Building my own website

Does anyone have any ideas for how I should go about building my own website?

I am not madly computer literate so it would have to be relatively easy. It's just for advertising my self-catering cottages.

Neil, you are absolutely right. People are being misled into thinking a website is the be-all and end-all. It is simply a tool and I have always maintained it to be a very useful one particularly as an online brochure or catalogue, and even as a shop, but as with ALL business activities people have to know about you and I have yet to believe the web really does provide that function - although I can see the possibilities of 'blogs' to build interest.

You will recall a few years ago the mantra that the 'internet would wipe out all other forms of advertising (and retail shopping)' It hasn't happened, and even though some areas have moved dramatically in that - eg amazon for books and cds etc., very few other business models have done the same. Or at least really changed the landscape.

Probably one of the most telling facts for me at least, is far from the 'paper-free' environment we are 'promised', it is exactly the reverse with sales of Copier paper going through the roof. People STILL like to hold something in their hands to read - notably information. Pick it up, put it down and come back to it when you want it.

Targeted magazines are still the best way to go is my simplistic advice. Use online ones as a support and use all of them to direct to a website with more pix and more info.

Not really Rocket Science is it?

The truth is that even the big search engines only catalogue about 20% of all the web sites on the planet and when you search thay look at your search history and steer you towards what they think you would like to see, particularly the ones that have paid them. You still require the old marketing methods as well - advertising, leaflets, business cards and any other printed items.

Hi Sandra,

if you need free help please contact me:


Hi Sandra,

one site I was going to try myself is:

I had been piggy-backing on my husband's website, and I was stuck with his theme and layout. But the web guys could change the appearance of my part of the website so I decided not to change. Weebly has templates and you basically create an account with them, choose your theme and then add the features you want and your text.

Your search phrases are important, as everyone has already mentioned, but you do have to know what people will search for. Do you have something specific in your town, department, region, that people will always want to visit (eg, Lascaux Caves) - if so, put that in as a search phrase.

What Steve says is true - unless people actually use your exact phrases you will be pushed down the results queue. Things have changed though, because years ago anyone with AAAAAA etc in their search phrases always went to the top. Now it's more a case of the larger advertisers (bookings, owners direct, etc) who snatch the top spots. When we were travelling I used to do searches for 'self catering accommodation near x' (with x being the town, just in case someone asks if there is a place called x...) and get some good results - you can forget that now.

We're also doing B&B and I've found that it's better to be with some paid advertising - you will have to research what works for you here as there are hundreds of them all asking varying prices for varying services. You still need to be on the web though because when people pick up a card or a brochure, they want to explore what you have to offer. Good luck!

better with a easy online blog, wordpress is too complex, blogger or tumblr ...Ive been a IT consultant for 25 years and simpleness is king now plus you dont need any software on your computer its all online and you dont get charged for hosting !!!!! me if you have any questions simon@othen dot biz

Blogger is your best bet or Tumblr

Hi Sandra, I have been doing this stuff since 1999, first thing you need to do is decide what you want to get out of it. If you are looking for no1 spot in google for holiday lets for instance, forget it it isnt going to happen - not being negitive, just reality.

You can however with a bit of patience and understanding get a good ranking but you have to be clever when you apply content (content is King by the way).

If you want to age at twice your normal speed go for Dreamweaver, however be warned that the learning curve is vertical, particularly after version 5.5 as you need to build for mobile and tablet search's. Even if you build a site for the web only you will within a couple of years have to do it again.

My advice is Wordpress, WP in its basic form is simple and as suggested above hosting companies allow direct installation to your site. WP is infinite in its development, its open source which means there are millions of people all over the world making it better and you can use this knowledge, most of which is free.

Hosting, as with anything you get what you pay for, if its free its not exactly going to be fast, and with search engines like Google you need to be fast.

Go and have a look at WP Themes and Templates, these will get you off to a brilliant start, once for have figured how to use WP it really is easy, all you have to do is create your content and lots of it, thats what the likes of Google and other Search Engines love.

Finally, keywords, generally unimportant these days, BUT you need to do certain things throughout the site. Every page with Bed & Breakfast in St Nicolas du Pélem would almost get you the number one spot in Google very quickly, however consider how many people might be actually looking for B&B in
St Nicolas du Pélem - I guess not to many. You STILL need to understand Keyword and Key phrases, hope that makes sense. What I would suggest is that you have a quick look around Google on Search Engine Optimisation, cure for insomnia BUT a very basic understanding will get you a long way.

It can be lots of fun doing web stuff,especially when you start to appear where you want to be - 1st page of Google.

Need any advice PM me.


Thanks, everyone! I'll carry on with your suggestions and see which I feel I like best.

Use free hosting services like Bravenet or Webhost - takes about 30 mins to get a basic site up an running? Template of course.

Don't think of your site as doing everything for you though. Think of it as your 'catalogue' or 'brochure' but not as your Sales person. You still need to get people to visit, and all this business about 'keywords' is misleading 'cos everybody reads and use the things, so it is self-defeating. Once set up a website saves you time and energy as you can just refer people to it especially when offering a 'service' as opposed to 'products' that change.

Elsewhere I am discussing a website with Bruce Brewster, stuff on there you might find useful.

All good advice so far. Wordpress is probs' the best I've tried a few. The only snag I find with these types is optimising. They come with 'free templates', so you choose one you like and away you go... All (well most) of the html is 'fixed' so as in backlinks to the providers main site - for which you cannot blame them. This helps there mainsite get a higher listing.

I did mine in Dreamweaver, it did take an age to my head round it mind..... But all my meta-tags point where I want them to, not to where someone else wants them.

When you say 'its just for advertising my self-catering cottages' if you search on that with the added word 'France' you will see there are around 5,530,000 results ! So lots of competition.

Not trying to put you off, just my two penneth', Good luck!

If you want a simple solution, Wordpress is the way to go. Most hosting companies have systems that will install automatically.

All these "free" systems have their own little quirks. You need to find one that you feel comfortable with. I would suggest trying them all. Here's another ....

Hello Sandra

I designed our website even though I have never done one before and I found it relatively easy. The software I used was 'Mr Site' and if you go onto my website on the home page you will be able to click on their link and you will be able to get a bit of a discount. Not sure how much but anything is better than nothing. I only have the basic website and it cost me £50 for the domain name (CD) and I recently renewed it after one year and they charged me £45 which I think is good.

Their customer helpline is extremely good as well and, believe me, I asked for their help many many times and there is no charge. Have a look -

Good luck.

Hi Sandra,

I'd agree with Ian about systems such as Wordpress - it is a relatively 'easy' way to build a website that can be up and running very quickly. However, even then, 'easy' may mean different things to different people depending upon their level of self-confidence with all things computer-related. While Wordpress does have its limitations, is is a remarkably flexible system with a series of plugins (add-ons to the basic system) that can enable all sorts of quite sophisticated extra features. I've developed a few Wordpress sites for my own needs but then I've some background in IT. That said, there are services you can pay for to get you started and over the initial technical hurdles....

Good luck.....

Best wishes,


Hi Sandra,

IMHO the easiest way to establish a web presence is to use one of the popular, free blogging templates such as those from Wordpress or Blogger.

They make it easy to compile and host a website and if you pick the right theme the result doesn't have to look like one of those "look at me" soporific compilations.