Need a website? Jo Can Do!
Everyone uses the internet to find products or services these days, so if you're a sole trader or small business, you need a website! But where do you start? Let me help...
To get your own website, you need to buy two things:
- A domain name - eg.www.mywebsite.com. This will cost around £8-15 per year.
- Website hosting You pay a hosting company a monthly fee to store your website files. This can be anything from £1 to £20 per month, depending on the package. (NB You can host your website with Jo Can Do!)
Build Your Website
Now you can design and build your website. You have several options.
If you want something unique to suit your business, you'll need to hire someone to design a website from scratch based on your needs and ideas. Getting a bespoke design means you'll have access to an expert to advise on website content, search engine optimisation, usability, branding and so on. However, this is also the most expensive option.
My websites are all web-standards compliant, and conform to accessibilty and usability guidelines. (See some examples). The cost and the time it takes will depend on the size and complexity of the site, and the amount of support required.
If you are on a very tight budget, consider these options:
There are thousands of website templates available online that you can download for around £50 (or even for free!) They may look fantastic, but you will still need to have technical knowledge to adapt them for your company.
Build Your Own Website Kits
Many hosting companies will offer a DIY website package. You choose a template, add your content and there it is! This may sound attractive, but it may not be as easy as it sounds. There are several disadvantages:
- you pay a higher monthly fee, which may be expensive long-term
- even with thousands of templates, you might not find a suitable one
- you are very limited with what you can do on your site
- you may have difficulty using the system.
It really does help to know how to build websites if you are planning to use this method. If you've tried this option and have got stuck, contact me for help!
You'll need to consider who will be maintaining the site. Regardless of what option you choose, you should keep your website up-to-date and look for ways to improve its performance. If you're using a Content Management System to edit the site yourself, these will need to be regularly upgraded and your files backed up.
See the resources page for useful resources on planning your first website.