Yes,  you read that correctly . . .  Give a Website as a gift. If you know someone creative who doesn’t have their own website,  I can help you buy one for them.

There are 3 things you need to have a website:

A domain name.  The domain name for this website is Domain names are inexpensive. You should only pay between $15 and $20 a year for a domain name.

One thing to understand about domain names: if you  don’t find a website online for a domain name you think you want,  that doesn’t mean that the domain name is available. Lots of domain names are taken – –  someone bought it but never made a website,  or they just bought a clever name in hopes of reselling it for more money. To find out if the  domain you want is available,  go here to search for it. If it’s taken,  you might be able to buy it from the owner,  but the price might be higher than a new domain.

Web Host.  This is is where the  website lives. Think of it this way: you live in a house and your house has an address. The address is how someone finds your house and delivers mail to it.  The domain name is like the address. The web hosting is like the  actual house. And just as the house is more expensive than the mailbox,  the web host can be the most expensive part of a website. Here are some things to know and think about :

  1. You can find free hosting,  but it’s not the best idea if you plan to have a business. If it’s a hobby and funds are limited,  a free website is fine.
  2. Always check the terms and conditions of free sites before you post anything you’ve created to make sure you retain your rights to your creation.
  3. If you are willing to pay for 3 years of hosting all at once,  you might be able to find hosting for as low as $3 a month.
  4. Web hosting is always sold with an “introductory price.” This is not meant to be a nasty trick,  but they also don’t make it blatantly obvious, so you need to be aware of it. The introductory price applies to the first payment, whether that is for a month,  6 months,  1 year,  2 years,  or 3 years. (Some hosts don’t let you pay in monthly increments.) You need to find out what the regular price is and decide if you want to pay it or if the person you’re giving the website to will be able to take over the cost. Generally the host will just bill the same credit card again unless it has expired before the billing period is up.

The Theme (or design).  This depends on the platform the website is built on. My website is built on WordPress. Free web hosts have a site builder included. Self-hosted websites (web hosting you pay for) have a variety of site building options,  including WordPress,  Joomla and Drupal. Some hosts have other options or their own software they’ve created (like Squarespace). There are pros and cons of all of them,  but the bottom line is you should figure this out  before you purchase hosting. You want to make sure the host is compatible with the platform you choose,  and you want to factor in the cost,  if there is any. Think of this like the siding of your house. If you buy a house,  the siding is usually included and already installed for you. But if you build it yourself,  you have to put up the siding yourself (or pay for someone to do it).

There are many free Themes for WordPress, and there are a lot of reasons to pay for one, too. As with anything, there’s kind of a lot to know, but it really depends on how particular you are about what your site looks like and what specific features you want your website to have.

Are you confused yet?

If you’re finding this all a bit overwhelming, you’re not alone. People who don’t have websites often think it’s either too expensive or too technically difficult to make one.

There are lots of options out there. While that might make the choice harder, it also means you should be able to find something that meets your needs. And everyone has different needs when it comes to a website. Some need it to be free. Some are willing to pay but want the lowest price. Some want to sell things. Some don’t care about the cost, but have a very specific idea and they want to create that, no matter what it costs.

I can help!

There are lots of options for web hosting on my Resources page. You can read through those if you want, or you can just contact me and tell me what you need and what your budget is, and I can sort it all out for you and give you a recommendation. We can work out whatever terms you want. I can just give you a recommendation and send you off, or I can help you complete the transaction and set up the website for you and then send you off, or I can train you to use WordPress once the websites is set up, or I can continue to manage it for you once it’s set up. It’s all up to your needs and your budget.

And I can do this for a small business or a solopreneur or for any kind of personal website. Just let me know how I can help.