Fastest and Most Efficient Way to Build a Website or e-Commerce Site With Under $50
Are you starting a new business? Do you need a website to display information or sell products online? I am sure someone offered one for $1500 to $4000 for something like 10 pages, a contact form and so on. Do not spend that much money and do not design a “custom website that will meet all of your business needs”.
Why? One, what you need from your website will change more than once during the first year of your operation. Second, there are no sites that will do “everything you will need” unless it is based on some kind of an industry standard platform, which, in its turn, should bot cost $4000. Third, run from a company that offers to do a custom development for your information or e-commerce site. So, unless you are developing custom software, here are your options for most informational and e-commerce sites.
Did I tell you to run away from anyone who still offers to make websites with a static number of pages or standard features? If I did not I am telling you now. I currently run 14 websites using the WordPress platform. (A platform is software which runs on the back end/side of a website that brings you the tools you need to manage your site. Based on that platform, you develop or purchase the design, i.e. the interactive portion, of your site.) WordPress is an open source platform/software – meaning it is free to use under a standard license agreement which will be more than enough for most of us. Thousand of programers have contributed to the development of the platform for the past 10+ years.
There is no way a single development firm can make a “custom site” that even closely matches the flexibility and agility of the WordPress platform. Here are some features of WordPress:
– Content Management
– Blog Platform
– Potfolio Presentation
– Limited e-Commerce features
– Search Engine Optimization
– Expandable through thousands of platforms
Here are some of the companies that use the WordPress Platform:
– MSNBC TV
– Variety Magazine
– Bill Cosby
– LA Times
– More at http://wordpress.org/showcase/
WordPress hosting and themes
There are many companies that offer hosting and sometimes pre-installation of WordPress. I will let you Google “WordPress hosting” and find one that you like. Here is what WordPress recommends: http://wordpress.org/hosting/ For most small businesses a $5 – 20 monthly plan would suffice in the beginning. For those who know their site will draw serious traffic and need a powerful hosting solution, go to RackSpace – From $100 to 200 per month you will receive enough hosting power and a great managed hosting solution. (Companies offering Managed Hosting pretty much do “everything” for you and you do not have to worry about your server, security, updates…)
To find the proper design or theme for your site, again, I would recommend just googling “WordPress Themes” and finding the company offering the design you like. I personally purchase my themes from http://www.ThemeForest.net anywhere from $35 to $60 for single website use.
Having an online is probably a must for all those who sell products. Once again I am against building your own e-commerce website. One, that process will at least a year. Second, it will cost you $10,000 to $50,000 in addition to the time you spend on the site during the development process. I strongly recommend looking into ready-made software-as-service e-commerce sites that have been developed and refined for 10 to 15 years by hundreds of developers.
I have used BigCommerce to sell my nature photography prints. The system is easy to setup with hundreds of tutorials and videos. If you do not like their free designs for your online store, the system offers customization. Bigcommerce makes it easy to sell online. You get a website, shopping cart, SEO, design, hosting and more. Try it for free!
My last recommendation for an e-commerce solution is Amazon. Not only Amazon gives you the tools to run your own online store, it offers a great deal of marketing power from the vast number of Amazon shoppers.
All these solution will let you sell 10,000 and more product types in your online store for $25 to 70 per month. With marvelous store setups, to Tax calculations, secure payment processing and shipping integration, there is really no way to build an e-commerce site just for your business.
Mobile App Development
Mobile apps are the last in technology that can help a business gain more exposure and reach new markets/clients. Many of the latest startups chose to develop their mobile apps before they even have a web presence. One of the most famous examples of such company is Instagram. Developing a mobile app for all platforms available can be a long and costly process. Fortunately for me I came across a great European company that helps companies get to a fast and affordable start by prototyping their mobile app idea before they invest tens of thousands of dollars (if not hundreds or even millions) is developing their idea. By taking this approach, one can have a quick and inexpensive prototype that they can test and see if further investments into the idea will pay off. Here is their website: http://www.demobakery.com/
Disclaimer: Unlike other sites, we do not get paid to write or to promote any of the following products or services. The presentations here are just MY opinions and my advice.