As the title reads, websites are not easy or free to build. However this article is not intended to discourage you from attempting to build your own website (but rather to give you a more realistic approach to what it takes to develop a website) with or without the help of a professional.
With that being said, now that we are in the full blown digital age, there are many misconceptions about website development. Many of which are promoted by domain registrars and “free” website builder services (which can be very misleading to the consumer). Often times these misconceptions lead to wasted time and frustrations, leaving the consumer back where they started (without a proper web presence). Surely you have seen the ads, the slogans often times come in the form of “build your own website for free” or “build your website in minutes”. All great ideas that sound enticing to the consumer, however none of which are actually true or realistic.
To further elaborate, regardless of whether or not you decide to build your website on your own (or with the help of a professional). If you want to have a proper and effective web presence, you will need to take many items into consideration, such as:
- What is the purpose of the website? Are you going to sell items online, is the website going to be strictly informative?
- Who will your primary audience be? Business Professionals, Women, Men, Age Groups..ect
- Once complete, wow do you plan on promoting your website? Organic Search Results, Paid Advertisments, all of the above?
The above are just a few items (on a very long list of items) that should be taken into consideration (before) you start building your website. As you can see, if done right, you are already going to spend a few hours on your project (not minutes).
Yet, if you are willing to put the time and effort into properly building your website (or at least to the best of your abilities). Developing your own website can be a very rewarding experience. Or at worst, you will walk away with a higher level of appreciation towards web development. Truth be told, if you are looking to build your own website, think hours/days vs minutes, along with preparing to spend a little money to get your website off the ground (as nothing is truly for free).
With the above mind, here is a short list of services you will need to establish your initial web presence.
- Domain Name: There is no way around this, if you want to have a successful website, you will need to have a domain name). Average cost for a domain name on a year to year basis can range between $15-$20.00 per year. Forward Web does not recommend spending more than $20.00 per year on your domain name. You can register your domain name with Forward Web anytime for only $15.00 per year by clicking here.
- Web Hosting: Probably the most overlooked service (yet arguably the most important) is web hosting. Without a proper web host, your website will either load slow or will be inaccessible all together. To learn more about web hosting, click here. Pricing for ideal shared web hosting (Forward Web)recommends cPanel Shared web hosting) can range between $50.00-$150.00 per year (however many service providers usually and should include your domain name in the yearly service fee). You can set-up your cPanel web hosting account with Forward Web (domain name included) for only $100.00 per year by clicking here.
- Website Builder: At last, now you have your domain name and web hosting account set-up, you will need a website builder to build your website with. This is where you should choose very carefully because not all web site builders are created equal. Also, not all website builders allow you to transfer your website away from your web host (which is very important and unfortunately, where many of the free site builder services will hook you in).
Forward Web recommends using WordPress to build your website, however if not WordPress, please make sure your website builder is open source (where you are able to move your website freely) and not proprietary (where you are restricted to where you can move your website to). With Forward Web (assuming you have already ordered your cPanel web hosting service, you can easily install WordPress within a matter of minutes (using our One Click auto installer). If not, our friendly staff is always available and willing to assist where needed (at no extra cost).
Still have questions? Do not hesitate to contact Forward Web at your convenience, we are always here to assist you with all of your web development needs.