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Old 07-06-12
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Default Creating website - best tool & hosting

Hi there.

Need some advice, fellow solo-ist. I need to create a simple website - nothing flash, for now. Just something that outlines what the physical business does. I have the domain name with one provider but currently, no hosting.

Please bear with the dumb questions below - new to this!
Questions:
1) I pay x for the domain name. Does that mean I have to use them to host the website?
2) what is the best way to create a website myself for now, using hopefully something that has a non techie friendly interface
3) ultimately, would like to move to online booking system (as one of the options available)? No idea what is involved so what do I need to know now for the future?

Thanks heaps for the advice I know will come thick & fast.

abcvic

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Old 07-06-12
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Default Re: Creating website - best tool & hosting

HI Vic.

No, you don't have to host your site with the company you sourced your domain from. You would need to point your domain to the site though.

There are three main options for you. Free, DIY (eg WordPress) and custom made. Keep in mind that with websites (as with a lot of things), you tend to get what you pay for. The cheapest option is not always best and a poorly designed site can do more damage to your business than good. Having said that though, you shouldn't spend any more than you can comfortably afford.

Free options include online site builders such as http://www.weebly.com/ These often include advertising on your site although you can often pa a nominal fee to have the advertising removed. You generally have limited design options here.

Most hosting companies offer DIY site builders and/or can arrange for a Content Management System such as WorfdPress to be installed on your hosting account. These usually require a bit more work than the free options but aren't too difficult to learn. You have the option to purchase existing templates (eg http://themeforest.net/) or you can pay to have a custom template designed for you.

Custom designed sites can be made to suit your current and future needs and are generally the best option if you can fit it into your budget. Pricing depends on the functions you require... There are loads of designers on FS who I'm sure would be happy to offer more info regarding this.

Good luck...

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Old 08-06-12
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Default Re: Creating website - best tool & hosting

Can't help with the last question, but best DIY option for a simple site would be IMO WordPress + a template from a site like themeforest (as mentioned above).

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Old 08-06-12
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Default Re: Creating website - best tool & hosting

+1 for Wordpress. There are lots of cheap themes available to give you a head start on building the site. There are also a few good booking plugins for it, when you want to get that going.

Take a look at this (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/booking/) or this (http://www.wordpress-bookings.com/) for good examples.

Peter.

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Old 08-06-12
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Default Re: Creating website - best tool & hosting

Hi,

As stated there are a number of options for you without spending a lot of money.

One option I suggest when the budget is low and you have little time to learn the technical areas is actually wordpress.com with your own domain name then use google apps for email.

That way you need no hosting at all security and backups are taken care of and when you eventually want to get hosting you can relocate the whole thing and lose no traction that you have gained in google search. And your email won't miss a beat either as google apps can relocate to any hosting.

I don't want to act like a self promoter but I have written a blog post on the subject here.
http://wphow.org/how-to-setup-a-word...er-30-dollars/

Kind regards,
Tony

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Old 08-06-12
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Default Re: Creating website - best tool & hosting

Another +1 for Wordpress. If your host has cPanel and Fantastico, then it's about 6 button clicks to install.

You then head over to themeforest and pick the design you like. The instructions in the themes are usually good enough for even a beginner to websites to understand.

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Old 08-06-12
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Default Re: Creating website - best tool & hosting

Hi

There are plenty of great hosting providers out there that provide one click installs for WordPress - GoDaddy and Hostgator both seem pretty popular at the moment.

For WordPress themes, themeforest.com have a good selection but make sure you read the comments section of the themes you are interested in first - its always good to see feedback from others who have purchased before you to make sure it's fully functional with no major issues. There are also many other theme providers out there - I'd be happy to share the list of providers that I use most often with you, just flick me an email to melissa@mjsvirtual.com.au

Good luck!

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Old 09-06-12
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Default Re: Creating website - best tool & hosting

1. Hostgator, Bluehost and InMotion
2. WordPress , Plain HTML/CSS or Weebly(i'll go with wordpress or html/css)
3. You need to learn about the system you are using.

Most of my client has basic knowledge in website but tends to send the work to me since they don't want to waste time learning it.

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Old 09-06-12
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Default Re: Creating website - best tool & hosting

1 - No you can get hosting anywhere you want.
2 - Probably wordpress. Definitely not WIX :P
3 - Not sure.

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Old 09-06-12
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Default Re: Creating website - best tool & hosting

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJS_Virtual View Post
Hi

There are plenty of great hosting providers out there that provide one click installs for WordPress - GoDaddy and Hostgator both seem pretty popular at the moment.

For WordPress themes, themeforest.com have a good selection but make sure you read the comments section of the themes you are interested in first - its always good to see feedback from others who have purchased before you to make sure it's fully functional with no major issues. There are also many other theme providers out there - I'd be happy to share the list of providers that I use most often with you, just flick me an email to melissa@mjsvirtual.com.au

Good luck!
Have to agree with Melissa re themeforest. You have to check the comments carefully as they can be more complex to use that a regular theme.
Remember in 1 years time or less you may need to upgrade the theme to keep up with WordPress and and that can be very hard with a one off theme developer from themeforest.

These are the largest most well know theme providers which also have much better follow on support and huge forums to ask advice or search for answers.
studiopress.com most robust themes out there
woothemes.com best eCommerce solutions
elegantthemes.com very sexy looking themes but not as well built in the back-end as the other themes above
ithemes.com quite good for DIY theme building with flexible designs (ie Flexx and Builder themes) but not as well presented as the others.

Hope that helps

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Last edited by thewpguy; 09-06-12 at 11:41 AM.
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