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Guide On How To Build A Website

Updated on September 6, 2014

Thoughts On Building Or Designing A Website Yourself

Web Development companies embrace web design projects with open arms and they're always looking for new creative projects that require them to think outside the box, however, this also requires the client to have a budget in which designers are allowed to spend enough time thinking freely. That is pretty much how the web development game goes, designers require higher fees in order to compensate them for their extended thinking and processing times needed.

For future reference - keep in mind the discounts that Hostgator offers for their hosting packages (reputable hosting will be needed down the line so this is one of the few reputable companies): SECERET25OFF or SECERET10OFF

In the unfortunate circumstance that you're a brand new business that's just entered your relevant industry and you aren't able to spare the extra funding to develop a corporate identity or a website for that matter, then you could look at building a website yourself (instead of using a web design firm or another multimedia firm close to you).

Some Options To Consider First Include:

1 - Do you use a website builder?

2 - What features are required of the website builder you're using?

3 - You need a domain name, so where do you go searching for that?

4 - Where do you get reputable website hosting from?

5 - If you're not using a website builder, then what do you use to build your website?

6 - What are the popular website content management system platforms to consider (when building a site yourself)?

1 - Do you utilize a ready-made website builder?

Technology and Internet companies have evolved a lot in this day and age so it's natural that they tend to use as well as boast some stunning features that allow clients to include videos, pictures, shopping carts and so forth. What's more is they'll probably even allow you to link up your social media profiles to the web such as Facebook, Youtube, Twitter or even Wordpress blogs.

Although feature rich, these website builders may not allow flexibility and generally only allow the picking of a predefined template first, before customization follows. Clients that want a really simplistic approach and are willing to sacrifice flexibility, should choose this option.
Also, one should note that a website builder service will be billed for continuously (and generally at a premium rate).

2 - What featrures are required of the website builder you're using?

If one does choose the web builder approach then important features that are deemed essential, include code validation and site speed as major factors when put into this equation. Websites are built with code running in the background and there are new web technologies such as CSS3 and HTML5 that bring in a spectrum of innovation but also require valid mark-up. Some web builders utilize flash templates or their mark-up is not up to standard with that of a professional web design company (so choose a website creator that has all the necessary features).

Additional positives, include the featuring of shopping carts, picture galleries, content management systems and web design blogs.

(On a personal note, Website Design Cape Town utilizes Joomla for it's blog & website construction)

3 - You need a domain name, so where does one search for that?

There are many domain name providers. A good point to keep in mind is that the biggest companies in the business are not always the best. I've read rumors that some domain name companies have seized domain names once you've entered it into their site (when clients check to see if it's available) and then only allow you to own it once you've handed over a substantial fee. I won't name the aforementioned companies just yet but I might consider doing so in future if I come across further bad news. Luckily, not all of them are bad and you should look for a reasonably priced domain seller.

A domain name is needed as one should think of it like a street address on the web – it's just the way that your website files are made accessible on the web. Generally, good hosting companies offer this in addition to web hosting, so there's no need to go to two different places to attain related products and services.

4 - Where do you get website hosting from?

Website hosting is another essential part to building a website and you can think of this as being a place to store your website files on the web. If you're wondering why you need to pay for this and if it's possible to utilize your computer to host your files then the answer is yes, you can host your files. The reason you pay is because hosting computers (or the technical term - web servers) require a different operating system than what home users require, as this allows them to run more efficiently and are better for a range of other issues that I won't get into. You pay companies to take this hassle off your hands and it generally isn't much. I will say that cheapest isn't best and while you don't have to pay huge amounts, getting mediocre hosting will suffice for a new website and as your site grows you may speak to an international or local website designer about organizing you a dedicated server.

A good company, that I personally use, is Hostgator and I can make a recommendation because I do use them and there's only been great things happening thus far. A way to go about researching if the company you have in mind is good or not, is to run a Google search of the company name and then add the word 'problems' or 'issues' or 'trouble' and so forth.

Web hosting discount codes, for Hostgator, are 'SECERET25OFF' and this gives you 25% off your first bill (I suggest choosing a longer hosting period for a larger discount as the discount is only applicable to your first invoice).

The second Hostgator discount code is 'SECERET10OFF' and this gives you $10 off your first invoice (I suggest using the first hosting discount code as you are able to generate a larger saving).

5 - If you're not using a website builder, then what do you use to build your website?

Website builders make life easier and the alternative to approaching the website construction problem, is making use of a content management system such as Joomla, Wordpress or Drupal.

Web developers globally mention that each platform has their merits and demerits but I personally like to make my choice according to what's the most popular – reason being that there will be more development surrounding the solution with enormous popularity. This actually rings true as Wordpress is the most popular, followed by Joomla and then Drupal (last time I checked) and Wordpress has a great amount of development behind it. In this case, I actually ended up choosing Joomla and my reasoning is that construction and laying out websites seemed much simpler with this framework (I did dive into Wordpress first though).

Those are some of the platforms and the best thing to do, if you don't have web design and coding skills, is to get a free template and search the net on ways to customize it.

The reason you choose one of the above CMS's is because it's really simple to make modifications and add web design pages once the theme or website template is constructed. Adding and editing website pages is really as simple as using a document editor such as Microsoft Word. The web designers that I know, usually use Joomla and Wordpress for their web development creations.

6 - What are the popular website content management system platforms to consider?

I mentioned them above but just to recap in order of popularity:

1.Wordpress

2.Joomla

3.Drupal

There are other foundations out there and they're generally compiled by web agencies around the globe to make assembly of their client work easier but obviously, they're not as big and renowned as these three.

Deciding To Do Things Yourself?

We're just curious about what drives people into designing websites themselves since many don't read up enough on the subject before diving in.

Does The Website Building Learning Curve, Affect Your Decision To Do Things Yourself?

See results

Conclusion

There you have it. These are the important points if you're looking at approaching a website development project by yourself. You basically get a CMS along with a template to use and then you customize it to suit your needs. The learning process is a small leap but if you're not willing to take the time then you may look into a website design company doing the work for you.

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