How can you create a website with no development skills and without commissioning an engineer to do the work?
My wife is starting a new local service business and has a business name. She needs to create a website, buy the domain (it is available) and then get it hosted somewhere at a low cost. She wants some static pages for generic content, sell a small product offering (shopping cart) and have a blog on her website. Any ideas for the best way she can go about this? Needs to create logo too.
I use the help of the service from https://weblium.com With its help, you will be able to easily create and edit any website fast. I think it is a great option in your case, you will find it very helpful.
Use some templates for it! For example, get one of those from https://www.templatemonster.com/website-templates.php and customise them. It is not difficult at all, and everyone can do it, I guess
There are many options you and your wife can take into consideration. My advice (and it's only my personal opinion, but still) - it's better to spend a reasonable amount of money and get a great website that looks professional. Look into some web-builders that offer paid packages. Here's an article which I consider to be quite informative, hope it helps - http://www.webbuildersguide.com/. And good luck to your wife!
I think going in for WordPress is the best option to go with as you are looking for the ways that doesn’t involve much technical and coding skill. Creating a business centric website on WP is a pretty simpler work and you need not to be an expert to do so. Just use business oriented themes which you can find from places like http://dailynulled.com/category/theme/business_themes/ and many more.
Congratulations on deciding to build a business! It's an exciting time and, often, a confusing one for first-timers. I'm sorry to say that my response will be among your first of many reality checks But, take heart, it's not all negative..
The short and sweet answer is, "You can't."
You can no more 'design a logo' or 'build a website' with absolutely no skills or experience than you could drive a semi truck when you've never been behind the wheel of even a go kart.
Now, if you're willing to put in the work to lean the basics--an endeavor that will result in your becoming a novice, at best, and will likely take you several weeks at minimum--you could probably eventually hack something together. The problem is, whatever you put together is PROBABLY going to look like something you hacked together yourself. This is not the most trust inspiring image for a new business. After all, if the company doesn't care about their own image, why should your prospective customers perceive that image as anything more than haphazard and homemade?
So, what CAN you do?
There are a lot of sites that let you advertise for and/or hire experts on a per-project basis. Many of them are good places to find a less expensive means of getting something at least passably professional done by someone with some experience in the work that you need performed. But beware -- there can be a few pitfalls with this approach as well. A lot of these so-called experts barely speak English, seem willing to work for an amazingly low hourly rate--and then quite happily bill you twice the number of hours that you originally expected to be billed for in order to deliver work that looks like it was hacked together by someone in India on Timbuktu.
The solution? Interview your bidders! Check their personal portfolios! Can they do the type of work you need done? Do they have several competent examples of similar work to show you? Find someone who understands the market for your new business venture and is reasonably priced. Asked for a fixed fee bid for the job so you don't get any nasty by-the-hour bill surprises later. Don't pay them a dime until you see what they have done and approve of it.
A few hundred dollars will go a long way toward getting your wife's business off on the right foot. No, it wont end up looking like a high end design done by a professional agency--but it probably won't make people think you're a 30-something running some fly-by-night business out of your mother's basement, either.
My business (http://zippisite.com) offers the service to create small business websites quickly, cheaply and professionally.
At $179, you can get a standard 5-page WordPress website in 5 days. We help you setup the site on your hosting as well, so it's really an end-to-end solution without the high price. We have the specialized tools, and we have done many small business websites, so we know how to do it the right way without adding too much to the cost.
And for shop, you can either use WooCommerce, which is a plugin for WordPress. Or you can use an even easier solution - https://snipcart.com. SnipCart can turn any website into an online shop with minimal configuration.
For blog, WordPress is already a blog on its own, so no worry about that if you are already using WordPress in the first place.
And for logo, try https://www.tailorbrands.com. It helps you generate logo for free. Or try https://99designs.com if you have more budget for a custom-made logo.
The answer is: you hire an expert to do it. If you don't have the money, don't start the business until you've saved enough.
How much is your time worth? You will spend hours and hours on your website and in the end it will be a far inferior display of your brand. Your time is better spent on selling your services.
If you want to be taken seriously, hire an expert. You are throwing away more money in lost business than what you'd spend on a professional website.
Same goes for logo too.
Sorry to be a bearer of bad news...The first rule in business is: be an expert in your field, hire an expert for everything else.
