Get your website built quickly with planning and communication

5 Steps to Get Your Website Built Quickly

Get your website built quickly with planning and communication

How to get your website project off to a flying start and avoid delays

Do you want a top-notch website created quickly? If you’re planning to redesign, refresh or build a completely new website this year, then let me help you avoid some classic mistakes. I’m going to share five important ways to help your website designer create an effective and en-point website for your business, and do it quickly, to time and budget.

I’ve been designing and developing websites since the early 2000s and running my own digital agency for more than a decade. And I love it. But in all this time there is a scenario I come across frequently. Sometimes I experience it with my own clients – much as I try to avoid this – and often I see and hear about it with business associates in my network.

The website that takes ages to build

What goes wrong?

Let me describe a typical scenario.

Client: “We need to get our website refreshed. We need to add some new functionality, so that we can do X, Y and Z, in the next 3 months. It’s not a full rebrand though, so it won’t be a big job.”

Website designer / Agency: “Let’s have a discussion to gather more business requirements and then we’ll send a proposal.”

Now the website designer or agency can promise to do the work in the next three months, which obviously depends upon their professional assessment of the size of the project, their availability and capacity. But six or nine months later there is still no website up and running. On the outside nothing has changed, and within the project team there is frustration, disappointment, and in the worst case, a complete breakdown in relationship.

What has happened?

Usually I think two things:

  1. Over-Promise from the website agency
  2. Optimistic but under-prepared clients

In summary, the website agency has promised to deliver to a timeline that requires either more capacity than they have available, and/or requires the client to put in more work than they were aware of, or prepared for.

Look for Honest (Difficult) Answers from Your Digital Agency

When you appoint an agency, please ask difficult questions… particularly about how long things will take.

Be mindful it is also your agency’s job to correct you if you have wrongly assessed a website project as a ‘not a big job’. It could be that your project actually involves technical or remedial work that you were not aware of.

1.      Set practical, realistic and planned timelines

If you ask a website agency to deliver a new website in three months and they agree, then ask them for a plan of what they will be delivering on a weekly basis and what will be required of you.

If they say,

“Look it’s June now, in August a lot of our team are going on holiday, and so are yours, I think we would be better aiming for a four month timescale”;

or if they say

“We will have capacity to start your project in six weeks’ time, when we have closed a current project, so we’d be looking at 4-5 months launch”;

these are GOOD SIGNS!

The designer or agency is prepared to disappoint you initially in order to stay honest and meet a realistic deadline, so that they don’t disappoint you in the long run. They are prepared to put your relationship first and prioritise trust and honesty, before the temptation of giving a greedy ‘Yes’ to your timelines, when they know that it will be more than a push for you both.

2.      Understand your role as client means you have work to do

If your website designer or agency does not prepare you for work, then you’re heading for long, long project.

Look at the weekly delivery schedule and analyse the work that has been assigned to you.

For example, this might be time for

  • consultation and feedback,
  • copywriting,
  • organising team photography or
  • briefing an animator for video creation.

Can you meet the tasks that are being asked of you? This is very important. A web design project depends upon the Client as much as the Designer. The bulk of this work is usually up-front because a designer cannot invent a layout for non-existent copy or content. I am fairly often asked to create a mockup design for planned content that hasn’t been finished yet, and yes, we can do that, but it inevitably means that the design will need more revisions in the long run, which will add delays to your schedule and cost you more.

Note, it’s a great idea to involve your designer in requirements for additional service providers, like copywriters, photographers or videographers. This will help ensure the content they produce will be optimised for your website.

What a Good Designer Will Ask You to Do Up-Front

Depending on the scope of your project, a web designer needs information from you (or your marketing communications agency) so that they can research and develop good ideas.

