This post outlines three methods of building a site, both for our clients as well as anyone else in the interwebs that stumbles upon this article.
It used to be that there was only ONE way to build a website – you’d hire a pro who would create custom layouts in Photoshop or Illustrator and then they would manually convert the design into HTML, images and eventually as the web evolved, CSS.
This approach often cost clients thousands of dollars. While it’s still possible to spend that much, it’s not always necessary these days.
We suggest three scenarios with a few minor variables. These are organized based on cost – from virtual nothing to several thousand dollars/euros. All scenarios suggest WordPress as the core software to run your site.
Why WordPress? Because it’s simply the best open source system available for building sites. Around 25% of the web is powered by WP and for good reason… it’s powerful, flexible and easy to use!
Now then, on to the three scenarios…
#1 – Total DIY
The total DIY approach involves using a WordPress hosting system like cre8tives to build and edit your site totally by yourself.
We developed cre8tives in order to make it easier for clients to maintain their WordPress sites, as we take care of all the heavy lifting – backups, updates and improvements to the core are all managed by us, making it a lot easier to manage your site as there’s essentially nothing to maintain but your content.
The process is pretty straightforward… you sign up, create a site, choose a template, make modifications using the theme customizer, build some pages and wallah – you have a site!
Along the way you may need to watch one of our WordPress training videos in order to learn some new skill, but if you’re comfortable editing a Facebook profile, then you should be able to gradually learn everything that’s needed to build and maintain your site.
#1 ALT Scenario
You get your own hosting account and install WordPress from your control panel. We think cre8tives is a lot easier to use, but it’s not required. You can also buy a unique theme in case one of ours doesn’t meet your needs.
#2 – Part DIY, Part PRO
This scenario is similar to #1, but has a few different variables.
Maybe you like playing with theme options (changing colors, fonts, etc) but get lost when it comes to page structures and organizing content. Maybe it’s the other way around… you find it easy to build your pages, but need a pro assistant to customize your theme and do a few unique hacks.
Hacks are those unexpected things that are difficult to anticipate… unusual needs like wanting to put content or design elements outside the normal bounds of a theme design. Maybe it’s getting some outside perspective on creating attractive page layouts. Other times it’s about special effects that you can’t quite put into words, or just don’t know if there’s a solution for a specific need.
That’s where you need a pro to step in.
The great part of this approach is that you can experiment by yourself quite a bit and then reach out when you need help.
Budget ranges in this category are usually around $200-$1000 depending on how much assistance and customization is needed. You start by just asking questions to find out what’s possible.
We track our time in 15 minute increments and sometimes tasks that may seem crazy complicated to a newbie takes just a few minutes for us. So it’s often possible to get a lot done in a little bit of time without breaking the bank. (In addition to working with us, there are numerous sites where you can hire WordPress pros from around the world.)
#3 – The Total PRO Experience
In this scenario, you should be prepared to spend a minimum of $750-1000. Could be more based on your specific needs.
This process involves a client interview to determine aesthetics, functionality and content requirements, often resulting in a design prototyping stage, followed by template customization and page building.
Working with a pro for all aspects of your site building takes time… layouts, custom code and content editing done by the hour on a case by case basis.
If you’re the type of person that shies away from all things technical (and you have the budget available) then this is your best solution.
What You Get in All Three Approaches
Whether you have virtually no budget and a DIY attitude of digging in to get your (virtual) hands dirty, or you need to be personally guided throughout the entire process, there’s one thing that all of these scenarios has – the ability to maintain and edit your content.
That’s because we suggest WordPress for all scenarios as it’s simply the best way to build and maintain a website these days. It’s fully open source which means the core software, most plugins and lots of themes are free. But more than that, you can take your site anywhere, moving it from one hosting server to another whenever you want.
Compare this to services like SquareSpace, Cargo, Weebly, etc. All of those are commercial services with their own proprietary systems – that simply means that your site can only be maintained as long as you continue using their services.
That’s why we developed our hosting and website building system on WordPress – so that clients are free at any time to export out their content and move their site to their own host at anytime.
What’s Right for You?
If you’d like to work with us, then fill out the short form below.
If you’d like to keep exploring the option of building a WordPress site on your site, we highly recommend the blog at WPMUdev for more resources.