Creating Your First Website? Your Options

Creating your own website is great fun! But how is it done? Well, there are five main options, read this carefully and choose which one you think is best for you!

Use software you already have:

You may not know this, but you can actually use Microsoft Word to create webpages! This is great, since you can save yourself the cost of buying expensive new software. Just create your document as you would do normally, and then just select "Save As" from the File menu. A new window will open, choose where you want to save your page, give it a name and then select "Webpage" from the drop- down box next to "Save As Type". Click save and thats it - you have a webpage ready to be uploaded to your host's servers! For more information, check out this simple tutorial on creating webpages with Word.

The downside is that since Word isn't really a proper webdesign application, you'll find it impossible to create anything like a "professional" site, but if you only need something very simple, it'll do just fine. Also, the quality of code that Word produces is very poor, so unless your website is reasonably plain, it will be slow to load.

Use an Online Sitebuilder:

There are number of website on the internet which give you all the tools you need to build and host your website ready to use in one place. For a beginner these sites are great, since they're aimed at people wanting a quick, easy way to build a website without spending ages learning all the technical ins and outs. Most of them offer a large range of "template" designs along with a simple "what-you-see-is-what-you- get" editor with which you can personalise the design with your own logos and content. Once you're done personalising, just click save and the site is ready and online - easy. You can also update your website whenever you want as well, and since the fees are on a low monthly subscription basis you can avoid paying the heavy upfront costs that you would have if you hired a designer or bought specialist software. However, some of them run ads on your website and only offer a limited range of advanced features; which may be frustrating to more advanced users. We strongly recommend you try 2Clicks (see link below), they have a great range of templates and features, don't run ads on your site and offer excellent value for money.

Buy specialist web design software:

There are a number of specialist web design applications which are used by the professionals to create their websites. By far the best (in my humble opinion) is Macromedia's Dreamweaver. These powerful software packages install on your computer and run offline like any of the office applications. Since they're specially designed for website building, the range of features and functions is very impressive and allow you to do just about anything you could want with much greater ease and simplicity that if you are trying to work with something like Word. However, they don't come cheap; last time I checked, Dreamweaver cost something like $400. Also, since they're not aimed at beginners, you may find them a little complicated to start with. But if you're planning on creating and managing several websites then this could be an option worth considering.

Hire a professional web designer:

Sure hiring a professional isn't the cheap option, but it is almost certainly the surest way to get a really high-quality result (unless of course you hire a really bad designer of course!). But how to choose someone? Well I would recommend that you choose someone reasonably local. Offshoring is great, but it makes the job of monitoring their progress a lot more difficult, and there's nothing quite like having someone you can meet with face to face to discuss the project, or who's there for you on the end of the phone when you need help. It also makes organising payments more simple as well as holding them responsible if it all goes wrong! Always check someone's portfolio carefully. Have they done projects like yours in the past, and would you be happy to recieve a site like their previous ones if you hired them? Ask your friends if they can recommend someone.

Deciding how much you are prepared to pay for a professional is a difficult question. Everyone offers a different level of service, and the quality of the final product will vary significalty depending on who you hire. Whatever you do; get multiple quotes!! And compare them on price, quality and service. I would also strongly advice against choosing the cheapest person/company automatically - it could prove to be a very false economy in the long term!

Learn to program in html:

Since most pages are written in a code/language called HTML, you can create your own websites by directly writting in this language. Its certainly a lot easier than learning Russian, but it will take a good week at least to get to grips even just the very basics. Assuming you enjoy technical challenges! A good book can be a great help.

If you are really serious about building websites like a pro, learning to hard code websites directly in html is an option worth considering. That said, many professional webdesigners don't know much about hard coding html themselves - with professional software like dreamweaver there isn't too much need for it. However, learning to program in html is definitely the cheapest way to build your own website, plus it can be a great learning experience!

To code in html all you need software-wise is a simple piece of software like notepad, which comes free with windows. You literally just type the code into a new notepad document, click save, upload it to a webserver and thats it! If you're looking for a good html tutorial, check out the NCSA beginner's guide to HTML.

Steven is part of London Web Designer Cleartide's team in charge of managing Create A Website and 2Clicks.com - the easiest way to build a website - They specialise in web design, development and strategy.

In The News:

Web Design Jobs  Southern New Hampshire University
Wix Launches New Editor X Site Tool  Small Business Trends
5 Ways SEO & Web Design Go Together  Search Engine Journal

6 Design Flaws Newbie Web Designers Make: Fool Everyone Into Thinking You Know What Youre Doing

Even if you're not an accomplished webmaster you can still... Read More

Got Web Traffic but Still Low Sales? Ten Ways to Selling Success - Part 1

Have you put a lot of effort, time, and money... Read More

10 Reasons Why You Need A Multilingual Website

The internet continues to grow and has become the default... Read More

How to Chose Stock Photography for your Web Site

So you've decided to take the plunge. You know that... Read More

How To Create A Professional Website In Less Than A Week

Here's a really simple way... any novice can create a... Read More

What is ASP.NET

ASP.NET is a new programming framework from Microsoft for developing... Read More

Why a Website Design Speaks Volumes About Your Company?

Whether a business has just got off the ground or... Read More

Web Copy - What You Should Know First

Just what is web copy? Some people think that web... Read More

When Your Graphic Designer Costs You Money

So how do you know when your graphic designer costs... Read More

E-covers for Your Niche Market

When creating an e-cover the what's the first thought that... Read More

TEN Answers That Turn Your Visitors Into Your Customers

You know... Before purchasing your product a person comes to... Read More

How To Improve The Professional Look And Feel Of Your Website

Projecting a professional image is paramount to your website's success.... Read More

3 Tips You Can Use Right Now to Improve Your Web Sites Usability

Studies done by Jakob Nielson the man touted as the,... Read More

10 Ways to Sabotage Your Website Traffic and Send Visitors Packing

If you're running a website or online business, your number... Read More

Click Here

See, works every time. Seriously now, for some reason people... Read More

Testimonials Can Increase Your Web Traffic

We've all seen and read product testimonials. They're a very... Read More

Flash Web Design - The Wave of the Future?

There are two camps when it comes to flash web... Read More

Graphic Terms- The Basics Part I

You're almost set. The content of your website, e-book, or... Read More

Should I Use Pop-Up Ads?

Web advertising has taken many forms, including those that appear... Read More

Your Graphics- Are They Really Working For You?

(Making Your Graphics Work For You)It's no secret that a... Read More

Web Designing Tips

Easy That's how you'd like life to be, right? Especially... Read More

The Golden Rule Of Website Building

Copyright 2005 Robert EvansSetting yourself up to earn a steady... Read More

10 Tips for Killer Website Design

Does website design make a difference in how long people... Read More

Web Site Redirection - How to Implement a 301 Redirect

You just created a new web site but want to... Read More

Keep It Simple, Stupid: The Beauty of a Clean Cut Website

Don't knock it; "Keep It Simple, Stupid" is a great... Read More