Anyone built their own website?

(27 Posts)
zippyswife Sun 09-Mar-14 13:21:00

I have an idea for an online business and want to give it a shot. I don't think I'll ever get rich from it so I don't want to put much capital in initally (and the fact that I just don't have the money!). Is this something that I can create myself? I am not a techy person but i do tend to learn quickly (when it's something I want to do!).

There appears to be lots of 'free' web builders- has anyone used any of them? Would you recommend any? Any hints/tips/advice would be gratefully received.

SylvanMuldoon Sun 09-Mar-14 13:27:34

I use Moonfruit. Fairly simple and easy to set up and maintain.

zippyswife Sun 09-Mar-14 14:26:05

Thanks for that. I'll have a look at it.

PTFsWife Mon 10-Mar-14 10:18:41

Depends what you want it to do - is it just going to be static content or do you need an ecommerce system? I just made a content website using wordpress and I have no technical skills or coding! If you need ecommerce, I have seen tutuorials where people use wordpress and woocommerce theme to make a pretty easy ecommerce shop.

I'm with SylvanMuldoon - moonfruit.com is really easy to use, you can choose from lots of different pre-designed templates and not expensive

zippyswife Tue 11-Mar-14 14:54:05

Thanks for your responses.

I will look at moonfruit and wordpress. Unfortunately I've just discovered a very similar website to the one I was planning on creating myself though. So I need to have a good think about whether it's worth me just cracking on and doing it anyway.

This is probably a "how long is a piece of string kind of question?" but how long does it typically take to build a website?

FirstWebsiteSuccess Wed 12-Mar-14 22:41:55

Personally I'm a huge fan of WordPress. There's so much you can do with it and it's not difficult to learn either. As costs are a major factor I thought you might be interested in costs for developing a website. If you go down the WordPress route then it's perfectly possible to get a domain name and hosting for around £70 per year. WordPress is free and the only other potential cost are some decent photos for your website. For this I would budget around £15.

NigellasDealer Wed 12-Mar-14 22:44:42

I used an organisation called GBBO (getting British business online) that have a free website builder in conjunction with google and/or yola.
link here

NigellasDealer Wed 12-Mar-14 22:45:43

it was very quick to start it, but I think it took about a week of working in school hours to complete it.

Fozzleyplum Wed 12-Mar-14 22:52:58

I'd make sure you choose a build your own website provider that allows you to have the code to the site (there is a proper name for the code, but it escapes me).

I built my site a while ago using Yola, but have now discovered that I'd have been better using a provider like Wordpress. The issue is that if you want to buy SEO services from someone other than your site provider, they'll need the code to optimise the site to best advantage.

HereIsMee Wed 12-Mar-14 23:14:40

I also agree about moonfruit and Wordpress. I built a site because I got absorbed into it and enjoyed the project but if you want to get going you can start with Moonfruit or Wordpress.

FirstWebsiteSuccess Thu 13-Mar-14 10:46:56

Just because someone else has already created a website similar to the one you had in mind doesn't mean you shouldn't pursue your ideas as well. Firstly competition is good and maybe you can add a slightly different angle to it to have a unique selling point. Personally, I'd go for it. You'll learn loads, probably start enjoying it and you never know where it might lead! Good luck.

zippyswife Thu 13-Mar-14 13:57:12

Thanks for all your responses. I was feeling a bit me about the whole thing after I found the similar site, but I'm buoyed by the positivity on here so I will give it a go. Thank you!

You will be able to see from my questions how much of a novice I am... But wondered what the advantages are to buying the domain name for more than one year? I have a couple of Ideas for names and they are both available (in fact I had lots of ideas but most were taken!- so I have two possibles that are still available).

My copy of "starting an online business for dummies" came through the door this morning so if you're lucky I'll stop bothering you with stupid questions! I've got to laugh a bit at the idea of me doing this. I generally shy away from anything technical and let Dh to it. But I just want to get my teeth stuck in to this and prove I can do it.

NigellasDealer Thu 13-Mar-14 14:00:14

good and by the way do not worry if there are other similar websites out there, i checked the other day and there are scores like mine, some worse, some better. it is how you market/advertise it that is important and having a USP. for example mine is that i will work any day they want, and that i give free samples.

zippyswife Thu 13-Mar-14 14:54:34

... I should have checked the edition of the "online business for dummies" book I bought (from ebay).... Was published in 2000 so is kind of out of date!

FirstWebsiteSuccess Thu 13-Mar-14 16:03:07

Do think carefully about the domain name. Do some research into what constitutes a good domain - not too long, easy to spell, easy to remember, no hyphens. The list goes on. Imagine you are on a TV program telling the audience the name of your new website. Is it easy to remember? Is it catchy?

Are you going for a .com or a co.uk? .com come with a 1 year registration and co.uk domains come with a 2 year registration. Most web hosting companies will just automatically renew your domain name each year until you tell them to stop.

