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Tools to Revamp Your Website on the Cheap

Author: C. Curley Date: October 24, 2012

WebsiteRevamp

Learn simple ways to give your small business website a facelift.

Whether your company’s website lacks analytics or just looks a little humdrum, it might need a facelift. Nowadays, sprucing up your site doesn’t have to cost much. But with so many tools available, you should first explore your options to find out which ones will address your particular needs.

Below, take a look at some popular and inexpensive tools helping to revamp small businesses websites:

SEO Site Checkup

If your site isn’t attracting new business, it might lack basic search engine optimization capabilities. When clients approach The Content Factory in Pittsburgh, Pa., owner Kari DePhillips says their websites typically lack a proper SEO foundation.

The first thing DePhillips does is insert their URL on seositecheckup.com to determine what might be causing the problem. SEO Site Checkup provides recommendations for websites to load faster and rank higher for their search terms. You might still need a service to incorporate meta description tags or cache your Web pages, but at least you’ll know where to start.

RELATED: Use Split Testing to Get a Website Bounce

Plugins

Is your site too static? Plugins are web applications for adding new features such as audio-video capability and SEO optimization. WordPress provides thousands of these tools, from Akismet to identify spam in comment areas, to WP e-Commerce to sell products and services online.

Content Management System (CMS)

To edit content yourself, consider converting your site to a free blogging platform like WordPress or Tumblr. Nima Patel says that it cost $60 to convert the website of Plantation Inn and Suites—a hotel in Jackson, Ga., owned by her parents—to WordPress. The change streamlined the registration process overnight.

Previously, the company paid an outside service $900 annually to maintain a static, outdated website. “Every time I would look at it I would cringe,” Patel says. The new site has a sleeker look, enables guests to book reservations online and eliminates the need for third-party fees.

Here’s what Patel used:

  • GoDaddy—$20 to purchase a hosting domain (necessary if you want to eliminate "Wordpress" from your Web address).
  • ThemeForest—$40 to purchase a premium theme for a more attractive look.
  • Wufoo—a free Web application to add a registration form to the site’s homepage, which also tracks how many people have submitted the form and their locations.
  • Google Analytics—tracks total visitors to the site, how they found the site (Google searches, Facebook, etc.) and how long they plan to stay.
  • Google Maps—to display the hotel’s location on a map in Google searches.
  • WordPress SEO—a plug-in indicating which keywords to track on the site.

RELATED: 5 Cheap Ways to Boost Your Presence on the Web

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