We've recently been working with a few customers who are new to websites. Having made the decision to create your own website it can be quite daunting deciding how to implement it, using a service such as Ning or via wordpress.com or hosting your own website using a content management system (CMS).
There are a variety of solutions for creating your own website and a lot of the decision making will come down to your own IT experience and comfort level using these tools and your financial budget. There are numerous articles on the internet discussing these points. We have created a business process that will help you understand the process and decision making required to create your own website.
We feel that hosting your own website and using a CMS package such as WordPress is a sensible approach to take. A few of the benefits of using WordPress are:
- The documentation and support is second to none. There is a large WordPress community that is incredibly helpful and accessible. Most queries already have an answer on their support forums.
- Unless you have specific requirements for the design of your websites there are thousands of free and premium themes that should satisfy most needs when it comes to website design.Themes can be changed further down the line, should you want to change the design. Our customers receive a selection of premium WordPress themes free of charge and there are themes to fit all types of business. We recommend the new HTML5 Mobile responsive themes configurable for mobile phones and tablets.
- The documentation of how to use WordPress has been enhanced by free training videos that enable specific tasks to be covered simply and effectively. You can read more about training videos here.
- There is an extensive range of WordPress plug-ins, much of which are free, that can provide an incredible range of functionality. From membership plug-ins to e-commerce and integration with social media to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). There are several free plug-ins that provide integration to a variety of payment gateways for e-commerce should you wish to create an online shop.
It is quite easy to start off and build your website with WordPress but we would recommend building a business plan or strategy, so that any decisions you make don't restrict your future ability to improve your website. Just jot down a few of your key requirements, it doesn't have to be 50 pages long.This will help you and any website professionals you hire understand what your goals are. The hardest part of creating your own website is the hosting and CMS installation, theme configuration and just learning all the new functionality. We can help by providing a cost effective way of getting you up to speed and allowing you to concentrate on your website content and functionality.
We hope this helps, so go on and make that decision to create your own website and let us know if we can help.