By now, you’re probably aware that it takes money to run a creative business, whether it’s a side-hustle or whether you want to make it your full-time thing. But without a website or customers to buy from you, you might not have a significant budget to get your site up and running. Or to make it look the way that you want it to, at least not yet.
And web design isn’t a skill that everyone has, so you might not have any idea how to do it for yourself. Some find technology overwhelming too.
In today’s post, I decided to provide several different options to choose from when it comes time to creating your website when you’re on a budget, so you can figure out what will work best for you.
First up: find a cheap course that will teach you just enough to create the bare bones of your site and then you can hire someone when you’ve saved a little bit of money.
There are a lot of courses out there that cover how to use the various website platforms. They are pretty affordable. So if you hunt around, you may find classes that cover Squarespace or Showit. Personally, I’ve created a course called WordPress Made Easy that can be found inside my membership website Creative Biz U for my clients to help them learn the basics of WordPress so that they can get their site up and running in under three hours (if they were to sit down and watch the whole thing all at once).
The benefit to taking a course like mine is that you’ll have all the information all in one place, where you can move through things pretty quickly without having to piece all the information together yourself. Not knowing how something works can make it near impossible to figure out what order you need to do things, so a course is a great way to have a game plan of what steps to do and in what order. I remember when I first started my photography business in 2011 and needed to figure out what the difference was between a page and a post on WordPress. It’s not a difficult thing to do once you know where everything is and how to do what you want. But without knowledge of how everything works or what the lingo means, you’ll have a hard time moving forward as I did.
That’s why I created my course, so you wouldn’t have to take the same amount of time to make progress on your goals. Now WordPress Made Easy doesn’t cover design, but it teaches you how to use the platform well so you can get the site up as quickly as possible. Then you can either learn the skills you need to make the design what you want, or you can start saving money that you earn from your business and hire a web designer to do it for you.
Either way, learning the basics can benefit you and your business. Even if you need to just jump into WordPress for a few minutes to change something last minute, it can be much more efficient to do it yourself and not have to wait for someone else to do it for you.
Another option is to find a web designer/consultant who can teach you through one-on-one lessons.
One of my favorite ways to help newer business owners to create their WordPress website is to teach them through one-on-one coaching. With my students, they usually work through my WordPress courses for homework and then we meet together to cover new information and to answer questions that may come up throughout the weeks in between calls. My students get recordings of all the calls that we have, as well, so they can go back and watch the information over and over if they need.
We often cover things beyond what is taught in my courses too, and I help my clients to do other things like learning quick techniques to improve the color in their photographs, learning some simple CSS coding so they can make tweaks to the visual design, and how to set up their email marketing through ConvertKit. Each student is different, so not every student needs to learn all of these things, but I teach them based on what their specific needs are.
They also get access to some of my favorite plugins and themes through my coaching program. So there’s no need to stress on what plugins to get or which WordPress theme to buy.
My specific program may not be what you’re looking for, especially if you’d like to have your website up on a different platform like Squarespace. But it’s always worth a shot to check on Pinterest or ask in Facebook groups if any tech wizards consult clients for your specific platform. Consulting is typically more than what you’d pay for a basic course, but you gain more knowledge than just how to use the software. My consulting is a mix of web design, branding, and business tips.
Learning how to do these things for yourself, even if you decide to hire out later, that means that you always know how to do these things moving forward. I’m a firm believer in outsourcing because you don’t like to do something, not because you simply don’t know how to do it.
And finally, ask your designer if they have any payment plans or if they’re willing to take payments and schedule your project when you’ve completed paying 50-75% of what you owe.
I honestly can’t tell you how other designers will feel about you asking for a payment plan, but the worst case scenario is that they’ll let you know that they don’t accept payments.
Personally, I’ve always allowed my clients to pay in payments because we all have to start somewhere. Other designers may not be as flexible as I’ve been in the past with my custom design clients, but you never know until you ask. If you plan to make payments over a more extended period and pay at least 50-75% of the fees before you even start with the designer, they may tell you that they can work with you. Whereas if you ask the designer for a lower rate, they may just send you packing.
Now, I will caution that some designers may feel that this is a hard request to complete because they may worry that if the payments take more than a few months that you might change your mind and want a refund. So if you plan to ask this question, be pretty confident (like 99% certain) that you’ll want to follow through with the actual design. And a lot of designers may not give you a refund, even if you haven’t started work with them so be sure to check the contract and to ask them about their refund policy before you sign up for anything. I honestly would not give a refund if you’ve just changed your mind or just because you want to work with another designer, and I have a feeling that other designers will be the same. You’ll have to keep in mind that designers have to carve out the time in their schedule to do your design, which means they will have to schedule other people at a later date. So if you happen to change your mind, you’ll cost them money and business, so really be sure you want to go through with the design before you even run it by the designer, and you might get a higher chance of them saying yes.
In the end, you want to try your best to make baby steps towards your goals. Hesitating on purchasing a basic course for $50 will not bring your closer to your goals of starting your business. But buying that course (and I’m not saying this just so you’ll purchase mine…please, buy the course that will help you to achieve your goals) and taking baby steps to start setting up your website, that will bring you much further than you can imagine. A lot of my clients begin with my WordPress course, and then when they can afford it, they’ll sign up for my one-on-one consulting program. They make small steps and strides forward, and you can do the same. Decide where you’d like to start and then figure out how you can get there!
Where are you at in the process of creating your website? Is there anything holding you back from getting it done? Ask me questions or leave comments in the comment section below, so I know how to serve you better!