8 Steps to Create a Cheap Website


As a start-up who is attempting to establish a grant writing and marketing business with less than $2,000, our founder, Kelly, set a funny goal – create a website with the moolah in her piggy bank. She created http://www.grantswithgrit.org in 23 hours with $124.43.

Here are 8 Kelly’s steps to developing a website on the cheap.

STEP 1. Take piggy bank to local bank.

I grabbed my piggy bank and handed it over to the clerk at Staley Credit Union. In a twenty-minute break from grant research, I had successfully deposited the $124.43 into my GRIT Consulting debit account.

STEP 2. Purchase URL from Hover.

I have more experience with GoDaddy for purchasing URLs.  However, my tech-nerd brother insisted I go through HOVER. Apparently, techies think the customer support is better.  Little did I know that Mr. Hover Tech Support David J would be my savior.  Through Hover I purchased GrantsWithGRIT.org.  I also purchased MarketingWithGRIT.org and WithGRIT.org just in case.

STEP 3. Purchase premium template on WordPress.

I went with WordPress over Squarespace for no other reason than I have more experience with it. After 4 full hours of looking at WordPress templates, reading reviews, and testing a few dozen, I ended up purchasing the template… Entrepreneur.

 STEP 4. Drink coffee (while researching comparable pages, writing content, and customizing your template).

I camped out at a local coffee shop {WildFlour} so I could write without distractions. I spent about 4 hours google searching grant writers and non-profit . I copied all of the content I found appealing into a word document to reference as I wrote content for my own website. One limitation of the template I chose is that it doesn’t leave a lot of options to customize my website. I would prefer a lot of more of my corporate color scheme on the site taskbars, etc.

STEP 5. Select and crop stock images.

It’s not ideal to use stock images (especially of people), but I was focusing on efficiency and developing a visually appealing, good enough website. I used Canva to crop all of the header stock images to be the same size for consistency. I also added some company “bling” of my colors and font to some of the images. Was this a good or bad choice? The verdict is still out.

STEP 6. Get help and feedback from family and friends.

For the last 31 years, my mother has been my editor. A stream of text messages and four phone calls with my mother and all of the grammar edits were made. One Zoom meeting with my brother, and a long list of things “things I’ll eventually get to” with my website, branding, and business plan have been made.

STEP 7. Ask Hover’s support team for help with the DNS records.

I tend to just think I can figure out anything with some Google support. Transferring DNS records…not so much. So, after 45 minutes with my now best friend Mr. David J from Hover, I got it done. He went step by step to make sure I had everything done right. Thanks, Hover David!

STEP 8. Link your website to all of your social media and start promoting!

Note: I am not advocating this be your strategy for creating a corporate website. I’m merely showing how, with a little bit of dough, GRIT and scrappiness, a polished, good-enough web presence can be created.


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