Website setup and design for small businesses

What is a domain name and do I need one?

A domain name is a friendly name that is used to find a website. The Domain Name System (DNS) is the service that translates the friendly website name into the IP address of where the website data is stored. An IP address is a physical location on a network or server.

Take the following example:

When you search on the internet you most likely use www.google.com or www.bing.com. They are easy to remember and are household names that most people use on an almost daily basis. However, the actual web address (IP address) of www.google.com is Which is easier to remember?

Another example is how you call someone from a mobile phone. Do you search for ‘Dave’ in your recent call list or contacts list, or do you key in 07448332896? I have no idea whose number that is but at least I can remember ‘Dave’ easier than I can the actual number.

So, when you build a website you are going to need an address people can remember and use to find it, instead of having to remember and type, or any other of the millions of global IP addresses.

Domain names are registered through services such as 123-reg.co.uk. Or they can be purchased from the hosting company you use.

What is hosting?

A hosting company provides space on their servers where website data and content can be stored. This location is accessible by an internet browser, such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari or similar. A browser uses a domain name to find the server where a website is stored. When a browser makes a request to that server the website is ‘served’ up and displayed on the screen.

Most web hosting companies provide the necessary software to not only build a website but also to enable email mailboxes linked to your domain, SEO and marketing tools, eCommerce other related web services. Also, when you sign up for a hosting account you can often register a domain name at the same time… for free.

Popular hosting companies include GoDaddy, 123-reg and Best Web Hosting.


What do I need to get started?

The whole point of using Cool Beans to create your website is that you may be busy managing your business and maybe don’t have the time to do it yourself. Maybe you just don’t know where to start.

So, to keep the it simple and easy it is a good idea to have a basic vision of your new website. Consider the following:

  • Your  preferred domain name
  • The look and feel of your website
  • Pages – ‘About Us’, ‘Contact Us’, ‘Photo Gallery’
  • Your services or products
  • Your mission statement and message to your visitors

This checklist may help.

Do I need to provide my own photos?

It is entirely up to you whether you wish to use your own media or use stock media. The most commonly used media on a website is images or photos. Your own photos can easily be cropped, adjusted and enhanced for use on your website*. Stock images are publicly available images, either for free or at a cost. There are many sources online where categorised images can be found. However, be aware that many may require you to provide a reference to the artist if you use their image.

* Basic editing and resizing usually doesn’t incur addition cost but more involved requests can be discussed prior to agreeing terms.

How long will it take?

Depending on the complexity of your vision, a website can be put together and live online within a week or two. Actually, a website can be online within a few minutes from scratch but it is advisable to get some content on there first before unleashing it on the world.

As an example, a basic website with a few pages, a contact form and a gallery can be complete in a week. The time consuming part is tweaking the theme layout and overall feel of the website to suit your needs. We would rather get it right first time and for you to be happy wit the outcome, than rush the job and have to continually make changes after the site has gone live.

Can I update my own website?

Yes you can! Once you know how the content management system works it is so easy and quick to make changes to the content of your website. We use a content management system (CMS) called WordPress. Once your hosting account is up and running WordPress is installed and the process of building your website can begin.

WordPress provides an easy to navigate user interface where posts and pages can be published, edited and deleted; photos or other media can be uploaded and produced in galleries; contact pages can be published, allowing your visitors to get in touch and much, much more!

What about ongoing support?

We are happy to discuss ongoing support and updates if required. The intention is that once you are happy with your new website it will be quite straight forward for you to make your own changes. Of course, if anything were to go wrong (you broke it!) we can put it right.

How much will it cost?

We build websites from as little as £99. This is for a basic, one page website with no additional functionality or funky effects. The cost may change depending on extra requirements and functionality, such as multiple pages, booking systems, eCommerce and so on. Some specific functions on a website can be achieved by using plugins provided by third parties. Often the licence required to use them can come at a small cost. In the interests of providing the best user experience for your visitors and a professional website it is worth considering. Get in touch today to find out more.

The ongoing costs for hosting and domain names are your responsibility at this time. Cool Beans can assist with setting this up. We are looking at providing hosting as part of our service in the near future. It is worth noting that a hosting package can cost as little as just £2.99 +vat a month including your first domain name. Domain name renewal and additional domain names can also be low cost from around £6.99 a year.