Learn how to create a website – and keep it up to date

You want to create a website.
Here are your options.

Either

Ask a web designer to create your website. They will ask you for the words and pictures. If you don’t have them, they can help, but it will cost. (They don’t know you, or your business, but they’ll do their best. They’re professionals – or so it seems. That’s why they get the big bucks.)

Your web designer chooses the Theme, using WordPress. They customise the homepage, crop the pictures, copy and paste the words (including mistakes), organise the menu, decide where the map goes, how the contact form works, and where the social media links are. All that fun stuff. Maybe you get to make one or two changes before it goes live. At the end of the day, it’s not as good as you’d like, but what do you know? You pay the bill and everyone’s happy(ish).

But

A few days later, you notice a mistake. Or you want to add a page, or a phone number, or a caption under an image – and a link to your new Instagram account. You call the web designer. But they don’t answer the phone. Days pass. You send out an SOS on social media. But no one gets back to you. You email the web designer and ask them to contact you urgently – or recommend someone else. You wonder how much it’s going to cost and what you’re going to do next time. There’s bound to be a next time. Argh!

SMALL PRINT: THIS OPTION DOES NOT INCLUDE HELP PLANNING OR WRITING YOUR WEBSITE, ADVICE ON KEYWORDS AND SEO, REGISTERING YOUR WEBSITE WITH GOOGLE AND OTHERS, PROTECTION FROM SPAM, OR ANY OTHER FACTORS. YOU MAY PAY ADDITIONAL CHARGES FOR YOUR DOMAIN NAME AND HOSTING. A BUDGET OF £500 IS NOT MUCH FOR A WEBSITE. YOUR DESIGNER WILL SPEND AS LITTLE TIME ON IT AS POSSIBLE AND MAY LACK SKILL OR EXPERIENCE, OR BOTH.

Or

You learn everything you need to create a website and keep it up to date, on Your Website Course.

SMALL PRINT: THIS OPTION INCLUDES ADVICE ON TARGETING, KEYWORDS AND SEO, WRITING, CREATING AND SELECTING IMAGES, CHOOSING AND CUSTOMISING A WORDPRESS THEME, CREATING PAGES AND POSTS, INSTALLING PLUGINS TO REGISTER WITH GOOGLE AND OTHERS, AND PROTECT YOU FROM SPAM, ADVICE ON BRANDING ACROSS SOCIAL MEDIA AND MUCH, MUCH MORE. YOUR TUTOR HAS WORKED AS A SENIOR CREATIVE IN SOME OF THE WORLD’S BIGGEST ADVERTISING AGENCIES AND HAS BEEN CREATING WORDPRESS WEBSITES FOR OVER 10 YEARS.

Did you choose wisely?

What you learn

On Your Website Course, you will learn how to create and build your website from scratch. You do not need to know about coding or design, because all of that is taken care of by WordPress. Your website guide, Alex, will teach you the professional approach to creating a website, giving you tips and tricks most website designers would not know.

Website course details

Your Website Course takes you through the whole process, step by step. It is a course in two parts.

Part One: Website Content

Here you learn to:

  • Identify your target audience
  • Decide what’s so special about your website
  • Plan your website
  • Use keywords so your website appears near the top of search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo
  • Craft headlines and text your readers will respond to
  • Find (or create) and edit the right images
  • Organise your words and images to make creating your website easy – and fun

The Website Content course will be held over Zoom and costs £350. The maximum class size is eight. We go at the pace of the slowest person, so no one misses out. This is likely to take 10 one-hour sessions. You will also have a one-hour tutorial session with Alex, when you feel it would be most helpful.

