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.