How to Create a Website
It isn’t all that difficult to learn how to create websites , once you have a grasp of the basics of how to create website code, or HTML. These days, you don’t even need to know HTML to make your own website, complete with website optimization. Learning how to create a web site that displays content and graphics involves using a very simple programming language. HTML (hyper text markup language) is the acronym for this code, which is actually fairly simple in its structure.
Writing “clean” HTML is a bit of a challenge for most people, however, and it is important that you create web site pages designed in such a way that they comply with the standards for correct use of the various HTML commands. For that reason, even most professionals use some sort of editing program that will check their work, and/or create web site code for them. Keep in mind also that a part of being able to create websites from scratch involves having some artistic ability, at least to the extent of knowing what looks appealing.
Even if you’re going to use an automatic page editor, or employ the services of a professional web site designer, you should familiarize yourself with the basics of HTML, and how to create a web site, if for no other reason than the fact you may want to add or delete something from your pages, and it’s a lot cheaper to do it yourself than to have to pay a fee every time you want some minor modification made to a page.
The two best sources that I know of for some basic *free* instruction in HTML are the HTML Goodies site, and Web Monkey. Either will give you a basic introduction to HTML, as well as some advanced tips.
Once you get to the design stage, and are actually ready to build something, you have three choices of how to create websites:
- Design and make your own web site, preferably using a template.
- Pay a professional web site designer to do it.
- Use an online service that gives you control as you create websites
Options for Creating Websites
Option #1 is to do everything yourself. If you’re going to design your own web site and build it, you’re going to need to learn HTML (see the reference sites above), buy a quality page editor, and perhaps buy a web site template to cut down on your site design time. The most popular page editor today, though rather expensive, is Dreamweaver. Microsoft’s Front Page is also quite popular, although only the latest versions are considered truly “user friendly” for relative beginners. For the economy minded, who need only a fairly simple site, you might consider a “mini site editor” which creates pre-formatted pages, the look and feel of which you have only limited control over. Finally, keep in mind that both Netscape and Internet Explorer have built-in basic page editing capability, and you can actually write HTML code with any text editor.
Option #2 is to hire a professional. A number of Ecommerce Website Design irms exist to help you in setting up a fully functional online business website. Keep in mind, if you choose this route, that it can get pretty expensive, and you’ll probably be tied to your designer for a long time, as they may not be willing to design a site for you without also getting you signed on the dotted line for a site maintenance contract, too. You may also have to contend with the fact that nobody knows your product, service, and target market like you do, they may have their own ideas of how your site should look and function, which can conflict with what you want, and there can be long delays while you wait for them to get around to your project. Choose your website design firm carefully, since in a very real sense, they will be a “partner” in your business
Option #3 is the obvious choice for most people. There are now several very high quality services online that will help you create web site pages with little or no knowledge of HTML required. Basically, you subscribe to the service, and they provide you hosting, page templates, and an online WYSIWYG (“what you see is what you get”) page editor. You pick a look and feel for your site from their menu, type in your content, and your website is up and running in no time. This is automated web site design at its finest, and truly allows you to create web sites on your own.
Make Your Own Web Site
Design Dashboard, for which I’m an affiliate, is from marketing legend Marlon Sanders. The dashboard is a simple, inexpensive solution to get you up and running *fast*! You literally do just point and click your way through the simple steps to create web site headers and graphics, forms, and other important site features. You also point and click your way through designing your sales letter and page template. The whole point and click web site creation system costs less than an inexpensive html editor.
iProBuilder from Madison Dynamics, for which I’m also an affiliate, is a brand new, all inclusive web site building package that includes hosting, domain name registration, advanced email functions, and tons more. Make your own web site with no prior knowledge of HTML,using the killer templates they provide you! Upgrade to the “deluxe” version, and you’ll have a fully functional e-commerce solution, including a script to start your own affiliate program..
Site Build It is the complete site-building solution from the Sitesell group. The manuals for this program are extensive, and literally lead you step-by-step through the entire process to make your own web site, and then show you exactly how to use PPC search engines to draw hordes of traffic. Extensive search engine optimization is built in before you upload your pages, and the package includes traffic analytics, newsletter creation, advanced email functions and much more. It was never easier to create websites. This is how I got started, and I’m an affiliate.
X Site Pro is the “new kid on the block” that has people writing rave reviews. This program gives you a “what you see is what you get” editor, tons of website templates, and a menu system, site map, and legal disclaimers that all update automatically when you create website pages. If you don’t like the appearance of what you’ve made, you can change the “look and feel” of your entire website with just a few mouse clicks. Many website designers have abandoned their expensive software for this simple to use solution. Check it out today. I made a few sites with this, loved its simplicity and became an affiliate.
Website Registrations and Hosting
OK … before you can go “live” you need to know how to register a domain name, and find a domain name and hosting package. Fortunately, that’s the simple part. In fact, I am a domain name registration and website hosting provider myself. You can get cheap domain registrations and inexpensive website hosting here.
You may also need an online shopping cart solution that will provide you autoresponders, database management, and the ability to deliver physical or digital products, all from one central location. I have that too, at my own premium online shopping cart system.
Web Site Design Tips
Regardless of whether you hire a professional, do it yourself, or use the recommended online services above to create a web site, there are a few things to keep in mind when designing a web site, especially if your intent is to do internet marketing using the site.
First, keep in mind that graphics files of any sort increase the time it takes your pages to load, and decrease the likelihood that people will ever even see your pages. Most people who “surf” sites make a decision within the first twenty seconds or so whether or not to hang around. If they can’t even see your site because they’re still waiting for the graphics to load, you’ve lost them before you ever had a chance to “grab” them.
Second, keep in mind that you want easy-to-use navigation on your site. You want your visitor to feel like a welcome guest, rather than having them feel like your site is obtuse and difficult to understand and use.
Third, and perhaps most important, remember that words sell products on the internet. Learn how to write clearly and persuasively! For less than the price of dinner in a nice restaurant, you can learn from a master, such as Ken Evoy or Marlon Sanders. Check out either Make Your Site Sell! or another classic, The Amazing Formula
Good copy will often overcome the negative effects of poor site design, but poorly written copy will rarely, if ever be salvaged by whiz-bang graphics and pretty pictures. Think about it. Would you buy something from a person who can’t describe the product clearly, and wasn’t careful enough to check the grammar and spelling on their sales page? Or would you buy from someone whose words practically hypnotize you into drooling over their product?
Finally, keep in mind that you have only about 20 seconds to capture your visitors attention. They make a “stay or go” decision that quickly, so you want to have an attention-grabbing headline, and spend a lot of time on what appears “above the fold” on your web site. That term refers to the headline, graphics, and copy that appears on the first screen that your site visitor sees, before scrolling down. That is the most important “real estate” on your site, in terms of whether your visitor will stay and look around, or leave in a hurry.
The bottom line? A simple web site design, with a minimum of graphics, easily used navigation, and clearly written content is what you are striving for. Learning how to create a web site is actually the easiest part.