Do you have ideas for a good website but don’t know where to start about getting one? Then this article can help you get started.
Plan your site
It’s a good idea to first have a good idea about what you want to communicate on your website and how you want to display it. Try making a website structure. Just draw on a piece of paper and start with the home page. What are your main links from there? And sublinks?
Do you have time?
Figure out how much time you can spend making and updating your website. If you are making a community site or a site that needs frequent updating then it will be important to have a website that is easy to update.
Register a domain name
You can already register a domain name. Please make sure that you register your domain name with an accredited domain register and check prices with several providers as prices can vary a lot. You can also do this later and let your web designer/developer do it (if you decide to have one).
You will also need to get your website hosted so that it is visible on the Internet. However, if you don’t know exactly which technology you are going to use it may be better to talk to your web designer first. Have a look at your options in the next step.
Options for creating your site
- Starting a website from scratch using a web editor or plain coding; very cheap and no special software needed but quite a big learning curve.
- Using a website builder; A quick and affordable option for getting a website. Although this is a quick way to make a website if you have a good eye for structure and design, the websites don’t always look that good. Customers usually only respond well to well-designed professionally looking websites.
- Start with a template bought from the internet; this is a good option if you can work with programs like Dreamweaver and Photoshop.
- Use an open source application like WordPress or Joomla; some of these applications are easy to use and combining them with a template you can have a good quality website quite quickly. You can also ask your web designer to implement these for you.
- Build a website from scratch by using one of these program languages (please note that many of these have a high learning curve, so this is not a good option if you want a website quickly):
The final option is to hire a professional web designer. They can take care of everything for you. My services are available at Escala.
- HTML is the easiest to learn, and if you’re up to it, you’ll be able to tweak your web design any way you want, and you won’t have to pay anybody else to update or change your site.
- XHTML is the new web language set by W3C’s standards. Almost identical to HTML, it follows a stricter set of rules for marking up information – what this means, for the most part, is minor changes to the way you write code.
- CSS, which stands for “Cascading Style Sheets”, gives more flexibility for styling the HTML.
Upload your website
If you have already arrnanged your host you can now upload your website to the internet.
Test your website
Different browsers display your site differently. So check that your website looks good in different browsers and on different computers.
Promote your site
Not only is it important that your web site is created exactly for the purpose and audience that you had in mind, your web site also needs to be found and seen!
Some of the options are:
- Registering your site to search engines
- Optimizing pages with keywords to ensure top ranking in search engines
- Finding relevant sites which could link to your site
- Creating an online newsletter
- Registration of extra domain names
- Online pay per click ads
- Banner advertising on appropriate sites
- Providing you with site statistics
- Using newsgroups
- Using affiliate programs
- Registration of multiple domain names
- Analysing web statistics