3.      Share information about your brand and target audience

You should be able to brief your agency about your brand and your ideal customer. Ideally, you’d be able to describe their persona(s) and what they tend to ask you. A good designer will understand that your website needs to answer customer questions at various stages of their buyer journey. This will inform what webpages you’ll need, the priority and order of the content and to make your customer’s experience easy and enjoyable.

If you have engaged your digital agency to also ensure your website is Search Engine Optimised, this is a crucial step. Understanding the questions your Target Audience asks will guide keyword research and help select the best keywords to use on your website. (More on this in a later blog…)

Share your analytics, if you have them…

A web designer should ask to see your Website Analytics (if you have a current website). This will tell them which pages are engaging people now, which search terms work well for you, where people drop off the website etc. It will help to protect and boost high performing pages and ditch what isn’t working.

4.      Share reference websites

A good way to help your website designer get off to a flying start is to do some research about your competitors’ websites. You and your designer need to know what websites you think work well in your industry, and conversely which ones irritate the life out of you. Share your favourite and most-hated competitor websites. This will show your designer what’s important to you, as well as your tastes. Together you can look at the reasons why the good ones get it right, and your designer should be able to provide evidence-led research about what works well or not in your industry. Again, look for honesty, because a good partner won’t always agree with you and will say,

“I know that you like this feature, but actually research shows that it gets very little engagement, so I wouldn’t recommend it.”

5.      Write your copy!

This is honestly the hardest part for a client. It is so hard that they delay, avoid, procrastinate, ask the designer to move on without it, etc.

Sometimes I think it’s because people are sometimes too close to their own business to be able to articulate clearly what their unique proposition is.

Other times it’s because they need to engage multiple people in their business to get answers to their questions, which can be a slow process. There are a few solutions here:

  1. Get a template to complete. Quite often with my clients, I will research best-practice and what needs to be on a page, prepare a copy template for them and ask them to complete it. This helps a lot.
  2. Do it interview style. If your colleagues are difficult to pin down, try asking them your customers’ FAQs in an interview-style, and capture answers given verbally, then write them into good website copy. I sometimes do this for clients, but more often they can do this within their own teams.
  3. Get help with messaging development! You need to know your value proposition before you can write about it; you need to know to whom you are speaking and what will resonate with them. Again, you may need to engage a third party to help tease out what your messaging should be.
  4. Ensure your sign-off process isn’t endless. I sometimes see the CEO / MD of a business slow down a whole website build because they are fiddling about with the copy. They change their mind, won’t sign things off, don’t give authority to sign off to another team member, (even though they are the busiest person in the business and really don’t have time to work on the copy). If you think this will be your problem, get it agreed early how much time the CEO / MD will need to give to the copy and keep to that schedule.

Book your photographer and videographer early

It isn’t just copy though that can slow down a website build. Quite often the client hasn’t considered imagery and video (which is increasingly important for website engagement). A good designer will help point out early if you’re going to need new photographs, or if they recommend commissioning new video for your business. In most cases the client will organise this and it needs to be done early on in the project, so that you can book into the diaries of all the people needed.

Planning and communication are the secrets to success

In summary, it is much quicker and easier to design and build a new website when you, as the client, know what content you need for your website very early on in the project. This is the result of teamwork in the planning and clear, honest and upfront communication between both partners to identify and assign all the dependencies in the project.

Remember, a good digital agency or website designer will give you work to do and is reliant on you to deliver in order to keep to agreed timelines. If you are prepared for this and set aside time and resource accordingly, then there will be no hindrance to website design and development, it will be much more fun for you, and get your website live as quickly as possible!

What’s better a DIY website or going with a Digital Agency?

Planning to get a new website in 2019 and you’re faced with a busy and bewildering marketplace. Talking to my network of business people, I hear a multitude of opinions about the best solution for a new website.

Generally, there’s a split: opinions are that you either do it yourself (for free!!!), or get a freelancer or an agency to build a site for you. And there’s a perception that there’s no middle ground: that if you go with an agency then you’re reliant on them for ongoing updates forevermore, and if you DIY then you’re out on your own!

