Fifteen years ago, it would not have been possible to create a fully functioning, mobile responsive and aesthetically pleasing website with no knowledge of HTML or coding. Today, this is not only possible, it’s easy and inexpensive. In this guide, we’ll cover how to create a website. Specifically we will focus on how to create websites in the following categories:
In most cases, we recommend using WordPress to create your website. However, if you are less technologically advanced or need a platform with a specific functionality, a different platform may be a better fit for you. If you go with a WordPress website, you’ll have to pay for hosting. Bluehost offers web hosting for as low as $2.95 a month. Click here to check it out.
For each category, we will include instructions on how to create a website using WordPress, plus a guide for creating a site with a more category specific platform.
Why We Typically Recommend Using WordPress
Not only is WordPress the content management system that we use here at Fit Small Business, WordPress powers over 20% of websites today.
There’s a reason WordPress is so popular:
- It’s free. This is a big one, since everyone loves free things. The only cost associated with a WordPress site is the cost of hosting, which can be as low as $2.95 if you purchase a plan with Bluehost.
- It’s easy to use. If you know how to navigate Microsoft Word, then you’ll be able to add posts to WordPress. Though it gets trickier to manage if you want more customized options, if you’re looking for a basic website, you should be able to understand how to use WordPress with little to no training.
- It’s infinitely customizable. With WordPress you can add plugins, which increase the functionality of your site. Developers are constantly working to create new and better plugins, and often they are free or very inexpensive.
- It’s mobile responsive. Mobile is taking over and it’s more important than ever that your website looks just as good on a phone as it does on a computer. WordPress offers many mobile responsive themes, so that your website automatically adjusts to mobile screens with no additional coding.
- It comes with a huge support network. If you get stuck with your site, there are tons of people who are advanced at WordPress. You can hire a freelancer to help you out, or read one of the thousands of articles that bloggers have written about solving WordPress problems.
When To Consider an Alternative to WordPress
Though WordPress has the perfect balance of customizability and ease of use for most people, some are looking for an even easier solution or an option with specific functionality. The following are a few reasons to consider a WordPress alternative for your business category:
- Less technologically savvy – There are website builders out there that are so intuitive that almost anyone can create a website in under 30 minutes.
- Need niche functionality – If you need an ecommerce store or ability to create separate pages for your real estate listings, it may make sense for you to choose a builder that comes with all the functionality you need in one place.
- Site not for professional use – If you are using the site for blogging purposes, for example, you may gain from using a platform with a built in network (such as Medium).
How To Create a Website: Breakdown By Category
We have created step by step guides for different categories. Choose the type of site that you are interested in creating to learn more:
Most people will research a business online before making a purchasing decision. Therefore, even if you have an offline business, it’s imperative to have an online presence for your company.
Learn how to create a professional website using one of the options below, and ensure your site gives off a positive impression:
In this guide, we’ll show you how to setup your WordPress site in 5 steps. We walk you through the process while setting up our own website for a fictional bakery. This is the right guide for you if you are looking to create a 5-10 page website for your business with the following types of pages: home, about us, products, pricing, contact us, etc. The only cost associated with a WordPress website is the cost of hosting (as low as $2.95 per month using Bluehost), plus the possibilities for a WordPress website are endless.
If you want an out of the box solution that you can setup with minimal instruction, then consider using the website builder, Weebly. Setting up a site using Weebly is fairly intuitive, but if you want guidance, read our instructions for setting up a Weebly website. While Weebly is a great option for the technical novice, it is more expensive ($12/month for our recommended plan) and not as customizable as WordPress.
Starting a blog is a fun way to share your expertise on a particular subject with others. If done right, it can also be a substantial side or even full time business.
Since WordPress was created as a blogging platform, it’s a great option for creating your blog. In our guide, we’ll show you initial setup steps, plus tips on how to market your blog once it’s up and running.
Although you will not have your own website with Medium, it can be a good option if you want to be immediately connected to a network of other bloggers. People will be able to follow, share and like your posts within the platform.
If having an online store is essential to your website, you will definitely want to bear in mind the needs of an e-commerce store while creating your site. While WordPress has plugins for processing online payments and managing purchases, Shopify is an all-in-one e-commerce solution. Therefore, if the main purpose of your website is to have an online store, consider Shopify. If you want to sell products through your website, but you also have other intentions for your site, WordPress is the more flexible option.
In this guide, we cover the many ways you can sell products on a WordPress ecommerce site, from adding simple “Buy” buttons on posts, to building store sections on blogs, to launching full-featured storefronts. We’ll also cover ways you can use WordPress to keep your entire ecommerce operation running smoothly.
Using a dedicated ecommerce platform such as Shopify is a great option for creating an online store. Shopify’s all-in-one multichannel selling solution includes a full suite of web store, marketplace, social, and in-person selling tools. Store management is all-in-one, too. From tracking inventory to processing orders to printing shipping labels, you can do it all within Shopify’s intuitive dashboard. View our comparison guide on three top dedicated ecommerce platforms to learn more. The downside to Shopify over WordPress is that it is more expensive, with their lowest priced plan costing $29 per month.
If you need to know how to create a website where you can post listings, integrate your MLS, and promote yourself as an agent, then one of the options below should work for you.
WordPress is a great option for real estate agents. You can download a specialized real estate theme, or use plugins to get even more functionality, such as a plugin to create attractive property pages or a plugin to allow visitors to search your local MLS for properties. You can even integrate your MLS with IDX. Learn how to set this all up and more with our step by step guide.
For an all-in-one real estate website builder solution, try Zillow websites. With this builder, you can capture leads, include specific MLS listings wherever you want, add calculators, area walk scores, and much more. Plus, it’s easy to use and is fairly low cost at $10 per month (free for Zillow premier agents). Though you can get most of the same features with WordPress, by using a real estate website builder, all of this functionality comes pre-packaged. Read what else a real estate website builder has to offer in our buyer’s guide of three top options.
At Fit Small Business, we have you covered. Whether you want a fully functioning e-commerce store, or a blog to chronicle your insights, we have the guide on how to create a website for you.
Now that you have your website squared away, it’s time to market your product or service. Learn more in the marketing section of our site.