Getting a website
I'm currently using Weebly, but I held off paying for it because I'm planning on moving to Wordpress. I think I will go with Wordpress.com instead of .org, because the self-hosting thing confuses me. (We have to do our own updates? Manually? Yes/no?) I found Weebly to be so easy, but I became frustrated with some of the format limitations, so that's why I'm moving to Wordpress, which I'm still learning. I personally grimace when I spend too much time working on Wordpress, and my Weebly site only took me an afternoon. I look forward to hearing more of what other people have to say.
@Sarah-LuAnn Your site looks very nice! Haha, maybe I should just stick with Weebly and tone down my pickiness. :-)
I agree, Weebly isn't very customizable, but it is very fast to put together. You choose a template, fill it in with your content, and you are done. I would definitely recommend it if you want something that looks nice with minimal effort. (My site link is in my signature if anyone else wants to see what I am talking about--nothing fancy, but it is clean, and easy to create and update.)
If you're going for some very specific kind of layout or don't want to use a template (which, for artists, I totally understand--we like to have things look the way we want!) a different site which allows for more freedom might be better.
Thank you very much everyone! this has helped me out, and feel better about what I need to get.
I've used GoDaddy for years and it's been reliable. Although if I had to choose one now I'd go with Host Gator instead - the CEO of GoDaddy isn't a good guy, in fact he's been accused of poaching wild animals (if I remember correct it's elephants for their tusks I believe?) which is of course a very hot button topic right now. I'd rather not support someone like that - it's more of a headache to switch when you've already got it going, but I probably will when my next renewal comes up.
I'm a graphic designer by day so I at one point built my site from scratch with html/css but now have a Wordpress site since it's just so easy to maintain and buying a good template (costs about $50-75 for a good one on themeforest) comes with so many bells and whistles its easier than coding from scratch.
Although Wordpress is hard to wrap your head around at first - I wince whenever I hear someone recommend it to a complete beginner as something that's easy. Don't get me wrong - it will be easy once you learn it. But it'll take time to figure out and build all your pages, etc. in the beginning. You'll also need to take online tutorials FOR SURE to guide you through.
@Carey-Bowden it's easy having a Wordpress site that's self-hosted. You just have to make sure to save a back-up of your site (there's plugins that you can set up to do it for you) before you update (just in case something goes wonky during the update and you need to go back to your last version - not likely to happen, but just in case). When you log in to your dashboard, it'll tell you when there's a new update. If you've done your back-up, it's literally then just one click to update it to the newest version. Same with when a new version of your theme comes out.
To those using Weebly - I'd recommend at least paying for the hosting so that the 'powered by Weebly' banner at the bottom is removed and also paying for your own domain name (so that Weebly isn't in the URL). I just think its much more professional to not have banners on your site, showing everyone you're not professional enough to pay for it. In total it's only about $100 per year, well worth the clean, professional look IMHO. Oh - and make sure you pick a theme that's responsive (ie. will adapt to whatever device it's on - whether desktop, mobile or tablet). @Sarah-LuAnn I'm glad to see you've picked one that's responsive :)
Ben J Hutchison
I've been on weebly for a year and a half and have been pretty happy with the service. I was able to adapt my pages and layouts pretty easily. I use the beginner pricing which is around $50 a year. One thing that is nice is that you can copy your site and make a dummy site if you are planning on making drastic changes to the site. Then you are able to swap sites. As for getting my web address, I used 1and1.
I just use squarespace. It takes care of all the headaches for me. Super easy to use and setup.
I used square space for mine. Giggledesk.com
@DanetteDraws Thank you! - I've watched tutorials, but it seems like for every little thing I want to do - even something as simple as drop-down tabs - I have to invest at least an hour to find a guide (one that is up-to-date/relevant) follow it, and then deal with whatever it is I did wrong at first. I'm holding off buying my domain because I have heard Weebly is not good for "the long run" so I have a temporary site there, but I would like to move to Wordpress... Wordpress seems great, but the learning curve really has me intimidated.
Might. Just. Buy. Weebly. Domain. Gah.
Is there an advantage to self-hosting over the alternative? I was under the impression that it's not a huge money-saver, but really allows for more.... customization?
Thank you everyone for your help!
I use Godaddy with a Wordpress template. But if you're going to create a blog, just use Blogger like most artists. It's FREE!!!
This is so helpful guys I really appreciate all the info. I'm going to draw out my site map and see if I can get it done with Weebly or Wordpress.