I responded to an email this week about advice on how to build a website and I thought it would be worthwhile to reproduce it here as the facts are pretty useful to anyone.
Cost Effective Websites
The first thing you need is a domain name . To get a domain should be cheap I really recommend using : domainmonster.com - £2.95 per year for .uk and £8.89 /year for .com - they are cheap but also their customer service is excellent ad they have a very helpful site and useful tools also.
Once you have a domain registered you need make a decision if you are going to go DIY or use a design company to build the site.
If you go the DIY route you will next need a hosting company - I recommend nativespace.co.uk - you can get very good hosting with them for £3.99 a month which is reliable and flexible, there are other alternatives around but you need to make sure that you don’t comprise quality with price.
Next you need to sort out a content management system (sounds more complex than it is) - I recommend wordpress - free and one of the most popular on the web - if you choose nativespace they have a simple wizard that will install wordpress for you - quick and easy!
Finally you will need to get a design - there are a lot of free wordpress templates or you can pay for one - or commission one to meet your exact needs from a designer.
If you suffer from techno fear then this may sound complex - but I think you will find the process fairly painless and there is lots of help on the internet, and when you think you could be up and running with a good hosted site for less than a £10.
There is an even easier way and that is to use the wordpress.com site where they provide the hosting for free - and so you don’t have to install anything - there is a limited set of template designs already available - and if you want your domain to point there you just pay them £7.50 per year and they will allow you to use your domain. This is the the simplest and cheapest option but you have more restrictions - value for money is fantastic - for a .uk domain you have got it all sorted for a year for just over a tenner!
One of the great things about trying it yourself is that it helps to play around with ideas on content and what you want to do with the site - before you approach the professionals - the £10 is worth it for these reasons alone - even if you have low expectations of what you might actually create.