At this point, I have to groan, as none of this is completely true.

Let’s look at the real options out there.

DIY Website Builders are a popular and attractive starting place

On social media posts in response to the beginner question, “How should I build my website?” generate responses like: Wix! Squarespace! Shopify!! or solutions from Internet Service Providers, or indeed Google’s own website builder.

The major benefit, of course, is that you can do it free, or for a small subscription fee, and if you don’t have any money yet with a start-up business, but you have some time, this can be really attractive.

These DIY website builders have a variety of in-built themes or templates that can look absolutely gorgeous, with stunning photography, graphics and super-cool layouts and effects. They also have drag-and-drop, live on-page editors, so you don’t have to do any coding. They are really very clever and have made the job of creating a website open to anybody, who is willing to spend the time on it.

So why would you use an agency or a freelance web designer / developer?

When I left my corporate job in 2014, the fantastic developers I used to work with expressed surprise that I was planning to start a website agency, saying “Really? People still need help building websites?”

All right, they are a very techy sample, but yikes!! As a website creator (design and development) this sounded very scary: like, will I be able to grow a business and still be needed in five years time?

However, the voice of sense said to me, “How many of your clients started with a website builder, and then ditched it?” And “How many of your clients didn’t want to do it themsleves, they wanted an expert?”

I start counting on my fingers… the answer – more than I have fingers.

Not really free?…

The truth is that DIY websites take time and more effort than you may think. This depends on the size and the functionality of your site, and whether you already have all the assets you need, like copy, photos, or other media. Also if you do have branding already, then you need to makes sure you can use the correct fonts and styles.

If you are building up a business, then you will pay for your free website in time when you could have been winning customers and making sales.

Building a website is taxing

The truth is that despite there being some very nice templates in-built with website builders, creating a coherent, effective and stunning website is hard!

Firstly you need content, and if you want an original website, then you need photography or graphic design that will cost you money anyway.

Secondly, you have to draw together an array of content in different formats, structure it so that it makes sense to lots of different users, and make it look on-brand and beautiful on different screen sizes – some landscape, some portrait, some as big as a television, some small as a mobile phone. Believe me, easy it is not.

The things that trip you up, you don’t expect

Sounds stupid, of course you don’t expect the things that trip you up! These are the little things that an expert web designer has already learnt through experience, which makes their work higher quality and more efficient. We know things like how to set up a custom website domain, what resolution of images you’re going to need to fit a space, and what you need on your site to boost your organisation’s credibility.

Traps to look out for with DIY builders, especially for business websites

If you choose a DIY Builder, there are some serious negatives about using some – not all – of them. The major factors to consider are:

  • Do you own your website content and webspace?
  • Can you export it if you need to in the future?
  • What Search Engine Optimisation is possible with your chosen website builder?
  • What functionality is available and can it be added to over time?
  • Plus other factors, such as ongoing costs, security, ease of use, mobile usability and flexbility.

At Gillyfleur we use WordPress (self-hosted – not to build our websites because it gives our clients ownership and control. It gives us freedom to design and build whatever we want, it’s scalable and it handles a wide range of functionality.

But what I really want to look at in this article is what a good digital agency or professional website designer will do that is so much more than putting some words into a website template.

Good design starts with a purpose not a template

It’s all very well having a beautiful looking demo site, which is often the case with DIY website builders, but translating that into a successful commercial website is another matter. I have had clients who say, “I want a website that looks like this” and they show me a super-cool design. It’s a good starting point, but without exception, we find that the copy and images they have don’t work within the same look and feel, and so we tweak and change and modify the design to really suit them. Heaven knows how you would manage that as a novice using a website builder.

A website expert will set you up for success with good planning, and knowing what to ask. This can be simple, such as being able to get the right size images, to the more tricky knowledge of what needs to be on your website to make you GDPR compliant.

