How to Create a Professional Website with an iPad?
Some time ago we got an email from one of our readers, asking if it is possible to create a website using an iPad or tablet. In this article I will show you how easy you can create a website with your iPad, iPhone or other mobile device. This tutorial is great for beginners and users who don’t know programming.
Creating a website with an iPad has some limitations, but there are still plenty of options that you can use for building a professional website:
- Using a website builder APP
- Using a browser based Site Builder
- Using WordPress or other Responsive CMS
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Use a Website Builder APP to Create Your Website
There are plenty of website building apps in the iTunes store, so it won’t be a problem to find one. The question is which one to use? Which app is good for building a professional website? I found out that the app offered by Weebly is decent.
Weebly is a drag-and-drop site builder, which enables users to create a business site, blog or online shop. Weebly is very easy to use; it is perfect for beginners who don’t have any coding skills. The great thing about Weebly is that you can try it out for free.
Now let’s see how to get started with Weebly App. Go to the app store and search for the app, than install it to your iPad. Access the app and create a free account on Weebly to get access to their website builder. Once your account is ready, choose a theme that you like best. There are hundreds of high quality templates you can choose from. You can edit each part of these templates, so to reduce your effort, choose a design that has the layout you are looking for.
Now you can edit the text, change images, add new elements such as titles, paragraphs, maps, slideshows, videos, forms, buttons and much more, just tapping your iPad.
Once you are done editing your site, you can publish it to a sub-domain and you can view it online in Safari or other browser you have on your iPad.
Although you can try out the site builder app for free and also can publish your website, the free version is very limited in features. To create a professional website, you will need to upgrade to a premium plan, which starts at $8 monthly and includes a free domain for a year. This might be a good deal, but I have better option for you. Just keep reading!
Use a Browser Based Site Builder to Create Your Website
In this case, you don’t need to install anything to your iPad. You just need the Safari or other web browser and you are good to go.
For creating your website with an iPad or iPhone (or other smart phone), I highly recommend using the website builder offered by HostGator. This site builder is browser-based, so you don’t need to install anything to your device. The drag and drop functionality of this builder allows you to customize the layout, edit the content, change the design as you like. You can choose from thousands of templates.
The site builder offered by HostGator is easy to use, does not require you to know HTML or other programming, just with the tap of your fingers you will be able to create and publish a professional website in minutes.
This site builder has the option to create a blog as well to add products to your page, using the eCommerce functionality.
Currently HostGator is running a promotion, offering their hosting plan, which includes the site builder as well, for only $3 per month when subscribing for at least 12 months. The disadvantage is that you cannot try out the site builder for free; however HostGator offers a 45 day money back guarantee. If you don’t like their website builder or service you can ask for a refund.
Why is HostGator’s site builder a better choice than Weebly? Besides the fact that it costs less, you will also have the option to host not only one website. In fact there is no limit on how many websites you can create and publish with HostGator. On top of that, you will be able to create websites with other tools such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal, read further to find out how.
Use WordPress on Your iPad to Make a Website
WordPress is the most popular content management system that is powering over 75 million websites world-wide. You can use other systems as well to build your site using your iPad, but I choose to present you WordPress, because it is the simplest and is more user-friendly, while the others are more developer oriented.
The advantage of using WordPress to build your website is that you can create basically any type of site with it. Furthermore, WordPress is an open source software and is free to use. Building your site with a site builder software might be easier, but its functionality is limited, counter to WordPress.
While the site builder does not allow you to have access to the website code, with WordPress you can edit, customize and extend the functionality.
How can you build a website with WordPress on your iPad? First, I suggest checking out our tutorial on how to create a website with WordPress. The process of building a website on your iPad is very similar.
With WordPress, you don’t need to install any app to your device however you have this option as well. Whatever option you choose, you need to purchase a hosting plan that support WordPress and allows you to automatically install it to your website. You can also try out WordPress for free on WordPress.com, by creating an account there.
The WordPress App is available for IOS and Android, but unfortunately does not permit you to set up your website, it only allows to manage and publish new content. To set up your site, you will need a hosting account and you will have to purchase this using a web browser such as Safari.
Here are 3 web hosting companies that I recommend for self-hosted WordPress sites:
$2.75 / mo
$3.95 / mo
$3.99 / mo
Once you have your web hosting account ready, login to the control panel. You will receive all these information by email from the hosting provider you choose. You will also get a free domain name if you choose one of the above mentioned providers.
- HostGator: is a reliable web hosting provider for hosting small as well large WordPress websites. They also offer a site-builder with their hosting account. So choosing HostGator is a great solution to try out both: building your site with a builder or with WordPress.
- BlueHost: is the best for those users who want to create a larger website. At BlueHost you have the option to upgrade your hosting account to a larger, more powerful plan if you outgrow your current plan. Here you can also opt for managed WordPress hosting.
- InMotion: is another great solution for hosting small to large WordPress sites. Their support is also great, trained to help users with their WordPress issues.
In the control panel, you will have to look for the WordPress icon and install the software to your domain. This is a very simple task: just set the name for your site, choose admin login info (this will be used to edit your site), and tap the installation button. The installation process is automated, so you don’t have to do anything else.
Once the installation is ready, you can go to your website and access the WordPress admin dashboard. You have to do this in a web browser, while this is not an application. The link will look like this: yoursite.com/wp-admin, sure you need to replace the domain name with your own domain.
The WordPress admin dashboard is responsive, so it will look great on your iPad and on your iPhone too. I recommend using an iPad while configuring your site, just because the screen is bigger.
Now you can customize your WordPress site from your iPad:
- Change the design in Appearance > Themes menu
- Install the plugins you need in Plugins > Add New menu
- Setup the link structure of your site in Settings > Permalinks menu
- Add new posts or pages in Posts > Add New or Pages > Add New
- Manage media files, especially pictures in Media > Library menu
The standard WordPress installation does not have a page builder feature, but you can find several free as well paid WordPress page builders online, that can be installed to your website:
- BoldGrid – a great WordPress page builder, available for free with all shared plans at InMotionHosting
- WP Bakery – is a very popular page builder that costs $46 and works with almost any theme
- Awesome Builder – is another great drag and drop premium page builder for WordPress that costs $28
Why should you consider WordPress for your website? Unlike site builder apps, WordPress can be also edited on a desktop computer. For instance, if you choose to build your website from your iPad using an app, later on you won’t be able to edit it on a desktop computer, unless the app allows that (in most of the cases it doesn’t). While website builders are easier to use, they are very limited compared to WordPress. It is true that with a site builder you can customize every design element of the website, but the functionality cannot be extended. With WordPress you don’t have any limitation regarding the functionality or design of your website.
To further develop a WordPress site you might need some knowledge of PHP, HTML and CSS programming, but with the use of the plugins you can do basically anything, without touching the code.
Just to give you some examples that WordPress can offer but a site builder cannot: social network type website, forum type site, property or car listings site, classified ads, etc.
Conclusion – Which Method Should You Use for Building Your Website with an iPad?
If you are looking for a quick and cheap solution to make a website with your iPad, I recommend using a website builder. This will give you all the features that are needed to get started with a presentation website for a business.
However if you want something long-term and you think that in the feature you will want to further improve your website, I suggest going with WordPress.
Finally, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below. If you have any experience building websites with iPad or iPhone or other smart-phone, please share with us. Also if you have any questions or need help figuring out which option to choose, please don’t hesitate to ask for help below in the comments.