How to DIY Your Website Design on a Budget

Need to get a website up and running on a budget? 

You need something that works and looks professional but you don’t want to spend a lot of money hiring a professional website designer.

…and that’s perfectly okay because there’s a ton of options to help you DIY your website design on a budget.

Quick warning though, the DIY route is an awesome way to save money, but it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s the best option for people who currently have more time than money to invest in their online presence.

The good news is, you don’t have to learn HTML and CSS to get a really good looking website up these days. 

Website platforms have come a long way over the past couple years, so regardless if you want to go with WordPress, Squarespace, Showit, or Shopify, you can absolutely get a good looking site without having to know any code what-so-ever.

If you’re not sure which website template is right for you, make sure to check out this post here: Which website template is right for you?

How can you create a DIY website without knowing ANY code?

Two magical words; Website Templates.

Website templates don’t require technical knowledge to use, which  allows you to have a visually attractive design without hiring a professional designer. 

Basically, what you do is look at a bunch of template options, depending on the platform you choose, and if you find one you like you’ll be able to swap out colors, images, and content to customize it to your brand and needs. 

Why a Template?

When it comes to creating your DIY website design on a budget you don’t HAVE to use a template, but it makes the entire process a LOT easier.

By using a website template, you’re taking out a lot of the guesswork and don’t have to build your website from scratch, which will save you a ton of time and some headaches.

And if you only have a small budget to help you get started, website templates are the perfect option because they’re a small fraction of the cost of hiring a professional website designer to create your site for you. 

But that doesn’t mean website templates are free.

Most options have a price tag associated with them, ranging from $30-$600+ depending on the design studio that created the template and the platform you’re creating a website on….which is still a steal considering most website designers start at $2000.

The down side about templates is that they’re not exclusively designed FOR your business, so they might not be the perfect fit and if you don’t know HTML or CSS, you won’t have complete control over tweaking the layout so it could get a little frustrating trying to make it look EXACTLY how you want.

(BUT you can always hire a website designer to tweak the template for you! That’s another budget-friendly option available.)

The PLUS side about templates is that website template designers typically keep best practices in mind when it comes to designing page layouts. So that means, they’re usually quite pleasing to the eye…which is important. 

If your website isn’t visually appealing, visitors that come to your site might not stay around long enough to learn about what you do, who you help, and how you can help them.

How do you use a website template?

Typically template shops pair install/setup directions with their templates.

Make sure to read the template features, details, and instructions before purchasing from that template shop. And if you have any questions about them, all of the template shops I’ve listed below also have an easy to find contact page so you should be able to reach out to the designers directly with your questions.

Not sure what to look for when looking at templates?

Before you go scouring the web for the perfect website template you should ALREADY have a pretty good idea of who your target audience is, what features you want your website to have, and what pages you plan to create on your website.

If you don’t know where to start when it comes to planning your website, I suggest starting with the ULTIMATE WEBSITE PLANNING GUIDE HERE!

Once you have your website planned out a bit, it will make the task of finding the *perfect* DIY website design template a lot quicker.

Alight, let’s get to the DIY Website Design Templates:

Template shops below are listed based on the platform the shop creates templates for. If you’re not sure which website template is right for you, make sure to check out this post here!

WordPress:

If you’ve never used WordPress before, just keep in mind that the platform itself comes with quite the learning curve. The reason for that is because it’s SO customizable, flexible, and packed with unlimited options for customization and adding functionality.

If you want to make sure your website does a certain thing, chances are, you can do it with WordPress.

But since WordPress is insanely powerful, it also comes with additional responsibilities.

When you have a WordPress website, you’re also responsible for it’s security (keeping everything updated, following best practices, etc) — if that sentence alone scares you, you can either hire someone to handle that for you or check out the other platform templates below.

