There are many individuals who are hoping to boost their income through the use of home-based retail sales. Indeed, there have been countless thousands of articles written around this subject in recent times. One of the issues which we will often encounter is the fact that some “gurus” believe that we have bottomless banks accounts.
While there is no doubt that it takes money to make money, there is simply no reason why we should need to stretch our financial boundaries in order to develop a functional and profitable website. This is why it is a good idea to take a look at a handful of ways in which you can build a website without breaking the bank. You might very well be surprised at the opportunities that are at your immediate disposal.
Free Website Builders
This statement almost appears as an oxymoron, as the majority of “free” websites are laden with hidden fees or they are only free to access basic options. It is important to stick with the tried and tested. In this case, we are referring to WordPress. WordPress is the largest website host, and for good reason. It will provide you with a user-friendly framework and its templates can be dragged and dropped into place without requiring a great deal of coding knowledge.
Another important point to mention is that unlike many other web hosting services, the basic form of WordPress is indeed absolutely free. Of course, you will first need to pay basic third-party fees to purchase and register a domain name. Still, this normally equates to no more than a handful of dollars per year (unless you choose top-end domain names).
Assuming that you have established a basic website, the next step will be to design it around the needs of your business. Once again, WordPress offers a host of downloadable templates and these can be integrated directly into your site. There are still some times when you might run into a slight problem. We are specifically referring to e-commerce in this sense. Let's now look at some of the hallmarks of a top e-commerce provider as well as why such a platform might be worth a small investment.
E-Commerce: Not What it Used to Be
One glance at the e-commerce solutions provided by WordPress might lead us to the false assumption that things have not changed in recent years. All of the most important variables such as SSL encryption and a host of different payment gateways are included and yet, there are times when this could leave much to be desired. We need to take into account additional variables such as:
– The ability to link this gateway to other websites (multi-channel sales).
– The levels of customer service being offered if you happen to encounter an issue.
– Whether or not the e-commerce solution is flexible enough to mirror the remainder of your website.
– If you will need to manually update the architecture in the future (potentially costing time and money).
The fact of the matter is that effectively selling products from home requires a solid digital foundation. Unfortunately, there can be times when standard WordPress templates call considerably short of the mark. This is why thinking outside of the box is always a good idea.
You are likely concerned that this next paragraph will tout the benefits associated with high-end e-commerce solutions that cost hundreds of dollars every month. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are many providers which are perfectly capable of adapting to tight budgetary requirements. Furthermore, you have many additional tools at your disposal.
One of the best ways to save money is to bench test a provider before committing to the services being offered. In the same respect, always take a look at what others have had to say. This is a great way to obtain an objective opinion and in turn, you could very well avoid a costly mistake down the line. It is also critical to mention that the majority of home-based sales e-books are extremely helpful and free of charge (regardless of what the gurus may claim).
Having said this, you should still be prepared to invest a small amount of money towards your online business. Much like any other venture, we get out what we initially put in (regarding time and effort). Do not expect to make a fortune overnight. Still, it is not unrealistic to assume that you might very well increase your income by a few hundred dollars each month. This sum may increase or decrease; primarily depending upon your approach and how much time you can devote.
While WordPress is a great way to bring your website to life, never forget that this is not the only money-saving option available.