5 best DIY websites for small businesses on a budget

October 25, 2019

In this 7-minute read:

  • DIY websites for small businesses
  • WordPress
  • Squarespace
  • Wix
  • Shopify
  • Smartly Done Websites

Your website should be an online extension of your business, so you don’t want to skimp out and you definitely want it to look professional. But sometimes you just need something to get you started that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. 

Attract new customers and keep them loyal with reputation management software. Click here for a free demo!

We’ve seen tons of small business websites all across the board, from highly custom sites that cost thousands of dollars to free websites built by some of our customers themselves. There are solid website options for any budget that you are looking to start with, and we’ll outline some of our favorite DIY budget websites for small businesses here. 

WordPress.org

WordPress.org (different from WordPress.com) can be a great website builder to start with. And we might be a little biased because we use WordPress, but it has some great capabilities for any business! 

From a DIY standpoint, if all you need is to add information about your company in the form of pages and blog posts, WordPress can really take you far. 

The cost of using WordPress is super manageable. All you need to pay to get your website up and running for the world to see is web hosting (at $7.99 per month) and for a domain name (at $14 per year). If you want a premium theme that someone designed, there may be additional costs associated there as well, but beyond that, you’re looking at a pretty good deal.

Even better, if you choose to pay for your WordPress site through BlueHost, you can get your domain name for free and only pay $2.75 per month for web hosting. That’s a steal!

Part of the advantage of using WordPress for your website is that it’s an open source platform where anyone can create modifications for others to use. This means that developers al over have created plugins and themes that can help you to modify your website to your specifications. 

Get started at WordPress.org

A note of caution: Not all WordPress plugins play friendly together, especially as new updates come out for your WordPress software. Sometimes plugins that aren’t compatible can cause weird design effects or security vulnerabilities on your website. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use it, just that you should do your research to maintain your site well or consult a developer when adding multiple plugins to your website. 

Squarespace

Squarespace is a really powerful all-in-one website manager for those of you who want to build your own website and do it for a relatively low cost. 

They have tons of unique templates to choose from with customization options to really make your site stand out from your competitors. 

Squarespace has four basic pricing plans: Personal, Business (their most popular), Basic Commerce, and Advanced Commerce. 

Each of Squarespace’s plans comes with the following features:

  • Free custom domain
  • SSL security
  • Unlimited storage
  • SEO features
  • Templates for every type of website need
  • Options for multiple contributors (the Personal plan only allows two contributors, but all others are unlimited)
  • Mobile responsive websites
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Basic website metrics

Here’s a little more information on each of their individual plans. 

  1. Personal 

This plan starts at $12 per month when you pay annually, or $16 per month if you choose to pay month to month. 

  1. Business

This plan starts at $18 per month when you pay annually and is $26 per month if you choose to pay monthly. If you choose to use this plan for eCommerce transactions, there will be a 3% transaction fee required. 

  1. Basic Commerce

This plan starts at $26 per month when you pay annually and is $30 per month if you pay monthly. On this plan and the Advanced Commerce plan, there is no fee associated with transactions. 

  1. Advanced Commerce

This plan starts at $40 per month paid annually or $46 per month when paid monthly. The difference between this plan and the Basic Commerce plan is that with Advanced Commerce you have capabilities to sell gift cards, advanced shipping calculations, sell subscriptions, offer advanced discounts, and a few more advanced features. 

Each of Squarespace’s business plans comes with a free professional email box on G-suite with the option to purchase more. 

Get started with Squarespace here!

Wix

Wix can be a completely free option if you don’t need any additional features like your own domain and you don’t mind their ads on your site. But, for a professional business website, we recommend at least getting their basic plan to have your site on your own domain and remove those ads. 

Wix has four premium plans that you can choose from:

  1. Combo at $13 per month
  2. Unlimited at $17 per month
  3. Pro at $22 per month
  4. VIP at $39 per month

Basically, with each additional pricing tier, you gain more support, analytics capabilities, storage, ad vouchers, and some other add-ons. 

Similar to Squarespace, Wix has tons of beautiful pre-made templates that you can choose to start from. And then you can customize each site to match your unique brand and style. 

Get started with Wix today. 

Shopify

Shopify is a platform that was built specifically for online sales. Whether you have a brick and mortar location or not, Shopify is perfect if you plan to sell any products online. 

If you are starting a new business, their basic plan at $29/month will be the best solution. This includes the following features:

  • Online store (with a full eCommerce website and blog)
  • Unlimited products
  • 2 staff accounts
  • 24/7 Shopify support
  • Sales channels (through social media and online marketplaces)
  • Manual order creation
  • Discount codes
  • POS apps and integrations
  • And more!

Once you have an account set up with Shopify, you can start adding your products, customize the look of your site, and really set it up to be your own. 

There are fees associated with transactions for every plan on Shopify which could be one downside to the platform, but you can’t beat the ease of setting up your products and website. 

Get started with Shopify now. 

Smartly Done Websites

Smartly Done Websites may have a higher upfront cost than some of these other options, but it is a great solution if you want a mostly DIY website at a good price, but with the support of a professional development team. 

They have a design gallery where you can choose one of their demo sites to start from. Each of these demo sites is super configurable and can be customized with your own content, images, fonts, colors, and more. 

The DIY option for Smartly Done Websites starts at $600, and here’s what that cost gets you:

  • The website itself (of course)
  • A kickoff meeting with the team at Smartly Done (this can be in person at their Idaho Falls, ID office, on a video call, screen share, or over the phone—they work with small businesses all over the country)
  • 2 hours of design customizations from one of their professional developers (they’ll help you add your unique branding to the design you choose)
  • Assistance in loading content onto your home page and two interior pages of your website
  • A 2-hour training session to show you how to finish designing and configuring your website

If there are additional features you are looking for with your website like eCommerce capabilities or other software integrations, they have solutions for everything. 

This team of website professionals prides themselves in keeping all of their work in-house and being there when you need them. You’ll talk to the same people every time you call. 

Beyond their flat-rate fee of $600, they do offer web hosting and support on their own servers for $22 per month once your site is live. And of course, you’ll want to make sure you purchase your own domain, which you can do from a variety of hosting platforms, or the team at Smartly Done can walk you through this process. 

Check them out at smartlydonewebsites.com

What to do next

Once your small business is all set with a new, professional-looking website, that’s just the start. There’s a lot that you can, and should, do to help improve your business’s online visibility so you can continue to grow your business. 

There are several free local SEO tips that we have outlined in some of our articles. One of those tips is managing your online reputation by gaining new online reviews and managing your online business profiles. 

If you’re interested in trying out a service that can help you automate these processes, Womply’s reputation management software can really help you out. On average, this software saves small businesses 10 hours of work per week! Fill out the form below for a free demo

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