It's easy to get overwhelmed when you're starting a new website. You snag a cool domain, get hosting set up and BOOM, now you have to actually get a site up on the web. Uh oh.
If you've never created a webpage before, maybe paying for a designer to do it all for you is a great option. Now, it's easier than ever to make your own website, and there are some simple, and more involved, options available. In this article we'll go over some of the most popular and easiest options to make your very own website.
Website Packages and Design Bundles
We have some pretty great bundles that include having a website built just for you, plus having some security measures and other features built in. If you lack the time or expertise, or even desire, to create and secure your own site this is a fantastic option.
And if you just want a nice clean website, none of the fancy security or other add-ons, we can set you up with that too! Professional, effective, easy. There are three handy pricing options to fit your needs. Work with the experts to build a site suited to your needs, and rake in the money.
Weebly Website Builder
Our new Weebly offering gives you the opportunity to build a slick website in a matter of minutes! Drag and drop your way to internet awesomeness. Easy, modern, full-featured websites on the fly—and it's inexpensive. Get in touch to order it or find out more.
Utilizing a website template is a great way to get a snazzy website up in a flash (or semi-flash; this method is definitely not as quick as the Weebly option). You can find tons of website templates available online from websites like Theme Forest and Template Monster (just Google 'website template'). Once you find a template that you like, you can download the template and edit it. After you edit the template using an HTML or text editor you can then upload the template through FTP to your account with us to publish your site.
There are a tons of different templates to match every style and look/feel, with the ability to customize them to better suit your needs. On the other hand, pre-made templates may require a lot of tweaking via HTML code or similar to get your website in the best, and most desirable, shape possible.
CMS (Content Management System)
Using a CMS for your website is a great option if you intend to constantly add content, or if you need advanced features. The major CMSes are WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. The most popular option is definitely WordPress, and it can be installed through our Softaculous installer from within your control panel. WordPress is very simple to use, and there are scads of free WordPress themes and plugins available to help you build almost any type of website.
CMSes are highly customizable and easy to install and get up and running. It's simple to add content and update pages within a CMS, and they make it easier to keep everything organized on your site. Since a CMS is pre-built though, it may require editing the PHP, HTML or CSS code of your site if the out-of-the-box options don't work for your site.
From Scratch (HTML/CSS/PHP)
Creating a website from scratch used to be the only way to do it. Now we have tons of tools and scripts to help us. But if you're a do-it-yourself kind of person, this option might appeal to you. To get started on this path, W3Schools has some good tutorials and more information covering HTML, CSS, and PHP.
HTML stands for hyper text markup language, and it's the code behind most websites. Your web browser reads this code and renders it into a document which becomes a viewable web page.
CSS or cascading style sheets, is a way to define the look and design of different elements on your website. It gives your site its own unique style.
PHP or other server-side scripting languages can add advanced functionality to your site like creating contact forms, and interacting with a database to store and retrieve information.
Creating your own website from code gives you complete control over the look and feel of your site, but it can have a steep learning curve for beginners aiming to get up-to-speed quickly.
Website Images, Banners and Logos
Many professionals use Adobe's Creative Suite (Illustrator and Photoshop) to create and edit various images for their website and branding. Photoshop is good for touching up photos, and creating banners and logos. Illustrator is a vector-based image creator that's really good for creating logos and other custom designs. There are free and very good alternatives to easily make images for your web site, such as GIMP.
To Sum It Up...
Most of our customers use WordPress for their websites, though Weebly is a fantastic almost out-of-the-box option as well. Once you install WordPress, you'll probably want to install a theme that you like, and add any plugins that you'll need to make your website snazzy. It doesn't require any advanced knowledge, it's easy to install, and as you learn you can tweak it even further. With any method you choose for making a website, it's probably a good idea to learn a little HTML and CSS by reading tutorials online, although with WordPress it's not required. If you go this route with WordPress, then it's recommended to download the following software:
FTP Client like FileZilla or Cyberduck for uploading any images (free)
Image editors like GIMP (free) or the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.)