A shame that the book is so out of date. Things really have moved on so much since then. Perhaps go to your local library and get a copy...

zippyswife Sat 15-Mar-14 12:19:42

The name I am toying with has no hyphens and I think it's catchy. It's so bloody difficult, anything I was thinking of typically is taken (unless you want hyphens). The name I am thinking of has hyphens and I think is catchy. I am surprised it is available on .co.uk.

It's only a couple of pounds for the year. Should I just go buy it? Do they hike the price up after the initial payment, once you have the website up and running.

The website needs the facility to rate and review and potentially (way down the line if it goes well) for people to leave messages etc. Can I do this in Wordpress/moonfruit?

Thanks for all your advice and input I am pretty excited about this now and I kind of want to do it for me (even if it isn't financially a success I feel it would be good for me to do if that makes sense).

FirstWebsiteSuccess Sun 16-Mar-14 16:58:52

HI again,

co.uk domains are certainly cheap and although there maybe a special offer when you buy it, renewal prices do not increase a huge amount. I would not expect to pay any more than £5 a year when it comes to renewing.

If you are going down the WordPress route you'll also need a web hosting account. I strongly recommend you buy the domain and web hosting account with the same company.

With WordPress you definitely have the option for enabling people to leave comments on your web pages/blog posts. As for rate and review there are plugins available for WordPress which may work for you. Have a look at this one - http://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-customer-reviews/screenshots/. Be sure to checkout the screenshots.

Hope this helps.

zippyswife Sun 16-Mar-14 20:29:59

Firstweb Thanks for getting back to me. Really appreciate your input. It really is a great help.

The reviews and ratings would not be for my service but for other peoples services (if that makes sense). But I guess that would work in the same way?

Can you recommend a company to get the domain and web hosting through?

FirstWebsiteSuccess Sun 16-Mar-14 22:34:45

I would need to look more closely at the plugin but see no reason why you couldn't use it for rating other people's services.

I don't want to sound rude but I don't really want to recommend any web hosting companies. If I do all that will happen is someone else will come along and say that company are awful and then recommend who they use. Then someone else will come along and moan about that company. Before you know it you are none the wiser!

Therefore you will need to start doing your own research. I'd start with some top 10 reviews of web hosting companies. Then compare prices and features on their shared hosting plans and how much their domains are. This slideshare should also help - http://slidesha.re/OujTgU

zippyswife Sun 16-Mar-14 22:49:33

Totally understand. I was looking at top 10 list of hosts and what to look for (from what I've read so far I think I want a commercial one rather than a free one) so I'll have a bit of a research.

This is all so new to me and technical things always used to make run for the hills but so far I'm loving doing this (not that I've actually done much yet other than talk and ponder hmm ).

Thanks again.

FirstWebsiteSuccess Mon 17-Mar-14 20:45:25

Glad to hear you're enjoying it. It really does get very addictive!

Yes, I would definitely stay well clear of free web hosting. Spending a few pounds each month is definitely worth it.

Please let me know how you get on.

zippyswife Sat 22-Mar-14 11:56:10

Thanks! I will do.

zippyswife Fri 28-Mar-14 16:47:43

Sorry everyone.....

I'm back with more questions....

I have decided on my business name (which I love and am really excited about) and was about to register the domain name. But this threw up a few more questions....

Do I need to register as a business before I buy the website?

Does it matter if my host is a US based company? Bluehost is recommended by Wordpress as compatible but this is US based, is this a good bad thing?

Do I need to all the add-ons i.e. site backup site protector etc?

One of the 'add ons' is make your website look great on a mobile site. This sounds worthwhile- is it (about £40 a year)?

I was looking at 1Page registration- anyone have an experience of this? Does it work well with WordPress?

Part of me thinks I am utterly deluded doing all this when I have no background of it/am so un-techy. The other part of me is so excited and just itching to get started....

FirstWebsiteSuccess Sat 29-Mar-14 12:36:49

Hi again

I wouldn't worry about registering the domain as a business at the moment. I would start off as a sole trader and if things go well then move onto setting up a limited company. That's what I'm doing.

I've also used Bluehost and they seem to be fine for WordPress based websites. It's a very good question about whether having a US based webhost can affect how a UK based business ranks on Google and things. Personally I don't think it does.

As for the other addons with Bluehost here are my views:

SiteLock Domain Security - I wouldn't bother with this one.

Site Backup Pro - I wouldn't bother with this one wither. Personally I do a manual backup of my websites.

Search Engine Jumpstart - A personal choice but again not one I'd go for.

Domain Whois Privacy - I do use this one, otherwise people will be able to look up your name and address.

However, these are personal choices so take the time to read a bit more about them on the bluehost website.

I'm not aware of the "make your website look great on a mobile" addon. I couldn't find it on the bluehost website. I don't think you need it because you will actually want to find a WordPress theme that is mobile friendly.

Again I'm not familiar with 1Page registration - perhaps you can send a link.

Hope this helps.

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