Nowadays, there are hundreds of ways to go about building your own website. Website creation is advertised everywhere from automated solutions to sole traders and businesses who will create and design one for you. After building many websites in many different ways, we’ve come up with the three of the best solutions for building a website, whether you’re hoping to create one for your business or just for fun.

Ultimate Website Guide

It doesn’t have to be expensive to build a website, and with the amount of options available to you, you’ll easily be able to find an option that suits your needs. It doesn’t matter if you need to create a blog, a business portfolio or an e-commerce website to sell your products, it all works pretty much the same way.

To create your website, we recommend that you use a website builder, a freelancer/ company or a Content Management System such as WordPress. WordPress is a mix of the first two; it allows you to create a fantastic professional-looking website at a low cost while still having the functionality you want.

Hosting

Firstly, for any website, you’ll always need two things – a hosting provider (someone who is going to host your website on their servers) and a domain name (a URL where people can go to get onto your website). Hosting usually costs around £3-4 per month and you’ll normally get a domain name free. There are different ways to pay, and if you pay for a few years at once then you’ll receive a discounted rate.

There are a few hosting companies we’d recommend; however, Siteground is the top hosting provider we use and love. Their support is great and they will usually solve any problems you have. Sometimes it can be frustrating when you can’t set up something or have a problem with your website. Even more frustrating is when the hosting provider tells you a load of information about what to do yet you don’t understand what it means. Thankfully, this isn’t the case with Siteground! The Live Chat feature on their site is the best we’ve ever seen, and they have UK data centres which means if your website is aimed at the UK it will be lightning quick.

If you want a good reliable hosting provider with great support, this is the team to use.

siteground-hosting

Another we’d recommend for hosting your website is Bluehost. It is an American website which means the prices will be in dollars, but no matter where you’re from, this amount will be converted into your local currency when you pay.

They are cheap, the control panel is simple to use and the customer support is pretty good too.

bluehost

We also recommend Hostgator and Godaddy, which are also American websites. If you’re looking for a cheap option for a website that is aimed for anyone around the world then any of these will be fine.

hostgator

godaddy

Option 1.

Using a Website Builder

A website builder is a quick and simple place where you can go and sign up, make your website and finish it within hours. This is the best option if you’re someone who maybe struggles with technology and can’t do a lot with a computer. This would be the easiest, most cost-effective and mainly stress-free method!  Good website builders include Wix, Godaddy website builder and Squarespace. A website builder can be good if you need a simple website, but it can be quite limiting. Be sure if you do use a website builder that you still use your own domain name and not a subdomain such as yourwebsite.wix.com. You should purchase the domain name of your choice, such as yourwebsite.com.

wix

squarespace

(Check out our review of website builders, top website builders etc)

Option 2.

Using a Freelancer or Company

You’ll find many freelancers and companies on the internet who are willing to design whatever type of website you need. However, this will be more expensive than building it yourself, so you shouldn’t really use this option if you just want a simple personal website. Normally, this option is used by businesses who are trying to get a great website to attract customers. The good thing about using an expert to design your website for you is that you can ask them to fully customise it however you like. You can have unique and special features which you might not be able to find on a simple website builder like Wix. If you need a complete custom website made or literally don’t want any involvement in creating a website then hiring a professional will of course be the way to go. We’d still recommend you buy your hosting and domain yourself so everything is under your name.

Freelancer

Fiverr

Option 3.

Option 3 is the perfect mix of the first two options and it’s the one we recommend above all others. This option allows you to use a mix of templates where already most of the work is done for you and custom work, like a mix of the first two options. WordPress might not be as simple as a quick and easy website builder, but if you wanted to do all the work yourself and are willing to take the time to explore the website, you can quickly learn a lot of new things about creating your own site. It is fairly easy to use compared to some others, and it allows you to log in and edit the entire website really easily which allows you a lot more control.

Learning WordPress yourself will allow you to save a lot of money on any changes or updates you would need in the future. You can buy or download free templates for your website and then customise them yourself to get something a little more unique. A lot of companies which build websites actually use WordPress, so creating it yourself on WordPress can save you a lot of money and still have a very similar outcome. As WordPress is one of the biggest content management systems out there is it supported on so many levels, the hosting allows you to install it from just one click, there are thousands of plugins that you can download to add features to your website that you want and so many freelancers are skilled in WordPress allowing you to easily find someone to create your site.

If you don’t want to do the work yourself as it can still be quite difficult to set up if you’re not technical minded you can hire a freelancer to do all of the work for you and it’s still a fraction of the price compared to option 2! We recommend using WordPress if you want to create a website, no matter what you’re building one for. When you’re ready, follow our instructions below to get started.

siteground-hosting
bluehost

1.

