Do you really have to pay a web developer to create your website? I will talk about what other alternatives are available to create a website and how you can avoid spending thousands of dollars.
You may be thinking, are you crazy? Are you trying to convince me to not buy your services?
Not at all, I only want to put all the cards on the table and give you all the options for websites creation. I feel I can be a better digital marketing consultant if I give you all the information for you to make the best choice for your business.
If you’re a DIY’r and like to do things by yourself, this information comes in handy.
I put together a list of websites that allow you to create different kinds of websites for different purposes. So let’s start with the basics, and explain the types of websites you can use for your business.
(If you just want to see the list, scroll down to the bottom of the page).
So, what’s a website?
In simple terms, a website is a network of web pages connected thru links that serve information to your devices. They’re hosted in a server and with a domain name, users can access it.
In the beginning of the internet, a website was something simple, but with the passing of years and as new web technologies emerged, also new sub-categories and names for websites were created:
- Social media pages
- Landing page
- Lead capture page
- E-commerce site
What? These are not websites!
Yes, they are, let me explain.
Social media accounts are a great way to connect to your existing network and grow it with new contacts too. But you are limited on how you present your company.
You can’t change colors or the layout, fonts or rearrange the presentation and customize it according to your branding. The most you can do is upload your logo and add your company information. After that, you can start updating it as often as you want and this way, connect to an audience.
If you don’t have a budget yet to expand your online presence, social media accounts are a great way to start promoting your business. Some of them even have e-commerce capabilities so you can upload your products and accept online payments.
Too basic for your business? Let’s keep going then.
Web designers can refer to a landing page as a single unit, a web page inside a website which contains multiple pages, or multiple landing pages for different products, services or branches of the company.
But, it can also be a website which is only made of one single page, also known as a “one-pager”, on which we organize and present all the company information in a single web page, and most of the time web use a call to action (CTA) to make the user send their information or buy the product.
Landing pages creators allow more flexibility and versatility, and they’re more cost accessible than a custom web developer.
Lead capture pages
These can be the same as the landing pages, but serve a more particular purpose: when you want the visitors to leave their information for you to follow up, or to grow an email marketing list.
Yes, you can have landing pages without a lead capture form, or a lead capture page in a multiple-page website, or in a single-page website. Why? because if you have a multi-page website, each individual page can have different purposes, and you can redirect your visitors to each page depending on what you want them to do, or what they’re looking to do.
Sometimes you only want to sell your products, and that’s the next type of website: e-commerce sites.
If selling products is your business, there are multiple platforms ready for you to upload your products and promote them to users ready to buy such as Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp or Ebay.
These apps are ready to use and there are pros and cons. But to start selling ASAP this is as simple as it gets. You just have to create an account, list your products, and wait for customers to ask or buy from you.
If you’re looking for flexibility to create your own e-store, being able to choose colors, and layout according to your branding, and more options, check the table at the end of this article to see the e-commerce platforms I found.
A blog is another way to have your company website in a simple way. Blogs were created to have a tool to add information to a website in an easy way and keep the entries like in a journal.
The most popular tool that started as a blog tool is WordPress, then it evolved into a website creation platform and framework.
Nowadays there are websites that offer you the possibility to create a blog so you can add articles, news or just the information of your company, like a resume or presentation. And the best thing is most of these blog creation tools are free!
Website building tools
If the tools I’ve mentioned are not enough for your company and you still need to create a website, there are new tools coming up everyday that allow users to create one without any design or coding knowledge.
Website builders are the most similar to what a web designer or developer can create. Even some of us have worked with these builders.
The web builders allow you to start by choosing a template and then modifying colors, layouts and content to adapt it to your needs
List of alternatives to create a website
Here’s a spreadsheet with the alternatives to create websites for your business. They’re organized by categories as I explained them in this post and I plan to update this list regularly to keep it relevant. I will also add more details of what each website is in future posts.
Some of these are free, and others offer a free trial only, but will definitely make a difference putting your business out there and in most cases save you money.
So, do I have to pay a web designer to create my company website?
The short answer is… no. You can start by using any of these options and then scale up when your company grows.
The long answer is, it depends on what your business needs.
Let’s be honest, you are trying to become the best in your industry and sometimes doing everything in your company is not the best way to accomplish it.
What I recommend you is to consult with an expert and talk about your goals, but don’t go to a sales person (they will always try to sell you something). Talk to an experienced digital marketer or web developer and be clear about your expectations. An experienced consultant will be able to recognize your needs and recommend the best course of action for you in less than 15 minutes.
*Some of these are affiliate links.