Blogging

How to Build a Professional Website Under $20

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Prologue

A website shows the online presence of any individual, organization, or entity. It helps the people to exhibit information on a particular topic or promote their brand.

Different bloggers may also create their websites for their personal blogs. For such purposes, they may create a free website.

This is because when creating a free website, these bloggers do not receive many extensive customization features.

But the features which they receive are surely enough to help them in creating a free website for personal blogs.

Similarly, some organizations and companies want to create a professional website. To create a website, these companies require a website building platform that provides several extensive features.

Generally, such website building platforms come with paid plans.

This article aims at describing different website building platforms at relatively lower prices. These website builders can help you to create your professional website below $20.

The list below also consists of the website builders that have free plans. But this free plan does not include the custom domain and website hosting.

So, organizations and individuals may be required to purchase this domain and website hosting at extra prices. But this additional price will also not exceed $20.

You can find out certain hosting and domain providing services at fair prices below in this article.

Website Building Platforms

1. WordPress.org

wordpress.orgWordPress.org is a famous website building platform. It is an open-source platform that helps different bloggers and businesses to create their websites. This means it is free to use.

But the organizations and bloggers need to pay for hosting and domain services. You can purchase the domain name for approximately $10 per year.

Similarly, you can get a web hosting service at $4 per month.

Besides these costs, you can get access to the features of WordPress.org for free. These features include different designs, templates, layouts, and theme directories.

The theme directory is used by millions of users all over the world. You can even create your theme on WordPress.org.

This software consists of more than 8000 themes. These themes are mobile-friendly as well. They help you to enhance the look of your web pages.

You can always modify the layouts or themes of your web pages on this platform.

Another feature of the software is that it is search engine friendly and helps you to work with social media. This means you get full ownership of your content.

This website building platform is also highly extendable. This means the users can link different functionalities with this platform. All this is possible due to the different plugins of the software.

WordPress.org has more than 58,000 plugins. Sometimes the users may require some premium plugins or themes.

In these cases, they can purchase these plugins and themes at extra costs. By incurring these extra costs, you can gain more control over your website.

So, you can choose this blogging platform to get your websites created. It provides you with full flexibility and control over the content of your website.

URL structure: Since the platform is self-hosted, the URL structure depends on the domain.

Migration feature: There is scope for migration.

2. Gator

GatorGator is a website building platform owned by HostGator. It helps people to create different types of websites as an online store, business website, or blogging website.

The software has an easy to use interface and drag and drop features.

The easy to use interface makes sure that people with no technical information can also use the platform. So, you can easily create your website without any knowledge in the field.

This software also provides SSL certificates and domain facilities. Besides this, you will never find any security and backup issues on this platform.

This is because the hosting service, HostGator, checks for the security and backup of the websites.

The platform also helps to enhance the design of your website through different themes, templates, and layouts. This software has more than 200 professional templates.

These templates are included in paid plans of the software.

You can easily search for any template according to your category and needs.  This is because different themes are categorized based on different topics.

These categories include beauty, fashion, architecture, services, restaurants, animals, real estate, etc.

The themes and templates of Gator are mobile-friendly. This means that they will automatically adjust with the screen resolution of your devices.

Moreover, you can even customize the design templates according to your company’s needs. Customization can be done based on the custom fonts, colors, and pictures.

The top ten themes on HostGator are as follows:

  • Professional law firm
  • Personal Diary
  • Musician
  • Fashion Boutique
  • Newspaper blog
  • Design
  • Fine cars dealership
  • Retro pastels
  • Marketing and advertisement
  • Freelance Copywriter

The users get all such features in the paid plans of the platform. The paid plans also provide a money-back guarantee to the people. The software has three different paid plans.

The first plan of Gator is the starter plan. The cost of this plan is $3.84 per month. This plan provides different features like:

  • Free hosting service
  • Free domain
  • SSL certificate
  • Site-in analytics
  • 24 hours of support services
  • Customizable templates
  • Drag and drop builder tool

The next plan is the premium plan costing $5.99 per month. The premium plan includes all the features of the previous plan. It also has some additional features.

