The whole process of picking a platform, hiring a designer, and setting up hosting for your website can be really exhausting. For most people, it’s like trying to communicate when you don’t speak the language. You can be totally spent before you ever even get to the design process. Lots of people want to DIY their site. Maybe, you feel really comfortable with tech, want to have control of the process, or maybe you just need a site on a budget. I am going to break down the process, translate the web speak, and give you tips on building a great site, DIY style.
Website Set Up
Hosting – This is the company that stores the files your designer makes files. Siteground, Blue Host, and GoDaddy are companies that provide hosting.
Domains – Your domain name is your (company name).com. So it’s your website address. Some companies just provide domains like namecheap.com but you can also get your domain name from most hosting companies.
Then you have to pick a platform like WordPress, Squarespace, or Shopify.
WordPress – Use this platform if you need lots of customization in your design or functions like membership sites, e-commerce (selling items online) or a blog. If you want to maintain your site yourself but have zero comfort when it comes to tech, this is not the platform for you.
Design – WordPress sites can be custom built or use a pre-designed theme.
Cost – WordPress is free but you will need a domain name, host, and probably a designer or developer.
Shopify – Shopify is a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get). This means you can drag, drop and see what you are doing. You pick a template and fill in your own information and images. If you need an e-commerce site and want to DIY, Shopify is an excellent choice.
Design – Shopify uses a template to create the design. You can make limited changes without a developer. This is for your benefit, so you know that you can’t mess it up.
Cost – Shopify hosts your site, so all you need is a domain. You pay a monthly fee, and they offer a free trial
Squarespace – Squarespace is a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get). This means you can drag, drop, and see what you are doing. You pick a template and fill in your own information and images.You can pick them with a blog or shopping cart. This is a platform made to be easy for people who are comfortable with some tech to DIY, and you can also add customization.
Design – Squarespace uses a template that you pick out to create the design. You can make limited changes without a developer. Like Shopify, this is for your benefit, you can’t mess it up. They also offer support, so you can call and get help with your site. If you do decide to change some of the code, this service will not be available to you.
Cost – You can get your hosting, domain, and site all in one place for a monthly fee of $18. They also offer a free trial.
Design Tips –
Templates & Themes -Pick a theme or template that has all of the functions you need, like a blog and a shopping cart. Also, look at the flow of the site and layout. Is it full width? Can you make the types of pages you like? Look at sites you like and notice the grid. Draw it out like squares on a piece of paper. This is actually how we sketch and build sites. This will tell you the layout you are looking for.
Style – If you don’t already have a style guide, make a Pinterest board focusing on typefaces, color combinations, and photography styles that you like.
Design – Stick to two typefaces and use the italic, bold, and regular version of these. Pick one type style for headlines, one for subheads, and one for body copy.
Choose three colors. A neutral for backgrounds and subheads, a color for links, and one main color for headlines.
Keep a consistent photo style and use the best images you can find. If you need stock images, Creative Market is a great resource.
Content – Keep your content short and to the point. Remember to focus on what you want people to do when they come to your site. Make it easy for people to know what you do and how to hire you.
Do you need a website now, but aren’t sure if you are ready to DIY?
Most people are pretty comfortable with tech because of the way we work with computers every day. I developed a solution for people who want to create their own sites, but don’t want to spend their time trying to figure out how to build a website. With a three-hour time commitment from you, we co-create a site in Squarespace that’s perfect for you, easy for you to update, and in JUST 7 DAYS for only $800!
This option is perfect for you if …
You want to manage your own site’s updates and content.
You feel pretty comfortable with Squarespace or design programs, but need some help with the tech stuff.
You needed a site yesterday.
You are new in your business and have a limited budget.
What you get…
A 30-minute consultation where I learn about you and your business and we go over the next steps to launching your site.
A toolbox of workbooks, guides, and questionnaires to help you as much, or as little as you need to co-create your site.
A one-hour consultation where we discuss the details about your new site.
A new site that’s not just a pretty face, but a workforce for your business built in Squarespace, in just 7 days!
A training video that you can always refer back to showing you how to manage your site.
Ready to get started? Contact me here to set up a kick-off call.