- October 27, 2017
- Posted by: matious
- Category: Uncategorized
Before we go further into the overview of building your own website, we suggest asking yourself a fundamental question. Can I afford to spend my time building a website? We are not saying there isn’t a lot of value in doing it yourself, but depending on your current skill set, you may have a lot of learning ahead of you. The knowledge you’ll gain is valuable, but only if you can’t invest your time more effectively in other ways. What we are really trying to say is that building a website can take a lot of time; it can be hard work, and it will have a lot of moving pieces. Weigh out the pros and cons of this project before jumping in. Remember that your website is the most important piece of your online real estate, so if you’re going to roll up your sleeves and build it yourself, be ready to invest the time to do it right or give yourself an exit strategy if you end up in over your head.
There are many routes to building websites. You can learn to program, design, and build your site from scratch, you can explore pre-built templates or online web applications that will build it for you, and you can even implement semi-custom solutions that are a little blend of everything. If you’re looking for solid results without the need to learn everything about web development, we would suggest looking into WordPress.
You can create powerful websites on WordPress without learning much coding. With a huge library of custom plugins and endless amount of pre-designed templates and a very thorough knowledge base, you can build and manage some really great websites. WordPress used to be used mainly by bloggers, but it has really evolved over the past few years as a very capable content management system. It is intuitive to use, easy to scale, and you can even delegate management responsibilities with its user account capabilities. WordPress is free for self-hosted projects and is ad supported if you have wordpress.com host it for you. They’ve hosted plans suitable for businesses, starting at around $99 per year, which allow you to have a custom domain name, no advertisements, and access to Advanced Options. What’s great with WordPress is you’ll find tons of premium templates to get you a foundation for your new website. A quick Google search for WordPress templates will leave you with ample options.
We recommend taking a look at themeforest.net. With over 4,500 WordPress templates, you’re bound to find something suitable, and you can even read the reviews and contact the developer for advanced support if you run into any issues. WordPress themes are easy to install and most of them come with responsive designs out of the gate giving you a head start with your mobile marketing. You’ll find more about hosted sites at wordpress.com, and for downloading and installing WordPress on your own server, you’ll want to explore wordpress.org. Lynda.com also has some great WordPress resources, so be sure to use those to your advantage if you take this route.
Now if you’re looking for an even simpler way, take a look at squarespace.com. You’ll pick from a selection of modern layouts, and then customize each element by using a site building wizard. Prices start around $8 a month and increase from there depending on your needs. The results are nice, and it’s easier to set up than WordPress if you consider yourself a novice. Both WordPress and Squarespace have e-commerce options if you’re doing any sort of online selling. They’re not a core focus for these brands, so if you’re going to e-commerce route, you should check out another popular site called Shopify.com.
They make it really easy to build and launch your e-commerce project. Moreover, they’ve got credit card acceptance built right in. You’ll want to explore the different pricing options and the fees associated with each, but the time and cost savings are worth it in many situations.
Now, we’ve only listed a few options; but whether you leverage those routes or opt for another solution, just remember to think through the total time investment to get your site up and running.