Then comes the e-commerce plan. This is the last plan and it also costs below $20. The price of this plan is $9.22 per month.

It has all the elements of the above two plans. Also, it has additional e-commerce features as well. So, you can choose any of these three plans. They are available below $20 with many features.

Migration feature: There is scope for migration.

3. Tumblr

TumblrTumblr is one of the most famous microblogging platforms. It helps the users to share short-form content and media content with their viewers.

The users have full control over the website’s design features.

The platform also has an easy-to-use interface with several designing features. Users can edit HTML texts to create custom themes.

They can also choose a theme from a list of free themes of the software. These themes or templates provide you control over the look of your blogs and websites.

Some of the free themes of Tumblr are as follows:

  • Indy
  • Wicked
  • Salvia
  • Tumblr Official
  • Ten Toes
  • Basic
  • Art She Said
  • Persona
  • Yuki
  • Ashley
  • Svbtle
  • Hipster

Besides the theme, Tumblr also helps people to share and reblog their content. Bu using the designing options, you can easily post different multimedia videos and audios on Tumblr.

But Tumblr also has certain disadvantages. These disadvantages include the feature of the software, where it gives more importance to graphical visual content.

Due to this, this platform makes it difficult for writers to create their written blogs.

Moreover, the platform requires people to incur additional costs. These additional costs are incurred to get certain features like third party themes, applications, and custom domain.

But you can get the inbuilt features of the platform for free.

URL structure:

One level – yourwebsite.com

For example – xyz.com

Two or more levels – Blog.yourwebsite.com

For example – abc.yourwebsite.com

Migration feature: There is scope for migration.

Also Read: SEO Trends to Look Out for in 2020

4. Squarespace

SquarespaceSquarespace is a drag-and-drop website building platform. The platform has blogging capabilities and is great for bloggers.

But different business owners can also create their e-commerce or portfolio websites using Squarespace. These business owners and brokers receive several services on Squarespace.

These services include domain registration, web hosting, and e-commerce functions.

This software also has certain other inbuilt features. These features include different designs, layouts, and templates.

All such things help to enhance the look of your web pages. Squarespace has more than 100 templates in 14 different categories.

The categories make it easier for the users to find a template according to their preferences.

The categories available on Squarespace are as follows:
  • Blogs
  • Business
  • Online store
  • Services
  • Non-profit organisations
  • Portfolios
  • Travel and tourism
  • Fitness and health
  • Weddings
  • Restaurants
  • Music and entertainment
  • Travel and tourism
  • Photography
  • CV

After choosing a suitable template, the users receive SSL encryption services. In the end, if they have any query, they can always contact the 24/7 customer support of the software.

To avail of all these services, the users need to pay a small amount. This small amount is in the form of two plans. The first plan is called the personal plan. The personal plan costs $12.00 per month only.

The second plan is known as the business plan. The price of the business plan is $18.00 per month. These plans provide unlimited storage and bandwidth to users.

The business plan also has certain additional features as compared to the personal plan. These features include marketing and e-commerce elements.

If the users pay annually for these subscriptions, then they receive a discount on a free custom domain. But in case they do not pay annually, then they need to purchase the domain name at additional costs.

You can always opt for the 14 days free trial of Squarespace. This will help you to test the platform.

URL structure – If the user purchases the domain, the URL structure depends upon this domain. But the format of the free custom domain goes as follows:

[Your username ].squarespace.com

For example – xyz.squarespace.com

Migration feature: There is scope for migration.

5. Wix

WixSimilar to Squarespace, Wix is also a drag-and-drop website building platform. It has blogging capabilities, which makes it a good software for bloggers and small business owners.

Artists who want to share their visuals or animations with their audience can also use Wix to create blogs.

Wix provides excellent hosting services to users. These users can make use of the free stock images of the platform to create their websites.

Moreover, the users do not need to have any technical skills to create a website on this software. This is because Wix has a graphical interface.

Another advantage of using this platform to create a website is its excellent templates and 3rd party applications. The software has more than 800 free designer templates available.

These templates will help you to customize the look of your website.

Besides the templates, Wix also has several designing options. These designing options are built with HTML5.  So, you can automatically design your website due to the artificial intelligence on this software.

