In this tutorial I'm going to show you how to build a website, no code required using Astra Starter Templates. This is probably the easiest method to build your own website I've come across to date.
All tools used to build this website are free to use and we'll be using WordPress, the world's leading website platform.
We'll be using all free tools, and all excellent quality, to build our new website. WordPress, the world's most popular website platform is the base for our new website.
We'll be using the free Astra theme (or you can use your own theme too if you wish). And the Astra Starter Sites / Templates plugin to choose and easily import a quality pixel perfect professionally designed website into our WordPress installation.
From there we'll have a complete website ready for us to replace the dummy images and text with our own data. It's the fastest way I've discovered to build a website quickly and easily, with no custom coding required.
P.S. No need to download any of these tools yet, we'll do that a bit later.
I'm going to assume your hosting account uses cPanel with Softaculous software installer. I'll then easily install WordPress with a few clicks as follows:
Login to your cPanel hosting account and scroll down to the Softaculous Apps Installer section. Find the WordPress icon and click it to start the WordPress installation.
Click the "Install Now" button to proceed with your WordPress installation.
Enter all the information for your site including ensuring the correct folder is selected (see top arrow on the image). In my case want my website installed in the root and have ensured the directory text box is clear. Click the "Install" button once you are ready to proceed.
When the installation has completed, login to the backend of your newly installed WordPress website by clicking the "Administrative URL" link. You'll now automatically login to your WordPress dashboard.
In your WordPress dashboard click Appearance > Themes > Add New. In the Search Box type "Astra". Click the "Install" Button on the Astra theme to install it.
Don't activate your newly installed Astra theme, let's rather use best practices and install and activate a child theme for your Astra theme.
An easy to generate a child theme for Astra is to use the free Astra Child Theme Generator provided by the developers of Astra theme. Here is the link to the Astra Child Theme Generator: https://wpastra.com/child-theme-generator/.
In the Child Theme Name box type a name for your new child theme and click the "Generate" button.
Your new child theme has now been generated and downloaded automatically to your PC. We are now going to install and activate our new child theme.
In your WordPress dashboard click Appearance > Themes > Add New > Upload Theme > Choose File and find the child theme file we just downloaded.
Click the "Install Now" button to install our child theme. Now we can activate our new child theme by clicking the "Activate" link.
We've now installed the Astra theme and a child theme for our Astra theme and activated the child theme.
Using a child theme ensures any updates to the parent theme, will not be overwrite any customisations we've made to our theme.
In your WordPress dashboard click Appearance > Plugins > Add New and in the search box type "Astra Starter" and you'll see the Astra Starter Templates plugin. Click "Install Now" to install the Starter Sites plugin.
In your WordPress dashboard click Appearance > Starter Templates and choose your pagebuilder of choice. I'm using Beaver Builder as I've found it to be the most stable and lightweight pagebuilder to date. You may choose one of the other supported pagebuilders e.g. Elementor, Brizy, Gutenburg etc.
After selecting your pagebuilder of choice (in my case Beaver Builder), you'll see a comprehensive list of complete starter websites. Browse through these websites, find a website you like and select it to import it.
Now you have a complete website to ready to be customised with your preferred colours, images and text... It's just that simple!
DON'T FEEL LIKE BUILDING YOUR OWN WEBSITE?
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If the recent past has demonstrated anything to businesses, it's that a website is more important than ever. But with everyone under financial pressure, an effective, quality but cheap website is high on the list when considering a website.
Can you get a cheap website that's not garbage? Yes you can with our website packages!
Some businesses require a custom solution for very specific use cases, which can be costly, and a custom solution is called for. Most businesses however don't require a costly solution. If you are looking for an online presence that's affordable, our Website Packages may just be a perfect fit if you're looking for an affordable website.
With regular website design you'll need to budget large sums initially, depending on the scope of your project, anything from R10 000 to R50 000 is the norm.
With our years of experience, we've designed a range of cheap website packages and included everything you'll need. There are multiple packages form one page business websites to multiple page business websites to complete online ecommerce stores. There is no big upfront cost and no deposit, it's a straight monthly subscription service with no contracts or binding agreements. You may cancel at anytime, with a standard 30-day cancellation notice, no questions asked.
Pricing for our cheap website packages start at R299 per month, they are feature rich including everything you'll need.
If you want to build your own website that looks beautiful and is easy to build, look no further than BeaverBuilder.
We've been using BeaverBuilder to build some of our website pages. We're so impressed we're now offering it free with all our website hosting packages.
I've used many WordPress pagebuilders and themes including Visual Composer and the awesome Make theme from Theme Foundry (I own both). Then I heard about BeaverBuilder from Chris Lema and on his recommendation tried it out. I have to say, I'm hooked!
