When you have a hobby that you are passionate about sharing or make products for selling at markets you may have thought about expanding your audience beyond a local sphere. For this a website can be perfect but there are important questions to ask before you start. Why do I want a website? What will it achieve? What's my budget?
A website can be used for many reasons, some of these might be to show off your work (portfolio), share information and tips (blog) or commercial sales (shop). Depending on your aim and in many cases budget, this can change your approach for a website and in some cases a website might not be what you need at all.
An example of this might be selling handmade products online, the question becomes why not just use online sales platforms such as Etsy or Ebay. They have great sales tools, customisable shops, low entry costs and a huge existing customer base. However this flexibility comes at a cost, it means more competition and less control over each aspect of your sales.
Creating a website is more accessible than ever with codeless, drag and drop website builders that allow you to assemble the building blocks that make up a website. Two of the most popular services are WordPress and Wix, both are website builders and content publishing platforms with free and paid options.
Choosing the right one can be difficult as whichever one you go with is a big time investment and getting stuck on a CMS (Content Management System) that is frustrating to use will make the whole experience painful. Services like WordPress and Wix are free to use and setting up the bones of a website is fairly quick. I'd suggest spending a day on each platform building out a basic website to get a feel for how it works.
Once you find a platform you feel comfortable using there is lots of room to grow with paid extras, (or use a free website combined with a free Etsy shop!). Choosing a platform, keeping costs low and building an audience can be the best first steps for taking your hobby to the web.