But the disadvantage of the themes is that you cannot switch your template’s theme. Rather you can transfer the parts of a template to your website.

Different categories on which you can get the templates on this software are as follows:

  • Food and restaurant
  • Music and entertainment
  • Small businesses and services
  • Fashion and beauty
  • Design

To get access to all the features of the platform, you can sign up for its different plans. Wix has a free plan and two paid plans. The free plan provides limited features to the users.

These features may include limited storage capabilities and advertisements. So you can opt for the paid plans of Wix to create a website at relatively lower costs.

The first big plan of Wix costs $13.00 per month. This plan provides the users with 2GB bandwidth and 3 GB storage. Under this plan, these users can also purchase a custom domain at additional prices.

The next plan is an expensive plan costing $39.00 per month. It provides users with more storage and extra features. These extra features can include free domains, VIP support, etc.

URL structure – username.wixsite.com

For example – xyz.wixsite.com

Migration feature: There is no scope for migration.

6. Typepad

TypepadTypepad is a website building platform meant for professional bloggers and organizations. The platform has an easy to use interface with a variety of features.

One of the best features of Typepad is the number of different themes, templates, and layouts that are available.

The designing needs of the people can be fulfilled through the custom CSS feature of the platform. The designers can work easily with CSS and the class structure of Typepad.

The custom CSS helps the users to modify the existing layouts and create new layouts. The users can add background images or edit the existing styles to create advanced designs.

But there can be situations when the custom CSS does not satisfy the requirements of the designers. In such a case, the users can make use of the advanced template sets of the software.

An advanced template helps the users to customize their designs. This is possible by editing the CSS and HTML Typepad template tags.

But you should use the advanced templates only if you have strong knowledge of CSS and HTML skills. Once you apply an advanced template, you need to make the changes by coding manually.

You cannot modify the templates because the software does not have a graphical user interface.

Hence, the advanced template set of Typepad provides you with full control over the design, layout, and HTML structure of your website.

Whenever you create a new advanced template, some default features occur in it. These features include the asterisk theme and a two-column right layout.

But you can even modify this layout and theme according to your preferences.

Now let us have a look at other features of Typepad. These features include the monetization feature and Google friendly posting features. The software can also help you with live video and audio podcasts.

To get access to all such features, you need to subscribe to the paid plans of Typepad. The first paid plan of Typepad is called the plus plan.

This plan costs $8.95 per month. It provides you with different design templates, domain facilities, and unlimited storage.

You can also get your website created by using the second plan of Typepad. This plan is known as the unlimited plan costing $14.95 per month. It has all the features of the existing plan.

This plan also helps you to create an unlimited number of blogs and customize the look of your website.

The next plan is the premium plan. The price of the premium plan is above $20. So you can use the above 2 plans to create your website below $20.

Before choosing any of the plans, the user should also make use of the 14 days free trial of the software.

This trial will help them to either subscribe to the plans or avoid using the software according to their needs.

URL structure – [your username].typepad.com

For example – xyz.typepad.com

The users can also purchase their domain. In such cases, the URL structure differs.

Migration feature: There is scope for migration.

7. Weebly

WeeblyWeebly is a web-based website builder with drag and drop features. It is one of the best website building platforms for people who do not have knowledge in the technical field.

To create their website, the users can choose a template. After this, they need to place their content in different areas of the template to build their web pages.

This software has a wide range of professional templates. These templates range from ultra-modern templates to bold and classic templates.

You can choose any of the free templates according to your design requirements. Weebly also provides customization options to the users.

This means the users can modify the look of the website templates. They can do this by altering different web design elements like the font, header, color scheme, etc.

Thus, the templates of the software are free and flexible to modify. Moreover, every template has an advanced theme editor.

This editor helps in custom development by providing the users with full control of HTML and CSS codes. The codes make sure that the templates are fully responsive.

Responsive websites adapt the screen resolution of the devices on which they function.

You can also further personalize the website design. This is possible through the powerful background editor of Weebly. For this, you can choose high-resolution stock photos from the Gallery.

You can even select different filter options, advanced blur, and other customization features for such pictures.

