Four Low-Cost Ways to Turbo-Charge Your Website

Creating the most dynamic and effective business website doesn’t have to break the bank. With reasonable effort, investment and a modicum of Web know-how, you can either build a website or significantly improve your existing Web presence -- for less than $200 in one-time costs.

To do so, you’ll need to know which tools are essential and how to use them. Here are four low-cost ways to get your site not only functional, but attracting customers and helping you close more sales.

1. Get a professional look.
One of the easiest ways to create an effective, low-maintenance website is to combine off-the-shelf content management systems with a pre-made Website template. That way you have a unique-looking site that’s distinguished from basic Web tools such as Google’s Blogger format or Typepad that can also support complex live content.

Among the most popular website hosting services that support free content management systems are WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal. All can manage dynamic content without any tricky or costly coding on your part.

Related: Nine Tech Terms You Need to Know Before Starting a Business 

The basic software packages for Joomla, Drupal and WordPress are free. Premium features and extensions, such as e-commerce tools, can be purchased but prices vary. Downloading and installing the basic and advanced versions of these tools does require an understanding of Web software. WordPress, however, offers a hosted version which doesn’t require any software installation.

You’ll also need a professional-looking template for your site that is compatible with your content management system. Options include New York-based Template Monster, which lets users narrow down themes based on business type and website purpose. Templates can cost about $50 each.

2. Analyze your website.
Not getting an accurate picture of how customers use your site might be the single biggest mistake online businesses make. Analytics tools can help you find out how many people visit your website, how much time they spend on each page and what service referred them.

One option is Visistat, which not only offers a number of web analytics services but also tracking of your online marketing campaigns and behavioral data on your site’s visitors. The average package costs about $50 per month.

Related: Why You Should Consider an IT Audit

But the most popular and perhaps the most effective analytics tool is Google Analytics. This free service generates deep, constantly updated visitor statistics. Installation usually only requires you to copy and paste a line of tracking code into your Website code, although some content management systems including WordPress make it even easier through plugins.

3. Get feedback.
Constructive criticism can be key to any business website. While full-on website testing technologies can be effective, they can also be costly.

Southborough, Mass.-based uTest offers access to a global network of 50,000 Web-connected testers and can create custom testing templates for everything from usability to security. Basic usability testing starts at several thousand dollars per engagement.

But there are numerous low-cost online testing services that can provide reviews. For example, Washington, D.C.-based Feedback Army lets businesses post four to six questions about its website, which are answered by online testers. Prices start at $20 for 10 reviews. For $39, Mountain View, Calif.-based UserTesting.com, can provide you with a video of an actual human tester using your website and talking about it as he or she navigates it.

4. Integrate social media.
Your website should link to your business’ social media accounts, but it’s even more important that your visitors be prompted to share your website through their own social media identities.

Most social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter, provide detailed instructions for how to insert “Like”, “Share”, “Comment”, and “Tweet” buttons onto your Web page. Depending on how your website is hosted, can be installed as simple as copying and pasting some code into a website template or downloading and installing a plugin.

Related: How to Recruit a Great Programmer as a Partner

They also provide feeds showing your Facebook updates, Tweets and other ways people are interacting with your website -- which can be some valuable information when it comes to knowing your customers.

Bottom line: Working through the fundamentals of good design, compelling dynamic content, properly installed social media and user data can be the fastest and most affordable ways to gets results online.
 

This article originally posted on Entrepreneur.com

--

Get stories like this on the Yahoo app and discover more every day.
Download it now.
Loading...
  • Investigators want to question engineer in Hoboken crash
    Investigators want to question engineer in Hoboken crash Associated Press - 5 minutes ago

    Federal investigators trying to figure out the cause of the deadly rail crash at the Hoboken station hoped to question the engineer and lift clues Friday from the train's black box recorders, though one ... … More »

  • Oil rises in New York, buoyed by OPEC cheer
    Oil rises in New York, buoyed by OPEC cheer AFP News - 7 minutes ago

    Oil prices finished higher in New York on Friday, two days after producing countries reached the consensus needed for a production cut. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, a barrel of West Texas Intermediate for November delivery gained 41 cents … More »

  • US stocks rally as Deutsche Bank surges AFP - 12 minutes ago

    US stocks rose strongly Friday on news that Deutsche Bank was close to a settlement with US regulators over its sale of toxic mortgage bonds before the financial crisis. US shares of Deutsche surged 14.1 ... … More »

  • Markets Right Now: Bank stocks lead a rebound on Wall Street Associated Press - 14 minutes ago

    The latest on developments in global financial markets (all times local): 4:00 p.m. Stocks are closing higher on Wall Street, led by big gains in bank stocks. Financial stocks were bouncing back Friday ... … More »

  • Grain higher, livestock lower Associated Press - 24 minutes ago

    Grain futures were lower Friday on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for Dec. rose 3 cents at $4.02 a bushel; Dec. corn advanced 7.50 cents to 3.3675 a bushel; Dec. oats was up 2.25 cents at $1.7825 a ... … More »