Begin by asking, how will I know that this website is successful for me?

A good website expert will ask pertinent questions about what your website is for before they even think about design. We find out who will be using the site, what they are likely to do, and what they want to know. We talk about how the website will fit into your marketing activities and how it can work harder for you. And we look at competitors, and opportunities to improve on their approach. Practically we ask to see your branding, any existing copy, images, and other assets, so we know what work is needed to meet your goals.

Make it measurable

Having someone ask these sorts of questions will not only make the process of building a new website much more organised, but it will make it possible to set measurable goals at the very start of your online journey. There can be ‘soft’ goals, for example, feeling proud to direct a potential client to your website (and not embarrassed). There can also be the goal of placing highly on search engine results pages, making online sales, or growing a mailing list. It’s different for everybody and it is very valuable to prioritise the most important wins for you at the beginning of a project.

We have experience of the things that can go wrong

Oh yes! This is so important. Things go wrong. Things break. And sometimes we don’t know why. One of the characteristics of a successful website agency, I believe, is having a team of people who like to troubleshoot and find solutions, when most people would panic or give up.

DIY websites tend to include a DIY Customer Service

A DIY solution is not going to provide that depth of knowledge dedicated to thinking about you and your business. These companies will have Customer Service on hand for specific technical issues, but be prepared to do the donkey work using trial and error when things go wrong. You’re very likely to be given an initial stock response of a “Have you checked our FAQs / been through our troubleshooting guide?” with all that that entails.

How much money?

It seems to me that for many using an website agency is going to make better business sense when creating a new website. But for others, the cost is the biggest consideration. As I indicated before, this is likely to be weighing up how valuable your time is versus the cost of a freelancer. If you don’t have the money, and you do have time and a willingness to persevere then DIY may well suit you. Otherwise seriously look to get a budget together.

What is a realistic budget for a new website?

Realistically, the cheapest option is to find a decent freelancer and budget at least £500 for a new website, simply because it will take about 20 hours’ work to build a business 5-page website. Agencies with office and staff would be starting upwards of £2000+VAT.

Within that price you should expect a customised responsive design (tested for multiple screen sizes), website security, search engine submission, and limited functionality such as social media feeds and contact form. You should not expect web hosting, image sourcing, additional graphics or media, or additional functionality, like more complex forms, eCommerce or free giveaways.

For a high quality business website with all the things you’re likely to want, including bespoke graphic design, aim for a budget of £1500-£2000 with a freelancer and £3000 upwards with agencies, depending on the number of pages and the level of customisation.

For more complex eCommerce or Membership requirements, you’d need more again. The biggest sites with hundreds of pages and products, which are custom built, cost tens of thousands of pounds.

Training so you are not tied in

To dispell the myth that working with a digital agency means you are tied into high costs for support and website changes, let me explain that our approach is to empower our clients as much as they want. We use a content management system that enables clients to add and update their own content in the areas they want. We train our clients in person, via video calls and recorded videos so you can replay them. Therefore you don’t have to pay an hourly rate to make simple text changes.

Taking care of the basics

We do offer support packages so that we can take care of the most important aspects of your website security. This includes up-time monitoring, software updates, back ups, security checks and speed optimisation. This type of support is very reasonably priced for the peace of mind it brings. The DIY website solution may or may not include some or all of these things, but the benefit of having a real person to call with a question cannot be undervalued.

If you would like help with a new website check out our approach and some examples of our work here.

Sketch of happy hosting with email and website separate

Pros and cons of hosting your email and website together

If you’re getting started with a new website it’s likely you’ll want a custom email address to go with it. Or perhaps you just want to get going with a unique email address (even if you don’t want a website yet). In either case, it looks so much more professional to have an email address that uses your business name!

In this article I look at how to get started and why it may be preferable to host your email away from your website.

