How do you start building a website?
I have decided to take the plunge in making my own website, but I am stuck. What are the steps in website making?
Is it the coding first, or the design, or deciding on a web host?
When we are developing websites for our clients we have 54 separate steps from concept to taking a site live. My first step would be asking yourself what is the purpose of your website?
Adding to what Jacquie said. Steps to take are not dissimilar from starting any projects. Here is a suggestion:
a. Objectives - What are your objectives? What do you hope to achieve?
b. Budget, Schedules and Reliability - What is your budget? When do you want it by? How stable should it be eg downtime not important or downtime will affect the reputation of your company?
c. Research - Look at various web sites. What appeals to you? Which will help further the objectives? Talk to friends and companies about pricing and timing and web hosts. Free web sites or pre-defined sites or fully customized.
d. Decisions - Decide on the project.
e. Execution - Do it yourself or hire someone to do it.
f. Post analysis & tuning - Have your objectives been met? Is tuning and adjustments needed? What lessons have you learnt.
First step might be to get some design inspirations from other sites.
You need a plan on what exactly you want your website to achieve.
If you're never done coding don't get too involved in that. Either find a turkey online web building system that can build to your required level or find a good web designer you can work well with at the right price point.
I am not a web developer, however, I find Wordpress a great starter website package. You can get a template for free and start a blog with a pre-created skin on it. Basically, you write the content and manage it without having to write html.
If you want to have a really professional site, I recommend investing in a web designer but have a good look at what they have produced and see what their branding success has been like for small business. I know of a couple of people who can help you learn wordpress for business or set it up for you.
Wordpress allows you to go premium too which you pay for and it gives more features. You can pay them to design it and host it for you too. Most of my websites are Wordpress and I have a couple through eBlogger which is pretty easy too.
I hope this helps you make your way through to a great website.
Thank you all for your suggestions and advice!
If this is the first thing you're building, I would highly recommend making things very simple.
For example: could you simply build a single page website with leadpages or unbounce?
Could you create a basic blog with tumblr?
Could you use a free wordpress theme and free hosting at wordpress.com to start off with?
Combined with free and/or very cheap website builders, you can use something like Wufoo.com to create reasonably complex user interfaces/forms for your "MVP".
As with anything, the "right tool for the job" will depend on what the job is.
You should definitely be thinking minimal though; don't spend any money until you really know how you're going to get that money back.
Quite often "getting a website done" can seem attractive because you feel like you're making progress, but that feeling wears off quickly when you launch your website to a crowd of ZERO visitors.
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