I am a web-design toddler. I need frequent time-outs, I am prone to tantrums and I know just enough to be dangerous. But, I also know a website is a Must Have for any professional music teaching studio. This is how a lot of your students will find you, and can be a great resource place for your students and families.
But consider this. When I set out to create my website, I knew virtually nothing about creating a website. And yet I was able to do it with a little persistence and self-education.
Here are the basics of how it works and what you need:
This is your website’s URL. (such as www.simplegiftspiano.com). You have to register (and rent) your domain name from a domain name registrar. Many web hosts will register your domain name for a fee that’s lower than registering the domain name with a different company, but be careful! Sometimes they will charge you an arm and a leg to renew your domain after 1 year.
Many web building sites will also give you a “free domain name” which is attached to their domain, but this shouldn’t be your permanent domain. Having your own domain really gives your business credibility, and it is worth having one. Some web building sites include a domain name and registration with their contract—it’s important to find out whether it’s a personalized domain, or one attached to the host’s website.
This is the company that keeps all the files that make your website on their servers. Prices can range from free (often if you don’t have your own domain) to $200/year for hosting. I pay about $25/year for my web hosting from Cyberlynk.net. Dreamhost and BlueHost are also very reputable, though a little pricier.
This is the platform that you actually use to make your content into a website. There are very simple Drag-and-Drop ones out there like Webnode and FatCow, or there are programs like WordPress where you have much more flexibility and choices, or you can code your own website if you are into learning CSS and PHP programming languages. (Oh, and if you’re capable of coding your own website, I doubt I have anything useful to tell you about building websites!)
Next time: How a total ignoramus built a website.