Register your preferred domain

The first thing to do, if you haven’t already, is to register your domain. My article here on What domains do I need? will help you make the best choice of domain. In addition I recommend you read 10 things to know about buying website domain and hosting together, as it may not be a particularly good idea to purchase website hosting with your domain seller.

Assuming you already know what email addresses you need, you next have to choose where you host them.

The pros of hosting email with your website

There are some pros to hosting your email account in the same place as your website.

1. One login to remember, one company billing you

Clearly one supplier means you’ll have one place to go to administer both your website and email. You’ll have a single control panel, one login and one interface to learn your way around. That certainly makes life easier!

2. You only need one support team

If you are using a digital agency or website hosting support to help maintain your website they would also be able to help you with your mailboxes. That can be really useful as that team can help you set up your email account on your devices: on your phone, ipad, laptop or desktop. It’s nice to know that you’ve only got one port of call to get support for any problems with your email as well as your website.

3. It’s cheaper

You will save money if you host your email with your website provider, especially if your host bundles the two together as one price. Make sure you have enough space in your package to cope with the demands of a busy mailbox and website. We have had a good experience using Unlimited Web Hosting for five years now. There are no limits to mailbox sizes in their cloud hosting packages. Their support is all online, but generally pretty fast and efficient.

The cons of hosting email with your website

Sketch of happy hosting with email and website separate

Firstly, you are not likely to get the best quality email service with a standard hosting package. See below for some tips of what to look for, but a more concerning downside are the risks if things go wrong

1. Yikes! Your website gets hacked

If your website is hacked and your email is using the same hosting account, then the hacker may well be able to access your email through your hosting control panel. You might be susceptible to hacking if you don’t have any security on your website. A hacker might find a weakness or vulnerability that gives them an entry to the back end of your website and from there to the server, where your emails can be found.

At the very least you need to make sure your website is protected from hackers with adequate security. And also check with your host to see what security they have in place against such a scenario.

2. Oh no! Your email account is hacked.

If your email account is hacked and your account is used to send spam, then you may find that very quickly your hosting provider suspends your hosting account. If your website is hosted in the same place, then everything will get shut down at least temorarily. This is bad news, but potentially very serious for an ecommerce operation.

Make sure that wherever you are connecting to your email – phone, tablet, computer – you have reputable anti-virus security installed and kept up-to-date to help prevent this.

3. No email when you need email the most!

If, for example, your hosting is shut down because of an incident of hacking or sending spam, you might find there’s an added problem. The email address you use to correspond with your customers, your team and the web host itself, is out of action. Nightmare complication. Usually in that situtation you’ll need to get on the phone with your web host to help resolve the issue, or use a personal email address to deal with that correspondence if you can.

4. Move your website hosting and the email has to move too

As time goes by, you may want to upgrade your website hosting, or move it to a new ISP for whatever reason- service, speed etc. But if you host your email account in the same place, that means your email has to move too. What a pain in the backside, especially for those who have multiple addresses on many devices. Now you have the trouble of archiving all your mailboxes, disconnecting your accounts and having to reset the whole thing on every one of your devices, for every team member using an email address. If your operation is likely to grow, it’s better to keep the email hosted separately so the two are not tied together in the long run.

What should you look for when choosing your email hosting

Consequently, it is very much worth looking for a dedicated email package with an internet service provider (ISP). There are many out there and vary in terms of offering, price and the level of customer support.

The main points to consider are:

Size of mailbox

You may want to have large (say 30GB) or unlimited space available for an email account with the ability to send large attachments. Or you may be happy with something smaller to start with.

Ability to download your emails to your devices

Most people want to read their mails on their phone, tablet and computers, depending on where they are. This requires a protocol to download emails from the server to your device.

Make sure you can use IMAP or POP to sync your device mailbox with what’s on your server. POP simply downloads what’s on the server to your device. IMAP is a bit more advanced as it syncs your device with the server and leaves the mail there too – better for a person using multiple devices to check an email account.