Go to Siteground.co.uk and click on WordPress Services from the header. Siteground has been around since 2004 and was started by a group of friends who met at university. They host more than 500,000 domains and their support is extremely Once on the WordPress Services page you’ll see three plans available and under each plan you can see what it offers. The StartUp plan is probably what you will need however if you are going to have more than one site choose the GrowBig package. If you believe your website is going to get a massive amount of traffic then maybe the GoGeek package will be the best choice. When you’ve decided on which package you’re going to have click on Get Started at the bottom of the box.

1.

Visit Bluehost.com, this is the first step of any website as you need to get your website hosted with a server and register your domain name. Bluehost is who we recommend, they started in 1996 and have become the largest name when it comes to WordPress hosting. They have 24/7 support, a really handy live chat feature (even if sometimes they seem a little brain-dead on the other end) and they are an official WordPress recommended hosting company. Don’t worry about it being an American company or it being in dollars, this makes no difference to us in the UK. You’ll find a lot of large website hosting companies are overseas and the only different it makes is that we get a little cheaper after the currency exchange.

At the top of the website you’ll see Hosting. There are two options you can choose from, Shared Hosting and WordPress Hosting. Depending on your needs and what kind of website you will be setting up will decide what hosting package you select. The basic shared hosting should normally cover everything you’d want and is the cheapest option at $3.95 per month which currently works out to about £3.22 (Our pound currently isn’t very strong). Their WordPress hosting is quite a bit more expensive but it is optimised for WordPress websites and provides some great added benefits such as increased speed, security and more. On any Bluehost plan you can try it for 30 days or your money back so you can’t argue with that!

2.

So you’ve chosen your plan and you’re on to step 2, Enter your domain. Now Siteground do not offer a free domain with their hosting and it register a domain it costs £12.95 Excl Vat, which for a domain is quite expensive. If you want to just pay Siteground for the domain and keep everything with one company feel free. If you want to save money with the domain you can register it elsewhere and just point that domain to your hosting at Siteground, If we’ve lost you on that, don’t worry just keep reading it will make sense in the end. If you want to register a cheaper domain head over to Godaddy, find your domain and register it with them for about £12.20 for 2 years. Back to Siteground, either Register a new domain or click I already have a domain (If you went the Godaddy route or actually have a domain already with another company). Siteground will actually give you a free website transfer if you have another website somewhere else. Click Proceed once you’ve chosen what to do about your domain.

2.

Once you’ve chosen your hosting click select and on the next screen type in the domain you’d like to register. The domain is free with your hosting so even if you don’t want one it might be worth signing up another. If you do already have a domain name with another registrar then you can fill out the “I have a Domain Name” box.

3.

Step 3 in the final step and requires you to fill out all your information. Make the account, fill in your personal or business information and enter your card details (Don’t worry, it’s safe to do so.) Further down you’ll see your Purchase Information showing you exactly what you are buying. You can see the Plan you have, Where the Data Centre is located which should be London. You will also see Extra Services. We’d recommend getting the SSL as it’s free for the first year and it makes your site look more secure and it’s up to you whether you want the domain privacy. Domain Privacy stops people being able to look up the domain and finding all your details like your name, address, phone number etc. As for the rest of the extras we’d leave it. If you are all done click Pay Now.

3.

After you’ve done that click next and move on to filling out your information. You can change your country to the United Kingdom or wherever you’re from and it will tailor the form for your address type. The total might be a lot more than first advertised, that’s because it gives you a discount for buying months in advance. The price is cheapest for the 36 month option which when worked out per month would have been the price you saw. However, you can pay per month but it will be a lot more expensive, we recommend going for the 24 month or 36 month option. Don’t add search engine jumpstart as you don’t really need it but feel free to add the domain privacy protection option if you don’t want people to be able to see who owns your domain name. Finally fill out your payment information and click submit. You’ll now have an account! (Add about logging in, the cpanel, installing WordPress in the account after it’s signed up.)

Now that you’ve signed up to SiteGround, Bluehost or whichever hosting company you decided to go with, You next need to install WordPress. This is a very easy step as in each control panel of the hosting providers they offer a one click WordPress install. If you struggle to find this option or don’t even know how to locate the control panel then just contact the hosting company on Live Chat! You can find this option on the top of each of their websites (SiteGround, Bluehost etc) If you’ve used Godaddy they do have a live chat option but you need to change your location settings at the top of the website to the USA and when try and find the Live Chat button or pop up on their contact page, Godaddy seem to be a little tricky when it comes to locating this.