If you’re looking for a good DIY solution to creating your WordPress website on a budget, starting with one of these themes is an awesome option:

  1. Coded Creative: https://codedcreative.co/shop/ref/24/
    • Starting at $39 USD
  2. BluChic Feminine Themes: https://transactions.sendowl.com/stores/5571/39270
    • Starting at $79 USD
  3. Launch in Style: https://launchinstyle.com/shop-collections/
    • Sales Page Templates Utilizing Elementor Plugin
    • Starting at $99 USD
  4. My Boutique Themes: https://myboutiquethemes.com/product-category/wordpress-themes/
    • Starting at $55.55 USD
  5. Elementor Page Builder: Learn more about Elementor here!
    • FREE version is awesome
  6. Divi Theme & Page Builder: Learn more about Divi here!
    • Starting at $ USD for a yearly license
    • This also comes with page layout packs so you don’t have to build your pages from scratch.

Remember:

If you’re going to utilize WordPress for your DIY website on a budget, remember that you’ll also need to purchase hosting. These are the 2 WordPress hosting companies I recommend:

Siteground: If you’re only purchasing website hosting with the intention of hosting only ONE website, the basic StartUp plan would be a great place to start. Click “Get Started” under WordPress Hosting and then “Get Plan” under the StartUp option.

WP Engine: If you’re only purchasing a website hosting with the intention of hosting only ONE website, the basic StartUp plan would be a great place to start. WP Engine will also give you access to the Genesis theme & child themes FOR FREE when you purchase hosting through them.

Squarespace:

Squarespace is an all-in-one DIY website option.

You DON’T have to purchase your own website hosting when you move forward with the Squarespace platform, and that’s why you pay Squarespace a monthly fee, because they host your website.

Squarespace comes with dozens of free templates to choose from, but sometimes they look too cookie-cutter.

So if you’re looking to amp up your Squarespace website design DIY style, check out some of these Squarespace template shops:

  1. Jessica M Studio: https://www.jessicamstudio.com/template
    • Starting at $260 USD
  2. 23 and 9 Creative: https://23and9creative.com/
    • Starting at $149 USD

Showit:

Showit is another all-in-one DIY website option.

Just like Squarespace, you will NOT have to purchase your own website hosting when you move forward with Showit. Your monthly Showit fee covers your website hosting.

Showit has a handful of free templates to choose from, but they might not reflect the style/look you’re going for with your website.

And if that’s the case, no problem!

Here are a list of Showit Template Shops:

  1. With Grace & Gold: https://withgraceandgold.com/shop/
    • Starting at $397 USD
  2. Fleurir Online: https://fleurironline.com/showit-templates
    • Starting at $497 USD
  3. Quill & Co: https://quillandco.design/shop
    • Starting at $678 USD

Shopify:

The Shopify platform is built exclusively for online stores aka eCommerce.

If you’re not selling products online, Shopify is not the right solution for you.

If you ARE selling things online but still aren’t sure if Shopify is the right platform for you, take a look at this post: Which website platform is right for you?

Most Shopify themes (aka templates), created by Shopify and other designers, can be purchased right through Shopify’s dashboard.

>> Click here to view free and paid Shopify themes <<

Why don’t I have information about Wix, Weebly, or GoDaddy website builder?

Because I don’t recommend them. They’ve caused issues with myself and my clients in the past and personally I find their dashboards and templates to be clunky. 

I believe that WordPress, Squarespace, Showit, or Shopify are the best options for most people looking to DIY their website.

After you choose a website template, what else should you keep in mind on your DIY website journey?

SEO, hands-down.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.

It’s what helps connect your website to the solutions that people are already looking for with search engines.

It’s how you can get your website FOUND in Google and snag some free organic website traffic.

Most people that DIY their website completely leave SEO off the table, which ends up making them do more work to correct it down the line.

By understanding SEO off the bat and implementing certain practices as you go, you’ll be increasing and improving your SEO and it will start to gain momentum.

Isn’t DIY SEO overwhelming & technical?

It doesn’t have to be. You just have to follow the right tutorials and prioritize.

Getting results from SEO starts with imperfect action.

How can you get started with DIY SEO today?

Download your FREE Roadmap to Successful SEO today!

How to DIY Your Website Design on a Budget

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