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Does your competition suit business need a website? All marketing and media gurus will tell you “YES, ABSOLUTELY YOU NEED A WEBSITE!”
But, personally I think you first need to ask yourself one question:
How big do I want my business to grow?
If you only create suits as a hobby and you intend to keep it as a hobby, you’re probably doing well just by advertising here and there on social media. If you want your work to become a major or even primary source of income (i.e. this will pay your bills and pay for your vacations), then I’m going to have to advise you to follow the marketing gurus:
YES, YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED A WEBSITE!
Being a bonafide DIYer myself, I dove head first into developing my own websites. If this is something you’d like to tackle, then keep reading! I’m going to outline the beginning steps you will need to take in order to develop a hosted website for your business.
In a separate post, I’ll go over a simple cost analysis between developing your own website versus using an e-commerce platform.
Now, let’s get started on what you’ll need to get your website up and running!
First, you’ll need to purchase a domain. Common domain registrars are:
- GoDaddy: You can expect to pay $14.99USD per year for your domain. But, make sure to check their promotions for any discounts.
- Google: The MIKO Suit Supplies’ domain was purchased through Google! And I pay $12USD per year for domain registration.
Second, choose a web host. If you’re wondering what a web host is, check out this really thorough definition here: What is Website Hosting?
In general, I like thinking of a web host as a farmer’s market and each booth inside the market is a website. Consumers have access to each booth in the market just as online visitors have access to your website that is parked in your host’s server. Let’s go through a list of common web hosts:
- SiteGround: This is the host that I use for all of my websites. You can get introductory hosting for as little as $3.95USD per month for one domain. If you intend on having multiple websites, you can use the GrowBig plan (which is what I use). Just note that after a year of service, the plan pricing will increase significantly from the introductory pricing. In spite of the higher rates, I still trust SiteGround the most for all of my needs. I’ll go over this in further detail in the upcoming cost analysis post.
- BlueHost: BlueHost provides one of the most affordable hosting rates available, starting at introductory prices of $2.95USD per month for three years. During my early web development days, I did park my websites at BlueHost. However, I outgrew my hosting plan at the time and migrated to SiteGround.
- DreamHost: This is a hosting service that I’ve never personally used, but has been recommended in web development forums.
- For in depth reviews of multiple hosting services, I highly recommend reading this article: 10 Best Hosting Services in 2018.
Finally, after choosing a hosting service, you’ll have the option of installing a website builder through your service. I personally use WordPress to build all of my websites.
WordPress.org provides a simple “point-and-click” interface for designing your website through the use of themes. Each theme contains all the coding and style sheets necessary for defining the appearance of your website. By using a theme, you would not have to personally code your website (unless there are specific functions that you’d like and could only be accessed through the code files, but this is not common for most suit designers’ needs).
WordPress has an extensive library of free and premium (i.e. paid) themes from which you can choose. MIKO Suit Supplies uses an independent designer’s theme: Lovely Confetti.
So that’s it! The three main ingredients you need to begin building your own hosted website are:
- Website Hosting
- Website Builder (WordPress.org)
But, if you would like a simpler route, make sure to check back for my upcoming posts regarding e-commerce platforms and the cost of using them rather than building your own website.
Hopefully this helps you get started! And if you have any questions, please feel free to drop them in the comments below!