First of all I need you to know, I’m no techie expert.  Far from it.  I created a website for under £200 and with no technical skill whatsoever.

What I did have was a desire to create a website that looked a little sleeker and more professional than the blog I’d been hosting on the Blogger platform.  I knew hiring a website whizz was out of the question so it was just me and the help of Google that got me started.

Here’s a list of the tools I used to create my website:

Domain name: I’d been writing under a ‘pen name’ for a while and decided to come out and buy a domain in my own name.  A quick browse around 123-reg and EmmaGwillim.com (and .co.uk) were all mine. (£31)

Domain hosting: I’ve been using TSO Host and it’s been really reliable so far (touch wood!).  On the odd occasion when there’s been a hiccup, no matter how trivial, the customer service team has been really speedy in helping me out.  (And not making me feel daft!)  (£25)

Publishing platform: I’d heard great things about WordPress and I’ve not been disappointed: quickly and easily I had my WordPress site set-up and then the fun began.  The beauty of WordPress is that there are huge numbers of themes and plugins to transform your website into a design that really represents you and your brand.

The look and feel: There’s no way I wanted to be playing around with code and there was no budget for a web developer so Thesis themes really was like manna from heaven.  It’s so easy to customise the basic theme and, after a bit of practice, I got to grips with making changes to get my website design to reflect the vision I had for it.  (£56.67)

Graphics and logo design: I was a total novice on the design front too but I didn’t want to be reliant on outsourcing logo and graphics design left, right and centre: the time and expense both put me off.  I wanted a basic skill-set of my own to be able to create basic but visually-appealing graphics and marketing materials.  I plumped for Adobe Photoshop Elements – I still find it a little bit awkward to use but  I’m getting quicker!  (£61)

So, there you have it: my website was out in the big wide world, all for under £200.  What do you think?  Do you fancy giving it a go?  Or would you prefer the hassle-free option of paying an expert?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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