Many people look for terms like "Free websites or Cheap websites" in Search Engines, but are they really looking for 'a website for nothing?'
A free website isn't a realistic proposition, someone will have to invest a great deal of time to make your website look presentable. Generally speaking, the more you can afford to pay for your website the less work you will have to do yourself. So ask yourself, "What is your time worth?"
Then ask yourself , "What does a website designer charge for their time?" This will help to put things into some kind of perspective. Web designers' charges vary greatly, so shop around. What design services do you require?
If you are hoping your 'friend' will produce a website for you free of charge, then ask yourself, "How much do you value their time?" So why are you expecting them to invest their time in your website? If you enter into a free arrangement such as this, then you are not in control. If this is a website for your business, then it is essential you have control, otherwise you will end up with the website your friend is able to build and not the website you envisaged. And if it ever gets finished, and you don't like what they've done - you will be stuck with it, unless you are prepared to compromise your friendship. Will it be finished ready for your business launch? You don't want to put your business website on hold, until your friend returns from his holidays and decides to complete it!
It is essential to have a professional to deliver a good looking reliable website by your deadline, you will need to be able to edit your website easily and change things around. Your new website should be scalable so it can grow as the business grows and develops.
There are many good Open Source content management systems (CMS), and open source ecommerce systems on the internet and these can be freely downloaded for a voluntary contribution. However, unless you have some understanding of internet server technology, you may trip up at the first hurdle - installation onto a server. Then you have to consider the programming knowledge you will need to translate your designs into a reliable functioning website. Bear in mind, that in most cases the only help available when you do get stuck, is from strangers in forums. Would you buy a lego set if you needed a reliable car?
There are some great advantages to having a professional website, for example If your website is well constructed, then Search Engine Optimisation will be very straight forward. If your site is designed well, then your customers will enjoy using it, they'll find what they need, and they'll return. It will load quickly, and will reflect the efficiency and professionalism of your business. A professional website should generate business for you and pay for itself!
You might choose to ignore the advice so far, and instead use a free web site builder that comes integrated into your domain hosting. Free website builders" - have their own learning curve, especially in implementing your design, and the only help available is at the end of a long queue to a costly call centre to someone who may have never used the software. Free web site builders may bring a different set of complications, limit your design, attract spammers, and incur ongoing costs as your business requirements change. We are often asked to optimise self-build websites. Unfortunately we have to ask, "What is the point of getting visitors to the site, if they are not going to stay because the website 'lets down' your business?"
Maybe you should consider searching instead for an affordable website. This implies you have a budget and you are serious about your business website. Now you can look for low cost websites, or affordable websites, knowing exactly how much you are prepared to pay. You can always ask for a quotation to be phased, so you build the web site foundations first, then plan to add in functionality as the business grows. This will ensure that the website is extensible from the outset, and will support all future modifications.
"An affordable Website is neither a Cheap website, nor an unfinished website, it is simply the foundation of a great website"
Choose wisely and don't forget to ask if you would like our advice about ecommerce websites.