Considering Starting A Website? Here Are Your Options
It seems that lots of people want to have their own web presence these days. Of course it’s still primarily businesses or those who want to share their interests who take the leap into becoming a webmaster but even individuals are wanting to branch out and create their own little place on the web rather than simply relying on social profiles and such.
Obviously "The Internet” does not have a capacity limit, there is enough space for everyone so active website development should be encouraged. Even if nothing comes of it and you scrap the website a week later. Putting together your own site and being able to do it in future is most definitely a good skill to have and call on throughout your life. Who knows how things are going to go in future. We might all need to have websites to go about our every day lives – we just don’t know. But let’s not worry about that for now! In this article we’re going to look at the various options on the table for getting your very own web presence along with what you need to do in order to get started.
Photoshop / Slice / Code
This is the more traditional route for experienced designers or developers (although you can hire people to complete any part of this process) and it was the way things were done before the advent of fancy content management systems and online website builder applications. The process, as envisaged is relatively simple. You’d effectively "draw” a website layout in Photoshop (or similar). You’d then "slice” it into pieces (individual images rather than one big one) and write code (HTML) to include images, text areas etc from your Photoshop drawing. This would become your "website”. Not many people do it this way anymore with lots of designers opting to go straight to code and simply come up with the design image in their heads.
Online Web Builders
These seem to have been around for an age now but in the grand scheme of things they’re quite new. Web designers and developers tend to frown when they’re discussed as it effectively takes food off their table but the end users could not care less about that. Online web builders allow you to drag and drop interface elements onto a canvas e.g. images, text blocks, forms etc – all the stuff you’d need to build a website. You then publish what you’ve created and it will all be converted to code. The only downside of a solution like this is that you’re limited to the confines of the app which will determine how your website will look and perform. You may end up also paying for your website on a monthly basis which isn’t ideal although there are some cheap packages where the costs for such a service are negligible.
CMS / Third Party Theme
For those who are inexperienced and don’t really like the online website builder approach the alternative is to use a solution such as Wordpressfor managing the content of your website such as posts and pages and then use a third party theme (design) to change how the website looks and performs. You can also combine this with other third party elements known as plugins which will add features and functionality to your website. Common plugins include ones to add forms to your website, optimise your site for SEO and image galleries.
Social Network Pages
This is the easiest way to get a web presence of sorts even if it is not a traditional website. You can make pages for you or your business easily on social networks, the favourite being Facebook. You can add information about yourself, your business opening times, description, website address and images related to you or your business at will. If all you want to do is display a little bit of information about yourself and don’t need a fully performing website then this is probably your best option.
So as you can see, getting started is actually quite easy. Especially if all you need is a bit of basic information online about you or your business. Web developers are continuously putting out applications all designed to make web design and development easier. They know that’s where the money is, the mass market, not making software for a select few who understand it. This is great for the end user as it means a lot of options are on the table where as before if you wanted to build a website you’d either have to spend months learning HTML or blow the cobwebs from your wallet and hire a proper web designer / developer.
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