Apart from the designing services, Weebly also has great SEO services. You can even connect the platform with Google Analytics.

All such services make the platform a good choice for bloggers and different business owners.

To get access to all such features, you need to subscribe to the plans of the software. The software has a free account. But to use the free account you have to purchase a custom domain.

The cost price of this domain depends upon the service provider. The approximate price to get a domain is $6 per month.

You can even get access to some advanced features of the software. For this, you need to subscribe to the paid plans. The price of the paid plans ranges from $12 to $26 per month.

URL structure: The bloggers need to purchase the domain and their URL structure depends on this domain.

Migration feature: There is scope for migration.

Also Read: Best Business Ideas to Earn Online Money

8. Write.as

Write.asWrite.as is a website builder that is owned by a free and open-source software called WriteFreely. The platform helps users to create their websites with a minimalist interface.

The users should create the websites with the stripped-down editor of write.as. This editor makes sure that the pages of the website are automatically saved due to the autosave feature.

The software also has several other elements as well. These elements depend upon the type of plan which you choose. Write.as provides two plans to its users. The first plan is the free plan.

The free plan allows you to post under your username or anonymously. It does not have any advertisements as well.

So, you are assured of your text being displayed impressively on the website without being hidden by the advertisements.

Under this plan, the users can make use of markdown syntax and plain text to create their website. Markdown syntax helps users to enhance the look of their website through special characters.

For example, you need to type asterisks to start creating bullet points. Similarly, you can place a link in your website by typing [link] or use hashtags to create headers.

But the pro plan provides you with additional features. It provides you with a custom domain and can help you to create more than three blogs.

It also provides you with several custom themes. You can even customize these themes according to your preferences.

This feature helps you to design the look of your website as a novel, blog, notebook, or newsletter. You can get access to all such features at only $4 per month.

9. site123

site123site123 is another cheap website building platform with an intuitive user interface. This software has several features that help users to create their websites.

One of the best features of site123 is its different free templates. These templates provide full control to the users to govern the look of their website.

The categories on which you can get templates on this software are as follows:

  • Blog
  • Restaurant
  • Business
  • Photography
  • CV
  • Event
  • Music
  • Landing page
  • Designing
Other important features of the software are as follows:
  • Comment reply tool
  • Blog post scheduling
  • Comment auto-confirmation facility
  • RSS
  • Social media facilities

Those who want to avail of some extra features can visit the application market of site123. This platform has different paid and free applications.

These applications can help the users to modify the look of their websites. Some of this software include Google Analytics and Live Chat applications.

So, to use this website builder, the users need to subscribe to its different plans. The free plan provides the users with 500 MB storage and 1GB bandwidth.

But the paid plan has some more elements. The price of the paid plan is $5.80 per month. The features which this plan includes are free domain and E-Commerce capabilities.

The next plan of this platform which comes under $20 is the advanced plan. The price of this plan is $19.80 per month. Other plans of site123 are greater than $20.

So, you can use any of the two cheap plans to get a custom domain and create the website.

10. Webnode

WebnodeWebnode is yet another website building software with a user-intuitive interface. It helps the users to create their websites without any limitations on the pages.

The users can even change the SEO settings for different pages.

Webnode also provides a wide range of themes and templates to its users. These templates and designs are quite modern. This is because Webnode has modified its editor to make it more modern.

Moreover, the templates are responsive. This means they can easily adapt to the screen of the device on which they are operated.

You can always change the template according to your preferences. Changing the template keeps the information and content of your website the same.

Different categories on which you can search for templates are as follows:

  • Restaurant and food
  • Music
  • Business
  • Personal
  • Blog
  • Portfolio
  • Wedding

These categories provide many templates. The name of some of these templates are:

  • Nivea
  • Trendy
  • Atlax
  • Selfie
  • Clouds
  • Stylic
  • Breeze
  • Sticky
  • Inspire

The URL you will get for free: customname.webnode.com

11. Mozello

MozelloMozello is a Latvian website building platform. This is one of the most popular platforms to create a multilingual website. The users can create such a website for free on Mozello.

