Hosting, domain, web platforms, URL, SSL certificates! It can seem overwhelming. I am going to break down the key pieces to having a live, functioning website and the prices associated so you know what you can expect to pay!
There are 2 main parts associated with having a live website:
Domain Name – Your domain name is your personal website address. Domain names can be purchased online and require a yearly subscription to keep. A domain name is typically less than $15/year.
Hosting Package – All the content on your website needs to be stored somewhere. Think of a hosting package like purchasing a storage locker for all your stuff. Hosting packages can vary based on size, bandwidth, and personalized email accounts available. In general if you are starting out you should be fine with no more than 50MB of data storage. Hosting packages are also a yearly subscription and can vary depending on where you go.
If you are buying both a domain and hosting, then I suggest purchasing from a provider that will provide both for you. It’s most important to make sure you are happy with your hosting provider vs. your domain provider as your hosting provider is the one actually hosting your website and will be the one you are in contact with for any technical issues that come up with your site. Most providers are pretty comparative when it comes to price but you will want to take that into consideration.
My favorite domain & hosting provider is SiteGround. They have amazing customer support and I haven’t had to deal with any down time for the websites I have with them. I’ve had issues with a couple other popular hosting companies so I always recommend SiteGround to my clients.
Next you will have to choose where you want to build your website. You have your “storage locker” (aka hosting), you have your “name” (aka your domain, and now you need to find the gym you want to start building your new, healthier life! Your website platform is what you will use to design and create your actual website.
I build with WordPress. WordPress powers nearly a quarter of new sites and is arguably the most popular on the web with over 70 million sites globally. WordPress is a free platform but you are able to purchase different builders to make it easier to design your site as well as plug-ins to add functionality to your site. I love to build on WordPress using the Divi Builder. It is a great drag and drop tool that allows you to more easily customize your site. You have to purchase the Divi Builder but it is a great tool to have!
ShowIt is another amazing building platform that uses WordPress as it’s foundation. ShowIt allows for so much freedom in creativity and design. It is also a drag and drop system with pretty much zero limitations. If you are using the Divi Builderdepending on what you want to do you probably will have to know some basic coding however with ShowIt there is almost zero coding required.
Finally, if you are an e-commerce shop I always recommend Shopify! They have a great platform (it does not use WordPress) but includes everything an online shop could possibly need including great website templates, analytics embedded in the platform, payment integration – it is a great option for those who are primarily selling products (physical or digital).
It’s good to note that if you are using ShowIt or Shopify as your platform you will not need to purchase a hosting package as they include hosting with their monthly packages. For these platforms you will only need your domain.
You can also use platforms like Squarespace or Wix to build your website although I have so much experience with the above platforms and love them so much that I always encourage people to choose one of them. If you have questions about what platform would be best for your needs send me a message and I would be happy to chat through it with you!
You now have a live website! Of course, there’s so much more that goes into a strategic website that is actually attracting your target client and converting for you. Read my post “Understanding your Target Market begins with understanding yourself“