10 Important Tips For Building A Great Website On The Cheap

The following article was sponsored by Alex Oni

Imagine for a moment that websites were cars. It’s a well known fact that women prefer to be with men who drive Ferraris as opposed to those who drove Mazdas and, as a result, a lot of misguided men often try to purchase or lease cars that they can barely afford all in an attempt to attract the opposite sex.

In much the same way, people often spend thousands of dollars to build a website hoping that the fancy logo and spectacular design will attract a lot of visitors and keep them coming back. Unfortunately this hardly ever works. The good news is that, just like there are cars under $15,000 that will attract Candice Swanepoel and her friends, you can also get yourself a good looking website that won’t bankrupt you and still get a lot of visitors. The trick is of course to know what features you should spend money on and what features you are better off implementing yourself or leaving out entirely.

But who am I and why should you listen to me? Well after nearly seven years of building websites and working with clients including Johns Hopkins University, Gold’s Gym, Tax Council, AVIS and host of bloggers including Roosh himself (I have worked on several projects on ROK), I believe I am in a position to offer some advice on how people without an IT background can employ cost effective methods when building a website.

Below I am going to give you some important points to keep to heart. They will save you time and money so please pay close attention.

1. Learn the basics of web development and WordPress

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The most important point of the bunch. If you teach yourself how to build a website, you can save yourself a lot of money and time. While there are technically advanced aspects of web development that only a professional web developer would be able to work on, knowing the basics will arm you with enough knowledge to get your website up and running. Then you can proceed to hire a professional for the more complicated work.

WordPress is the world’s most popular tool for building websites and its user friendly interface is perhaps the main reason why nearly 70 million websites have been built with it. The best thing about using WordPress is that you can become quite proficient at using it if you can dedicate about 6 hours to learning how to use it.

Please be sure to check the special offer I have exclusive to ROK readers only about my WordPress courses at the end of this article.

2. Develop a plan for your website

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If you don’t have the time to teach yourself web development, before you set out to talk to a web developer make sure you plan how you want your website to function. The best way to do this is to imagine that you are a visitor browsing through your website. What would you expect to see or do when you visit your website? As an example, if you are looking to launch a blog like ROK, some questions to ask yourself include:

  • Will readers be able to subscribe to a mailing list?
  • Is there an e-book that I want to offer to my readers to download?
  • Will visitors be able to share my blog posts on social media?

And so on. Now you don’t have to have everything all planned out from the beginning, as you can always add extra features later on, but the more information you are able to provide the developer from the very beginning, the better.

3. Look at a similar website for reference

One of my favorite recommendations. If you want a website, try to find one or two existing websites that closely match the plan you have in mind for your own website. This is the easiest way to describe to your web developer the kind of website you want.

4. Have a budget

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There are two ways most web developers charge. The first is per hour and the second is a fixed amount that both of you will agree on. I highly recommend the second option if you are looking to build a website from scratch, as it ensures that you don’t spend more money than you can actually afford.

Inform the developer how you want your website to function and how much you are willing to spend. If the developer feels the amount you are offering is fair, game on. If not he will negotiate for a higher budget, and both of you can move on from there. If you do have a website already and are just looking to hire a developer to make some changes or tweaks, paying by the hour is the way to go.

5. Functionality trumps design

The two main components of any website are its functionality and design. The functionality refers primarily to what visitors can do on your website—e.g read posts, sign up to a mailing list, pay for goods, etc. The design is the general look and feel of the website. Most people think of the design before the functionality, which is a huge mistake.

Take a look at Reddit and craigslist. These two websites have very mediocre designs but the millions of people who visit these websites don’t care about that. Of course I am not saying the design isn’t important, but if you are on a tight budget, building out the functionality of your website should be your priority while the design can be implemented later. One more thing: do not spend hundreds of dollars on your logo as a few of my clients have done in the past. Go to fiverr.com and hire one of the top logo designers out there to design your logo for about $15. Unless your logo is the Nazi swastika, no one is going to really care what it looks like or how much text shadow was applied.

6. Responsive features

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A website is said to be responsive when it looks good on any device. This means your website would look just as good when viewed on a mobile phone as it would on a laptop or tablet. As most people now spend more time using their phones than computers, its a must that your website is built to be responsive.

Search engines like Google also take responsiveness into consideration when grading websites. The good news is that most WordPress themes are already built to be responsive so it shouldn’t cost you that much to have it implemented on your website.