Part Two: Building With WordPress

This is where you learn to put it all together. You will learn how to:

  • Select a Theme from thousands of beautiful options that work on desktop computers and mobile devices
  • Customise a Theme
  • Create Pages and Posts
  • Create and edit Menus
  • Upload words and images to Pages and Posts
  • Install essential Plugins
  • Register your website easily
  • Protect your website from spam
  • Use Yoast SEO to make your Pages stand out in searches

The WordPress Website course will be held over Zoom and costs £300. The maximum class size is also eight. We still go at the pace of the slowest person and this will take roughly eight one-hour sessions. You will also have a one-hour tutorial session with Alex, whenever you want.

A class of your own

On Your Website Course, you will also meet other people who are creating and building their own websites – people like you and people you’ll like. You are encouraged to keep in touch, so you can help each other out as you develop your website skills.

Why WordPress

There are lots of website builders out there, like Sitebuilder, Wix, GoDaddy, Weebly, Webs, Squarespace, Jimdo, Gator and Shopify. They all have their merits (here’s an article that tells you more). Some are even free.

So, why does Alex, your website guide, recommend WordPress? It’s not just because he’s been using it for every website he’s worked on since 2006.

Over 60 million reasons why WordPress is the website builder for you

More than 60 million people choose WordPress to power their websites. So it must be good. One third of all websites in the world use it, including almost 15% of the Top 100 website on the planet. (If you love stats, here are some more.) You can use WordPress to build any type of website – a blog, portfolio, e-commerce store, business, hobby – anything! You can choose from thousands of Themes that have been designed by people who love design.

Which means you can build a beautiful-looking site without going to art college.

If you employ a website designer, they will probably use WordPress. That’s how they can charge a small amount of money and deliver something that still looks great.

Alex the tutor

Another huge reason – it’s FREE

There are two ways to use WordPress. You can install it for free on any domain name you own (that’s your website name, or url). The domain name can cost less than £5 a year (usually nearer £10 – and will probably be an extra charge if you employ a designer). When you have a domain name, you also need someone to host your website, which can cost less than £1 a month. That’s exactly what’s going on with the version of this website on this link.

If you prefer, you can create a completely free WordPress website at WordPress.com like the one you’re looking at now. Advertisements will appear on your website (as you may have noticed), there are many fewer free Themes to choose from, and your url will be longer – but it won’t cost you a penny!

Sample WordPress websites

Here are over 130 websites that use WordPress, to show you how flexible it can be. And here’s the showcase on the main site with even more. Don’t expect your website to look like one of these straight away – but feel free to use them for inspiration.

All change at WordPress

In December 2018, WordPress dramatically changed the way we all create websites, with the launch of WordPress 5.0. They did this to compete with other popular website builders, that use drag-and-drop blocks to create Posts and Pages. Here’s the short video WordPress released at the launch of what it calls Bebo (the name of the 5.0 update), which uses Gutenberg (the name of the new drag and drop editor). [Update: 5.7 just came out. Updates happen regularly, which is why you should manage your website instead of leaving it to someone you will have to pay.]

This video will not teach you anything. But the one below will.

Do you need to know this?

If you’re new to WordPress, no. You can just get start enjoying the new editor. In fact, you’re starting with WordPress at the perfect time. Congratulations!

But if you’re used to what’s now called the “classic editor”, it’s an emphatic YES! The new editor is completely different. At the moment, you can disable the block-based editor and carry on using the classic editor, but in 2021 that option will disappear. So the sooner you embrace the change, the better.

To help smooth the transition from classic to block, here is a helpful 30-minute video that shows the potential of Gutenberg. Enjoy.

Experienced WordPress users will find this video reassuring and exciting.

Want to use a different website builder?

No problem. Just do Part One of Your Website Course. That will teach you: who it’s for, how it works, what it says, how it says it, where to find the images, how to keep it up to date and the many other valuable lessons.

There are free online courses you can take – and videos you can watch – that will help you put your website together. But no one will teach you how to create and target your content – and content is everything. Places are limited, so you are strongly recommended to book today.

About the tutor

After a Foundation Course in Art & Design, and a degree in English & Drama, Alex worked in broke into advertising, as a copywriter. He worked in the UK and USA on some of the world’s biggest brands, at some of the world’s biggest agencies. Now he wants to tell you everything he knows.