The best choice is to use web development platform like Drupal, WordPress, Google Site or Magento. Some of these need installing skills while others not so much, but they all allow you to create websites with no programming skills.
My company, STRAC Consulting, is able to provide very reasonably priced hosting and domain procurement. I would suggest that the securing of the domain, is the first step, with thought to the names for all social media- Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and then next to secure those accounts. IN order to do that, an email is needed and I would advise securing that email after the domain to make the account registration of the Social Media easier.
Create a Master password list and record the username and password as you create the accounts. I recommend the Google Docs program, as you can get access to it anywhere in case you forget the passwords or user names. For eMail- Google gMail- is an easy account to secure to begin the "foundation" building she is doing with her business. Also the gMail service provides the FREE DOCS program, to begin to record all the usernames and passwords in one place that is easily accessed through her gMail account.
You can then later forward those gMails to her business email, with the various accounts, to provide a more "professional" appearance with a name (@) business.com versus name(@)gmail.com. OR go in and change the social media accounts email addresses to business email account; (the .com email )
Once you have those secured, building a website is the next step. Most hosting services have templates available to do just that. I recommend the WordPress format. It is very well priced and very friendly. There is unlimited page creation potential and URLs without additional charges.
WP is very easy to manage and maintain. Highly adaptable. Because you have the Social Media accounts set up already- you can link them to the WP site, which provides the first entry into SEO, Search Engine Optimization with various " widgets" in the WP platform. The social media sites begin to help the search engines find the web site too!
For the e-Commerce portion I would suggest linking a PayPal account to the WP site. Otherwise e-Commerce sites can begin to get very costly and you may not be ready for those expenses at the very beginning of the launch of her business online.
PayPal has various security certifications and buyer protections that present a security to the new website. And, in keeping a large E-commerce need off the page, you also limit the interest from hackers. That has value in itself.
PayPal has "banners" that can be inserted into the webpage, there are widgets, too, this is now allowing sales to begin from her website while still not creating huge start up expenses and providing an additional layer of security to her website and the customers credit cards. PayPal also accepts so many types of payments- you allow the customer many options in how they wish to pay for her services.
Her shopping cart can be powered by a WP widget, and checked out via Paypal.
WP has a very extensive resources department and terrific help forums for beginners. WP is used by more websites than people realize. WP is no longer just the domain for writers and online magazines. It is a very astute and driven business with great resources.
AS for a "logo" I do have an artist that was an instructor at a well known Art School, that can be commissioned for designs. That expense would run somewhere $150-300.00 depending on the number of mock ups and time required. A good gauge is around $30.00 per hour. IF she knows what she wants her logo to be- it would be less time and less cost. Artistic aspects are very personal and each person has different needs. THere is no "right" answer for a logo design fee or process.
That would be my "basic" advice.
I am happy to provide assistance in accomplishing these steps and to help create the content for her website as well as the key words and other SEO activities to provide assistance in the website being found in searches.
Oh- and PS- seriously think over having a VPS host versus a "shared" host. The extremely low cost hosting( 3,25 a month, which I do offer-because it IS an option) is generally a "shared" host and there are many pitfalls with that. I can explain the difference in another contact, or go "google" it yourself- ask- " what is the difference between shared hosting , virtually private, and dedicated web hosting services". Shared hosting can be slower and if sharing with other websites that have been blacklisted or flagged for spam, can and WILL effect your website being found and achieving great ranking results. You may not know who you are sharing a server with- and your "neighbor" can effect your websites "property value" per say. This is where it is worth paying a little bit more for hosting.
Good Luck and Thank you!
Jade T Hunter
http://de.wix.com/ - for the homepage
http://de.supr.com/ - for the shop
Hello - I think you've been given a lot of very good advice here already, but I will add that I think you've made the right decision into looking into hiring a professional to help get your wife's business off the ground. Besides the long list of requirements you've mentioned, there are a lot of other online marketing skills that you could take advantage of if you use someone who is experienced in more than just building a website or designing a logo.
Regarding the wix's and squarespaces of the world, I wrote a blog post on this recently, pointing out the benefits of using a professional over the DIY if you're interested in having a read http://divinedigital.com.au/diy-websites-is-it-worth-it/
I've seen far too many people spend hours and hours trying to design their own logo, or build their own site, only to resort to hiring a professional in the end, and I like to think there are many well worth the money out there!
