Designing a website on your own can be a little frustrating and perhaps even daunting in the beginning. One thing to keep in mind that no matter how your website appears, you will find great pleasure and satisfaction knowing that every change, modification, update, etc., was done by you and when you see how wonderful the finished product can look, and at a huge savings, you will be overwhelmed.
The first thing you need to understand is the costs involved in having someone else design your website vs. you designing your website yourself. A web design company can charge anywhere from a few hundred dollars (usually on Elance or the like) all the way to several thousand dollars. Keep in mind that these costs do not include hosting, domain registration, logo design, premium themes (if using a CMS system), future updates, etc.
On the low end of the self-design cost spectrum, you may only have to fork up about $120 to design a WordPress site using a free WordPress theme. This does not mean you have to purchase one of the free WordPress themes offered within the application. You can actually shop around online and you will find there are many themes out there that will offer a free and premium version. The free version will usually hard-code their footer so that you must maintain credit to the designer of the theme. But let’s delve more into that later.
So, here are the up-front fees you will be responsible for if designing a site yourself using a Content Management System like, for example, WordPress:
· Domain Registration: $10-$15
· Hosting: $80-$110 annually or about $10 a month if you don’t want to pay the entire year up-front (it will always be cheaper to pay for the whole year at once)
That’s pretty much it. Unless you choose a premium WordPress theme (do not spend more than $30), these are the only costs you are looking at in the beginning.
It really only takes about 2 hours to get a site up and running. The longest part of the process is choosing a domain and hosting company and then installing the WordPress application. The configuration settings can be a bit tricky and if not done right you can make your site simply ‘disappear’; however, for the most part, it’s really painless.
So, let’s review:
· Domain registration
· Hosting company
· Install WordPress
· Choose your theme
· Upload your theme as a.zip file
Once you have successfully installed a theme, you can now begin to configure your theme in the theme options panel. This is where you choose a logo and/or header image, sliders, footer information, etc. Then, you can move onto creating your menu/pages for navigation. Keep in mind that every theme is different. They all have varying styles and framework but they all share similar design qualities.
If you attempt to design your own website, please be sure to read as much information on the technical details but I can assure you, I do not consider myself a coder and if you do not as well, WordPress or any other CMS system can be yours for the taking.
Best of luck!