Posts Tagged "affordable"

Free and Low-Cost Web Design Options

Strapped for cash? You’re not alone. In fact, a low budget is the most universally familiar obstacle to small business owners. There are many ways to safely cut costs when setting up your web space, and finding less-costly web design options falls into this category. Here, we’ll take a look at the best ways to approach low-cost web design while maintaining a polished, professional appearance.

Free Options

There are two main free options available to you—an unpaid worker and a ready-made design built into a web space package you’re already purchasing. As with any budget option, there are disadvantages and advantages to both options.

Going with a ready-made design for your web space is a reliable option. Keep in mind, however, that a creativity-based business can suffer from an obviously-stock template. If, for example, you are a painter selling canvases online, customers will be a bit confused by a standard, boring web space design. Thankfully, there are many excellent bundled designs to be found via our top hosting picks. These designs are included in your purchase price, but still offer customizable and exciting visual options.

Your next free option is to find a skilled designer who’s just starting out. They are rather easy to find if you look in the right places—college campuses are a great place to begin. Place ads on the bulletin boards—real-world and online—of some local colleges and universities. You’ll probably receive more than a few offers, which gives you a nice selection. Just be sure to check the work over very carefully before it ‘goes live’ on your web space. Taking advantage of a fellow start-up is never good business, so be sure to use the barter system—offer a gift card, discount code or even profit-sharing potential in exchange for services.

Low-Cost Options

The most readily available low-cost web space design options are, essentially, enhanced versions of free options. You can find a great deal of customizable, yet ready-made, web space designs available through many different platforms. Many of these options can be customized to the point that they are unrecognizable as ready-made designs, lending your site that all-important air of creativity.

Another low-cost option involves seeking out a talented, yet undiscovered, individual or company. These individuals are in the same boat as you—just getting started. Services can often be obtained at a significantly reduced cost, or through bartering. Just be careful to pay fairly; after all, your business is worth a reasonable investment.

For a world of attractive, professional-looking templates which don’t require an IT degree to set up, visit sites such as ThemeForest. Even those brand-new to the world of web design can customize beautiful designs with just a few clicks!

Safety Comes First

Glitches can occur when utilizing the services of a less-than-professional individual or company. However, there’s no reason to get paranoid.

In order to keep costs down and stay sane, have your web space checked over by an internet safety professional before it goes live. This can usually be done at a very reasonable cost, and very quickly. This is a step best left to professionals backed by a well-regarded company. The money you spend is an investment in your and your customers’ safety—well worth every penny.

The Bottom Line

With so many low- and no-cost options out there, finding the right one for you should be an easy task. However, keep in mind that a professionally designed web space is your ultimate goal. These sites are easy to spot, and they immediately foster a sense of consumer trust. They cost more but, ultimately, that cost is neutralized by increased traffic and sales. Check out our best budget-friendly picks and start building your best site right away!

Shared Web Space: Pros and Cons

You have several options when it comes to web hosting: shared hosting, dedicated hosting, and virtual private servers (VPS). Shared web space can be an excellent choice for many different reasons.

How it works

Shared web space is exactly what it sounds like: multiple websites sharing space on one server. The number of websites assigned to a server depends on the hosting provider and the equipment’s capabilities. Web servers are expensive to maintain, so many web hosts try to get as many accounts on one server as they can.

Benefits

The main benefit of this type of hosting is its affordable price. A good dedicated server can cost $200 to $300 per month. Even the cheapest VPS can cost $49 or more monthly. In contrast, with shared web space, you can purchase a few gigabytes of storage for $5 to $10 per month and sometimes less. This brings you a significant amount of savings.

Another selling point for shared web space is that little to no technical expertise is needed to use it. The hosting provider maintains the physical server and handles majority of the technical problems that arise. The company’s technical support agents will usually help you with any problems you experience with the service. Additionally, most shared web hosts have a control panel where you can easily install popular website applications such as WordPress.

Disadvantages

Like everything else in the world, there are disadvantages to shared hosting. If another customer’s website on the same server uses a lot of the server’s resources or contracts a virus, this can affect your website’s performance. However, this is not a common occurrence. Reliable web hosting providers work hard to keep their servers working optimally and securely.

Is shared web hosting for you?

Shared web space is the best choice if you’re just starting out, on a budget, or have a website that requires just a normal level of server resources. Most small business and personal websites run on shared hosting. Just make sure you select the right web host to suit your needs.

Lowest Hosting Prices

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We all want to get the best value for our money. Whether you’re planning to launch a business website or start a personal blog, you probably want the lowest hosting prices if you’re just starting out.

Web hosting providers can afford to offer the lowest hosting prices because they know how to optimize servers and reduce overhead costs. Low-priced hosting plans contain all the features typically needed by individuals and small businesses. Note that lower prices don’t mean lower quality. The prices only serve to attract new customers. But it’s the quality of service that retains them.

Choose the right web host

Although many web hosts offer the lowest hosting prices, not all of them offer quality services. So choose among web hosts carefully. Here are the factors you should consider:

  • Customer support. Your web host should have a competent customer support team. One that operates 24/7 is best, especially if you live in another part of the world. After all, a single glitch on your website may result in losing potential clients and income. Web hosts with good customer support will make sure that your needs are fulfilled in the most convenient way possible.
  • Good uptime. Check your potential web host’s service monitoring performance. This will show you how often their servers have downtime. No web host has 100% uptime; after all, web servers have their limitations, and hardware upgrades are necessary for reliable service in the long run. But good web hosts make sure to limit their downtime.
  • Service backups. Occasional technical failures are unavoidable. Although you should always make backups yourself, it would also help if your web host makes their own backups of website data.
  • Disk space and bandwidth. Know how much disk space and bandwidth are allotted to you by your web host. This way, you can maximize your website’s potential even at the lowest hosting prices.
  • Domain names. Some of the web hosts that offer the lowest hosting prices also include free domain names with their packages. You may want to choose these hosts so that you can get your domain and hosting in a one-stop shop, as opposed to getting them separately.
  • Control panel. Having access to a control panel makes website management a lot easier. This will save you a lot of time and effort in the long run.
  • Reputation. Conduct a background search on potential web hosts. Read reviews to see how well they’ve satisfied their customers.

Remember, you want value for money, not just the lowest price tag. So make sure you select the right web host to suit your needs.

Recommended web hosts

Just Host
FatCow HostMonster InMotion BlueHost

The following is a table of the lowest-priced plans from our recommended web hosts. Note the differences in features and contract periods. We highly recommend Just Host’s Just Plan Premium ($6.95/month). But, as you can see, there are cheaper plans, so you may opt to choose them instead. Either way, all of the web hosts below are recommended.

We’ve done our best to ensure the accuracy of the information below, but we’re only human. Please double-check the information at the web hosts’ websites.

Just Host FatCow HostMonster InMotion BlueHost
Web Hosting Plan Just Plan FatCow Plan Professional Web Hosting Plan Personal/Cheap Hosting (Starter) Professional Web Hosting Plan
Subscription Price Per Month $3.45 $3.67 $5.95 $5.99 $6.95
Disk Space Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 100,000 MB Unlimited
Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 1,000 GB/month Unlimited
Email Accounts Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 50
FTP Accounts Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 1 Unlimited
Domain Registration Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hosted Domains Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 1 Unlimited
MySQL Databases Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited None Unlimited
To get the plan at this price, you have to pay for… 4 years 1 year 1 year 2 years 3 years
Link to Review Just Host review FatCow review HostMonster review InMotion review BlueHost review
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Just Host

FatCow

HostMonster

InMotion

BlueHost