If you lose your phone or your computer dies, webmail is a great back up system to access your email via a website, like you might look at yahoo mail or gmail for example. You would just need a username and password to login and away you go.

Security / Encryption

To keep the contents of your emails secure as they fly across the world wide web, make sure your provider has encryption activated on both the webmail and the IMAP / POP connections, and on the webmail website.

Reputation of the server’s IP address

This is something that is increasingly important as big ISPs like Outlook and Yahoo tighten their spam rules evermore. The IP address of your server will essentially be ranked and good, neutral or bad, and your emails will be treated in a corresponding way. You want to make sure that your emails don’t land in other people’s junk mail if possible. There are a multitude of factors to help with this, but IP reputation is a major one.

If you host your email in a shared cloud hosting account, you suffer the same IP reputation as the other unknown people on that server. Unfortunately one bad egg who abuses the account and sends spammy emails will spoil the reputation for the rest. With a dedicated server, or an ISP who works hard to keep their reputation ratings high, you have more control over your IP address reputation and therefore how successful sending your emails will be.

Junk mail filter

Make sure your ISP provides a quality junk mail filter with the ability to adjust the settings. This is essential to keep your own incoming emails free of spam, and to block irritating repeat offenders, or white list others who have been wrongly categorised. (I have found actually that you can plug an ordinary hosting account into gmail and that filters spam very efficiently if you’re happy to use their website interface.)


This is the gold standard of email hosting. It’s a Microsoft service that allows you to sync your Contacts and Calendars as well as emails with a team. Very handy as part of an integrated team solution.


Understandably you pay more for more size, better quality of server connectivity (speed), and excellent customer support.

Have a look at PC Mags 2018 review of email hosting providers here for a full review of major ISPs.

In summary

For some people keeping your email and website hosting together will work fine. This would generally suit a small team or sole trader and makes sense if you’ve got someone to help guide you through the risks associated. For growing businesses and bigger teams I would definitely recommend keeping your email hosting separate to your website to manage risk and to ensure a better service.

jigsaw puzzle of domain, hosting and website - how they fit together

10 things to know about buying website domain and hosting together

Should you buy your website hosting and domain with the same internet service provider?

This is a good question for the person who is about to register their website address, or if your web designer offers to register a domain and host your website too.

In this article I am going to give you the pros and cons of buying your domain and website hosting from the same company, or from a web designer. I hope to protect you from costly errors and help you avoid paying more than you need when you buy a domain and hosting packages.

Firstly if you are about to choose a new domain, please a take a look at my article What Domains Do I Need?  This contains advice on what to check before you choose your domain, and what extras you might want to purchase at the same time.

Please explain! What is a domain, what is hosting and why do I need them?

I am asked this frequently. If you know this already, jump to the ten things you need to know here.

In order to get a website onto the internet, you need three parts of a jigsaw puzzle.

jigsaw puzzle of domain, hosting and website - how they fit together

1. a domain

This is the address of your website, also known as your URL, which for the geeky amongst us, stands for uniform resource locator! But enough of that. It is like your mobile phone number: you want to have one, and you want it to stay the same for as long as you need it. You want it to be portable when you get a new phone or when you switch service provider. The same goes for your website domain: it should be easily portable if you change websites or hosting providers.

2. a website

These are the files (and database) that put together make your website appear on a computer screen. You can have a website on your local computer at home, but nobody would see it unless it is hosted publicly and has an address. It is like your mobile phone. You can hold it in your hand, but it’s not useful until you have a telelphone number and a network provider.

3. website hosting

This is like your mobile phone network service provider. It connects your website to the world. It is the ‘place’ your website files and database must be saved and the ‘place’ your domain URL must point to. There are a few choices as to what service level you might need. For a starter website usually a shared cloud hosting package is sufficient. If you have want super-fast hosting, have high visitor numbers or peaks of traffic, or you are unsure about a shared service due to security concerns, you may choose a dedicated server.  The latter is naturally more expensive.

