That fresh new year feeling is still upon us, and that means a lot of people are thinking about getting a new look or starting a brand new blog or website to help them accomplish their goals for 2017. We absolutely love that!
Kory here! The one thing that usually holds people back at this point is the cost of getting a new look or launching a new site. It sometimes seems like you have to empty your savings to get things going. The good news, though, is that it actually doesn’t take as much as you may think to overhaul your brand or launch a new blog / website.
In fact, today I’m going to be sharing with you how to DIY your brand and website all while on a budget.
Get your domain name + hosting
If you don’t already have a website, obviously you have to start by getting a domain name and hosting for your WordPress site. Now, you don’t have to go with self-hosted WordPress at this point, but I’ve experienced the move from one platform to another and it’s far less of a headache to start where you want to end up.
The steps and decisions to get your domain are pretty simple. Obviously you want to pick a name that you like and purchase it from a domain registrar like NameCheap.
When picking your hosting, there are a few things you want to keep in mind. Most importantly, you have to decide if you want to be on a managed WordPress host or if you’d like regular web hosting. The benefits of having managed WordPress hosting is that usually the company will help make sure that your site is up-to-date, more security, a support team that knows WordPress specifically, and sometimes faster loading times. However, you’re going to pay more for managed WordPress hosting, and most of the time there are technical limitations (though you won’t necessarily see them; if you hired a developer, that person would).
With that being said, it’s up to you to decide what you’d rather go with. Flywheel is our preferred Managed WordPress host, and their plans start at $15 / month. While SiteGround is our preferred regular web host, as well as who we use for our site here, and their plans start at $9.95 / month.
[Tweet “Get your website up and running this month without breaking the bank? Yes, please!”]
Get a logo that matches you + your niche
After you’ve gotten the name of your site and domain name figured out, you can start planning out what you’re going to do for your logo while you’re still deciding on your hosting. There are two options here that will fit even the tiniest of budgets: you can create your own logo or you can get a pre-made logo.
Pre-made logos are a really great way to get something professional for your site even if you don’t have a lot of design experience. Even if you do have a little bit of design experience, creating something for yourself can often be frustrating, which makes pre-made logos even more worthwhile. The main thing to think about when you’re picking out your pre-made logo is deciding on something not just because it looks good but also because it matches you and your niche. If you’re creating content for a male audience, for example, it wouldn’t really work to have a logo with lots of pinks and flowers.
The cost of getting a pre-made logo can vary depending on where you get it and what extras you want. You want to at least have JPG files with a white background and PNG files with no background so you have a range of things you can do with your logos. Revisions are a nice bonus when you’re getting a pre-made logo done so you can ensure you like what you get, but they aren’t always included.
Find a pre-made theme that works for your goals
Once you have your site setup and you have a logo, now it’s time to start thinking about your site’s overall design. Some people are fine to jump right in with a custom design, but if that’s not in the budget for you, then it’s totally okay to get a pre-made theme. In fact, that’s what we’re here for!
When you’re picking your pre-made theme, you want to make sure that you’re selecting one based on your goals and not just because you like the looks of it. We keep goals and general website strategy in mind when we’re building all of our themes, so here’s an example with three of our themes that you might consider depending on your goals:
- Ava Mae is a basic theme that’s good for bloggers within their first 6 months to a year of blogging. You might pick this theme if your goals are to start a blog or to start taking your blog more seriously this year.
- Mary Ellen is a premium theme with a few more bells and whistles that’s good for those who have been blogging for about a year or more. You might pick this theme if your goals are to grow your email list, book more clients, or just get a more professional look for your website.
- Olivia is a deluxe theme with everything you might look for if you’ve been blogging for more than a few years and have your own business. You might pick this theme if your goals are to generate more sales, grow your email list, book more clients, or launch a shop.
The cost of the pre-made theme you get really depends on what features you want it to include and where you get it. Our themes are really budget-friendly and range in price from $39-$99.
[Tweet “Can you really DIY your brand + website on a budget? With these 4 items, absolutely!”]
Launch with a bang
Lastly, after you’ve gotten all of those things worked out, you can start getting ready to really launch your site. Obviously you don’t necessarily need anything extra here, but if you have some additional room in your budget, it’s totally worthwhile to work with someone to create a launch plan.
Having a plan on how you’ll build up hype for your launch is a great way to get more people over to your site once things are up and running. However, getting a customized launch plan can get really expensive. You shouldn’t have to pay thousands of dollars to get help launching your site, though, which is why we created our Launch with a Bang workbook. This will walk you through prioritizing your pre-launch tasks, choosing which pages belong on your website, a complete checklist of what to do before you launch and so much more.
The really great thing about this workbook is that no two people who go through it will come out with the same results. By working through it and keeping your goals and audience in mind, you’ll finish the workbook with a totally customized launch plan and only for $19!
If you’re thinking about launching your new site or even just overhauling your existing blog this year, using the items laid out above you can rest assured that you can go through your launch without breaking the bank! If you’ve gone through this before, we’d love to hear from you in the comments. Was it worth it to DIY your brand and website at first?
*This post contains a affiliate links for products we love and use ourselves.