BeaverBuilder is amazingly simple to use once you get the basics down and yet powerful enough to do just about anything under the sun. Here are some features:
Ok so it's clear we love WordPress and BeaverBuilder, and we know you will do. Give it a try today:
Whether you're an agency building websites for clients or you have a single website, we guarantee you'll love BeaverBuilder. We're offering BeaverBuilder free with any of our website hosting packages.
Big companies can afford to pay thousands for a website developer to custom build a website to their needs. For the rest of us we can't always go that route. And in fact, in many cases that's not even necessary. In fact I'd go as far as to say it would be a complete waste, especially if it's not necessary.
First it's going take a little effort on your part as you are going to build it yourself. Before you throw your arms up in the air and click the close the browser window, read on.
Using WordPress you can quickly and easily build a website. Whether it's a simple 3 page website or something much more complex, it can be done. Obviously the more complex you go, the higher the learning curve, but it can be done. For our purposes, we are going to use WordPress which is free.
WordPress is the world's favourite way to build a website. With over 20% of all websites on earth running on WordPress, there are a lot of resources available. The are literally tens of thousands of free plugins and themes to use with WordPress. And yes, most of them are absolutely free to use. You can accomplish almost anything with WordPress.
Some of the top businesses in the world rely on WordPress to run their websites including:
So let's get started with how to get a website.
If you want a super easy option, we have a special WordPress Hosting plan that comes with WordPress already pre-installed. For this article I'm going to assume you already have WordPress installed. To learn how to install WordPress read my How To Install WordPress with 1-Click From Any Of Our Hosting Plans article.
Now you'll start customising your website to suite your needs.
To help you we've put together a basic list to resources help you get started with WordPress:
There is a second option, we build your WordPress website for you. View our website design options, sit back relax and leave everything to us.
View our WordPress Hosting plan which comes with WordPress pre-installed for you.
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View our Web Hosting which comes with an easy 1-click installation of WordPress.
This is going to be one of those no nonsense guides to demonstrate how easily and quickly you can get a website up and going yourself. You can easily start a website. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying your website is going to magically appear out of thin air. But with a little time and effort you can get a stunning amazingly affordable website launched that will make people says WOW.
If you're running a business it's a given today that you need a website for you business. Everyone knows that! And if you don't, reading my article Why Do You Need A Business Website? may enlighten you. But it's not just limited to business owners, Bloggers are leading the charge and by definition you can't be a blogger without having a website. Club, social organisations, welfare organisations in fact any organisation you can think is doing harm without a website.
I've seen a hundred and one in depth how-to guides on just about everything regarding building a website yourself, but not on what happens BEFORE you start building. How do you even get to that point?
You know you need one, but isn't it complicated? I'm here to tell you that it's not. I'm going to show you how you can get a website for your organisation in 3 easy steps.
A web hosting company is a company "hosts" your website and email etc. For an explanation on how web hosting works check out my article How Does Web Hosting Work? There are literally hundreds of thousands of web hosting companies out there. Some very good, some good and many not so good. And there are even the ones you should avoid like the plague. Your website is valuable and whether or not it's for your business doesn't diminish the importance of having the very people looking after your website.
I can't stress this enough. This is the most important step. Don't mess around with your web hosting provider. To help you find a good web hosting company my article How To Find The Best Web Hosting Company will give you the lowdown.
I love WordPress so it's not surprise that I'm recommending it. Over 20% (and climbing) of all websites on the planet now running WordPress. There must be a reason for that, and there is. WordPress is easy to use, easy to install, easy to upgrade and yet powerful enough to build a beautiful, powerful, functional website. Whether you want a simple blog, a beautiful business website or a powerful ecommerce website, WordPress does it all. And best of all, it's FREE!
Once you get to this stage you won't have a problem finding documentation to help you along. WordPress has a big of a learning curve (like anything good in life). It's worth spending a little time getting to know WordPress and what you can do. I recommend WP101 for WordPress Video tutorials.
It's easier than you think. Get your website today up today!
Looking for web hosting? Checkout our premium web hosting
Your business is going, but business could be better and you figure a website can help bring exposure to your business or products. So where to from here?
"I've got a limited budget, I know I need a website, let me get some quotes and see who's the cheapest". Are you asking the right question? Although cheap is not always bad, unfortunately you tend to get what you pay for. And when it comes to web design that is more often the case than not. Choosing the right web designer should never be about who is cheapest!
First determine what you want to achieve: Do this by asking some questions to clarify your particular goals you want to reach. Think about your unique situation - after all no one knows your situation better than you - and how you will reach those goals. How will a website assist in doing that? Be very clear on what you want from your website.
Once you have a good idea of what you want it's time to start looking around for a web designer.