Ten things to understand before you register your domain

It is likely that the company you register a new domain with may offer you lots of seemingly attractive extras, including website and email hosting. But should you buy them all together or keep them separate? And should you accept an offer from your web designer to register a domain for you?

1. It it essential that your domain is in your control

The golden rule! When you buy a domain, you need to make sure that it is registered in your name, or your company name. This domain needs to be within your control as it may be a significant business and branding asset.

2. Be careful if your website agency registers your domain for you

I would recommend that you register your own domain – there are instructions on how here – and don’t get the agency building your website to do that. Most website designers and developers are absolutely trustworthy, but they will probably put your domain in with a lot of others in a company account, so you won’t have your own access to it.

Importantly, there may be occasions where relationships break down, or you lose contact. Certainly, you don’t want to find that the person you’re in a dispute with can actually control what appears on your website because they control your domain.

3. The risk of losing contact and the nightmare sabotage

Fairly often I am asked to help rescue a website which the client cannot access because they do not have hosting access or domain access either. This can be a time-consuming process to resolve. I have also experienced the ‘designer with a grudge’, who pleasantly grafittied my new client’s existing website during the domain ‘Transfer out’ process. We were helpless at that time to stop him.

4. The freedom to move supplier

Similarly, if you want to move to a new website designer or support, having control over your domain will seriously ease the process of switching to a new supplier. This is because you can simply change the place the website address points to, without having to deal with a potentially disgruntled incumbent supplier.

5. The pain of reclaiming a domain that is rightfully yours

If the worst comes to the worst, domain sellers and regulators have procedures for you to claim a domain name that is rightfully yours, but it’s a process to be avoided. If you have a .uk domain, Nominet is the regsitry organisation that can help you retrieve access to your domain.

6. “But”, you say,  “I would rather someone else did this for me!”

If you are not confident, or very busy, it’s certainly easier to delegate this task, so if you’re not too concerned about control and your website designer does register the domain for you, then please ask them to register it in a new account with your details, so you at least have your own login.

7. How many years do you want to register it for?

It may seem cheap to see your domain is only 99p, but be aware that it is usually only the first year that is such a low price. When you add your domain choices to your basket, beware that the company you’re buying from may add a 2-year or a 3-year registration. Usually there’s a bulk saving buying more years, but only if you need then. Simply buy one year if you don’t.

8. Remember VAT

Another tricky practice for us common consumers to look for is that, like car garages, domain sellers tend to put on the VAT at the end of the bill, not in the initial price quoted. That can push your total up somewhat!

9. To bundle or not to bundle

Usually a web host and domain seller bundle their products, so you might see a free domain if you buy hosting at the same time.

The pros: it’s usually a good price to buy both together. You’ll only have one login and one company billing you.

The cons are really about security.

The main thing is that if you buy your website hosting and domain with one provider and your hosting account is hacked, there’s potential for the hacker to not only gain control of your website, they may also be able to control your domain name. That can leave you with a big problem. At the very least, make sure you practise good password security on your hosting account.

Keep them separate and if somebody hacks your website they cannot get hold of your domain as it’s somewhere else. Similarly if you fall out with your web host, you can ditch them much more quickly as your domain is somewhere else. As mentioned, it’s much more easy to port your website across to another host than it is to try and get hold of a website that is in somebody else’s hands.

10. What about email hosting?

You’re likely to want an email address using the same address as your website. I’ve written another article about where you host your email here.

11. Search Engine Optimisation packages and other marketing tools.

My view is that you can save this for later. It’s not something you’ll need until you’ve got a website up and running, so I’d put this one hold when you register a domain.

In summary

I hope this article answers any questions you may have about whether you should buy domain and hosting with the same provider. There are no hard and fast rules, just please remember that your domain is to be protected. Please ask any question in the comments below, or ping me an email using our contact form.