  • The Latest: Feds seek witness accounts of deadly train crash
    The Latest: Feds seek witness accounts of deadly train crash Associated Press - 41 minutes ago

    The Latest on a commuter train that crashed into a station in New Jersey, killing one person and injuring more than 100 others (all times local): 3:35 p.m. Federal investigators are asking anyone who witnessed ... … More »

  • Nutanix exceeds expectations in upsized IPO Reuters - 41 minutes ago

    San Jose, California-based Nutanix's share price exceeds the $13.40 value last placed on its shares in a 2014 funding round, an upgrade encouraging for the many unprofitable technology companies that, like Nutanix, have been weary of testing public … More »

  • Chinese yuan set to join IMF's elite currency basket
    Chinese yuan set to join IMF's elite currency basket AFP News - 42 minutes ago

    China's yuan is poised to enter the International Monetary Fund's elite SDR basket of currencies, elevating Beijing's banknotes into a family long exclusive to global reserve assets. A symbolic coup for policymakers in Beijing, the move represents … More »

  • Canada's Fiera buys Charlemagne Capital, eyes more deals Reuters - 49 minutes ago

    Canadian asset manager Fiera Capital (FSZ.TO) announced it has bought London-based Charlemagne Capital (CHAR.L) for 40.7 million pounds ($52.8 million) and said it is in talks with several other targets. The Montreal-based firm wants to have C$200 … More »

  • Deutsche Bank woes keep stocks on steep slide
    Deutsche Bank woes keep stocks on steep slide Reuters - 57 minutes ago

    A fresh slump in Deutsche Bank's share price sent European markets into a tailspin on Friday and left world stocks sliding toward their worst week in three months. Hit by a string of fines for wrongdoing and a sharp fall in its revenues, Germany's … More »

  • IMF sets new SDR currency amounts to reflect Chinese yuan entry
    IMF sets new SDR currency amounts to reflect Chinese yuan entry Reuters - 59 minutes ago

    The International Monetary Fund said on Friday it set new relative amounts of the currencies in its Special Drawing Rights currency basket, reflecting the entry of China's yuan for the first time on Saturday. The IMF said each SDR, the Fund's unit … More »

  • Global stocks jump, euro steady as Deutsche Bank rebounds
    Global stocks jump, euro steady as Deutsche Bank rebounds Reuters - 1 hour 2 minutes ago

    By Richard Leong NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stock prices across major markets rose on Friday, while the euro stabilized as Deutsche Bank's shares recovered from record lows on a report it is close to a deal ... … More »

  • Colorado gives marijuana candy a new look to avoid confusion
    Colorado gives marijuana candy a new look to avoid confusion Associated Press - 1 hour 49 minutes ago

    Wondering if that brownie contains pot? Colorado has you covered. A requirement that edible marijuana products come with a diamond-shaped stamp and the letters T-H-C — not just on the packaging but on ... … More »

  • Trump, Clinton feud by tweet-storm over beauty queen
    Trump, Clinton feud by tweet-storm over beauty queen AFP News - 2 hours 1 minute ago

    In an extraordinary clash that took an already bitter presidential contest down into the gutter, Donald Trump on Friday urged voters to check out an alleged "sex tape" of a former Miss Universe who backs Hillary Clinton, provoking the Democrat to … More »

  • Lagarde Urges China to Deepen Reforms as Yuan Joins Elite Group Bloomberg - 2 hours 19 minutes ago

    “The renminbi’s inclusion reflects the progress made in reforming China’s monetary, foreign exchange, and financial systems, and acknowledges the advances made in liberalizing and improving the infrastructure of its financial markets,” Lagarde said … More »

  • Q&A: Will Deutsche Bank become the next Lehman?
    Q&A: Will Deutsche Bank become the next Lehman? Associated Press - 2 hours 27 minutes ago

    Germany's biggest bank is looking shaky and some investors fear it could collapse and endanger the wider financial system. Some even wonder whether it might become the next Lehman Brothers, the U.S. bank ... … More »

  • Data storage provider Nutanix soars in market debut
    Data storage provider Nutanix soars in market debut Reuters - 2 hours 30 minutes ago

    (Reuters) - Shares of Nutanix Inc (NTNX.O), an unprofitable provider of enterprise data storage, soared more than 80 percent in their market debut on Friday, highlighting demand for tech offerings in what ... … More »

  • Here’s how dramatic BlackBerry’s fall has actually been
    Here’s how dramatic BlackBerry’s fall has actually been Business Insider - 2 hours 30 minutes ago

    BlackBerry is done making phones. The Canadian telecoms … Continued The post Here’s how dramatic BlackBerry’s fall has actually been appeared first on Business Insider. … More »