7. Keep things simple

Do you really need that image slider or animation playing in the background? Did you see some fancy scroll effect on another website and feel that it would also look good on yours? While such features may improve your website’s design, they do come at a price. They not only cost extra money to implement, but they could also slow your website down. Think twice about adding such effects, or at the very least keep them to the barest minimum.

8. Use screenshots

Say you already have a website and need some work done on a particular section. Take a screenshot of the area on your existing website where you want some work done and also use arrows to point out the exact spot where the work should be done. This is one of the best ways to help your developer get the job done effectively.

9. Avoid web designers

Not to drive potential clients away from my sister profession, but individuals who know the basics of WordPress can save themselves hundreds if not thousands of dollars by simply spending 20 minutes researching themes and selecting one that they like. With tens of thousands of themes available, I am sure you will find at least one that you like. Of course if you can afford to hire a web designer to design your full website, by all means go for it—but I personally think it’s a waste of money.

10. Do not spend money on SEO

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There are hundreds if not thousands of companies who all claim they can get you on the first page of Google. While they certainly can, the truth is unless they employ black hat techniques (which are illegal and will get your website blacklisted if found out) they will use the very same methods that you can do yourself and quite easily too.

Did you know that if you create a sitemap and add alternative texts for all the images on your website, you will drastically improve your chances of getting your website on the first page of Google? Did you also know that you can perform both actions in less than 10 minutes if you know what you are doing and that both actions require zero experience in programming? This is how easy it is and shows the true power of knowledge, but Dick Weiner who thinks SEO is rocket science will go and spend hundreds of dollars.

Be smart and don’t be like Dick Weiner. Educate yourself on the basics of SEO and save yourself some money.

There you have it. Some tips to help you build a decent website on a shoestring budget that will promote your business.

If you are interested in taking action and not just reading through this article, sign up today for my WordPress courses where you will learn everything from picking the right web host, installing WordPress, themes, plugins, widgets, WordPress SEO and security. The first course ‘From Novice to Ninja: The Complete WordPress Training Course’ contains 93 video lectures and is packed with content guaranteed to provide you with all the knowledge needed to be able to build and manage your own website. I am offering the course at a huge 50% discount exclusive only to ROK readers, so you pay $99 as opposed to the regular $199. I have only got 25 coupons for this price so if you want to add an extremely important skill to your resume today for less than a hundred bucks click right here.

The second course is titled ‘Build Awesome Webpages Fast without Code’ and is targeted at students who already know the basics of WordPress. By taking this course, you will learn how to create web pages of any design or layout without the need to write a single line of code. I am offering the same deal as well, so you pay only $34 as opposed to the regular price of $69. Click here to get the deal.

Both courses comes with a 30-day back money guarantee as well, so you have got nothing to lose. And did I mention that I also offer FREE consultation to all my students as well?

If you haven’t got the time to take my courses but still want to build a website, or already have one but are in need of a professional web developer, why not contact me. I don’t claim to be a web guru, rock star programmer or whatever fancy title a lot of other professionals come up with these days, but I will get the job done and won’t charge you an arm and a leg either.

If you are still in doubt about the quality of my online courses or web development abilities perhaps a review from Roosh himself might convince you.

I hired Alex because I had over a dozen programming issues to work out for Return Of Kings. From small bug fixes to more complicated re-writes, Alex successfully tackled them all. He has shown such strong expertise that I’m ready to do more complicated programming projects with him. Our communication is also excellent. I recommend his work.” – Roosh Valizadeh

UPDATE: There are only 17 coupons and 18 coupons available for the first and second courses respectively. If you are interested in these courses at the huge discounts, sign up now before all the coupons are used.

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54 thoughts on “10 Important Tips For Building A Great Website On The Cheap”

    1. “What kind of shenanigans are you pulling here, Roosh?”
      Well, Roosh is using electrolytes!
      It’s what plants crave!
      Oh sorry, that’s doktor jeep’s line… oh well..

    2. It is a new scheme. You first have to go through the initiation process, then they tell you it was about Kratom from the start, but they have a special strand. Exclusive to the brotherhood.

