So you need a new website and you need to know what your options are. They basically fit into 3 categories.
To summarize: you have to decide if you are going to spend 10 grand and up to have an old style HTML site built, 2 grand and up for a WordPress site to be built, and 100 bucks and up for you to build your own WordPress site.
Here are all your website options in outline form. You can:
1.) Hire a company to build your site using old style HTML. Costs are generally $10,000 and up.
- This is an expensive solution. Although there is a huge amount of information available to help you learn how to be an HTML programmer, it can take years working at it full time to start to get good at it. The learning curve is usually considered prohibitive unless you want to make it a career. You can buy a pre-made HTML website “template” to help build the site, but that cuts down on the custom programming by about 30% at best. When done correctly, HTML websites can look stunning artistically, and very professional.
- You are tied to that companies programmer for life. Old style HTML has standards, but they are applied in wildly different ways by every single programmer.
- When you end your relationship with one programmer you have to find another programmer and they invariably won’t like the code written by the previous person. So it will cost you a lot to get the new person to take over, they might have to “fix” big sections of the code to make it more like their style.
- When you want to add, change, or delete a page, you have to pay your programmer to do it. Unless you learn the HTML programming language to the extent that you can do it yourself which is usually doubtful. The programmer controls the content, even if you want to change a single punctuation mark.
- For the life of that website, every time you need a new feature it has to be custom created for you by an HTML programmer. If you ever want to change the “look and feel” of the website that’s a major overhaul process where every single web page is completely rewritten.
2.) Hire a company to built your site using WordPress. Costs are generally $2,000 and up.
- This is a moderately priced solution. WordPress itself is free and since it’s “open source”, there are a hand full of ways to get free support and free information about it. There are dozens of books and magazines available on every WordPress subject from building it to just using it. The learning curve to learn how to build WordPress is moderate and it can be taken on as a hobby. When done correctly, WordPress can look stunning artistically, and very professional.
- WordPress is modular and very standardized so there is a lot less unique code written. In some cases a website can be made with no unique code so that it works without major modifications right out of the box.
- You are less likely to have code written by one WordPress programmer that is impossible to figure out by the next WordPress programmer. So in general there is a much easier transition from one WordPress technician to the next.
- In many cases you can add, change, and delete pages by yourself with no programming knowledge. WordPress gives control of the content to the user. Sometimes the content is written using HTML programming tags which makes it hard for users to use, but many times the website can be built so users can add content completely by themselves.
- There are over 10,000 features available for free or a small charge that work as “plugins” to WordPress. You can change the entire look and feel of the website by changing just the “Theme”, because the content is stored in a database away from the actual code needed for the website structure.
3.) DIY or Do It Yourself websites.
- This can be an inexpensive solution. Costs are generally $100 and up (because you need to pay for hosting).
- Most hosting companies offer a DIY solution for 5 to 10 dollars extra a month. Almost all of these websites look amateurish when they are completed. Even if you build one correctly, their style marks them and marks you as being “cheap” or “non-professional” or “mom and pop level”.
- WordPress can be considered a DIY solution with a moderate learning curve for both building websites and maintaining the content. Most hosting companies have an automatic tool you can use to install a WordPress website. Using WordPress is definitely DIY as the main concept behind it’s design is to allow users with no programming knowledge to control their own content.
- Writing your own HTML website is NOT usually considered a DIY solution.
Options for Domain Names and Hosting
If you are opting for the best most cost effective solutions for domain name registrations and website hosting, I recommend GoDaddy.com for domain name registrations and HostGator.com for hosting. Although GoDaddy is the best place to buy domain names, in my professional opinion their hosting is below industry standards and it’s very difficult for professionals to work with. HostGator’s hosting solutions are industry standard and their support is the best in the industry. I’ve probably used a half dozen domain name companies over the years (registrars) and I’ve used Godaddy for probably more than 2,000 domain name purchases or renewals since 2004. I’ve used at least a dozen hosting companies and I eventually moved my entire business to HostGator because I found their pricing, and their service and support was simply the best. There are links below for both GoDaddy and HostGator. Both of these links are non-affiliate links.