How do I Set up my Own Website? This is How I Did It (Part 1)

September 17th, 2014   |   Posted by

About Harry Parker

Follow my journey as I share the roadmap to living a comfortable retirement. Like many people around my age we are redefining what retirement is all about. Our generation is not satisfied with just sitting around waiting for time to pass. We’re breaking the rules and making our latter years mean something.

Website Development Planning

A question you may be asking yourself is “How do I set up my own website?” Well, this is how I did it – Part 1 in a series of posts on how I created this website from scratch, outlining the practical steps I took to get this website developed using WordPress. The website development was outsourced, which is my preferred choice, but if you’re looking a for quick and simple solution you should try – Weebly, and for ecommerce, Shopify is hard to go past.

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

If this is your first attempt at setting up a website I would recommend taking some time to surf the internet. Have a close look at websites in your industry and websites in general. Make a list of what you like and what you don’t like. Here are some things to consider:

  • Layout
  • Navigation
  • Colours
  • Branding and Design

This list is certainly not complete, however it’s a good place to start, especially with the top two – layout and navigation.

Create a Wire Frame and Mock Up

Once you have done your research, and before you speak to a website designer or consider setting up your own website, I would recommend creating a basic wire frame of your website. This will help you get a clear idea of what elements should be on each page, sizing, what’s important, what’s not and how someone can navigate between each page.

If you prefer working with a pen and paper pick up some loose sheets of A4 paper and start sketching. Keep on sketching until you have what vaguely resembles your website layout.

In my case I used Mockup+ software. It’s simple to use and making adjustments to your layouts is super easy. Here is my attempt. If you compare it to the current layout of the website it’s not too far different.

Seniorpreneur Wire Frame

How Long Does it Take?

I’ve never used Mockup+ before but it didn’t take me long to work out how to make basic boxes, add text and icons. I completed the wire frame casually over 2 days. Total time approximately 6 hours. By doing this I was able to provide the website developers with a clear picture of what I wanted, which helps them and saves you money.

Choosing a Website Developer

As I had already created my wire frame and had a clear idea of how I wanted the website to operate I chose to outsource the website development through Freelancer. If you’ve never used an outsourcing website before it’s simple enough. You create a job specification for the work you want completed and post the ad. Freelancers and companies then bid on your job. Before deciding on website developer take some time to review their previous work, read feedback from previous clients and interview your candidates thoroughly.

Once you have whittled down your candidates you want to get in to the finer detail, cost. By outsourcing you can save yourself a considerable amount of money for a significantly better quality website, but you want to make sure you know what you’re getting. The easiest way to do this is to keep asking questions until you’re satisfied.

Your wire frame is the starting point and should be included in your job post. Your potential developer should also provide you with a specification sheet which allows you to elaborate on your website design.

A wire frame and a detailed specification sheet should be enough for any decent developer to provide you with a quote. Review the quote carefully, then ask:

  • What could cause the quoted price to rise
  • Can I make modifications to the design at no cost
  • How many rounds of revisions can I make
  • What is the price per hour if I want extra work completed
  • What happens if you don’t meet our agreed deadlines
  • Do you provide any guarantees on work quality and time frame delivery

Even  once you have asked your questions and have a clear picture of what to expect factor in a 30% contingency budget for changes you may want to make. More often than not once the development work starts you will want to make changes. These changes can cost money if not previously agreed.

More to come in Part 2. In the meantime you may be interested in how I created my logo for Seniorpreneur.

Harry Parker

Follow my journey as I share the roadmap to living a comfortable retirement.

Like many people around my age we are redefining what retirement is all about. Our generation is not satisfied with just sitting around waiting for time to pass. We’re breaking the rules and making our latter years mean something.

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