If you have WordPress Installed and ready to go, It’s time to find your template that best matches what you want to do!

4.

Finding a template.

With WordPress you can install numerous free templates to use however most look very basic and will not provide the functions or look you will want or need. You can get a custom WordPress site developed if you wanted something really unique which would be exactly like option 2 but still a lot cheaper. We think the best way is to pay for a premium template that is similar to what you’re after and then modify anything after, that way you get some great features but your also able to customise it to make it your own. Head over to TemplateMonster.com and Theme Forest to find suitable WordPress themes.

You might have to try and have a little vision when looking for templates, there is not going to be a perfect template for you that will just need installing and your done. You will need to change content, images, logos etc. You need to be looking at the layout, the general structure of the website. It doesn’t matter if it’s a template for a restaurant for example and you need an IT repair template. Look at the layout, does it have everything in a place you’d like it? Does it have the features you’d want? There will be templates that will be extremely close to what you want, especially if you’re aiming closer to a simpler website than a more complex one. First search for templates related to your business or idea, If your a builder,  search for builder, building, construction, DIY etc and check them all out. If you find none you like don’t lose faith. Carry on browsing different categories. You might find a Fishing template that has the perfect layout but you just need to customise it to more of a building theme. Remember, it’s just a template, not the final look of your website, you will customise it!

Template Monster

Once you’re at their site you can click on WordPress themes at the top. You can then search by categories, features and popularity to hopefully find the one you’d like. You can even use the live chat on their website and ask one of the assistants what your after and they’ll send you links to themes that might work well. When viewing themes you can see it’s reviews and features but the best part is to try it out yourself by clicking “View Live Demo”. That way you can see what the actual website would look like. They offer additional services such as installation all the way to a ready to use website option. We don’t recommend you to use any of these as you can always get a freelancer to do it for cheaper. If you find one of Template Monster go ahead and but the Licence (GPL – General Public Licence) which will allow you to download the template files and allow you to use and edit it for your own website. They do offer a Buyout licence for a crazy amount of money which basically means from now on only you will have the licence but pay no attention to it, you only want the 100% GPL Licence and that’s it. Go ahead and add it to card and go through checkout to download your theme.

Template Monster don’t have quite as many templates as theme forest do but their support is a lot better and they offer extra services if you decided you wanted to use any of them

template-monster

Theme Forest

Theme forest has a lot more WordPress templates and can be a little cheaper than template monster but limited in support. When you get to the site you want to click on WordPress at the top of the page. You can then filter the results you see on the left hand pane and browse the templates. Hovering over the template will give you a quick image of what the site is like and also the ability to click “Live Preview” to see what the website actually looks like.

If you find a template or “theme” you like then just buy the regular licence and nothing more.

themeforest

5.

To install and customise your template, you can learn how to install and edit your template yourself or pay a freelancer to do it for you. We recommend using a freelancer especially if you’re setting up a website for your business. They can get the job done a lot quicker and can make a lot more customisation then you’d typically be able to make when just starting out. If you’re doing it for fun or if it’s just a personal website and you want to save money, then by all means see how you get on, there is a lot of tutorials online to show you how to install and edit your WordPress template. If you’re going to do what we recommend and hire a freelancer, then carry on reading. A freelancer isn’t expensive so don’t be put off by it. To find a freelancer you’ll want to visit Freelancer.com or Fiverr.com. You can also visit several forums such as Digital Point or even our own. When your template is installed it won’t look like the preview you saw on Template Monster or Theme Forest. You’ll have to get your freelancer to set up the template as the demo. The demo file should be included and it should be a very quick process to get it looking like the preview you knew and loved. Once the demo content is installed, you can then give your freelancer instructions on exactly how you want the website to look. You can move things around, change colours and text, add features, add pages and do anything else you want.

TOP TIP

Before you hire the freelancer be sure to have this all planned out so you can give all your changes to them. If you continue to make changes not specified at the start they will want to charge extra. Either way, find a good freelancer and they’ll work with you to create the perfect site you want and by doing it this way we’ve recommend you would have gotten the site you want at the fraction of the price but with the right method.

If you want anything additional such as logos or banners designing for your website go ahead and set up Freelancer competitions, use Fiverr, find a designer on forums or even design them yourself. If you need stock images to use on your website head over to Shutterstock or PhotoDune or even hire another freelance designer to create some original ones exactly how you want.

This really is the best method to creating your website. Good luck with your new business website and if you need any help go over to our forum and I’m sure the community will be happy to assist.