So You Want A New Website
Where Do You Start?
There are several things that you will need to consider before starting any website. Here we list a number of important elements with descriptions to help to guide you through the minefield.
Your Website Address (URL)
A URL is the address that people type in to enable them to visit your website. On the whole, they are relatively cheap. a .co.uk for example should cost no more that £15 a year. You have to have a URL if you’re going to own a website. You can either register your own URL (recommended) or you can register one through someone you trust.
Please be aware that if you use a company to register your URL, they sometimes charge you if you ever want to leave them. Sometimes this can be a seamless and cheap transaction (which is how it should be) but sometimes companies take advantage of the situation and charge extortionate amounts to move the URL to another business/individual. Don’t be fooled, some of these unscrupulous companies are household names!
Hosting is where your all the files for your website are stored and it requires a number of considerations. Hosting can vary in speed or size and subsequently can vary in price. As a general rule of thumb, the more you pay, the faster and bigger it will be. There are of course a number of other considerations like access, traffic allowance, program compatablity and more importantly support. Some website hosting packages come with email so that you can have email addresses which align with your website. “yourname@yourURL.co.uk” Hosting is likely to be either be charged monthly or annually.
There are a number of platforms (content management systems) on which you can build a website. By far the most common and accessible is WordPress. Over 60% of the world’s websites are built using WordPress which is the platform that we have chosen to build all our sites. Other platforms include Joomla, Drupal, Squarespace, Magento, Wix and Shopify.
Building Your Website
It is important that you trust the person who builds your website. They should be easy to contact, have a good idea of your design requirements and website function needs. They should be able to address issues in a timely fashion and also be competent web authors. Ideally, you should be able to have a face to face with your web designer.
Your website should start with https and not just http. Google will rank your site lower if you have the latter and your visitors will have far more trust with a https. There may be a nominal cost for the https.
Websites are stored on computers somewhere in the world and computors can of course break. If you haven’t paid much for your hosting then it is entirely possible that your website won’t be backed up. Meaning that if the compuor breaks where your website is stored, then your site could be lost forever and you may have to pay for a full re-build. If you’re searching for a web designer, you need to ask the question about back-up. It is a very important topic which is often overlooked by amateur website designers.
Your website will need content, this will consist of words and photographs and may also need video or other types of content.
Consider who is going to prepare all this content. Will you be getting it all ready? Will it be the right content? Will your website designer prepare it all for you? Yes, you guessed it, more of their time equals more cost to you.
How Much Is A Website?
This is a very difficult question to answer because a website can cost a massave range in price. To break it down, consider the following points:
- The more pages that your website has, the more it is likely to cost. Every page needs work and that’s how web designers get paid. Your web designer may offer to allow you access to your website so that you can make changes yourself. Yes I said ALLOW! Access is a responsibility and should be given to as few people as possible. If your designer “allows” you access, it is likely that it will come with a caveat. If you break your site, it may cost you a lot to fix it.
- Changes cost money, again it involves work for your web designer which takes time and costs money.
- Does your website need to have a shop and sell products? This would involve a lot more work for your web designer and will substantially increase the build cost of your site.
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Would you want your website to be found in search engines such as Google or Bing? This is where most amateur web designers fall down. It’s all very well having a nice sparkly new website but if nobody can find it, it might as well be a brick! There are several things which need to be done to your site on a regular basis in order for the search engines to rank your site higher than others. This is ongoing work for your web designer and depending on the level of SEO you require will depend on the cost.
- Most website designers require a fixed amount up front so that they can purchase your URL, purchase your hosting, build your website. After this, they will either hand it over to you or enter you into a contract for an agreed monthly fee in exchange for maintenance, SEO and updates. They will usually also encompass your annual costs like hosting and domain name renewals.
So, where do you start?
Contact us in the first instance. We will then arrange a meeting either face to face or via video confrencing. We will have a quick chat and go through some of the above elements to see whether we’re the right fit for each other. At the end of the meeting, you will have all the information you need and then we can draw up an agreement and start the ball rolling with your new website.