Having a website is a great way to boost your profile and that of your business. In this guide, we'll show you how to set up your own website.
What do you want the website to do?
Websites can perform several functions. Before you start to build your website, read through the following options to decide what functions you want the website to perform :
This is the simplest kind of web page and needs the minimum amount of knowledge to set up. If you want to build your own web information page, try using an out-of-the-box package like Moonfruit.com. Blog
Blogs are extremely common these days. Think of them like an online diary. Blogs make easy web sites as large organisations like Wordpress.com and Blogger.com have already done the hard work for you. Content Management System
If you wish to display lots of information in a magazine format, then you will need a CMS. Investigate Joomla.org or Drupal.com for two open source packages. eCommerce
eCommerce sites are for people who wish to sell products. They can be extremely costly due to security requirements. However, if you are well versed in web coding, you will be able to make a simple website relatively cheaply. The Wordpress blogging system has plenty of easy-to-use eCommerce plug ins.
Design the site
Creating a website is not just about code, it is about appearance too. Sit down with a pen and paper, sketch out the layout you want and prepare some colour scheme swatches. Another important part of web design is to think about the user experience. When planning your site, try to minimise the number of mouse clicks the user has to make to complete a task.
Most modern website platforms will use themes and templates. The functionality is determined through plug ins which reduces the amount of code you need.
Tips - A working knowledge of PHP, HTML and CSS are useful if you want to perform some serious customisation. Look into design software like Dreamweaver for a good text editor. - If you want to customise an installation you will need a self hosted installation of your chosen CMS.
Consider the help of a professional
Professionals do much more than just build your site. When creating a site, they consider factors such as search engine optimisation that will help to get your web page noticed on Internet search engines.
Tips As with all business decisions, perform a cost-benefit analysis to work out whether seeking professional web builders is an effective business decision. Final word It is cheaper to make your own web page. However, you must factor in the time needed to learn how to create a web page, locate hosting and trouble shoot problems.