So, you are planning to throw a party and want to get as many people as possible to it. Or you may simply need to promote different events and have visitors registered. Depending on what your final goals are, you might need to create an event website from the ground. The task is easier than it seems considering dozens of specialized website builders and platforms that do not require coding skills or hiring outsource developers that usually cost thousands of dollars.
A dedicated event site is a good tool to handle effective branding and introduce vital features to keep your visitors engaged. It will let you regularly come up with updated content and details, new event descriptions, ticket sales, special offers, etc. All you need is to make sure that a chosen platform delivers enough customization tools.
And before we dive deep into the phases of the creation process, we need to figure out if you actually need an event site or there are simpler tools to cope with the task. It all depends on the goals, event types, and purposes why you need to promote it.
How to Create an Event Website (The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide):
1. Before You Start: Should Every Event Have a Website?
The answer is “YES” but only if you plan to organize a huge event that takes place on a regular basis. It does not matter if we are talking about commercial shows featuring ticket sales or non-profit gatherings (churches, charitable organizations, students’ unions, etc.). The website will work out in case of a massive event.
One would hardly appreciate dealing with the web building process for a one-night bachelors party, wedding rehearsal or ex-students meetup. For smaller issues, you can make the most of the Events Facebook app that is free and easy to use. It helps friends to find events taking place in their borough as well as make some slight arrangements.
If you require enhanced functionality, look for a platform that allows doing the following.
Manage Effective Branding
A strong event site should come with effective branding. You would probably want your visitors not just read some general info but also engage in any way:
- Purchase tickets.
- Sign in to the event.
- Subscribe to keep in touch with updates.
- Take part in the discussions.
- Look through media content, etc.
The main idea is to deliver memorable content. Let visitors remember the event and make them want to come back. The only way to achieve this is to create a stylish site with trendy design and features to interact with users. This is where the second issue arises.
Your website will require a set of specific features depending on the event type. The most common functions include:
- A calendar for repeating events that take place on a regular basis.
- Checkout feature in case you plan to sell and promote tickets.
- A simple registration form if there is a signing in process to take part in the event.
- Email marketing and promotion tools to send info updates, new schedules, special offers, promo codes, and more.
- Social Media integration for maximum users’ outreach via all available channels and platforms.
Once again, the website functionality will mainly rely on the event types you want to promote.
A vital feature for event sites, as most of your potential users, are likely to access it via mobile devices. So, you need a platform, that will help you create mobile-friendly pages with ease. It will let you generate higher traffic and improve users’ satisfaction rates.
After we have defined the future site functionality and features to look for, let’s have a look at website building options.
2. Choose a Platform to Create an Event Website
Every platform has its unique specialization. Some website builders are designed to meet eCommerce needs while others work better for content-based sites. One thing is clear, they have become extremely popular over the years due to ease of use and flexibility delivered to millions of active subscribers.
At the same time, some technologies have proved to be more flexible than others. They help to create projects of different types thanks to extended functionality. When considering event sites, Wix and WordPress are undoubted leaders.
Wix – is our #1 recommendation and here is why:
Ease of Use. People with no coding can create ready-to-go sites literally in minutes. The system uses the AI algorithm implemented in the system’s custom Wix ADI solution. It uses info about your future website and niche to offer pre-built layouts with necessary widgets already installed.
All-in-One Platform. With Wix, you do not need to take care of hosting and domain separately. Each subscription plan comes with all needed assets and facilities to design, create, customize, and deploy the site.
Wix Events. An award-winning app designed to throw parties, host conventions, sell tickets to concerts and shows, etc. You actually get a bunch of tools to create dedicated evet ages, modify them, integrate payment services, create and manage guest lists, and more.
3. Get A Domain Name & Web Hosting
Those who have skipped the first paragraphs should know that we personally recommend Wix as the best solution to create event websites and WordPress as the second-best CMS for your purposes. Each platform comes with a domain and hosting although in a bit different way.
Domain and Hosting for a Wix Site
As it was stated earlier, Wix is an all-in-one platform. It means the system has plans for different needs with all features already included. For a fixed price, you get hosting and free domain. Each feature will be activated as soon as you sign in and purchase a plan.
Domain and Hosting for a WordPress Site
The situation with WP CMS is a bit different. The system itself does not offer hosting facilities or domain registration. However, as you still need to find a reliable hosting provider, a good idea is to opt for Bluehost.
It is the officially WP-recommended platform that makes it easy to use the CMS thanks to seamless integration, auto plugin and system updates, security means, access to plugins and themes, etc. The list of features includes a 1-year domain after registration in addition to hosting facilities. It has been the best option for any WordPress website type.
4. Setting Up a Template and Customize Your Website
Now you are ready to design your future website as well as fill it with content, media files, widgets, etc. if you opt for Wix, you will benefit from a simple editing process thanks to the drag-and-drop tool. No coding or programming skills are required. We have already mentioned about the AI-based Wix ADI tool that offers ready-to-go site layouts.
The second variant is to choose from over 500 stylish and responsive templates that refer to different business niches. Event projects are not an exception. You do not even have to customize the page. Each theme comes with pre-set add-ons in addition to the Wix Event app available on the Widget Marketplace. The last thing is to add relevant content, several images or videos, preview your website on different desktop and mobile devices, connect the domain, and publish it.
Getting started with WordPress is a bit more difficult although the editor itself is very easy as well. The CMS has a huge selection of plugins and themes. The only difference from Wix is that here you have to find and install them manually. At the same time, custom free themes look pretty the same.
While you certainly crave for some exclusive layouts, choosing Premium paid themes is a better idea. They are also responsive and feature a more stylish design. Another downside is that with WordPress you will need to buy and download the template separately while Wix offers all necessary tools in the pack letting you save time.
5. How Much Does an Event Website Cost
There is no need to hire developers or try to create this website type from the ground. The challenge is close to impossible considering the functionality and features ready-made templates delivered by Wix and WordPress already have. Users have an opportunity to use them all at a relatively low price. Let’s have a look at the final cost per a year-long project made on Wix and WP.
Wix Website Building Cost
The monthly Price plan starts at $8.50. We consider a combo plan with the free 1-year domain in addition to 2 GB of storage and 3GB of bandwidth to host your event site. As a result, the final website cost will be $102 per year with all necessary features, add-ons, and templates included in the package.
WordPess Website Building Cost
The CMS is free. However, we have noted about the hosting as well as Premium templates. They cost from $30 to $290 depending on the design. The good news here is that they come with the one-time payment.
In addition, some plugin and services are also paid while free subscriptions offer a limited selection of instruments. The last but not least is WP-optimized hosting provided by Bluehost. For only $2.95 per month, you get a full set of tools including a domain, WordPress integration, system backups, etc. In the end, you will have to pay about $110 per year (plugins and hosting) + $30-$200 once for a premium WordPress theme.
6. Inspiration: Examples of Great Event Websites
To prove our recommendations regarding the chosen platforms and make them more obvious, we have conducted a list of best event site examples built with Wix and WordPress:
You may also take a look at more real Wix websites by browsing this compilation.
The process of building an event website is easy in case you know, which type of event you want to promote. The idea is to define the key goals and purposes of going live. Are you planning to sell tickets to the concerts, hold conventions or students’ meetings, promote cultural or non-profit events? Any of the above-mentioned requires a flexible, cost-effective, and easy-to-use platform.
Wix and WordPress would be the best bet. While Wix is the obvious leader with all necessary features included in each plan, its custom Event app, lower prices that already include hosting and domain. WordPress might also be a good choice although it will call for additional manipulations that may seem to be a bit hard for non-technicians from the start.