As a web designer nothing makes my life easier than a client who knows exactly what they want from their website. This goes hand in hand with a point made earlier, carefully consider what you want to achieve with your website. AND can clearly convey what they want to me, enabling me to give them what they want. Write out your ideas, actually typing them out or even writing them down helps solidify your ideas and clarify your thinking. An actual brief to give to a web designer is always a good but not critical. Even a rough outline or a few clear notes with objectives clearly listed is a good starting point. Be sure to include the links to websites you like and even any you don't like making a note of what you do and don't like.
If you want to shopping cart to sell online be sure to indicate that you want an eCommerce solution included with your website. Also include any special functions or needs.
Some web designers may offer a form or some sort of questionnaire to help you. We have a good online web design questionnaire that you can view to give you some ideas.
Approach the web designers you like with your brief and request a quote. Carefully evaluate their responses, a good web designer will anticipate your needs and ask the right questions. And their quote will include solutions those needs. A good web designer will also sometimes reign you in when needed. It can be that your vision eclipses your budget. Be prepared to compromise but make the right compromises. There is always a middle ground that you can be happy with, keeping in mind that your website and by extension your business is what it's all about.
Our web design packages cover most needs and for some bigger projects or unique projects we are happy to quote.
A good web designer will always guide and steer you in the right direction. Sometimes you may choose a web designer because they feel like they are the right fit, sometimes because their work portfolio is so good it's the tipping point. Whatever your criteria, never choose a web designer based on the cheapest price. your website is a part of your business, a part of your livelihood. As such your website should be seen as an investment in your business.
Choosing the right web designer should be about who can get the right job done the way you want it done and within your budget.
If you are looking for a web designer take a look at our web design packages:
There is little doubt any longer in most business owner’s minds that they need to have a website for their business. Some are even not quite sure why they need a business website but they have this niggling feeling they need one. Well, they’re right!
As discussed in a previous article titled Does My Business Really Need A Website?, even the smallest of businesses are not only losing out on potential revenue but are actually doing their businesses harm in the long run. Today most people don’t bother with the Yellow Pages or other traditional ways to find out about a business or products. They go straight to the internet searching for what they want on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
Why do you need a business website? Forbes magazine blog wrote an interesting article titled “How Small Business Owners Are Wrecking Their Own Changes Of Success” by not having a website.
Moreover ever increasing numbers of buying decisions are made right on the persons mobile phone, tablet or computer before ever seeing the goods or visiting the physical store.
What does this mean to you as a business owner? Let me illustrate my point by sharing a story I once heard:
Many years ago the railroad tycoons and railroad companies in the USA dominated nearly all forms of transport and seemed unstoppable. They were growing exponentially, making money hand over fist and people thought they would never be beat. Then along came a new little thing called the motorcar and later on the airplane. At first the railroads took no notice, they were so big and powerful. They failed to see that things were changing, they failed to see the threat. In fact, the writing was already on the wall for the railroad companies and they didn't even see it until it was too late.
Now the story goes that the railroad companies could have gotten in at the grassroots level and invested in these new forms of transport and literally owned them, but they didn't. They saw them as insignificant… and look at where they are today. Air and road travel and transport between them dominate the world and are trillion dollar businesses, leaving rail transport behind.
What can we learn from that story? Time have changed, and are changing, don't let complacency be your businesses downfall. If you want to catch fish, go to where the fish are, don't stay in your old fishing spot because that's what you've always done and it's always worked for you. What's always worked for you before may not work in the future, and given how business has changed, that time has already come. Don't let is pass you by. (Don't despair, read on...)
The moral of this tale is that it’s never too late! The way business is being conducted today is changing rapidly. The internet has revolutionized business. Your business needs to be where the customers are! You need to get your business, your products, your services in front of your customers, and that’s on the internet! I can’t overstate this point!
I asked this question in a previous post and am asking it again: When was the last time you picked up the yellow pages? I can’t remember the last time I have.
What do we do today when we want to find information about a business or product? We go to the business website. So the question begs, why would you keep barking up the tree the old dead tree? Ok perhaps that’s a bit strong as printed books and media will still be around most likely for a very long time to come. The reality is they no longer dominate, in fact as each year goes by their influence is shrinking.
According to a Forbes blog article every small business absolutely needs a website, in fact, the article heading is How Small Business Owners Are Wrecking Their Chance of Success. This article from The Guardian is just as adamant, small businesses need websites!
A website today is very often the first contact point with a customer. That means your business website is extremely important! Economies today rely on small business to drive growth and that growth can be achieved in no small part by its website.
So every business owner realises it’s a no-brainer, and they have found a website design company to build a good functional fast beautiful website for their business. Wrong! Many small businesses today have outdated websites or poorly constructed websites and some don’t even have a website. Customers are every increasingly on the internet searching for products and services and very often decisions are made right there and then on your website! i asked the question again: Does My Business Really Need A Website?
My question is, can you afford NOT to have a presence on the internet? A fast beautiful functional and effective business website is affordable! For a few thousand Rand your business can be online. The cost of not being online is so much more expensive.
