These website hints and tips assume that you’re a relatively small company and not British Airways with a multi-million pound budget at your disposal and currently thinking of a rebrand post COVID.
If you haven’t yet sorted out a website a few thoughts before you do.
Firstly I’d suggest buying your own name and space as opposed to letting an agency to do it for you. If you want to change designer or do it yourself or indeed, if the agency you are with decided to close down you will have to try and get your name transferred. While moving hosts can be done, it can be fraught with problems and could result in unwanted down time.
Purchasing it is easy enough and keeps you in control*. Let me know if you need any help.
When a web design company say they will host your website on their servers. The chances are what they really mean is they will be buying in the service from a hosting company (TSOHost, LCN, GoDaddy etc). This is one of those times when it is cheaper to buy something in. You’ll need a hi-spec server (plus a back-up) running 24 hours a day, fast internet speed (which isn’t always available) and a technical wizard that knows what to do when something crashes. You can’t afford for your website to have any down time.
Nearly all websites now use some sort of Content Management System (CMS) instead of just basic html coding. CMS gives you the option of adding information/images/pages or blog yourself without any coding experience.
WordPress vs Wix or similar hosting providing CMS.
In praise of WordPress
WordPress can be used by almost any hosting provider. It is free (you’ll need a database which your host might charge for). It has become the de facto software used (currently 40% of websites use WordPress). There is a plethora of help online so if you get stuck, help would be easier to find. Website designers should be well versed in designing with WordPress, so again, help would be easier to find. You’ll also find there are more free plugins and templates.
DIY websites from the likes of Wix etc have a few disadvantages. You can’t access the code to make changes, it would be impossible to move the site elsewhere if you had a problem or wanted to change host. If you’re using the free version you’ll likely have an advert for your host company along the bottom of the site which won’t give a professional image.
Use plugins sparingly
Plugins are used to add functionality. But, the more plugins the slower the site will load, the more chances of something not working.
*Buying your own site is simple enough to do using a company like LCN. You’ll need to buy your website name (keep it as short and as simple as possible as it will have to be typed in by a prospective customer for emails as well as access to your site). You’ll also need hosting (this is where your files will go to be accessed across the internet. It should also come with email). You’ll need the WordPress option.