        1. Fuck entertainment. On the other hand, I do like to watch movies. You know, it is fascinating. With all this meditation shit, I am starting to watch movies I saw years ago and they now mean something completely different to me.
          A great example of this is to compare the first Terminator movie to the newest one. Such a HUGE difference. Back then, you have this cold-gaze war-hardened bad boy dude whom Sarah swoons over and gives comfort through sex. He is totally confident in his mission despite being in love with her. He tells her what to do and tolerates nothing less. When she asks him to tell him something, he annoyedly asks: ‘Like… What?’ He does not distract himself with small talk or the like and is just focused on what must be done. Another aspect is the soundtrack. The Terminator actually is a representation of death. He seems fuck dangerous and scary. The soundtrack connects with death and the darkness of the world, underneath. The cops are just idiots in that movie.
          In the new movie, Sarah is super empowered woman and the guy sent to fuck her is super shy and awkward about it all and swoons over her like a little lost puppy. It becomes a big fucking romantic love drama. And the Terminator that is the threat? It is all just slapstick and flying action heroes and orchestral sound. What the fuck? We are talking battles of life and death here and what you give us is orchestra? This is ridiculous. And how does the hero get the girl? By showing – ashamedly – how much he loves her. Which makes her totally melt. I laughed out loud in cinema, as I often do these days.

        2. All work and no play makes Tom a dull boy.
          That said, I was thinking the same with the Terminator movie. They destroyed Reese’s character and made him into a punk. What a disgrace. It made me want to go back and watch the original to cure me of the infection caused by the new Terminator. Fucking Khaleesi.

    3. Well you have a website that is not full of advertising, you don’t pay a subscription or membership, you don’t have articles that plug products dishonestly.
      You should read the sponsored posts and be glad that someone is pumping money into the site.

    1. I agree completely, and would stress points 1, 5, and 9.
      I can’t tell you how many people I have advised on these very things because they were getting ripped off simply because they didn’t understand how simple doing websites is and were paying someone to do what they could have easily done themselves.
      And something can be aesthetically attractive and functional, but no matter how pretty it is, if the end user can’t find it or figure out how to use it, they will move on.

    2. Are…are you HONESTLY asserting that this article about how to actually generate revenue online is somehow SUPERIOR to prosaic, inspirational, and awe inspiring “14 ways to add edge to your style” ?
      GTFO.

    1. A good website allows you to earn enough money and with that you can eat properly and have a good diet with balanced electrolytes.
      It’s what you need.

        1. Actually the response to this one by and large is rather positive.

  1. As someone else who does work in a similar vein at times, I agree pretty much 100%
    We occasionally build custom websites. For most sites – what we call “brochure” sites – we send people to wordpress.com, or squarespace.
    We are glad to spend a few hours – after asking exactly the questions presented here – getting them configured and set up with wordpress (or Drupal or Joomla – but prefer WP) on a more flexible host if needed. We can and do provide graphic design services, but ESPECIALLY for people on a budget recommend starting from or finding outright a template that does 90% of everything that is not a showstopper and fits their needed look and feel/tone.
    The only time we dig in with a custom design is when we need to add something not easily dropped in via WP plugins, like sites integrating live MLS data or customized presentation of product info for manufacturers.

  2. I would also add that all websites moving forward need to scale for mobile. More than a third of traffic now comes from mobile, and that will only increase in the future. Make sure that when your site is being built or you are building it that you make your designs mobile friendly and scalable. If you are going to hire a web developer make sure the portfolio is solid and that he is capable of building a custom WordPress theme from scratch. Doesn’t matter if you need a custom theme from scratch or not but this will tell you whether or not the dev has a good grasp of HTML, CSS, PHP and JQuery, and isn’t just a WordPress ‘developer’ or ‘guru.’ He is spot on when he says don’t bother with a designer, they are glorified Photoshop monkeys for the most part. Very few are any good and most will build you a impractical piece of online installation art. And bill you for it. Been in web development and programming for a while, just my thoughts.

      1. Digital design will be bigger than ever as more products and services shift to digital. Do you have any sort of specific aspect of digital design that you’re interested in?

    1. Hey Bushido, thanks for your comment. Its nice to see a fellow developer here sharing his thoughts. You are absolutely right about the need for the developer to be comfortable with HTML, CSS, PHP and JQuery. Its really quite shocking how many ‘WordPress Gurus’ i have met at tech meetups that don’t know the first thing about these core web programming languages.

    2. I can tell.
      I fucking hate “web designers” with a passion. I’ve been in the industry since around 94. They are insane prima donna’s that don’t know jack, temperamental, usually gay and split hairs over stupid shit. They have just enough technical skill to work within say, photoshop and all else should “just work, cause.”
      Never, never hire a designer. Get a developer with design skills. Most of those assholes died a painful death because sites needed to adapt to mobile platforms. Designers are not artists, artists are artists. You need a developer that understands functional use not some assholes abstract “vision” of something.
      I’ve gotten out of the publishing side but it was a real shitstorm of “webmasters” and “social media” experts. Hopefully it changed.

