Here are the answers to the more frequent questions:

How much is it going to cost me?

In addition to domain and hosting costs (see below), we would install, design and create a site for £250 for a full build to the point where you can take over and run it yourself. After that, a retainer or time only agreement can be made if you require it (most people don’t).

We work on the premise that:

  1. The (Internet) world has moved on from where it used to be, and there is now no justification for charging sky-high prices for something which is available to everybody.
  2. The only difficult technical bit is the initial installation of the core site. Everything else is easily achievable by the community itself.
  3. We want every community, group and individual to have an Internet presence. Making it financially difficult is simply stupid. Our costs are based purely on the time it takes to set up the initial site, which can be measured in days rather than weeks or months – don’t accept anybody that tells you otherwise. We don’t add any extras to boost the cost.
Why do I have to have a domain and a hosting package?

The domain is simply the URL (the www.xxx.xx bit). These have to be registered, and have legal owners. Once a domain has been registered to you, you are the only one that can use it. Think of it as a telephone number.

Having a domain does not mean you also have an Internet site. Many people buy domains simply to reserve them so that no-one else can use them.

To put a site onto the Internet you have to have a web server visible to the world, which is where your site actually sits. Hosting companies let you rent space on their servers, the costs generally being dependent on how big your site is, or how many people use it. A low-cost hosting package is the easiest way to start, and will be a medium to long-term solution for the vast majority of people. However, if you run out of server space you may need to upgrade to a hosting package that allows you more disk space for your site.

I’m not technical, but I’ve heard that building web sites is!

Don’t worry about it. Millions of people use the WordPress environment from personal to commercial and professional reasons. The vast majority of them aren’t technical either.

Once you’ve played with it, it will become easy. You can’t break anything, so we recommend that people just have a go, and see what they can do. Usually it takes a few minutes to familiarise themselves, and after that there’s no stopping them.

I already have a web site. Can I still use ECCO?

In theory, yes, although in practice it will depend on your current hosting provider. We use Virtual Names in the UK because they support all the technology we need to build the sites.

If your current provider does as well, then the answer will probably be “yes”, although we would need unrestricted access (user names, passwords, etc) to the server to perform the installation.

However, if they don’t, then that is likely to be a problem. Virtual Names provide a Transfer service for situations like this, but we’d probably need to look closely at what was involved. It may just be easier to find a new URL and build the site there. Each case will be different.

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