Affordable Website Design pt. 3-Hosting

So whether you design and build your own website or hire me to do it, let’s continue with what the process of setting up a small business website entails.  Once you have chosen your domain name-your first & second choice most likely won’t be available at this point. You’ve come up with something good though, and bought it.  I use and recommend Bluehost to my clients.  Even the official WordPress.org site recommends them.  The way I’m about to outline is the most independent way-a bit easier is to just use Intuit or Homestead if you want to do it yourself.  One drawback with them is whether you can access and download the files for your website if you want to move it somewhere. Since I dont’ use them I’m not sure if you can.  The process I would use and recommend allows you to do that.

The next step and it’s often an all in one process, is to get hosting for your website.  Hosting is basically a way of saying you own a domain name- ValleyFinestCarRepair.com,  now but your files needs a place, a location to live. That’s what hosting is!  Again check out Bluehost, their customer service is excellent, they are based out of Utah.  Usually super helpful and patient techs.  I prefer them to Godaddy, which is another popular host.  At this time for $6.95 it’s $3.95 a month Bluehost offers:

  • Unlimited Domain Hosting
  • Unlimited GB Hosting Space
  • Unlimited GB File Transfer
  • Unlimited E-mail Accounts
  • Free Domain
  • Free Site Builder w/ templates

Most companies are all pretty similar, don’t get overwhelmed trying to compare stats that don’t make sense to you.  For the small business, even medium sized business this is more than you need. The average price for hosting at various companies is around $3.99-$10 per month.

All the various companies (once hosting is purchased) offer free website builder programs-some are easier to use than others.  Bluehost gives access to easy set up  with 1-click, of a WordPress site via the control panel. That simply means it’s installed as a blank-you would then have to add info, images, decide layout/colors and add additional “plug-ins” or functionality options.  Also with Bluehost you get the tools to set up a website using either Drupal or Joomla systems.  The latter is easier to use, if you are going to do this yourself, though not as easy as setting up a site using WordPress.  WordPress, Drupal and Joomla are what are called CMS-content management systems.  Don’t let the name WordPress fool you as it was at first used only for blogging.  It is now used as a popular base for websites/blogs by folks from Martha Stewart to Jay-Z.   WordPress is “open source” meaning-lots and lots of developers are always contributing to it.  It’s not locked down and owned by one company who controls it’s development. For you or a web designer, especially one that is affordable, that’s awesome as there are lots of starting points, beautiful templates some free and some premium to build a site from.

I, like many website designers in the affordable price range, use WordPress as our architecture, to build a custom site on.  For the  client a website built on a straightforward CMS, means they can easily update their website if they choose-adding content, even adding pages is easy.   So I’ve made setting it up sound easy, so what are the benefits to using a website designer?

Saving you lots of time, as a newbie there is a learning curve, you could probably design a decent site in a few days to two weeks.  The factors depend on your level of comfort with techy stuff and your visual design awareness.  A website designer has training in setting up an appropriate site for your business-and altering a template to create a custom look for you.   Working with you to get colors and ease of navigation right, as folks will navigate away from a poorly designed site!  With no design background it’s easy to end up with a plain and unattractive site if you do it yourself.  Also they can optimize your site with proper key words so folks can find it when searching.   Good luck and any questions shoot me at viviwill (at) yahoo.com.  Or book a free website evaluation of your current website.

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