What do I need to do, how much will I need to pay, to get a website online?

What You Will Need

1/ A Domain Name

The domain of your website is basically its address - www.bewowedhere.com

2/ A Website Host

In order to see the website, to go in and click around, you’re going to need a web hosting service.

The web host is like a shop landlord and your website is the shop you are renting from them.

The domain name tells us where to go, the web host allows us to have a space to show off our wares.

Where to Find Them

You may have heard of GoDaddy, Bluehost, HostGator, WiX, Squarespace, Weebly… In addition to providing domain names (domain name ‘registrars’) these companies also host websites.

How Do I Make it Look Good and Serve its Purpose

Some web hosts give you the tools to create the look of your website too. Brilliant if the words code or coding make you flinch, perhaps because of the cost and because it can’t be controlled by yourself; you don't want to rely on a web developer time-wise or money-wise.

Squarespace, Showit, Wordpress, WiX and many more offer simple templates which you can adapt to your needs. If you are looking to create place for your blog or an information page you can be up and running in a matter of hours and you’ll be in control of editing it yourself. WiX is very intuitive to use, which makes it easy to get creative and experiment with looks and layouts as you go.

Are You an SME?

If you are an SME with a brand to nurture and more information to show it is worth reading up on branding, perhaps taking a short course, before having a go at creating your own website using the free templates available from the companies mentioned above. Then map out the navigation of your site so that it is clear to your viewers what you offer. It can quickly become messy without good planning.

Designers, like myself, create more complex templates for companies to use, which can be edited to include your brand colours, logos and fonts. Other companies like me include Tonic, BrandUp and Propeller.. Pinterest is also full of templates to choose from - check that they have enough space for your contentIts important to consider your brand; your company values and tone.

How Much Am I Likely to Pay to Have My Website Online?

WiX, site123 and Wordpress (non template blog) allow you to set up a website for absolutely no cost, providing a free domain name (but which does feature their name e.g. www.auchenblaepreschool.wixsite.com/apsg or www.bakingfanatic.wordpress.com ) There will also be a small band advert at the top of your pages in WiX and 123 and random adverts will appear on your Wordpress blog.

The free WiX website is great for our local pre-school group who need to keep costs down but want to provide a great service including an informative website. Perhaps you just need a landing page (a simple webpage with no menu leading to other pages, usually used for information, an event or a promotion) where the address will not be shown as it will be reached via a link from an email or a message.

How Much Will My Website Cost Me Annually if I Have the Domain Name I Want (Without the .wixsite or .wordpress etc. Wording)?

Given that your name is available (and do try .co and .uk - they’re becoming more popular with the saturation of .com and .co.uk addresses; and show that you’re new and fresh!) you will next need to choose a web hosting package from your chosen host.

To take me as an example:

I went to GoDaddy to find my domain name www.rockonthehill.co.uk which I bought for three years at £15.99/year as part of a discounted price.