Other features of Mozello include SEO services, an online store, and a blog. The free plan of the software also has 500 MB of storage.

But the biggest disadvantage of Mozilla is its editor. This editor restricts the control of the users on their websites. For example, you can add certain features like a Gallery only on a Gallery specific page.

This reduces the control and flexibility of the platform.

But other features can help you to customize the look of your website. These elements include the predesigned layouts, templates, and themes of the software.

Mozello has 48 predesigned layouts. These layouts are mobile responsive. This means they can adapt the resolution of the mobile on which the website is operated.

The layout consists of different colors. But the users can even change the color or choose different font options for their layouts according to their requirements.

To create sites on this platform, you need to subscribe to the different plans of this software. Mozello has a free plan as well.

This plan provides a wide range of features. You can get your site address, 5 GB storage, marketing features, design templates, mobile device support, etc. in this plan.

The next plan is the premium plan costing $7.00 per month.

The Premium plan provides different designs, 50 GB storage, marketing features, mobile device support, an online store for 30 items, and a free domain name to the users.

The last plan is the Premium Plus plan. The price of this plan is $14.00 per month. It also provides free domain name, mobile device support, marketing features, and millions of possible designs to the users.

The Premium Plus plan also has unlimited storage and an online store for unlimited items for its users. Hence, you can choose any of the paid plans to get your website created for under $20.

URL Structure: customname.mozello.com

12. Strikingly

StrikinglyStrikingly is a website building platform that belongs to California. It consists of a number of free one page layouts. This means you can create a single-page website easily on strikingly.

But if you want to create multiple pages, then you will have to subscribe to the paid plans of the software.

The platform also has an easy to understand editor and several responsive themes and templates. These themes and templates belong to various categories like:

  • Personal
  • Event
  • Blog
  • Organization
  • Startup
  • Store
  • Service
  • Business
  • Company

After choosing any of the above themes, the users can also opt for website editing. The software has an Android and iOS application that supports website editing.

In case of any query, the users get support from the software team.

You need to subscribe to the various plans of strikingly to start using it. This software has a free plan. The free plan provides you with several features along with a subdomain.

But you can also opt for the paid plans of a strikingly. The first 2 paid plans of Strikingly, called Limited and Pro are below $20. These plans provide a custom domain and other features to the users.

URL Structure: accountname.strikingly.com

Migration feature: There is no scope for migration.

Also Read: How Long-Tail Keywords Can Improve Organic Traffic?

13. Bookmark

BookmarkBookmark is a website building platform that creates websites using artificial intelligence. The artificial intelligence puts information on your website using Bookmark’s AiDA assistant.

The software also provides different features and modules that can help you to increase the usability of your website.

The editor of the software can create responsive websites. This means the websites can adapt the screen resolution of the device on which they are operated.

You can even modify the designing elements of your website. All this is possible through the step by step procedure of AiDA.

AiDA stands for Artificial Intelligence Design Assistant. Bookmark uses AiDA to help you create your website.

You just need to answer a few questions, and then AiDA uses the information you have provided to build your website in just 2 minutes.

As your website grows, AiDA makes suggestions to improve your site based on your business goals.

To get your website created on this platform, you can opt for the different plans of Bookmark. Bookmark also has a free plan.

The free plan provides different features like a bookmark sub domain, free SSL security, free hosting, and a mobile responsive site. You also get 1GB bandwidth and 500 MB storage under this free plan.

But you can subscribe to the paid plans to get a custom domain.

The first paid plan of Bookmark is the professional plan. The price of the professional plan is $14.99 per month.

The professional plan provides a custom domain, free hosting, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited storage.

The next plan is the business plan, which costs more than $20. So you can opt for the professional plan to get your website created below $20.

URL structure: yourname.bookmark.com

Thus, these are some of the website building platforms that can help you to create a website at relatively lower costs.

Website Hosting Platforms

Some platforms also include domain and web hosting services in their costs. But sometimes you may purchase domain and web hosting services separately from the website building platform.

Such a situation can occur when you opt for the free plan of a website building platform. Free plans generally do not provide a domain or web hosting service.

