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.
So there are two different types of people when it comes to creating a website, web developers and web designers. I have an art & design background but I know very little code. However, I have created some pretty kick-ass websites utilizing my creative mind and keen eye for design. If your wife would like her website to have ecommerce capabilities I would suggest going with something like Squarespace or Shopify. These are sites that you can customize and design within their already coded templates and you pay a flat fee every month to the Website Content Management Platform. Does you wife have any art experience, can she use Photoshop or Illustrator? If you are talking about someone with bare minimum graphic design background doing everything on your own is going to look very homemade. There are people that can build you a site and logo utilizing these platforms at a much more effective cost and a bit nicer/higher quality than if you were trying to do it yourself. If you can give me more insight into what you need, I can structure you a proposal of what it would cost.
I agree with the general advice here about corporate identity. Many startup and small businesses underestimate the importance of a strong corporate ID, logo and so forth. I strongly advise that you engage a professional to handle this.
Regarding websites: a managed or self-hosted WordPress site is one way of going. However if you're getting involved with eCommerce there are a number of legal and technical requirements and leglisation that need to be followed.
Surprised that no-one here has mentioned Shopify.com - it's built for businesses such as the one your wife wants to start. It's inexpensive ($29/month), reliable, handles all the legal and technical aspects involved with online trading, and is really easy-to-use. You can always move up to a self-hosted proposition when the business takes off and more funds become available.
Well, I would say either you have to start learning things over here otherwise you may need to hire someone who can do this for you ! Sometimes its good to outsource things as you can get it designed at pretty much cheap !
Purchase a theme (WordPress themes cost $40 - $60 on ThemeForest for example) and load the demo content to guide you. I don't recommend the free ones.
I could teach you how to do just that; but I know the secrets...I'm a web designer and biased towards the use of a professional. But, if and when, a professional is not available; I confess that there are options for the DIY crowd that can perform magic. What was once out of reach can now be done with just a little effort. By little effort I mean that nothing will ever be as hard as Microsoft Word was to learn. The new web builders can do a lot. But they don't do everything that web designers can. Thankfully, I like my work.
The question now is; should you hire a web designer to make your website for you or just use a web builder and build it yourself? A balanced assessment of your options can be found at:
The author, Ream, points out that Web builders like Wix, IMCreator, Weebly, and Jigsy "have helped millions of people create websites easily, even without Photoshop or coding experience." This is a good thing. My favorite of these tools is Wix, but you may like another tool.
My advice is that if your needs are simple; building your own website via a web builder is practical. But if you need to open an online store, a membership site, forums, etc.; I highly recommend looking for professional services. Save time, money and energy.
-The Pragmatic Web Designer
There are allot of free sites you can make your website but I do not recommend making your own. Weather you use us or someone else it is important that your site looks professionally done. It is truly your digital store front and when people look at your site they will make a judgment on your company before they call you. That is if they do. The best analogy I always tell my clients is if you were looking for a restaurant and it did not look well maintained before you go in would you? Most people would not, they would go to the one that looked well maintained down the street. I hope this helps. If you cant afford to outsource it then at least its something and that is better then not having a website at all. I can also help you design a logo. Let me know if you want a quote.
Grab an inexpensive domain, install wordpress, grab a theme, and you're all set. I agree with Jeff's answer and would add, "Be aware of the difference between DIY and Professional services." If a developer does the work the site will have better SEO, better layout, better customization, better features, potentially affiliate tracking, and these are just off the top of my head. (I'm a developer)
1. Before you go ahead with developing the website, you need to create the businesses logo that fits the core values your wife wants for her business and how she wants to be perceived. I would highly recommend hiring (commissioning) someone — with experience especially — to create the logo.
As an alternative you can go to an art school or university and hire a student to create a logo for the business, but it may not be as strong perceptually as an experienced professional because they generally don't have the experience to know what questions to ask to draw out the appropriate visual image the business requires.
2. There are multiple options available for creating a website. First, almost all domain registrars offer web hosting services. As part of those services they have free website building tools. They are for the most part relatively rudimentary.
The second option is to go to a service like Squarespace, Weebly and alike. Here's a link to them. http://mashable.com/2011/07/10/small-business-website-budget/. The downside to some of these services is that you may not be able to maintain the domain you want and become a sub-domain of their service. You should investigate the various services to see what they allow.
A third option is to use free tools like Wordpress and install it on your web hosting service and build the pages yourself using a variety of free and premium themes. Typically, there is some learning curve to using Wordpress and most if not all hosting services offers Wordpress service as one-click install.
Once again, your website needs to convey the same perception that your logo is projecting. Furthermore, while static pages are great, content is essential to being found on search engines and for attracting prospective clients. So take a deep breathe and take some time to understand the market and your target audience to determine what information they want and need to make purchasing decisions. Try to define and map a blueprint of what you need in your site before starting.
In the end, as with the logo, you might be better off in the long run to hire a professional to create a website for you — or at the very minimal guide you along the way.
There are several free websites that you can use to develop a website. For example - Wordpress or BlogSpot. Depending on the services your provide, I have also initiated trades with graphic artists for my clients. Good luck!
There are lot of sites who offer free web site you just sign in and start to make web site