Why build a web site?
Building a web site can be pretty easy nowadays. Depending on what you want to do, you can set a goal for your web site, build it and traffic will come. However, getting your feet off the ground can be difficult. You have seen a plethora of web sites on the Internet ranging from boring, trendy to popular. How do you know where to begin? When you do not know where to start, finding the motivation to design a web site can be hard.
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The first thing to do is narrow down why you want to build a web site. By knowing what you want to get out of your web site, you can lay the foundation for the layout, design and possible marketing of it. If you want to build a web site for your family and friends, a simpler, perhaps more easy-oriented will be suitable. If you are building a web site for business, you will want to focus on content, search engine optimization and marketing. The possibilities when designing a web site are endless.
Once you have narrowed down the purpose of your web site, you can go about planning the design of it. The key is to know what your goals are, put them down on paper and then build your web site around those aspirations. The following guide will help walk you through all the steps needed to plan a web site from the ground up. It will also give you tips and tricks for making the most of your web site.
What steps do you need to take to build a web site?
There are five basic steps to building a web site: You want to determine the goal of the web site, you want to figure out how to build the web site, you want to outline your web site, you want to physically build your web site and you want to market your web site. Depending on the type of web site, these steps may be interchangeable or otherwise avoided. However, in most cases, this five step plan is the best way for a new web designer to get started and build a web site from scratch.
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Once you have determined your goals for the web site, you know where to go from there. You have a target audience; therefore, you can begin the actual layout and design of the web site. These goals are something to keep in mind throughout the design process. During the outlining stage of your web site, you want to make a list of all the pages you want to include in your web site. This could be as simple as a few basic pages to a more complex site map. It is up to you to find the right outline for your web site; this will give you the guidance for the pages you need to build and what you need to do to get your web site up and live.
Program or by hand?
Before you can physically build your web site, you have to find the right way to go about it. Some web designers code everything by hand, because they know the programming languages on the Internet. If you are familiar enough with HTML and CSS coding, you can begin to code pages right in Notepad and save it as an HTM or HTML document for uploading. For some web designers, this will be their method of choice, and they can create visually appealing web sites from scratch this way.
However, most web designers do not have that type of advanced knowledge to successfully build a web site through coding by hand. In that case, you will want to track down a proper WYSIWYG program from different web and tech news site to do so. Something similar to FrontPage, Dreamweaver or any number of web site building software. This can be achieved by finding freeware, trial ware or purchasing a full version that will suit your needs. In order to find the right program, you want to make sure you are ultimately comfortable with the settings, the controls and the overall feel of the program. You never want to use a program that is going to give you a headache.
As you begin building your web site and adding new concepts, you may find yourself building your pages in a combination of the two above methods. There are some things you will need to tweak directly in the coding of the page as opposed to getting it to work through the program. The more comfortable you get with utilizing both aspects of web design, the easier it will be to get the desired results and meet your goals for building your own web site.
Finding a web host
Part of building your web site is finding the right way to host it. Most basic web sites go with some form of free web hosting or shared web hosting. Free web hosts often let you build a web site on pre-determined layouts, host ads on the page and give you less control than purchasing a domain and web space yourself. If you opt to invest in a web host, it is a two part process: First, you have to come up with a domain and second, you have to purchase a hosting package. This sounds complicated, but most web hosts have made it a simpler process that anyone can take part in.
Depending on your needs, you will need to make the right decision on both based on what your goals are for your web site. If you choose to go the road of web hosting, coming up with a domain name can be tricky. However, if you go with your gut, you will find that the best way to come up with a unique and eye-catching name that will attract traffic. Picking a web host can be tedious, but start with your budget and your audience. If you are not looking to build traffic, going with a smaller, cheaper, plan is the best route. If you are looking to build traffic over the long term, you may want to invest in something a bit pricier and upgrade down the line. Web hosts have a variety of packages for potential web designers, and most include registering and maintaining your domain name.
Maintaining your web site
The last step of web design for a web site comes in the form of marketing and maintaining the web site. After all, why do all that hard work for new benefit? Maintenance is a continuous part of marketing, even though most web designers seem to separate the two. By maintaining your web site, you are constantly changing it and allowing search engines and traffic to visit new and exciting developments via your web pages. Constantly maintaining, updating and tweaking your web site is key to keeping it fresh and keeping visitors coming back for more.
Marketing comes in many shapes and forms. Even something as simple as telling somebody in person or via e-mail about your web site is a form of marketing. So, if you send out a mass e-mail to your family, friends or colleagues, you could simply include a link to your new web site for them to visit. Right there you have begun marketing your new web site without even realizing it. Of course, depending on the type of web site, you may need to invest in more viable marketing solutions. This all comes down to the goals, once again, of what you want to get out of your web site and where you want it to go.
What do you do after building a web site?
After building a web site, there are several things to keep in mind. First, you have to continuously maintain your site. Again, this depends on what you are doing with it. If it is something you share with family or friends, perhaps, you need to update pictures, descriptions or events you want to share with them. If you are paying for web hosting, why would you neglect your web site? After all, you paid to host your web site, you would be wasting that money by not maintaining your web site.
In some cases, you will need to vigilantly promote your web site. This is especially true if you are running a business web site or seeking to make money from your web site. When it comes to either, your web site’s popularity will be determined based on how you market it. If you slack off, even for a few weeks, you could find your web site in serious marketing trouble.
As you can see, depending on what you want to do with your web site, you may need to tweak how you maintain it after the fact. You have to look at what you seriously consider the goals of building a web site, and do what you can to maintain meeting those girls. This applies to even a personal web site. Building a web site can be an exciting, educational and worthwhile process. It just takes time, a little bit of hard work and the motivation to keep it going after everything is said to done.