Previous clients

Famous brands that have profited from Alex’s work include: Air Miles, American Express, Avis, Bell South Communications, Bhs, British Airways, bmi, BT, BusinessWeek, Cable & Wireless Communications, Citroën UK, Commercial Union, Compaq, East Midlands Electricity, The Economist Intelligence Unit, Eddie Bauer, Goldfish, HP, HSBC, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Madame Tussaud’s, Marbles, Mind, Nando’s, Northwest Airlines, 02, Orange, Oyster, Quaker, Quay Arts, Renault, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, South African Breweries, Sprint, T-Mobile, Tesco, US Bank and Visa USA. (His favourite moment was having his work approved by Sir David Attenborough without any changes.)

Decades of experience

Your tutor worked in medical, sales promotion, direct marketing, loyalty marketing, above-, below- and through-the-line advertising, and was one of the first integrated writers in London. (Don’t worry if these expressions don’t mean anything to you – it’s an unusually broad range of experience.)

He has also written drama for BBC Radio 4, audio drama for Big Finish, and a number of stage, TV and film scripts. It hasn’t all been selling, selling, selling.

Why teach, not do?

Alex does work as a WordPress Doctor, but he would rather teach you how to create and manage your own website(s). With WordPress, you don’t need to know anything about coding or design – you just need great content. And for that, you need to know what to say, how to say it, what to show and how to encourage potential clients to get in touch. All of which are skills that Alex has developed over the course of his career.

Make a person a website, and you please them for a day. Teach a person to make their own website and you please them for a lifetime.

Alex the tutor

The WordPress Doctor

Here’s an example of Alex’s work as a WordPress Doctor. Second Nature runs bushcraft and outdoor learning courses in Snowdonia National Park. Guide and teacher, Nicky, is far happier tracking animals, building shelters and making fire with her bare hands than sitting inside building things on a computer. (If you’ve ever done bushcraft, you’ll know why.)

The old website was created in 2011 and had major issues. It didn’t reflect the fantastic work of Second Nature, and attracted more spam than clients. Alex installed plugins to prevent the spam attacks, updated and customised the Theme, resized and retouched the images, reworked the logo, created a gallery, rewrote most of the pages, added internal and external links, registered the site with Google, worked on the SEO and reorganised the menu. A followup phone call to Nicky, to walk her through the new block-based editing system, was all that was needed – and the patient is now doing well.

Before and after the doctor called

website before doctoring
The Second Nature site was an emergency.
website after website doctor
After two days in intensive care, the patient is doing well.

If you need emergency intervention from Alex as a WordPress Doctor, feel free to get in touch. (Please bear in mind, he only has one pair of hands and maybe attending to another patient.) But if you’d rather learn how to do it all yourself – book a place on yourwebsitecourse today.

Abracadabra

website creation
Alex conjured the Vale de Torre website from nothing in about a week

The Vale de Torre healing centre in Portugal asked Alex to create their website from scratch. As with the Second Nature example above, there were some excellent images. Hans and Kate, who ran the centre, also provided some useful text to help create some of the Pages. The site took about a week to complete.

Hans and Kate have now retired and the site is no longer visible. The snapshot of the homepage, above, is all that remains…

Book your place today

If you’re reading this page, you are already several steps along what advertising people call “the customer journey”.

The journey begins by attracting your attention (often with an offer or by telling you something you don’t know). The next step is to develop your interest (by telling you more about the product). Your desire builds with step three (as you see why you need it). And finally, you take action (by filling out a form or making a purchase). This formula (called AIDA) is the basis of almost all the advertising you have ever seen. Including this website.

Who you are

You want to create a website or improve your existing website. You would rather do it yourself than employ a website designer. You can see the benefits of learning in a small group of people who could become friends and help each other in the future. And you are keen to apply your creativity in an exciting new way.

The time to act is now – the form to complete is below.