- Internet & the Web»
- Web Page & Web Site Development
Tips For Building a Simple Website
Building a website is now easier than ever before, especially if you only need something simple and uncomplicated. Very often, simple websites are best. Visitors usually just want to learn a certain thing or be entertained for a few minutes when they go to a site. They don't need all kinds of bells and whistles. That's why in this article, we are going to focus on techniques for building simple websites.
What You Need to Get Started
You only need a few basic elements to start building a website. In some cases, you can even skip one or more of them, though this isn't really necessary.
A domain name
A website building tool
This is all you need. The first one is not absolutely necessary if you don't mind using someone else's domain. For example, you can build a free website with a service such as Weebly. There you have a choice of using your own domain, which costs about $5 per month, or using their subdomain for free. There are also free blogging sites like Blogger.com, Tumblr, WordPress.com and so on.
Technically, however, if you are going to have your own website you should really purchase a domain. They only cost about $10 per year or less, so it's really a good investment. That way you'll have lots more control over your site. It's also easier to rank it in the search engines. You should choose a domain name that is relevant to your site's topic. Some website owners, however, like to brand themselves by having a domain with their own name or their business's name in it. This is your choice, but it's something to think about before buying your domain.
Web hosting is also easy to get. Some web hosts will throw in a free domain name with hosting, at least for the first year. Web hosting costs anywhere from a few dollars to around $10 per month, depending on the type of plan you choose. You can get good quality, professional hosting for around $4 per month if you pay for a year up front.
Since your objective is to build a simple website, you should look for a web host that has a good website builder. This is a tool that lets you build a site fast without any programming needed.
If you ask me, a good host which I like to use is Bluehost. Their plan costs only $3.95/month and with that you get a free domain name (for the first year), and other good website building tools.
How to Build Your Website
Assuming that you have a domain and web hosting, you can start building your website. As I said, you should have chosen a web host that has a good site building tool. Most good hosting companies now offer this. They let you choose among many templates or themes, so you can create the type of site you want.
With website builders, you can always change the template later, so you don't have to worry about this too much. You can usually find a theme that is relevant for the type of site you want to build. You can also choose elements like colors, fonts and layout.
If you're not experienced at building websites, do some experimenting. You can edit the site as much as you want, so there's no need to feel locked in at any time. You can proceed step by step. You only have to click on "save" or "publish" and the site will be online!
Another option is to use WordPress, which most web hosts let you install for free. This is a leading blog application that gives you even more choices than simple website builders. With WordPress you can install thousands of different themes, many of them are free. There are also many other features and settings that you can customize through the use of plugins. If you're interested in using WordPress, your web host will most probably have information on how to install it.
Tips For a Simple But Professional Looking Website
Just because a website is simple doesn't mean it can't look good. Using simple tools as discussed above, you can create a site that's perfectly suitable for either personal or business use. Some useful tips (based on my experience building websites over the years) to keep in mind as you build your website:
- Have a focused theme or topic.
This can be broad or narrow, but the site should have some subject that visitors can identify. This will help you attract the right kind of visitors. The title of the site, as well as the description underneath, should make this clear.
- Use images.
This helps to enhance the look of your site, and makes your site more interesting. Depending on the type of site it is, you can use your own photographs or ones you find online (provided you have the right to use them of course). If you need images, you can get them on a stock photo site such as Stockfreeimages.com. Some images are free, others you will have to pay for. It's best to stick to smaller images, as larger ones can make your pages slow to load.
- Update your site frequently.
This is very important for attracting regular visitors. It's good to add content every day, but you should update at least a few times per week. This will show people that you're active and interested in building a great site.
- Add relevant content from other sites.
This can help you add more content without you having to create it all. It's good to have some unique content on your site, but adding relevant articles, news stories, images and videos is also good for making your site interesting.
It's Not Hard to Build a Simple Website
With the help of many of the tools and features offered by a good web hosting company such as Bluehost, it's quite easy for anyone to build a simple website. Even if you have no technical background, with website builders or WordPress you can get started and have a site online within 30 minutes.
To make it a success, even a simple website takes a lot of effort, though. You have to update it regularly and add good quality content. This isn't difficult, but it requires a lot of dedication and hard work. Last but not least, a useful tip from myself - You should browse other good websites on the web and see what impresses you and what doesn't. This can give you some clues about how you want to design your own site!