Most small-business owners and startups need a website, and if they're unproven, they probably need to build it on a budget. Luckily, you can build a beautiful website for very little money, with some options being completely free. The average website user's impression of your website is made within the first 10 seconds of their time on your site. It's important to design the website for your audience specifically, so that your first impression is one that will make them want to spend more time on it.

Use a template.

Several website template services are available at almost any budget. A template is customizable in color scheme, and in some cases, layout. Some are even for free. Remember that backing up a template and being able to change it later is difficult, so you may need an entirely new website when your company is ready to upgrade.

WordPress is a popular option for templates that are easy to customize. It is affordable and does offer some services for free, including blogs and simple websites.

Create your own graphics.

Graphics should be kept simple and only be used on your banners. It is okay to have some graphic advertisements on the website, but those should be minimal as well. To create your own banner graphics, you can use a simple program like Paint, which should be standard on your computer.

You can use free photo resources for a main image. These photos are royalty and copyright free. Using Paint, you can insert your company logo or name on top of the image for a quick, cheap custom banner. The same process can be used for advertisement graphics, static images, and content images.

Download a free template to customize.

Consider using a downloadable template. These have customizable color schemes to help you create the aesthetic you envision. Select a template that has a simple layout that will also be easy for users to navigate.

Choose a template that has a search option built into it. Users may wish to search for specific content to save time. Also consider a template that offers an archive.

Before moving onto customizing a template, view a virtual demonstration of how the website would work. This will tell you if the template will do what you need it to do for the type of website you dream of building.

Hire a freelancer.

Website-building freelancers are available all over the world. When you provide your budget upfront, only the freelancers that can produce a website within that budget will contact you. Post your need for a website designer on multiple outlets, including:

  • Fiverr
  • People Per Hour
  • Craigslist
  • UpWork
  • Moonlighting

You can also search through the freelancers that provide website design services on those platforms and contact them directly. Some of these outlets allow for multiple freelancers to bid on a single job. Include your budget so the bids you get are not so far outside your budget that you have to scrap the whole project.

The freelancer should be given instructions as to which service you want them to use, such as Wix or WordPress. Only those with relevant samples and proven experience should be considered.

Consider hiring a student.

Students are often looking for side projects to earn a little money. They can be a better option as they will work cheap and are learning new tricks that can be implemented into your website's design. These individuals come with fresh ideas and are up-to-date on the current trends in website design.

Some students may want to spend hours coding a website just for you. This may not work for future endeavors, as you may not continue working with that student after the website is complete. Instruct the student to use a platform or design building service but to customize it in a way that is simple, fresh and easy to use.

Make sure the site functions as you want it to and test every function before signing off on the project. It is a must that your website loads fast, is easy to navigate and is pleasing to the eye. It is a good idea to work with a single designer or service who can make changes to the layout, color scheme, or features as your business grows.