My friends know that I set up my own website[umm… ok, multiple websites], and so I have had quite a few questions around what goes into setting one up.
The questions that I’m most often asked?
// I want a website, How do I check if my business name is taken?
// Where do I go to buy my URL, should I go “wordpress”, and what is the concept of themes?
// What is the hype about plugins, and which ones are you using on your blog?
// What do I need to start a blog?
Getting set up with a website can be a smidge overwhelming…
Especially because it’s territory that you more than likely have not explored before.
Just like any skill, it can be learned*.
BUT [and this is a biiiiggg BUT]… before I go encourage you all to create your own websites… let me first share my story with you…
I’m technically orientated.
I enjoy learning new systems.
So when I was doing my Graphic Design course… I happened to see the website designers in action, and I thought… hmmm… I wouldn’t mind learning how to create a website… it looks like fun!
Then the opportunity presented itself. Whilst on maternity leave, I found myself increasingly reluctant to go back to work, and I thought… best I “quickly” whip up a website for my business…
I had visions of it being a smooth, quick process… a week tops, and I’d be ready and rocking, and making strides towards getting up and running on my own. I could see the dream of starting my own thing!!!
and BOY! was I wrong! [It’s actually probably the one thing I REALLY regret about my maternity leave].
I didn’t make it easy on myself, and decided I was going to learn HTML, and write my own website… I’m actually shuddering as I type this, the end result was horrible!!!
I [not so] quickly realised that this was NOT working for me. and I decided to try and learn wordpress. Naturally, with a baba, money was tight… so I went with the free themes.
It was beeettttterrr [but only just 🙀 ok, in hindsight… it was actually horrible!].
Then I got wiser, and made an investment into a theme… I still spent many hours making it look like I envisioned it to look, but it was ONE HUNDRED times better than what I’d done before [majorly clever move].
Finally I got it!
You really do get what you pay for!
I kept that theme for a while, but then I found a new template [at more than half what I paid before], and with it… I was able to take my blog to an entirely new level.
I can truthfully say that I have FINALLY found a theme that works* with my ever changing needs!
and that, friends, is the NUTSHELL behind my journey through web design.
The reason I gave you that long [and rather detailed story], is because I wanted you to know that I have made plenty of mistakes, I probably spent over 6 months in full time work getting this right, and I have learnt a thing [or 500] in the process.
So now that you know all of that!
It’s still totally doable to create a DIY website.
Lucky for you, the tools have become easier and easier to work with.
But FIRST, You have a choice:
To DIY, or not to DIY your website?
Again, let me remind you… ANYTHING can be learned.
Here are some questions you need to answer, before you delve into this experience:
1. How valuable is your time? Want to get this thing sorted quick or are you happy to spend two weeks to a month trying to set up the basics? Would your time be better invested in making contacts and getting business, so that you can pay someone else to create this for you?
2. Are you techy? Are you the kind of person who google’s how to solve a problem, then go and do it for yourself?
3. Are you super strapped for cash? It’s true… a website is easily a $5000 – $10 000 investment… but there are also some who will give you basic functionality for a couple hundred dollars [and remember, you are worth an hourly rate… so factor that into your decision].
For me, I had time, and I was kinda techy, and I was super low on bucks… so it was a no brainer… I was DIY-ing this thing!
In a nutshell:
- If you don’t mind spending the time learning, you’re pretty techy and have no bucks… go for it!
- If you have a VERY limited amount to spare… get someone to set up the basics for you, then you can do the rest [I will tackle the aspects I think you can do on your own in this series]
- If you can… get someone who can help you with this. That way you can spend your time focusing your energy on the aspects that will really grow your business [Ps… there is still a lot of valuable info in the series… so keep reading even if you are getting some help]
Just a reminder though…
I’m not a website designer, and I cannot help you through each and every step of the way…
what I can do… is walk you through the process of setting up a website [from what I have learnt along the way] in the hopes that it will save you 500 hours and 30208934 cups of coffee!
What will I cover in the series?
I’m going to cover the most frequently asked questions you’ve had about setting up a website:
- Qu: “I love my business name, how do I check if my website is available?”
- Qu: How do I set up my Website?
- Qu: How do I Customise my website… Why do I need a theme?
- Qu: Which plugins would you recommend?
Here’s to embarking on that sparkly new journey of getting your website sorted!!!