Pretty much every business needs a website these days. Even if you don’t sell anything on-line, many people are using the internet as their first source for finding the goods and services they need. Even when they know the supplier they are looking for they will often look them up on the web to check prices and availability of products or to get directions. I know people are often surprised when the business they are looking for does not have a website.
But websites are expensive and difficult to manage, aren’t they? They take a lot of programming and other techie skills like graphics and stuff, don’t they? Well, not any more!
For quite some time now those in the know have been using a program called WordPress. Unlike Dreamweaver or Front Page or the myriad of other website design programs which are expensive and difficult to learn, WordPress is quick and easy to set up. It runs from your website, not from your own computer and, with just a little practice, anyone who can use a computer for simple email, text editing etc. can build and manage their own website. Best of all, WordPress is completely free of charge.
Some of you may have heard of WordPress before but think it is only for blogs and other personal websites, but this is not so and hasn’t been for some time. I have been building WordPress websites for myself and clients for much less cost than a conventional website, and teaching them to do it themselves for a few years now, and it’s getting easier all the time.
You will need a few things to get started. First you will need a domain name, this is your business name and address in ‘cyberspace’. You can get one of these from around £3.00 (under $5 US) a year upwards, not a great business expense. You will also need some webspace on the internet to put your website onto, if you didn’t already know this is known as ‘hosting’. This costs from £5.00 (around $8 US) a month upwards, again not expensive. Everything else you will need for a basic website you may already have or you can get free of charge.
You will need some content for your website, a mix of text, graphics, photographs etc. If you are really ambitious you can add audio and video, also for free. If you already have marketing literature such as brochures, flyers, leaflets etc. you can resuse this content on your website. If you have a digital camera, or even a camera phone, you can take a few pictures to add to your website. You will also need a design layout – there are thousands of these available for WordPress either free or for very little cost.
Although WordPress is about as simple as it can get, a complete novice will need a small amount of training to get started. Please don’t be put off by this, and don’t go buying expensive training courses either. I have decided to convert one of my own WordPress websites into a training ground for my readers. It is currently being used to market my website building services but I am retiring from active client business now so I thought I would put it to use to help businesses who would like to set up their own website.
The training material is not there yet but I will be setting it up over the next few weeks.
Bookmark this page as I shall be updating progress on the project here as I go along.