therefore, optimizing website speed is critical for improving rankings, user engagement, and revenue.

Tips for optimizing website speed

Here are some tips for optimizing website speed.

  • Use a fast and reliable web host service. Choose web hosting services that can handle your website traffic. Your free web hosting provider must offer fast loading times.
  • Optimize images. Compressing images can significantly reduce page load times.
  • Minimize HTTP requests. Use CSS sprites to combine images into one image file and reduce the number of HTTP requests.
  • Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN). A CDN can distribute website content to servers worldwide, reducing page load times for website visitors worldwide.
  • Eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS. Minimize the number of external scripts and stylesheets required to load your website.

Tools for testing website speed

There are many tools available for analyzing website speed. These can help you identify areas that need improvement. Some popular website speed-testing tools include the following.

  • Google Analytics
  • Google PageSpeed Insights
  • GTmetrix
  • Pingdom Website Speed Test
  • WebPageTest

Using these tools regularly can help you monitor website speed. Plus, they can help you identify bottlenecks and take action to resolve them.

By implementing our tips and regularly monitoring your website speed using different tools, you can significantly improve your website's loading times, resulting in increased traffic and engagement.

Choosing a cost-effective website builder

It's important to choose a website builder that offers reasonably priced plans without sacrificing quality. Many website builders offer free plans with limited features, while others have paid plans that vary in cost and functionality. Consider the needs of your website. Then choose a builder that offers the features you need at a price you can afford.

Reducing costs with free website builders

If you're looking to create a website for free, several website builders offer completely free plans, such as Wix, Weebly, WordPress, and B12. Some of these builders also offer premium plans with more features and customization options. However, keep in mind that free plans can come with limitations, such as ads on your website and limited storage space.

Strategies for cost-effective website design

How can you reduce the cost of website design and development? Consider using free or low-cost stock photos instead of hiring a professional photographer. Don't have design skills? Use pre-made website templates and themes rather than hiring a web designer. Keep your website simple and minimize unnecessary features to reduce hosting costs. Also consider using plug-ins to add functionality instead of building custom features.

Comparing website builder pricing plans

When building a website on a budget, compare the pricing plans of different website builders carefully. Consider the features you need and compare pricing between the builders you're interested in. Also, watch out for hidden fees. These include transaction fees, storage fees, and bandwidth charges. Some website builders have pricing plans that are structured in tiers, so consider your website's growth potential and choose a plan that can scale with your website.

Launching and promoting your website

Let’s say you've built your website. You should now launch it and promote it to your intended audience. Launching involves making it publicly accessible on the internet while promoting involves driving traffic to your website. 

Publishing your website

When you’re done designing your website, the next step is making it publicly accessible on the internet. This is referred to as "publishing" your website. In most website builders, publishing is a simple process. You generally need to click a "Publish" or "Go Live" button. Then your website will be available on the internet.

Basic SEO strategies

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your website's visibility on search engines like Google. It helps you increase the chances of your site appearing in search results when people search for relevant terms. Some basic SEO strategies include using relevant keywords, optimizing meta titles and descriptions, and adding alt tags to images.

Driving traffic to your own website

It can be difficult to attract traffic to your website if your audience is unaware of your website's existence. Driving traffic to your website involves promoting it through various marketing channels. You can do this through social media marketing, email marketing, paid advertising, and more. Identify the marketing channels that resonate with your audience. Then invest your resources there.

Create a fast, affordable site with B12

Launching and promoting your website can be daunting, but with the right strategies and tools, it can be achieved effectively. A well-optimized site helps you reach your intended audience. And you can grow your online presence. Remember that building a successful website requires ongoing effort and analysis, so it is important to regularly review your website's performance and make improvements where necessary.

Looking to create a website quickly and without paying thousands to an agency? B12 specializes in assisting professional services launch quality websites that help attract, engage, and retain clients. YStarter planou get access to our powerful, easy-to-use website editor, are able to optimize your site for mobile, and get the necessary analytics to improve its performance. Additionally, we offer additional copywriting and design services to help you implement any edits or changes to your site. Get started launching yours today.

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