That may have been a concern years ago but with technology becoming more user friendly websites today are often less complicated to maintain than the average mobile smartphone.
I can’t believe people still say this but if you do, your business most likely won’t be around much longer as customers want easy access to information.
The internet is about engagement and is a visual social medium, you are losing customers and revenue (and giving your competitors the upper hand) with this kind of attitude. Be very careful.
If you are selling something i.e. you are in business, you have enough information to put on a website! Think of a website as an extension of your business, like a second shop front or sales floor.
SEO is search engine optimisation and refers to words or phrases that search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing use to organise websites and data and then present it to people searching. So when people are searching for a place to buy Pizza nearby and your website is SEO optimised they will find you listed. Years ago it was good practice to have your business listed in the Yellow Pages, today is no different with search engines, in fact it’s critical.
Does My Business Really Need A Website? Let's see, customers are using their phones, tablets and computers to find what they want. If your website is not up to scratch or worse you don’t even have one, you are losing out on potential customers and revenue! We have beautiful website design packages and custom website design to get your business online, stop losing out and get your business online today!
When is the last time you have picked up the yellow pages to look for the number to a business you want to call? Perhaps it’s to order Pizza or your dog needs to visit the Vet or the latest iPhone is out and you want to find out if it's available yet. If you’re like me and 99% of other people on the planet today you go straight to the internet to search for information about products and businesses.
Your businesses competitors have realised this a long time ago found a website design company invested in a business website and are reaping the rewards of their diligence and foresight. Below are listed the 10 things your competitors can teach you about their business website.
A website is another avenue (and in today’s world becoming crucial to most and to some businesses indispensable) for sales.
Customers perceive a company with a website as more trustworthy and more established which ultimately leads to increased revenue.
Because the internet has no boundaries or traditional restrictions exposure is unlimited and crosses borders, countries and continents (And also across the suburb)
New products and services can be launched from the website and advertised from there through the various marketing channels including social media.
Everyone in the company now has a personalised company email address, that means each time an email is sent or received the company is promoted and not Gmail or Yahoo Mail.
Customers can now visit the company website and Social Media pages and this is translating into increased loyalty and sales.
New customer numbers will rise and existing customers spend more as they are engaged through the website and social media.
As the hub of a marketing effort, a website along with social media can increase marketing ROI by exposure to customers without having to spend on things like newspaper, radio and other advertising.
Before a local business had exposure only to the consumers in the direct area, a company website opens up the whole world to your products and services.
Don’t be left behind. You could be losing out on valuable leads, sales and opportunities by not having your business website. Get your business website as soon as possible.
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It’s a new world, a digital world, or so they say, but what does that mean?
People still need to eat, drink, sleep, work, buy goods and services just like they have since the earth was created. What’s changed is how people find and buy the things they want to buy, to eat, to drink, wear, drive etc.
Consumers from the very poorest to the super rich are all visiting websites every single day to communicate and this has steadily been affecting the way people purchase. Point in case, even a poor person living in a slum has a cellphone and browses the internet communicating with family and friends and of course, visiting websites and of course "Googling".
Does your business have an outdated awful looking website that looks like your Granny’s neighbors 15 year old son made it in his basement one Saturday morning 5 years ago for 20 bucks? Or worse does your business not have a presence on the internet?
Does your business need a new website? Read on and see how many of the following signs apply.
You've always managed to keep your head above water and even make some money here and there but things just aren't as easy as they were before, you have to do more, spend more to just stay even.
Yes every business owner has noticed this, it’s what people do, the mobile phone is never more than an arm’s length away browsing websites to check Facebook or Twitter or Google+ or LinkedIn or Pinterest or Instagram etc.
We don’t go out driving around looking for goods or services anymore, we Google them and get exactly what we want instantly from the business.
Why bother driving to the pizza store down the road when you can order exactly what you want from your phone and have it delivered all with the click of a button from a website.
The only company benefiting from using a Gmail address is, well Gmail. They are getting free advertising and exposure each time you send an email to a client, not your business! Imagine having a shiny new domain name www.your-business.com with a email@example.com email address to go with it? Now who is benefiting?
This point alone should SHOUT out the need for your business to have a presence online!
And… they are seeing it.
Let’s face it, everyone but everyone is getting online interacting, communicating, socializing and of course this influences their habits and what they buy, how they perceive businesses and their products and services. I can’t think of the last time I didn't go to the internet on my phone to see what time the movie started, or what time that store in the mall opened or what the phone number or address for a particular business was in my area: the list just goes on and on.
More and more we visit a business’ website each time we make a purchase or want to make a purchase, we research our purchases online and what ends up happening is the business with the website is invariably where we end up spending our money.
The question is: can your business afford NOT to have a presence online?