Which web hosting and web creation service to use?

(15 Posts)
Blodwengoch Thu 06-Oct-16 15:59:55

I didn't want to hijack the other thread asking a similar question, and will also post this in the geeky topic.

I'm starting up a portfolio business, freelancing in my former capacity, but also training as a fitness instructor.

I'm confident I can build my own website with one of the off-the-shelf options, and need the tools to do the following – I'd be grateful for any suggestions of who to go with:

- Responsive design, so that it works on desktop, tablet and mobile
- the ability to take bookings and payments (potentially via PayPal or similar)
- to post my blog
- 2 email addresses and 2 URLs (one of each for my 'suit-wearing' work, and the other for the fitness element of my role).

Thank you for any advice.

olderthanyouthink Thu 06-Oct-16 17:24:34

I'm not clued up on the diy website builder features but... I think you should be able to get what you want from squarespace.

BUT I just don't like those things because I wouldn't want to be beholden to one company, maybe it's just me, if they piss me off or up their price or cut back on my allowances I like to be able leave without too much fuss.
Plus with 2 sites you'll be paying a lot, a human might be inclined to give a discount. And the basic plan doesn't seem to include email (looks to be $50/year extra, more than I pay to host a site and have email for it).

Btw, I'm a web developer, making a site is piss easy to me and I believe those builders devalue what I do and charge people tonnes.
Eg my portfolio site I would maybe charge £100-200 for because it's pretty simple and small would have cost me £400+ (That's not including the email add on) by now, but I've paid a bit under £300 over 3 years. Over 5 years it will be ~£700 vs ~£460, and I think I can get cheaper but have just been lazy. Also the sites worth a lot more than I'd charge to make it and it's unique.

Just my 2 pence. Sorry for the slight rant

Questi0ns Thu 06-Oct-16 17:25:49

I adore shopify. Pricey but so easy to use and beautiful templates.

olderthanyouthink Thu 06-Oct-16 19:00:19

You pay at least $29/mo?!?! Wow. Does that not eat into your profits?

akkakk Thu 06-Oct-16 19:18:07

I am confused by your post olderthanyouthink - you are a web developer yet, you are paying someone else for your portfolio website? Would it not be simpler and cheaper to build and run your own?

Blodwengoch - there are a number of choices, but nothing done well is totally cheap...

You need 2 websites if you have two different brands to display to others, mixing the two sounds as though it may be a bit complicated for the viewer to understand - you need to make it simple for them...

That means you need 2 domains and 2 lots of hosting...
The needs for the two websites are likely to be different:

- the 'professional site' probably has very simple needs - can be a fairly static information site

- the fitness instructor one needs more complexity

you could very well use a company like squarespace / or you could find your own hosting and install something like wordpress (into which you could add plugins to do what you need) or you could find a web company to build you two different websites... The interactive website could use an ecommerce site like shopify or bigcommerce, they wouldn't be appropriate for the work site

olderthanyouthink Thu 06-Oct-16 19:41:26

I am a web developer, I make all my own sites.
To compare agains squarespace I gave an estimate to how much my I would charge to make my site for someone else. The rest of the cost is hosting which is about £90/year.

I assumed the OP wants 2 sites, functionally the same but with different looks and different content. I would do a Wordpress multi site, on one hosting package (saving money) and then make them link to 2 different domains. Each site would have a different theme but could share plugins (pos. Saving money).
From the outside the sites could look like they have nothing to do with each other.
For bookings and ecommerce/payments there are a multitude of plugins to chose from.

akkakk Fri 07-Oct-16 00:21:01

ahhh - thanks olderthanyouthink that makes sense - apologies, was confused initially...

yes, that could work - but if you don't mind my saying, if that is all you are charging to do that kind of work I don't know how you are earning a living... The Wordpress sites we have on our servers are the most time-consuming to manage and quite frankly a pain with owners installing plugins which clash and kill the servers! £100-£200 for a website is ridiculously low - if you really do it at that rate, the OP should bite your hand off - commercial rate is probably at least 7-10 times that...

olderthanyouthink Fri 07-Oct-16 07:05:14

Tbf my portfolio site isn't a Wordpress on it's just simple HTML CSS and some jquery. It's a one pager and I didn't go through much of a design phase I'll admit because it was for me. So no not an insanely cheap WP site.

But I'm still pretty new so wouldn't charge an arm and a leg because that wouldn't be fair.

And I earn a living by working for an agency that charges thousands to big companies.

Funny that you have clients adding plugins and messing things up, our clients barely touch the WP sites we make (obv. they do posts and pages) so I'm the one who does the plugin testing and deploying plus there's always a daily backup to roll back to. If they break it then they pay us the fix it.

Blodwengoch Fri 07-Oct-16 14:01:43

Thanks for all the information, it's really appreciated.

Pearlyearrings Tue 11-Oct-16 15:09:48

I built a site through Weebly. They say it's free but it's not because you pay for various things like hosting and removing the 'built by weebly' on the footer. It all adds up but what I like is I have full CMS so don't pay anyone else to do that.

Blodwengoch Tue 11-Oct-16 15:13:52

A further question (now that I've looked into it all a bit more) - are there any particular hosting companies you would recommend, please?

I've decided to build my own using Wordpress, and with the help of this website:
websitesetup.org/

He recommends a US-based company called Bluehost, which I don't really want to do as it involves paying in US dollars.

thanks again.

akkakk Tue 11-Oct-16 15:19:39

sounds exciting!

have a look at 1 & 1:
www.1and1.co.uk/wordpress-english

should offer what you need...

Blodwengoch Tue 11-Oct-16 21:49:30

Thanks smile

Poocatcherchampion Tue 11-Oct-16 21:54:39

I'd go wordpress too.

Fashosts is fine for a host

HopefulHamster Tue 11-Oct-16 21:59:33

I use Tsohost and they've been really good for me, dealing with queries for me as they've come up.

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