Grow your own website

Advice on how to set up a website for an organisation, as promised to Teresa Filipponi at the Hub Cymru Africa permaculture event at Botanic Garden Wales!

WordPress theme for garden website
The Etalon theme, the kind of theme you can use with a WordPress.com website

Jumping on the website and social media bandwagon is difficult if you don’t have the technical experience or the budget. I discussed this with Teresa Filipponi, senior lecturer in Human Nutrition at University of South Wales, at a permaculture and nutrition event hosted by Hub Cymru Africa at Botanic Garden Wales.

Here’s a handy checklist:

  1. The name. Unique, memorable and 15 characters or less.
  2. Register the domain name, a .com or .uk. I recommend Namecheap.com approx £6 pa.
  3. Set up email. I recommend FastMail approx £40 pa.
  4. Register the name on different social networks. The big ones are Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. Check the availability of names with namecheckr.com. Try to keep the names the same; Twitter has a maximum limit of 15 characters.
  5. Choose your blogging platform. To start, I recommend WordPress.com, the Personal Plan with a custom domain approx £50 pa (per user).
  6. Create the structure of your website. Keep it as simple as possible (what you do, where you are, who you are).
  7. Choose a WordPress theme for your website.
  8. Connect your social media networks. Now, when you create a blog post in WordPress, it will be automatically shared on your networks.
  9. The reason to have a website is that people can find and interact with you; the reason for writing blog posts is to share what you discover and increase your visiblity; the reason for your social networks is to connect with others.
  10. Later, you can use something like Buffer to bulk schedule social media updates linking to that week’s blog post, and then create daily adhoc status updates via WordPress approx £50 pa.

Total all-in annual cost: approx £140

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