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by Tom Howlett on 22nd November 2011
The internet is now the setting for many businesses large and small. Most of your customers will be using the internet to research, purchase and review products and services; this makes having some sort of internet presence necessary for business success. It is now easier than ever to create a website and host it online, hence the title of this post.
This post will briefly talk about how this is possible and the steps you can take to create a website quickly and easily. The following examples are useful if you want to create and host a website with a relatively small budget and limited time, if you have a greater level of resources available to you we suggest doing a bit more research to find the best route for you (a customised design is always preferable to most).
Building a website
The quickest and simplest way of building a website is to select a popular Content Management System (CMS), we have listed the most popular platforms below:
The great thing about these platforms are the sheer number of themes available for use. You can download some quality themes for free nowadays; others range in price from a few pounds to a few hundred. Some are built for specific business websites in mind such as Restaurants, Hotels etc. Others are more generic, suitable for business websites, personal portfolios or blogs.
Here are a few great websites for finding themes:
Setting up your website/blog once choosing a theme is done by securing hosting for the website (discussed below) more often than not the hosting companies offer one-click installation for the above Content Management Systems, which enable you to quickly setup your site without any server knowledge (if not the hosting company are more than likely going to be happy to help).
Purchasing a Domain
Buying a domain is also a simple and quick process. To do this you can purchase the domain when setting up your hosting. Most web hosting companies nowadays enable you to buy domains as well. If you are using a basic hosting package, this domain is generally assigned to the host account straight away ready for use.
Domains range in value but for a .co.uk domain you are looking at approximately £6 for two years.
Getting it Hosted
There are many web hosting companies around who offer various different levels of hosting from small business and one website hosting to dedicated server hosting. For most small businesses a standard shared hosting package will be fine for what is required. Here are some things to look out for:
Here are some alternatives that allow you to create a hosted website with relative ease. This is largely targeted towards Blog websites however are not restricted to.
Tumblr is a popular blogging and sharing platform. Recent additions to Tumblr allow users to create static pages which make it easier to create a fully functional website. You can personalise your site by selecting a free or premium theme, with a little HTML and CSS knowledge you could change it to look how you would like it to.
Tumblr also gives you the opportunity of using a domain of your choice if you already own the domain.
Blogger is similar to Tumblr although the platform is not as customisable as others. This platform is focused on helping you create a simple Blog on the subject of your choice. Owned by Google, the focus for them is to create a platform for sharing thoughts, photos, videos and other similar items. This is great for small personal Blogs but probably wouldn’t suit a business website.
Virb is a platform dedicated to helping people create a website from scratch using one of their nicely designed themes (these are customisable). Virb walks you through the process of creating your website in easy to follow steps. The way in which Virb is setup, is to include hosting. You get a website, use of their tools and hosting for $10 a month. The only thing you do not get is the domain which you will have to setup yourself using the steps highlighted above.
There may be more platforms than the ones stated above, we tried to select ones that have a large following as this guarantees lots of help available online and more often than not a great selection of free and premium themes. If you know of any others, let us know in the comments below.
It is also important to realise that the above examples are not necessarily the best ways of creating a website for yourself or your business. If you have the resources available, there are few ways better than hiring a designer or agency to bring your vision to life. The examples from this post are intended to highlight how easy it is to get a website in a relatively short period of time if you have little or no resources available to you.
Thanks to @steviephil for giving us the idea for this post.