Over the last few years changing technology has made building a website easier,
and you can now build a site without needing to:
- Become a web designer
- Purchase expensive software
- Become an HTML or PHP guru
However it does require that you take a little time to understand the basics.
Websites are simply a collection of linked Web Pages, and these web pages are all created using a special language called HTML (Hypertext mark up language).
When you read a web page like this one you don’t see the HTML because the Web Browser that you are using doesn’t display it, but uses it to format/present the page.
Web designers do need to understand HTML, but generally they aren’t experts, as the Web design tools they use make being and HTML expert unnecessary.
Most websites use standard designs in the form of templates or Themes (
WordPress), which means that they can be built by almost anyone.
Whether you’re building a business, personal, or hobby website there are 3 main steps involved. They are:
- Decide on the site building technology
- Decide on the Domain Name hosting provider.
- Build and publish the site
The first step is to become acquainted with the different technologies that are available, and to choose the technology most suitable for your project.
For most people the choice will be between using a content management system like WordPress or an old fashioned HTML template.
Personally I prefer the WordPress option, and is the one I would recommend you follow.See the understanding your website building options article for a more detailed overview
Once you have decided on the technology you will need a domain name and hosting account to host the website.
Generally you will use the same company for your hosting and domain name registration as it makes it easier to manage.
Finally you need to build and publish the site.
If you using an HTML/PHP template then you will web page editing software like Dreamweaver. It is for this reason that I don’t recommend this option anymore.
However if you do go this route then you will also need a working knowledge of FTP as this is used to upload web pages onto your web hosting space.
With WordPress you create pages and mange the site via a web browser and don’t need any web page editing software.
How Much does it Cost? – Around £8/year for a .com domain name and approx £50/year for hosting.
Do I need to Learn HTML? – Yes and No. Having a basic understanding is necessary regardless of what most other sites would like you to believe.
However you don’t need to be an expert. My starting HTML course covers all you really need to get started.
Do I need to Learn Web Design?- No -There many professional designs available in the form or themes( WordPress) and templates (HTML/PHP).
Providing you don’t want a completely bespoke design, then It is simply a
question of choosing a design for the site rather than creating a new design from scratch.
What About Build a blog? – Many people get confused between websites and blogs.
A blog is a Website with the content arranged by date and is the online equivalent of a newspaper. It is used for presenting time sensitive information.
See a beginners guide to blogging for more details
What about Ecommerce websites? – Ecommerce websites/Shops are different from standard content based sites, and there are many specialist solutions available. You should see the Ecommerce section for more details.
Running and Maintaining Your Website
There are ongoing tasks like backups and content editing as well as one off tasks like site migration.
Some tasks e.g. creating subdomains, will involve the host control panel, others are done on the website itself through the dashboard (wordpress sites).
If you are experiencing difficulty with your site and would like some help then I offer webmaster services at reasonable prices.
Ask The Webmaster
If you get stuck or encounter a problem start by looking through the articles.
If you don’t find what you are looking for then just ask and I will do my best to answer as quickly and accurately as possible.
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