  • Sweden to join NATO strategic comms centre: director
    Sweden to join NATO strategic comms centre: director AFP News - 2 hours 38 minutes ago

    Non-aligned Sweden will join NATO's Strategic Communications Centre based in nearby Latvia amid heightened tensions with Russia in the Baltic Sea region, the centre said Friday. "Joining NATO's STRATCOM Centre of Excellence as a contributing … More »

  • Spain's Abengoa posts 3.7-bln-euro net loss in first half
    Spain's Abengoa posts 3.7-bln-euro net loss in first half AFP News - 2 hours 49 minutes ago

    Spain's debt-laden energy giant Abengoa on Friday posted a 3.7-billion-euro ($4.2-billion) net loss in the first half of 2016, as it seeks to seal a deal with creditors to ward off bankruptcy. The renewable energy firm has until an October 25 … More »

  • Oil heads for big weekly gain after OPEC-fueled rally
    Oil heads for big weekly gain after OPEC-fueled rally Reuters - 2 hours 56 minutes ago

    Oil prices were on track for their largest weekly advance in more than a month on Friday, supported by planned OPEC output cuts, but profit-taking after a two-day rally kept benchmark crude contracts below the key $50-per-barrel mark. Both Brent … More »

  • OPEC oil output hits record on Iraq, Libya boost - Reuters survey
    OPEC oil output hits record on Iraq, Libya boost - Reuters survey Reuters - 2 hours 56 minutes ago

    OPEC's oil output is likely to reach its highest in recent history in September, a Reuters survey found on Friday, as Iraq boosted northern exports and Libya reopened some of its main oil terminals. The increase comes despite lower output in top … More »

  • Dutch summon Russian ambassador over MH17 comments
    Dutch summon Russian ambassador over MH17 comments AFP News - 3 hours ago

    Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders has summoned Russia's ambassador to the Netherlands over "unacceptable" comments by Moscow criticising a report into the downing of Flight MH17, officials said on Friday. "Responding to the presentation of the … More »

  • Deutsche Bank shares swing wildly amid stability concerns
    Deutsche Bank shares swing wildly amid stability concerns Associated Press - 3 hours ago

    Shares in Deutsche Bank swung wildly on Friday, touching a record low before roaring back to life, amid speculation about the stability of Germany's biggest bank and the European financial system. Having ... … More »

  • Check out the top-secret secret design studio where Ford created its GT supercar
    Check out the top-secret secret design studio where Ford created its GT supercar Business Insider - 3 hours ago

    Ford The Ford GT has been on an … Continued The post Check out the top-secret secret design studio where Ford created its GT supercar appeared first on Business Insider. … More »

 
Recent Quotes
Symbol Price Change % Chg 
Your most recently viewed tickers will automatically show up here if you type a ticker in the "Enter symbol/company" at the bottom of this module.
You need to enable your browser cookies to view your most recent quotes.
 
Sign-in to view quotes in your portfolios.

MARKET MOVERS

  • Most Actives
    Most Actives
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.152-0.008-5.00%
    N21.SI
    0.12+0.01+12.15%
    40F.SI
    0.115+0.003+2.68%
    40E.SI
    0.113+0.007+6.60%
    43E.SI
    3.97-0.05-1.24%
    Z74.SI
  • % Gainers
    % Gainers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.186+0.025+15.53%
    AWS.SI
    0.12+0.01+12.15%
    40F.SI
    0.164+0.016+10.81%
    40N.SI
    1.35+0.11+8.43%
    U19.SI
    0.475+0.035+7.95%
    NC2.SI
  • % Losers
    % Losers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.36-0.24-40.00%
    AWG.SI
    0.20-0.06-23.08%
    AWI.SI
    0.27-0.03-11.48%
    BQO.SI
    0.30-0.03-9.09%
    5VP.SI
    0.265-0.025-8.62%
    BKA.SI

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    1.3633-0.0007-0.05%
    USDSGD=X
    1.5324+0.0024+0.16%
    EURSGD=X
    1.7673-0.0008-0.05%
    GBPSGD=X
    74.3130+0.242+0.33%
    SGDJPY=X
    5.6876+0.0036+0.06%
    SGDHKD=X
    3.0337+0.0108+0.36%
    SGDMYR=X
    9,603.1357+60.4229+0.63%
    SGDIDR=X
    4.8902+0.0032+0.07%
    SGDCNY=X
    1.0439+0.003+0.29%
    AUDSGD=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    1,320.20-5.80-0.44%
    GCZ16.CMX
    19.24+0.05+0.24%
    SIZ16.CMX
    94.00-1.01-1.06%
    ^XAU
    2.21+0.02+0.98%
    HGZ16.CMX
    43.85+0.41+0.94%
    CLV16.NYM
  • Bonds
    Bonds
    TreasuryYield (%)Yield Change
    1.16+0.04
    ^FVX
    1.61+0.05
    ^TNX
    2.34+0.06
    ^TYX