Website Building advice

  burtie_d 22:21 14 Feb 2015

Hi, I'm looking at setting up a website for my small 1 man business. It will be just for info and contact details if people search for my business in the town I work in for example - just a 'web presence' rather than an on-line business. There will be no financial transactions etc. I'd also like to keep costs quite low. If I get time in the future I may interact more & add the odd blog as I understand google ratings like this. So the question is... Should I do it with 'Wordpress' & use their templates or go to the likes of '1&1' or 'Moonfruit' & use theirs? I do have webplus x5 which seems okay to mess about on, but I am unsure if its a lot of hassle to get my own template off my PC and onto a service like '1&1'. I have no domain name yet either, if that make any difference. And if you rate webplus should I upgrade to x7?!! Cheers

  LastChip 21:58 15 Feb 2015

It depends on how much time you want to devote to it and the present level of knowledge you have. The fact that you're asking these questions is a good start, but suggests your level of knowledge is low.

Any website building is a learning curve. Whether you use Wordpress to build a site or Webplus X5 is of little relevance, though it's probably fair to say, Wordpress has a greater learning curve to make it do what you want. In my view, for a simple site, Wordpress is an overkill.

If you want to blog, then Wordpress is the better solution, but it worries me you said "If I get time in the future I may interact more & add the odd blog as I understand Google ratings like this". That is no way to start and suggests you are not serious at all about a web presence, but think it's something you should have. Blogging like that will have at best a zero effect on any rankings and could even actually have a negative effect, as the site will be seen as being abandoned.

Just be aware, an amateurish looking site that is business orientated, can do more harm than good. People mentally create expectations based on what they see and if your site doesn't look good or accurately portray your business, it's likely to turn people away and have a negative effect on your business and you're probably better off without it. You'll look like a cowboy and that's the perception people will form. Those people that have been put off, may have just picked up the phone to talk to you, but now won't bother.

To build a good site takes expertise, time and therefore money. You get what you pay for.

However, if you want to proceed, the very first thing you must do is find a domain name and register it. You can do that through 1and1, or my preference 123-reg or any number of other mainstream registrars.

  burtie_d 10:14 17 Feb 2015

Hi, Thanks for replies. Lastchip, my trying to keep it short might have made me come across as a little fickle over this venture. Far from it. I only have my sights on a professional looking site with good content -and I think I'm capable without the expense of a pro - and I'd enjoy the challenge. I was trying to get across that I'm v busy with workload at present from many 'non-web' sources, so the content I aim to add in the future would be relevant and professional too. I would like the website to enhance the business. I was interested in the fact that you prefer 123-reg. I was just unsure if I was better off using their 'on-site model' as opposed to creating my own and then having to upload it etc. The reason I haven't got a domain name is that I thought I'd do all of that once I've started creating & neared a finish product as time is not urgent at pres & I don't have a lot of it at the moment! I am just tempted by the 'template packages' & didn't know if they were a little limited for future changes / expansion.

  LastChip 13:09 17 Feb 2015

OK, that's understood.

My preference for 123-reg is, that in my view, they have a far better control panel than 1and1 (I've used both). The downside is, 1and1 has better support via the telephone, Sadly, it used to be free phone numbers, but is now 0333 numbers which are chargeable, but only up to the national call rate.

I know 123-reg pretty much has a single click Wordpress install tool - I've never looked on 1and1, but they may offer the same.

If you go the Wordpress route, there are some very professional looking templates available. Some are free, but the better ones (paid for) usually offer a free version with much of the theme crippled. It's still not a bad way of seeing if you like a theme, then if it works upgrade it to the "professional" version. They'll still probably only cost around $30-$50 (they're often priced in dollars), so peanuts in the scheme of things.

Good domain names are a rare resource now. So even if you don't use it at present, start searching for something that will be obvious it's your business. After all, even for a .com domain, it's only going to cost you around £12 a year (inc VAT).

If you're trading under your own name and it's an unusual surname, you may be lucky and it's still available. Otherwise, you're going to have to get creative and if it's a new business, even consider re-branding to lock into a domain name that is available at present. It's not much use trading as Fred Bloggs, with a domain name of! There are all sorts of new suffixes coming into play. .company is probably the most useful, but really try for a .com or domain, as these are the two everyone knows.

Be wary of searching for a domain name from anyone other than a trusted provider (like the two mentioned). There are third party sites out there who claim to be able to get your domain name. All they will do is look at what you want and register everything they can think of you may be interested in, then charge you an exorbitant prices to buy it from them.

Finally, remember, nothing is set in stone. You try something and don't like it, change it! So whether you try the providers solution, or Wordpress or your own is not really important.

  burtie_d 13:22 17 Feb 2015

Wow, Cheers for that. That's a great deal of good advice there. I like the fact that a wordpress blog may be added (should I venture down that route in the future). Is it quite easy to transfer the the likes of a serif templated one if I don't see a 123 one that floats my boat? Or is it better to stick to their packages?

  LastChip 19:54 17 Feb 2015

I'm not familiar with the X5 version of Serif, but I suspect it doesn't create templated sites. It uses templates to create a set of website pages, linked with each other to form your website. This is a different methodology to Wordpress themes, which uses templates for the structure of the site and your content goes into a database.

I've never used a 123-reg pre-made site, as I build my own. But I suspect it's a pretty similar structure to Wordpress.

In all cases, your site files go into your root directory. So switching is not a big deal.

  SimeonDimitrov 13:43 02 Apr 2015

You can easy build a business, eCommerce or blog website with click here

  Daisy_Michael 15:52 02 Apr 2015

This isn't something big; I'd prefer either WP or a static HTML website. For sure you'd have to buy a domain name and hosting plan, in order to make it accessible online.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Fujitsu Lifebook P727 laptop review

Best of the Grad Shows 2017: University of the West of England (UWE)

Best value Mac: Which is the best £1249 Mac to buy

Les meilleures GoPro 2017