How To Make A Website

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If we believe google, each month around the globe, 368,000 people tap ‘How To Make A Website’ into google.

What’s a bit scary however, is that 3,370,000 sites turn up in the results. A potential 3,370,000 answers!  I wonder if some of them are different.  Perhaps they even contradict each other.  Yep.

4 years ago or so, that was me, typing ‘How To Make A Website’ into google and getting over 3 millions answers to wade through.  Seriously, how do you pick your way through that lot?

Today I can get a web site published in a few minutes, or a few days, depending on how fancy you want, and have loads of my own sites ranging from quite comprehensive to basic single landing page sites as in After The Army. I also build websites for clients.  Why am I dishing this out like a menu?  Well the point is that I don’t know everything, but I know enough to get websites out there that do the job.

So here is my basic guide on How To Make A Website…

1.  There are websites you build using HTML.  You can jump start the process with a template; you can use an HTML editor like Dreamweaver or Frontpage, or you can hand code your HTML in a text editor like notepad.

If you want to do something quickly, or cheaply, then this may not be the option for you.  There is the language of HTML and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets – which is how you style your pages) to learn and the accredited  course on using Dreamweaver that we booked cost over £800 and lasted over 6 months.  With homework and all that sort of thing.  Or you can pay a developer to build one for you.

When you’ve built your site, you publish it to the internet using an FTP (file transfer protocol programme) which acts as a go between from your computer to your host.  Each time you want to change the site you need to download the damn thing, fiddle around, and load it back up.  You can have the site coded so that basic changes to the wording of pages can be made without all of this carry on – but you need someone who knows what they’re doing to set that up.

When you publish your website, no one will find it unless you tell them the exact URL (the http:/www.thingy.com), or you put keywords into the site, and into the copy, which match what people are searching for.  The keywords go into the coding in the site and once again if you want to change them, then you need to do the whole downloady, uploady thing.

And keywords aren’t static, they need to change because seachers may be using something different to find you or your business; your potential customers and your competition is changing.  You can pay a developer over 300 quid to change a few keywords.  Yikes, think on.

That said we do have a lead generation website built like this and you can pop over and have a quick look so you know what I’m talking about.  Here it is

So why do people bother with this?  Well you have total control over where all the various elements go.  You can put pictures, text, adverts and pages wherever you want.  And then move them 2 mm to the left.  So you need to decide why that would be important to your online marketing campaign.  If you are an artist, then the overall look of your site could be vital.  If you are a web designer who specialises in building sites for artists, then, yes, this precision design can count. But if you’re a raw food specialist, does it really matter that much?  I don’t think so. It should look clean and visitors need to be able to find what they were hunting for in the first place in double quick time.  I’m a great one for getting carried away with colour and design and it does me good to remember what Tim Berners-Lee (accredited with inventing the world wide web) said about web users – “Web users ultimately want to get data quickly and easily. They don’t much care about attractive sites and pretty design”.

If this sort of detail does matter to you then you must decide if you’re going to pay someone to develop it for you, remembering that you will need to pay them again if you want to change something and that you have the costs of driving traffic on top of that.  If you’re happy with the slower train then you can learn how to build it yourself.

You could decide to use a site builder.  This is where you pick and point at various elements of your website and build them up into a site.  And that’s all I’m going to say about that clunky sort of thing.

Or, You Can Use WordPress

WordPress is usually thought of as a blogging platform, which means it is often dismissed as a serious web design tool.  But that’s what it is.  A blog, or weblog, is only a website that is updated like a diary.  Or that’s how it started out and today there are wordpress sites around which are doing the job of the previous corporate brochure type of site.  Plus, they also have the relationship building blog element which google and your customers like so very much. You can fix the front page if you like so, much the same as with an HTML site, your visitor always gets the same information when they land.

You can’t easily muck about with the content to the same degree.  Pictures and adverts are placed in widgets which are already in a fixed position.  But why should that worry you when the information is delivered and the pretty pictures are still displayed?  The SEO (search engine optimisation) stuff is so much easier because you can type your keywords in and the meta titles are picked up from the titles of the posts.  This means you can be on top of your market and change your keywords, or add new ones, in about 2 minutes.

If you’re really keen to get going and you don’t yet have a URL or a host of your own, then you can even get your blog started for free through WordPress.com, with a word of caution, you can put in loads of work and wordpress will have ultimate control over the site and the traffic.  Also your URL will be something like http:/www.sianmurphycopywriter.com/wordpress.  In the longrun, you should consider buying your URL, getting it hosted and then loading wordpress up onto your site.  And this is very simple once you know how.  When you click on the right buttons (and they’res not many) your new wordpress site is sort of sucked up and planted on the internet for all to see.  After that you can just start typing.  You can even fancy it up using different skins and themes.  This site uses the Thesis ThemeLeaving the armed forces uses the awesome Thesis Theme (you have to say awesome) with a Times Skin, and Smart Marketing Warriors uses the Semiologic theme.

If you want to take money, announce your posts to the world, add pictures and videos in a trice, link up to twitter, run a forum or a membership site, and just about anything you can imagine wanting a website to do, then there are 1,000’s of plugins buy amoxil online (many of which are free) which you can also add a the click of the ‘install button’.

I like, no I love WordPress.  And so does google.

There are other blogging platforms, such as Blogger.com, and all sorts of site templates and site builders which you can get through paid programmes and certain hosts, but they can be clunky so watch out.

If you want a website which is quick, professional, updateable and loved by google, then wordpress has got to be it.

We’ve put together videos to help our clients which take you from step of getting and hosting your URL, right through to publishing, updating and doing fancy stuff with your wordpress site.  Get yours right now.

Let’s tie this together a bit.  You’ve got the ‘I’m going to do it all myself (or I’m going to pay someone else a lot of money, and then carry on paying them a lot of money everytime I want to change the site), conventional html type site.  With knowledge and time, or cash, then you can have exactly what you want.

In the middle is the site builder sort of thing. Don’t waste your time or money here.

Finally, there’s generic amoxil the wordpress option.  You can pick your layout and you can change colours and design within boundaries.  And you can publish a website in 10 minutes and have your first post out there in the next 2 minutes for all to see.  Not perfect.  But out there.

And remember, whilst it’s still inside the designers laptop, no-one’s seeing any damn thing.

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