You don’t have to be a design genius to create your own, stylish website. But you do need patience and time. Getting someone else to do the hard work for you is the easiest option, but can be prohibitively expensive for a new business. You might find something in between doing it all yourself, and getting someone else to do it all, is what will work best for you.
To help you decide which might be the best way for you, I’ve listed the main options for creating a website. I’ve included some links to people I’ve either worked with, or know others who’ve recommended their work to give you a starting point to get a feel for what is best for you.
So, what are the options for creating your website?
1. Etsy Pattern
If your product-based business started out as an Etsy shop, creating a website is actually really easy. You can use Etsy’s web platform Pattern to build your online presence.
If you want to try it first, there’s a 30-day free trial, thereafter it’s $15 a month. It’s easy to set up the website which automatically connects to your Etsy shop and products.
You can customise it to represent your brand and add pages such as a blog, events and about pages and connect to Mailchimp if you want to build an email list. There’s also the option to register a domain name so that the web address is your domain name rather than the Pattern one.
My sister and I have created a website using this option and found it very easy to use. If you want to find out more about Pattern, they’ll be a link from your Etsy shop.
If you know your way around the backend of a website and are confident about building a site from scratch, doing it yourself is definitely the cheapest option. There are plenty of tutorials and videos available on YouTube to show you the basics.
Another option is to buy a course to show you how to create a website. This could be a great option if you know the basics and want to do it yourself, but need some guidance for the more difficult parts. There are free courses available but they tend to be basic and probably won’t give you all you need to get your site up and running.
For this website which is WordPress, I initially bought Julia Ferrari’s course. I found it easy to follow and guided me through all of the steps needed to get my website up and running. Julia is going to be updating her course soon so it won’t be available for a while so if you’re interested in it, you’ll need to be quick. I’ve also done one of Vicky’s free courses over at The Website Mentor and would recommend having a look at those too, as well as the course and masterclasses she runs.
A semi-bespoke package is a great option if don’t feel confident about building a website yourself, and are happy to go with an off-the-shelf design. It’s a lot cheaper than getting a designer to create something from scratch, but still gives you an amazing looking site with great functionality.
After my website had been live for a while, I realised it didn’t really look how I wanted it to, and didn’t do all of the things I needed it to. I’m not a natural when it comes to technology and decided it would be quicker and more cost effective to get a web designer to update it for me.
As I knew Julia’s work, I decided to go with one of her semi-bespoke packages. For this option, you need to have chosen your brand colours, have a logo and an idea about which fonts you’d like to be used. These are then used to customise one of the standard layouts to give you a website which reflects your business and brand.
There are several other designers such as Sarah Heyl and Fleurir Online who offer this, so shop around if you think this is the option for you. You can also purchase something similar from bigger companies who offer more of a standard package and a less personalised service.
If you have the budget, getting a designer to create a bespoke website for you is definitely the best option. You can also have your branding and logo designed as part of most bespoke packages, or as an add-on, so you’re getting everything created for you. It isn’t a cheap option with prices starting from about £2,000. But everything is done for you which takes away a lot of stress.
If you’re thinking of this option, I would recommend a more personalised service which is what you usually get with individual designers such as Julia or Caitlin Pieters or small firms. I think the bigger the company you use, the less of a personalised service you get. But everyone is different so either shop around to see what’s available and what feels right for you, or ask friends or people with websites you love, who created theirs.
These are the four most common ways to set up a website. I’d love to hear how you’re going to create yours. Are you going to do it yourself or is it going to be done by a designer? Who would you recommend? Leave a comment so others can have a look at who you recommend.
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