In such cases, you can avail of such services below $20. So, here are certain web hosting service providers and domain registrars that can help you to get hosting at lower costs.

1. Bluehost

BluehostBluehost is one of the most popular web hosting service providers. This software has officially been suggested by WordPress to its users.

The service provider even provides free elements to the WPBeginner users. These elements include a domain, SSL certificate, and discount on web hosting.

Besides this, the hosting plan of this provider also has other benefits. The platform provides free email addresses, free SSL certificate,s and unlimited disk space to the users.

The price of this web hosting service provider is $2.75 per month.

2. Hostgator

HostGatorSince 2002, Hostgator has been serving people with its web hosting services. Now, the service provider is one of the largest web hosting companies in the world.

The reason behind this is the fair prices and multiple features of the platform. The initial plan of Hostgator costs $2.75 per month.

All the plans of this web hosting service provider provide unlimited email addresses, bandwidth, and storage. WPBeginner is also hosted on the servers of HostGator.

3. SiteGround

SiteGroundSiteGround is yet another fast hosting service provider. This platform has also been officially recommended by WordPress to its users.

It provides excellent support to customers with some amazing features. The hosting services come along with a site builder, unlimited email addresses, and a one-click installer for Joomla and WordPress.

The price of this hosting platform starts from $6.99 per month. There are even some special plans for students and teachers. The price of student web hosting is only $1.99 per month.

Similarly, teachers can use SiteGround to get free hosting services.

4. DreamHost

DreamHostThis website hosting platform was launched in 1997. Hence, it is one of the oldest hosting service providers. Presently, the platform hosts 1.5 million sites.

This figure is enough to show the popularity of DreamHost.

The starter plan of DreamHost costs $2.59 per month. This plan provides a free domain name to the users as well.

Besides this, the users receive unlimited email addresses, free domain privacy, and free SSL. These users can also get one-click installers for different website building platforms.

Besides the hosting services, the website owners also need a domain name to create their websites. Some of the site hosting service providers mentioned above also provide a domain name to the users.

Also Read: Best Websites for Freelance Developer Jobs

Domain Registrars

But, people can even seek the services of a domain registrar to purchase a domain separately from the hosting service. Different domain registrars provide domain names at different costs.

Let us have a look at some of them.

1. Domain.com

Domain.comDomain.com is the top domain registrar in the world. Besides providing a domain, this platform also offers web hosting services and a website builder.

This company was formed in 2000. Since then, it provides different types of domain names to the users. The price of different domains on this platform are as follows:

.com – The price of the .com domain is $9.99 for the first year.

.blz – The price of .blz domain is $5.99 for the first year.

.digital – The cost of this domain is $2.99 for the first year.

2. Namecheap

NamecheapAs the name of this domain registrar suggests, Namecheap provides cheap domains to the users. The .com domain names cost only $8.88 per year.

Whereas the price of .org and .net domains is $10.98 for the first year.

3. Bluehost

Bluehost is a web hosting service provider. But along with the hosting services, the platform also provides domain name registration services.

The platform provides a free domain to its users for the first year. But this free domain is provided along with the paid hosting plan of the provider.

So, you can choose any domain and hosting to get your sites created through a website builder. You can even get all such services from the same platform at lower costs.

But if you want to get your website created for free, then you can have a look at our other article – “How to make a website for free?”

Authors

  • Efa Yasin, exhibits her witty personality, through her intriguing writings. Her works have been published on various websites, like NOGOZO and THETOPTOURS. With her forte being in English, she has conducted researches and concocted articles on various niches like marketing, travel and tourism, information technology, and many more.

  • As a Humanities undergrad, Anwesha Sen explores her creative side by writing about fields such as finance, education, marketing, and tourism. Her work has been published on various company blogs. She thoroughly enjoys traveling and learning about new cultures. Being a sucker for mysteries, she spends most of her free time watching documentaries on unsolved crimes.

Efa Yasin
Efa Yasin, exhibits her witty personality, through her intriguing writings. Her works have been published on various websites, like NOGOZO and THETOPTOURS. With her forte being in English, she has conducted researches and concocted articles on various niches like marketing, travel and tourism, information technology, and many more.

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