Many people assume that creating a stunning website is going to cost them a fortune. It certainly used to cost a fortune and there are many many website design companies out there who will charge you upwards of £3,000 to design and create a simple website for your coaching business.
Don’t pay them!!!
Just to clarify I mean don’t pay them as long as they haven’t started working for you. A friend of mine was telling me recently that his business had just spent £40,000 on a new website, admittedly they were trading internationally but still that is a ridiculous sum of money for what they got, a website.
I think that the thought of this size of investment puts lots of people off going into business at all. Believe me, after you have done a little bit of practice and study you will be able to create your website in no time at all and for nothing!
The hardest part of creating a website is probably writing the blurb for your pages, and even if you do pay for someone to design and create a website for you, writing the pages will still be down to you.
By far the easiest way to create a quality website for free nowadays is to use a piece of software called WordPress. WordPress is the interface that you will use which basically translates what you want to see into what you do actually see on your website.
The world wide web uses a computer language called “html” in order to represent your words and pictures etc to the world. In the past you would have needed to learn this complicated computer programming language in order to design your own website. This is completely unnecessary nowadays due to the availability of software such as WordPress.
WordPress is free to use under the General Public License for free software. It was designed by a group of computer programmers under this license and they continue to develop the software for the good of the world computer community.
They offer full details on their website of how you can install the program on your servers. It is quite easy. Basically all you need to do is download the software to your local computer and then upload it to your website using something called an FTP client. The FTP client is another piece of software that is like a “My Computer” file manager function for your website. Filezilla is an example of a quality FTP client and again this software is free.
The benefits of WordPress are:
- It is free.
- It is easy to use.
- It is popular and therefore if you hit a problem, then the chances are that someone else will also have had the same problem and had it answered on an internet forum. Type your problem into a search engine and you will discover the answer.
- It has a What you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) interface, this allows you to copy and paste documents from your computer onto your website.
- You can easily transfer photos and videos from your computer into your website.
- It is “search engine friendly,” helping your website get seen by more people.
- It has many many free “plug-ins” which make your life easier.
Because WordPress is now the most popular website design software in the world, there are lots of people looking to make money out of it. One of the ways that they can do that is to design a special piece of software that plugs in to WordPress and performs a useful function, for example a Video Player, a Social Networking function, a Gallery presenter, this is what a Plug-in is.
The great news is that in order to advertise their services these software developers put simple free versions of their plug-ins in the WordPress Plugin Directory. These free versions of the plug-in software are in most cases absolutely adequate for what a coach might need on their website.
You can search for the various services that you might need in the WordPress plugin directory. For example if you want an enquiry form on your website, then just search for “Form” or “Enquiry Form” in the directory and you can then download the one that sounds most useful.
WordPress was originally designed for bloggers but is now used by business owners large and small all over the world. One of the things that all business owners want to get right on their website is their Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). SEO is how easy it is for the search engines to discover from your website what you do, and how important that they think your website is. The higher the perceived importance of your website and the closer that your website “keywords” are to what people are searching for, the higher up the search results your website will appear. The free version of the WordPress All in One SEO plug-in is a must have plug-in for everyone as it does a large part of the SEO work for you.
We will discuss SEO in more detail in the next article.
Have you taken your coaching training yet? If not then now is the time to start coaching training online.