I know this comes up quite a lot on the forums, but I want a bit of clarification if possible?
I'm looking for the cheapest and easiest way to get a business website up and running, with little techie experience. I am not looking to sell anything on my site - just advertise my services and give links to facebook, twitter, possibly a blog etc.
So, I have bought my domain name (.com and .co.uk) for a few quid.
Now, I'm a little confused....
A lot of people recommend wordpress, so I went there first but to map the domain name to mybusinessname.co.uk and NOT have wordpress.com at the end of it, I would have to spend some money right? About 99. But for that I would get a website, email address and hosting.... yes?
Weebly is free, but I wouldn't get a mybusinessname email address, right? Just a website, with a few pages and a few options.
1and1 and 123reg are similar in their pricing - a few quid a month - but I would get an email address and website and hosting.
So price-wise, I guess wordpress and 1and1/123reg are all similar.
Am I right in thinking I CANNOT do this for free? i.e. have a professional-looking homemade website and email address with mybusinessname and hosting......
I just want to do something cheaply initially and then spend some money when I'm bringing it in!!
Yours, not so techiemum.
vistaprint do cheap websites - supposed to be really simple.
Tsohost has low cost hosting and a Wordpress installer. You would need to modify the name servers for your domain. See the admin interface of the company who supplied you with the domain name.
Cost from 15 per year. If your site gets popular you can upgrade the hosting easily, such as to the 3 per month package.
You will need some technical knowledge, though I found installing Wordpress to be quite easy using the hosting account admin system.
Wordpress is a blog though, you can have static pages but it's mostly for blogging. See www.nannynick.com as an example which has blog entries plus some static pages.
Do you really need email as somone@yourdomainname?
Your domain name registrar may well have some email provision, otherwise you may need to transfer the domain to your website host. Setting up email I find to be the tricky bit.
Could you use firstname.lastname@example.org as a starting point? That would be easy to create.
You may be able to set a catch all email account with your domain registrar which can then be forwarded to gmail. That way you could have incoming email as person@domainname but outgoing email as being sent from gmail.
I second TSO Host, there support team is brilliant and they'll likely do it for you if you cant get round there manuals. They seem to specialise in Wordpress hosting and your control panel has a lot of customisation for Wordpress making it pretty simple. 123-reg are unhelpful and slow!
You dont need to pay to map your wordpress name to your URL, you just need to set Wordpress template on the URL in hosting account you want to use when you've bought it.
With TSO I believe you can get hosting from as little as £12 for the year. If you want to use a proffesionsl Wordpress theme you can pick on up from here www.themeforest.net from as little as £20 but there are free ones around if you do a simple Google search.
I've built a few over the time and I am self taught, not particulalry techie.... YouTube is your friend!
I've used create.net which gives you website + email anyemail@yourdomain for 2.99 a month. It's the cheapest I found that does that. I found the design a little clunky to use but it's not bad to get going with...
Agree that Wordpress is perfect for your needs, but it used to be just blogging software now it can be full eCommerce or anything else. It's easy to install (takes about 3 steps), configure/tweak and manage but most hosts will help you with that.
You can get an email address with a weebly site- you just set it up with whoever you bought your domain name through. I bought my domain thru 123 reg and have a weebly site and it was very easy to set up the email address thru the 123 reg control panel.....
The cheapest host I know is M8 Internet - they start from £1 a year, so it's as close to 'free' as you can get. I wouldn't necessarily recommend them for a major site build, but they're certainly fine for getting a web presence up and running!
They offer the standard Softaculous Auto Installer, so you'd have Wordpress up and running in a few clicks through the control panel.
Feel free to PM me if you have any questions! I don't use them personally anymore, but some of my clients still do so I can talk you through control panel steps etc. if necessary!
You need to know that www.wordpress.com and www.wordpress.org are two different things.
wordpress.com is hosted by wordpress and you probably do need to pay if you want your own address. I haven't used wordpress.org but
wordpress.org is the same thing but the free version! You will need to pay for your own hosting, but you get wordpress for free. If you think you're up for learning some techie stuff I'd say go for the free version.
Also, if this is for a business, and you want to use your own name, and for it to look professional you need to either
- pay for a pre-designed template
- pay someone to make you a website
- or learn the skills yourself.
If none of these are possible, then you'll need to compromise somewhere.
You have a number of options. If you're prepared to spend a bit of money, here's a way to get the things you say you want.
WordPress.org- premium theme option
You need to be prepared to spend some money and learn some new skills, but in the end you should end up with a more flexible website which can grow with your business.
1. buy a domain name (you've done this, well done!)
2. sort out your hosting. If you are a beginner, please don't just go for the cheapest, it'll be a major headache! Choose something with good support and an easy-to-use interface. If it's hard to use and you have to wait ages for support it'll be a major headache and drain on your time. I highly recommend hostgator.com for example. They are reasonably priced (their hatchling plan starts at under £3 a month).
The best thing about them is that they offer 24 hour support via live webchat (and possibly phone, I'm not sure). Their helpdesk people are very helpful indeed and very patient with even the most stupid questions! Hostgator also has an easy to use interface and lots of shortcuts to do things like install WordPress with a couple of clicks so you don't have to go into the bowels of the website if you don't fancy it.
3. Choose a WordPress theme from a reputable site like www.themeforest.com. This will cost about £30 or so. Beware free WordPress themes! Unless they come from somewhere very trustworthy (e.g. WordPress.org) they are probably full of malicious code (even the pretty ones!).
4. Install WordPress (using "Fantastico" vis Hostgator, which does it for you).
5. Find a good resource (book or online or a friend perhaps) to help you find your way around WordPress as a first-timer.
6. Point your domain names to the website
8. Find the setting (within WordPress I think) which tells the search engines not to list the site, and keep this on while developing it.
7. Create your website!
(Note some will disapprove of creating your website "live" but unless you have anything sensitive I think possibly the easiest way fro a beginner?)
8. Switch the setting off which hid your site from the search engines and launch your site!
A few other options:
- I notice Hostgator has a website builder. No idea how good it is though.
- Make a free website with a site like wix.com You wil probably not be able to have your own name though, and I don't know about email.
- Use a wordpress.com site and pay to get your own name on it. (Possibly easiest for a beginner?)
Thanks aufaniae for that great response!
No worries, hope it helps!
I just noticed I made a mistake above, I said "I haven't used wordpress.org". That's wrong, I meant to say I haven't used wordpress.com ! (Sorry bo be confusing).
I've just noticed there's another thread on Wordpress.com, you might find it useful:
It does look like wordpress.com could be a good option for a beginner, worth a look anyway I think.
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