I need a Website but not ready to hire a designer?
We all love a new year resolution, or a new goal but how about a new Website! I mean everyone is talking about having the best online presence ever – an all singing all dancing website must be the answer?!
I am going to talk you today about starting out and why you don’t need thousands for a website, neither MUST you hire a designer to get a website up and running.
But what you do need is some knowledge of what you are looking for, what you need, and why.
Let me start with the basics, you will need a domain name, that is your website name, you can purchase a domain name from thousands of places, often on offer if you buy more than one year at once. Just keep in mind you should own the domain and to keep the domain log in detail available to you.
The next thing you need is hosting and this is where it gets a little more complex but bear with me. Hosting is what you need to keep the website live and viewable to the public.
Some website template builders like wix, weebly, shopify etc have a monthly or yearly fee and that will include website hosting, whereas an independent host like Black Nova Designs and many others will have website hosting as a specific service rather than in a bundle deal.
Every single website in the world is hosted somewhere, so keep in mind who you might contact if the site went down, or if you needed support you need to be able to contact them.
Hosting can be anything from less than a pound per month all the way through to hundreds per month. (our most popular package is the Business Starter package at £70+vat per year). However, something to be aware of is that cheapest is not always the best option, we see a lot of websites under perform or struggle due to poor hosting, it is worth doing some research on the company you choose to go with.
If you are starting from scratch it is important to read up on what it is, you need and why. If from there you decide you fancy doing the website yourself or getting a designer at least you have a plan.
Our most popular hosting package is often used for WordPress websites, WordPress offers a plethora of free themes, premium paid themes or can be custom designed or coded with the correct knowledge. WordPress is just the platform or software the website will be based on, a little like your PC or laptop is based on Apple IOS software or Windows software.
WordPress on our hosting provides no product limits, no page limits and no additional fees (unless you need a premium plug in). So think that through for a second, a website with pretty much everything you need on it, unlimited pages that you can control and can build and you can adding hundreds of products to for no more than £70+vat per year…..
Let me compare that quickly to a different platform that offers a £20per month package, with fees for each product you sell, you have still built the site yourself but somehow it costs more – oh there also the chance you don’t own any of the platform or the template.
On the right hosting package, you build your WordPress website and have full rights and admin rights, this may or may not be important to you, but it is good to know either way. A WordPress website can be moved, changed, updated or switched to another host at any time.
Lets’ recap, you have the domain name, you have the hosting and decided on the WordPress platform and you get your log in details … now what…
So now you build the site, you add pages, find a theme, a colour scheme and start building. This is where WordPress and a premade template like wix, shopify is different.
WordPress is capable of so much and if you are not techy, you log in and see this dashboard of and freak out!! What have I done; I have paid for hosting because it was cheaper with no ongoing fee’s, but I can’t build a website…? Oh, jeez this was all a mistake!
Don’t PANIC! WordPress can be totally self-taught with a little time and effort (remembering that BND offer free support and advice) WordPress is one of the most widely used CMS platforms in the world, so of course that brings some conflicting advice, however in general most themes once you have found one you like , it’s easy to install, create and start going, knowing they are generally mobile responsive.
Even adding the shop part is free, integrating PayPal, stripe and adding products is simple.
A template like Wix, weebly and shopify has boxes, drag and drop and layouts already defined for you – so you do pay more but you are paying for convenience in some ways. There is little to no learning to do, but the packages, flexibility and support can be higher – of course that will suit some but just weigh up the options first.
So, basically, at the end of the day, just trust your own judgment and don’t be clouded by the aura of what hundreds of replies on your facebook post asking for a ‘website recommendations’ is going to say. Genuinely you will be bombarded by advice, options, fees and costs – it will blow your mind more than just googling it yourself.
To recap, domain name, hosting, and choose the platform – do you want to learn, spend a little time on a investment that down the line a designer or developer could potentially update for you, OR a premade slightly more expensive template that will do for now.
If you need any further advice or support email us