  3. I know this section of sponsored posts is reserved for Kratom references, but as someone involved with web applications used by many hundreds of thousands of concurrent users, I find it laughable that WordPress is being suggested as “something to learn”. It’s one of the worst platforms out there, built on probably THE worst web programming languages (PHP) on the planet. If you want a website that requires a ton of extra work to stabilize and secure, by all means use a PHP based one like WordPress. If you value your sanity, stay as far away from PHP as possible.

    1. “I find it laughable that WordPress is being suggested as ‘something to learn’”. Really? Are you a web developer yourself or are you pretending to be one? If WordPress is so bad, how about you suggest an alternative.

    2. They have monkeys at the NIS trained to use WordPress to communicate with scientists.
      WordPress has historically had a lot of security issues and so has php. Be on guard. If your going to use it down load and host it yourself. Of course that requires a lot on experience and skills in other areas like Apache, Nginx, Mysql, mod_security linux in general.
      Simply wishing isn’t going to make anything happen without a good foundation and a genuine interest.

      1. Well, to be honest the Web in general has a history of flawed security, not just WordPress. Regardless of what you use to build your site security will need to be a consideration. WordPress is used by a lot of high profile sites including Spotify and BBC America for a reason. It isn’t right for every project, but to dismiss it’s solid built in CMS and vast plugin library is short sighted. Why all the hate on PHP? It has an easy to grasp syntax and makes scalable sites a lot easier to build. What do you suggest instead? Code each page of your site as static with HTML an CSS? Bootstrap?

  4. Thank you for having much better sponsored posts!
    A side note: Has anybody else noticed this problem, or is it just me? I find it difficult to find the links to click through for the sponsored ads; its probably because I’m colorblind, which I know affects a lot of men. The one at top with the text “Alex Oni” took some searching; the ones in the body were easier because they’re boldface, but didn’t really pop out, so I skipped over them at first. Is it possible to add some more contrast to those links, or is it something I can change on my browser?

  5. This is actually pretty solid information. The unfortunate thing is that if you want to have a mailing list using MailChimp, AWeber, or other similar e-mail marketing tools, you are going to have to add your address to each e-mail that you send, or you run the risk of being fined heavily due to the CAN-SPAM Act.
    This is why I don’t have an e-mail subscription options as of yet.

  6. Not a fan of PHP or WordPress in general, but the actual advice in the article is pretty good regardless of the platform being advocated. Keep in mind that YMMV and just because I don’t prefer PHP/Wordpress doesn’t mean that you won’t.

    1. Out of curiosity, why don’t you like PHP? It has a pretty easy to grasp syntax and is great for building scaling sites.

  7. Number 5 is the most important aspect. I remember when I used to work for this one male long time ago. He hired me to be a website designer and programmer. Everytime I come up with a website design, he didn’t like any of them so he would draw a website template or ask me to copy off other’s which I didn’t like. I told him copying others is mediocre and he told me “no need to reinvent the wheels” and I said, why don’t you draw me a website template if you think mine sucks. He said “I will do”
    I make website template for the ones he told me to make according to his own design (drawn on a white paper) so I coded that using HTML5, CSS3 and little bit of Javascript. He would change his mind so frequently like a female. One minute I’m doing a lot of work and he would change his mind right when I’m done making a widget or navigation menu bar and he would go like…”never mind I change my mind, make me this one”. The website needed functionality and he would focus more on the design. The retard was always complaining that work wasn’t be progressed and he would tell me to step up a notch or two.
    The whole point was for me to make a customer database website where someone inputs their name, number, address for a furniture website and making contact us page. He focused so much on design that I ended up spending a month or two just on design. He tried to extend that for another month and then kept complaining about why the work is being slowed. The retard never understood the importance of functionality. Design is critical but functionality is more important.
    If this website comment box didn’t work well, would most people come here? Yeah some people would come here to read, but others come here to read AND comment. If the comment box didn’t work right, there wouldn’t be need for some people to come here.
    The dude never understood the word “demand”. When I realized how retard he was, it was good that he “let me go”. Some people don’t deserve to be business owners and he is one of them.
    FUNCTIONALITY OVER DESIGN. Number 5 is most important.

    1. Haha, I feel your pain man. I have worked with quite a number of designers and i know what it feels like.

  8. An enlightening sponsored post. I’ve never ventured into webdesign or anything like that but would like to learn about it. I code in python and c# to automate my surroundings typically. Any suggested texts or tutorials in going from a heavy math to heavy object oriented environment?

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