Getting a Website

This is a brief guide about setting up a website aimed primarily at individuals and small businesses.

I’ve been surprised in chatting with small business owners, especially those who are less tech-savvy (and why should they be when IT isn’t their business!), at how complex they think it is to get a website — and how much they get charged if they do decide to get one. This guide is intended to give someone like that the basic information so they can make an informed choice about their website — and pay a reasonable price for it (or even build it themselves).

Recommendations:

  • Use open source tools where possible
  • Start out with a hosted service where possible
  • Be clear about what you want and why
  • The ability to easily edit content on your site is crucial. With the tools currently available it would be a big mistake get a website built for you that you can not easily edit yourself.

Getting a hosted service

Recommend signing up with http://wordpress.com/ and playing around with that to see how it feels. WordPress.com in theory is blogging software however there is now reason it cannot be used as a simple website. Using it will give you an idea of the capabilities of even a basic “content managements systems” (CMS) — e.g. how theming can work, the range of plugins available, how you can create and edit pages and posts “news items” etc.

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