Here’s a shocker: 58 percent of businesses do not have a website. It’s unbelievable, right? But, research done by Weebly confirms it.

In this day and age, you’d think that even family dogs would have a website. But, it’s true. There are many companies that never made the jump to the Interwebs, and they’re paying the price for it now. Their customer base is slowly slipping away from them thanks to Google, and other search engines, that are building extensive local search marketing platforms. If you happen to have been living under a rock since 1996, here’s how to get a website up and running, pronto.

Hire A Designer
Hiring a designer is one way to get a website up fast. It’s also the most expensive. But, if you’ve got roughly $1,000 to $3,000, you can have a top-shelf website built for you in about a week or two weeks.

If you don’t want to spend quite so much, you can still get a fair-looking website, without a lot of  bells and whistles, for about $500 to $1,000. Keep in mind, though, that your ability to sell through the site will be limited – and it’s the ability to sell via your website that you’re after.

Companies, like Yodle, combine web design and marketing, so you’re basically getting both your marketing and your design rolled into one. This can be a good thing, since the developer can design your site around your marketing initiative. If you’re curious about this particular company, check out the Yodle reviews.

But, Yodle isn’t the only game in town. A simple search in Google for “web designer” will turn up hundreds of hits.

Get a Website Builder
A website builder is a DIY approach to building a site. Basically, a website builder allows you to build your own website using “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” editors (called “WYSIWYG editors”). These editors are usually a simple “point-and-click” or “drag-and-drop” affair. In other words, you build your website using templates, and all you really need to do is fill in some blank spaces and add your own personal business information.

They’re a bit limited in terms of functionality, but they’ll get you off the ground quickly. A few examples of DIY website builders include Weebly, Wix, Squarespace, Jimdo, and Webs. You can also use a domain registrar’s website builder, if they have one.

For example, GoDaddy.com has its own website builder that’s pretty easy to use.

There are two parts to building your own website (other than the actual template builder). First, you need a domain name. Then, you’ll need a hosting provider.

A domain name is sort of like your business address. Take “facebook.com” for example. When you type that into a browser window, and press “return” (on a Mac) or “enter” (on a Windows machine), you’ll be taken to the social networking site “Facebook.”

This is where the company “lives” online. The hosting provider provides the virtual “land” needed to host your site. So, think of the domain name as your business’s physical storefront and the hosting service as the land that that storefront sits on.

Domain name registration is something that you do just once per year (though you can usually prepay multiple years in advance), while hosting is something you typically pay for on a monthly basis (though some hosting providers allow you to prepay for a year.

What are you waiting for? Get out there and get off the list of the almost 60 percent of businesses that no longer have a significant competitive advantage.

Rose Donner has been working with small businesses for decades. As a marketing manager, she often blogs about the foundational strategies of branding and marketing in today’s world.