An Easy 8-Step Process for Making Your Own Website

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I had no idea what I was doing when I initially chose to learn how to make my website. I spent a lot of time stumbling around before I settled on these eight steps I now employ whenever I design a website, whether for myself or a client.

First, Come Up With Some Ideas

My finest results have come from using nothing more than a blank sheet of paper, a pen (or pencil), and websites like Google Hot Trends, Digg, and StumbleUpon to generate ideas. When I first attempted this method, I was blown away by how many concepts I could develop in just half an hour of research.

You may skip this section if you already know why you’re building a website.

 

What Specific Pages?

 

The following stage, after establishing the reason for your website, is to determine whether or not it needs pages. You’ll need a minimum number of pages to get started if the website is for business purposes. Weblogs are a great alternative to traditional websites for personal websites.

 

A sitemap, an “about” page, and a home page are the minimum for any website.

 

In contrast, a weblog is more like a timeline of your life and thoughts. If you decide to pursue the blog way, you may want to limit yourself to only an “about” page.

 

3. Conceive of Concept and Design Plan

 

The layout of a website determines how its information is presented to users. Open Source Design is a fantastic resource for finding layout examples (or templates) to work from, as is conducting a search on your preferred Internet search engine for free or open source designs. Thousands upon thousands of fantastic websites provide templates that you can utilize. Read the fine print before using a template; some designers will let you use their creations if you credit them for it.

 

Fourth, Create Posts for Websites

 

The next stage, after deciding what pages to include on your website, is to create the content for those pages. What works best for me is either making an outline and filling it in or just letting the words come out as they come. Pick the option that serves you best.

 

Keep in mind that some people may become “never return visitors” if your content has errors in grammar or spelling. For a personal site, this isn’t crucial, but for a commercial one, it’s mission-critical. I’d go so far as to suggest your company’s website material must be proofread.

 

Fifth, Update Website Material

 

Having completed writing your website’s content, you can now incorporate it into your chosen layout. Open the template you selected in Step 3 with a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor if you have never made a website or modified source code before. This can help you visualize the placement of your content in relation to the various parts of your website (menu, images, etc.).

 

Since Microsoft FrontPage was already pre-installed on my computer, I found it to be the most excellent WYSIWYG editor for getting started with. It’s possible that you can find this in the Programs directory on your computer.

 

Step 6: Opt for a Platform

 

You need web hosting so that people from all around the world can access your newly built website. I’d suggest WordPress.com if you’re considering having a blog as your primary website. If you’re interested in starting a blog, WordPress.com is an excellent option because it allows you to do it with minimal effort and time commitment.

 

Finding a website hosting service that works for your business requires more than just using a blog platform host. I think you should check out LotsMoreHosting.com. Since 2003, I have utilized their services, and throughout that time I have found their costs to be low and their customer service to be first-rate.

 

Step 7: Uploading Website Files to Your Server

 

Getting your website’s files and pages uploaded to a hosting account so that visitors may view them isn’t as difficult as some may think. You can either use the cPanel of your hosting account or an FTP (file transfer protocol) tool to upload (move) your files. Both provide tutorials to assist you get started and most FTP clients these days even feature wizards to lead you through the process.

 

FileZilla is an application that I recommend utilizing because it is free, easy to learn how to use, and has wonderful videos and a wizard to get you started.

 

8. Check Your Website for Accuracy!

 

This is a crucial step that is often overlooked by amateur website designers. If you take the time to validate your site, it will be accessible from any browser. Since there is no universally accepted set of standards that all browsers must adhere to, web developers must instead tailor their work to each individual browser in order to ensure compatibility.

 

The W3C Markup Validation Service is the only place I’d suggest checking your site’s markup. W3C is a nonprofit group that works to improve online standards for everyone. If problems are found during validation, you can fix them directly in your WYSIWYG editor.

 

Conclusion

 

I’m hoping that by explaining how I made my website, you’ll see that it’s not too tough to make your own. Developing your own website will become a breeze if you stick to these eight guidelines.

 

DesignNewbie.com [http://designnewbie.com] is owned by Tina Stephen [http://tina-stephen.com], who provides a wealth of information (article & resource directory, online courses, weekly newsletter) to people interested in learning how to design and construct their own websites. She has been in the web design industry for almost 6 years, and she has her own company.

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