website design advice

(13 Posts)
Getabloominmoveon Fri 16-Sep-16 13:27:40

I've just started an HR consultancy company, which is basically just me, though may include other associates in time. I need a basic but attractive website. Anyone used online services for this? Anyone done it themselves? no idea where to start......

akkakk Fri 16-Sep-16 13:46:45

I run a web company creating websites - your options:

- various 'cloud' providers who can provide a website system - if your needs are very basic (like a mini brochure online) then these should be fine - the minute you want more complexity they may not work well - you will pay a bit each month for them - try something like Squarespace - stick to their template as much as possible and just tweak to your content - keep simple...

- self-hosted CMS (content management system) next step is to find someone like 123-reg who will let you run a wordpress system - you can do a lot with this at theoretically a non technical level - but they can get technical quite quickly and are no longer the best option around...

- find a company to produce a simple website for you - they will charge, but also look after it for you - as your company grows if they are proactive they will help your online presence and help you grow - price can range from a few hundred into the thousands - but long term this is likely to be your best option...

for now, I would suggest a simple cloud system - but do buy your own domain name - and use it for email - far more professional, if you are not sure how to set that up you may need to get a professional to do it for you, but gives a much better image

Getabloominmoveon Fri 16-Sep-16 14:06:22

Thanks akkak , very useful. I have no idea about domain name registration either or how to set up my professional email address. Been spoiled by corporate environments that did it for me! Are there any quick ways for me to learn, or should I consult an expert?

olderthanyouthink Fri 16-Sep-16 19:29:26

Setting up your own email is a piece of cake. I know someone who's not very techy who did it just fine. The website you chose to do it with will talk you through it.

You need to buy a domain name (mybusinessname.com), then buy web hosting for that domain. (You can buy just email hosting but that seems to be really crap value. ) Then set up the email addresses you want (eg hello@mybusinessname).

I'm a web developer, for you I'd probably set up a simple Wordpress site (it's a CMS, not just for blogging). Easy to use, pretty cheap (if you want it to be), expandable, could be bespoke or premade. Seeing as you'd be paying for the hosting for the email you may as well put your site on it too

akkakk Sun 18-Sep-16 18:45:41

Wordpress is not the ideal solution for you... yes it is used by many web developers as it allows them a lot of flexibility with little need for complex coding, but if you want to do something for yourself without having to pay others, then it is not the ideal route, it can require technical knowledge and if all you want to is add content and spend your time building your business then you should start with a cloud based system (reduced flexibility or functionality, but sufficient for what you need) and then when /if your business grows, move to a solution from a company that can support you (more expensive, but far more flexible)

As suggested above, something like square space would work well...
My suggestion ref domain would be that you register through a third party such as 123reg / godaddy / namesco etc. - making sure that it is registered in your name... the domain can then be used separately for email and for web...

The best current option for web is above, the best for email at the moment is office365... the domain has something called DNS records which is like its address book and this is used to point the web at the hosted web system, and the email at office365

It takes a little bit of setting up, but once running would be a very simple system to keep going, and need no technical knowledge... using a cms system hosted by you where you are responsible for updates will require far more technical knowledge...

Stevie77 Mon 19-Sep-16 15:55:28

Have any of you experience with Mr Site? Currently looking at the cloud based solution myself. I could do with a blog/publishing facility though...

akkakk Mon 19-Sep-16 21:23:35

Only brief exposure to Mr Site and we weren't that impressed, found technical issues, but that might simply have been our being perfectionists...

Stevie77 Tue 20-Sep-16 22:49:31

Any recommendation for a UK-based cloud solution?

akkakk Wed 21-Sep-16 07:33:05

Not really, all cloud systems are a compromise in many ways, so location of hosting is usually one of the least of the issues... they should only be used where an individual / organisation doesn't need any more than a simple presence online, go beyond that and it is probably better to get into hosting / your own website...

Badbadbunny Wed 21-Sep-16 13:02:26

After wasting a lot of money over many years with different so-called professional web design firms, I taught myself how to use wordpress - surprised how easy it is - loads of youtube videos showing how to do it. Main thing was choosing the right template (downloadable free) - once you have your template, adding pages/posts is a doddle. Then you can start to add in even more free add-ins such as newsletters, SEO optimisation, backups, etc. I feel liberated knowing that I'm in control. After having a few professional websites that did nothing for my business, my free home made one is bringing in a steady supply of new business and I can keep it up to date myself with recent law changes and advice, which massively improves my service to long term clients.

museumum Wed 21-Sep-16 13:11:10

I get my domain and email from godaddy. Their support has been great.
They do websites too but I was happy with my Wordpress one so stuck with that.

akkakk Wed 21-Sep-16 13:12:45

Badbadbunny - agree that is a far better solution than a bad company, but there are plenty of good companies out there as well smile The issue with Wordpress is that it was designed as a blogging platform and has expanded rapidly claiming to be able to do virtually anything - we have a number of client wordpress websites on our servers and without exception they give us the most grief of any platform - especially from those who install their own modules without any technical understanding of the impact - creating clashes and in one case repeatedly taking the server down - not ideal!

It is very good to be in control, and there are a number of options for that (e.g. we write our own CMS equivalent to wordpress - but bespoke for our clients), the key issues are around understanding the balance between being able to add / edit your own information, having to have technical skills / cost / etc. - for the OP they really need something very simple which will take minimal cost and time away from growing her business which has to be the priority - at this stage the website is a supportive tool, not the core focus of the business - at a later stage she may wish to upgrade to something more capable of being tailored...

trufflepiggy Wed 21-Sep-16 13:18:38

I'm currently building a website with Wordpress using YouTube tutorials - I recommend it

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