If anything but free is too expensive…

I was advising a landscape designer the other day – a one-man band, country based – who would like a website but was finding the prospect of putting one together as a big job.

I asked who might use the site, and it was really only people who had been referred to him, so it was a place he wanted to showcase his work.

Like most of us, he didn’t have a big budget handy to pay someone to do the site. And though I recommended a number of great third-party providers than would be quite cheap – under $1k for the whole lot, content management, hosting and even a custom design – it still sounded like a lot to him.

So I thought a great place to start was with something like this – a blog. Blogging has gone far beyond the concept of an Internet diary and has moved into the realm of a great potential – and search engine friendly – business tool.
You can bit some great design templates through the various blog sites out there. We found a lovely, semi-abstract plant one for him. You can use free add ons, like zookoda, to allow people to subscribe to your blog or conduct email marketing. You can upload pictures of your jobs and tell the stories about how they’re created. You can add your business profile and your contact details. You can even buy a cheap .com of your own (TPP Internet will sell you one for two years for around $70) and automatically re-route it to your blog’s domain, so it gives the appearance of a stand alone site.

So if your actual level of investment available to build a website is ZERO, give a blog a go!