Tuesday, September 18, 2007

How Do I Build A Website - The Facts

by Charlie Cory

This article attempts to answer the question "How Do I Build A Website", and is based on my own experience. It is not definitive though, as there will be many more ways to build a website than those discussed here. As at the time of writing, however, the methods mentioned below are standard, and recommended.

I have been building websites for several years. My sites are usually commercial in nature, but some have been built just for the fun of it. If you're intent is to build a commercial site, then you will be far more restricted in the methods that you use, because in order to succeed, you will have to demonstrate seriousness to the search engines. They do not seem to like some of the free mediums available because of this.

There are a number of ways of creating small websites with free web building tools. If you just want to put a site up with some notes about your hobbies or your families, and the content is primarily aimed at friends and family, then these free types of resources will be perfectly adequate. However, the tools and facilities available to you, such as web space for example, or if you want to do more than just write a few pages, will not give you any degree of control over your site, so I will discount these methods from this discussion.

I will concentrate on three areas. All the methods outlined below will be suitable for commercial purposes (in varying degrees), so if it is your intent to make some cash with your site (or not), then you can explore any of these options.

Blogger

The first option is Blogger; a blogging platform owned by Google. This is the best choice if you have limited technical skills, and have no interest in learning any. Whilst it is possible to host blogger blogs on your own web sites, it is not necessary to do so. It is possible to do everything by signing up for a free blogger account and answering some questions. You choose a template from those offered at Blogger, and then voila, you have a web site. The steps of creating a Blogger blog are beyond this article, but if you really don't want to get your hands dirty, then this is the best option. Creating content is as simple as creating posts for your blogs. Log in, write your post and save. That's it. And the great thing about blogs is that they are interactive. You can choose to allow people to comment on your content, and you can choose to respond. You will need to be aware that some people may try and spam your blog. But hey, it happens, and Blogger gives you access to some tools to manage this too.

Wordpress

If you feel a little bit braver, and have access to your own web sites, then you should consider Wordpress Blogs. Whilst it is possible to host Wordpress blogs at wordpress.com, sites hosted there do not have anywhere near the same clout as Blogger Blogs hosted at Blogger. The good thing about Wordpress Blogs is that they are highly customisable, using a feature called 'plugins'. This is actually a simple way of adding other peoples code to your blogs to increase the functionality of your blog. You can do many things with Wordpress blogs that you cannot do with Blogger blogs, and if style and identity is important to you, then Wordpress Blogs are a serious option. The downside is that you will need to host your own sites, which means that you will have to buy a domain, and arrange hosting. Installing Wordpress is easy, because most hosts supply a program called Fantastico with the cpanel that comes with your site. (The cpanel is a control panel, but they are easy to use). So with only a modicum of technical skill, you can create a top class web site, with the same blogging benefits as outlined previously for Blogger blogs, namely ease of daily use and maintenance.

Create Your Own Sites

Finally we come to the third option, where you have to create your own sites by hand. Well, not entirely by hand, because there are plenty of tools available that will help you create a site. However, it is time consuming, because not only will you have to create the content for your site, but you will also have create the html for the pages as well. I use a tool called Dreamweaver, which is very good and takes much of the pain out of the creation of web sites using this method. However, you will need to understand html, because when things go wrong (as things often do), you will need some knowledge in order to put them right. Whilst I use and like Dreamweaver, it is not the cheapest option available. You will find many other software solutions by searching the web. So the upside of this method is almost complete control over your web building efforts. The downside is the time element, and the increased technical skills that are required.

The last two options also require you to be able to use ftp (file transfer protocol) which is essentially a means of transferring files between your pc and your web site. It is not hard once you know what to do, and there are many tools available to you but it is an additional skill that will be required.

And there we have it. How to build your own web site. It is not that hard to do, and can be a lot of fun. All you need to do is to choose a method that suits your skills and temperament.

About the Author

Charlie Cory is an online entrepreneur who has been building websites and earning a living from the Internet for a number of years. Charlie Cory is an online entrepreneur who has been building websites and earning a living from the Internet for a number of years. To give him control over his business, he uses the best Internet Marketing Professional Software available.