If you still are looking for some comparison quotes, drop me a message and I will provide one for you, or alternatively, discuss a commission based fee as an option.
squarespace is a great place to start. You can start making the website for free and then subscribe if you are satisfied and want to continue with it. The cost isn't much too.
Another alternative is wix, but in my experience the tools used by squarespace make it faster and easier to build and manage websites. Also, the systems used by squarespace seem to give dedicated resources to your website as compared to shared space on other services making the website blazing fast.
You have two options. First, get a professional experience -which i can provide- to help you build this website on low budget, Or try an online product like http://www.shopify.com/ there are tons of open-source themes that you can customize and easy platform to buy and sell products online.
Have a good day.
There are lots simple and cheap solutions. Here are a few you can look into:
WordPress, wix, weebly, intapage, and there are more.
These do not require any special skills in order to built a simple website but I do recommend taking the time to plan and build something proper that will look professional and trust worthy.
Use an online website making platform like www.wix.com which is super easy to use without any engineering skills. For some e-commerce options I would recommend shopify.com. They will even help you buy the domain. Unless you are pushing out a lot of print material, go with a simple logo for now. Once the business is up and running you will have a better feel for the image your want to associate with your logo. Hope this helps.
I can suggest two things here: run a logo design contest and then implementing the website and related social media profiles will become much easier. I've done this successfully for a client of mine (via 99designs), if you would like help please let me know?
You should look at some solutions such as WordPress for the site. Use that as the main brochure site and then link out products to a selling site such as shopify. In any case if you are in startup mode, you will need to spend some money on hosting, domain and probably some consulting. Engineers are not programmers so if you do need someone, look for someone with web development creds.
Set up social channels to support the site and brand - Facebook and twitter to start at any rate. Have you invested in proper design such as your logo? Looking like you spent no money or thought on marketing is the sure fire way to scare away any prospective leads or customers. Spend some money to get a proper logo and design style created. Do not go for those $5 logo offerings.
Use Google to find what you need for solutions. Invest in some Google paid search ads to drive customers to your site.
Remember - you have three tenants: Time, Price and Quality. Be prepared to sacrifice one of those if you want the others to work your way (Quick Expensive and Good vs. Quick vs. Cheap and Bad or Slow Cheap and Good).
For what you describe, SquareSpace is the way to go. You connect to their site, choose a template, upload pics, and fill in some content. They are really easy to use and they take care of all the technical nitty-gritty that would cost quite a bit if you had to hire a developer and hosting company. Take a look here: http://www.squarespace.com/
Before building a web site, I would suggest thinking about the business name, logo, description, elevator pitch, target market, value proposition, and differentiators. In my opinion, you need to answer to key questions before you launch: 1) Why would customers buy what I am selling from me instead of someone else? and 2) Will I be able to make the money I need to make from the market? The answers to these questions will guide the content you put into the web site.
In terms of photos for the site, iStockPhoto (http://www.istockphoto.com/) has some great and inexpensive photos with very flexible licensing. They help to take a lot of the guesswork out of copyright, etc.
Custom graphics and things like levelling in photos can actually be done quite easily with modern tools. Depending on how creative and patient your wife is, she may consider a subscription to Adobe for Illustrator and Photoshop in order to build her own graphics and modify her photos. YouTube has a bunch of tutorial videos and the tools nowadays are really easy to use. You would be surprised just how much a novice can achieve with these tools and in many cases, the needs of a start-up can be met with a bit of elbow grease.
If graphics work is not something your wife would enjoy, there are many excellent designers whose work you can see on Behance at: https://www.behance.net/ and whom your wife can hire through the site.
I hope this helps and best of luck to your wife in her new venture.
Wordpress is a great CMS platform that is very user freidnly.
I would caution however, building a website on your own without any knowledge. This is not to say that a great website cannot be built by someone who is learning as they go, however, there are a lot of things that go into building a website that later feed into search engines and help rank your website that someone who is learning as they go will not know how to do. Also, submitting your website to search engines, Google Webmaster, Bing Webmaster, configuring Google Analytics and about 20 other things most web developers do without thinking, will be passed over by someone who does not know the industry.
Websites do not have to be outrageously expensive. If you are interested, send me a private message and tell me about your goals and your budget.
It sounds like Wordpress would be best in this situation. There is a free E-Commerce plugin available called WooCommerce that would easily allow her to add products and setup payment gateways. For domains & hosting I recommend PolurNET.