How to Set Up a Website

In this day and age a business can’t succeed without a website – but for the non-tech minded of us out there, it can be a tricky process.
Luckily we’re here to share our knowledge and guide you through some simple steps to get you on your way to website mastery!

Hosted or self-hosted?

There are two types of blogging services on the web. Some are hosted blogs and some are self-hosted blogs.

A hosted blog is provided for you through a blogging service such as or Blogger. Simply sign up for an account with your email address, choose a blog name and you'll be blogging instantly, without handling any confusing code. You'll have your own subdomain on their site (e.g. or These free services are great if you want to start blogging quickly and easily, but more experienced users may find some of the functionality very limited. The appearance of your blog can be changed with themes or skins, with many different themes available to download and customise, depending on the service. Some blogging services such as Typepad and Squarespace offer even wider customisation for a reasonable subscription fee, but you'll still be dependent on your blog's provider.

Self-hosted blogs are blogs that are installed on your own web host and have their own domain address. You'll be in control of everything involved with your blog and can even add as much or as little as you like to it. There are many themes that you can download and install, with simpler themes available for free and more complex ones available for a reasonable price. When you first begin a self-hosted blog, it can be a little intimidating at first but with plenty of free software available to download and install, you can get a powerful blog that can develop and grow. This is a great solution if you want to make a serious commitment to blogging, but without prior planning and budgeting, this can become an expensive investment.

What is a domain?

A domain is an easy way to refer to network addresses while on the internet. Take our website address for example:

The top level part of the domain or '.com' refers to its purpose or geographical location.

The second level part of the domain or 'moo' is its identifier and marks it as unique from all other areas on the internet.

What is a CMS?

CMS stands for 'content management system'. It's a platform that handles massive amounts of information and makes it easy to understand and modify through a simple user-friendly interface.

What is PHP and MySQL?

PHP is a script language used by web developers to support basic web pages. It's often used to collect, process and utilise information to solve problems.

MySQL is a database system that stores information, from images to basic text. The information within these databases can be accessed from anywhere in the world by a computer and an internet connection.

PHP and MySQL are often coupled together since they work together very well.

Own site or marketplace?

There are many factors that will influence this decision, ranging from your budget, the time you have to put into it, your product, and how tech-minded you are! Hosting an online shop on a marketplace like ebay or etsy will dramatically reduce the amount of time you need to put into maintaining it, and will be cheaper, but you’ll have less flexibility with personalisation, and you’ll need to consider how well your product will sell on a pre-existing marketplace.

If you have a product that won’t work on a marketplace, don’t worry: building your own site isn’t as hard as it sounds! You can make it as simple as you like, from choosing a Wordpress site with a shopping cart function, to doing the extreme and building your own from scratch!