4 Ways to Build a New Website

Website Build Developer

For many, building a website can be a real challenge. Around 15 years ago, building a site usually meant you either had to hire a web designer or learn how to code yourself.

Today, there are more options when it comes to building a website. In fact, I think having too many options and a lack of knowledge are the biggest hurdles for many business owners. Another challenge has been the money issue. But, that should no longer be a problem for most people, as the costs associated with building and launching a website has been going down over the years due to advancements in technology.

In this article, I will explain each option and also give pros and cons.

1. HTML Code (from scratch)

This option takes the longest to accomplish because it requires you to learn HTML. HTML is not only the simplest, but also the first, form of Internet programming language. As a result, it has become the most popular way to build websites. There are other advanced programming languages, like PHP and ASP, but they are meant for sites that handle more complex functions and features. For basic websites with a few pages, HTML and CSS should be sufficient.

The time is takes to learn how HTML varies because everyone learns at different speeds. But, you could probably get a basic website up in a week or so. As with any programming language, you can improve your speed and skill through practice.

If this is the route you want to take, you can take advantage of HTML editing software to help you. You can cut down on time and avoid any mistakes in your coding by using one of these software to guide you. A popular HTML editor that you may have heard of is DreamWeaver. There are many others out there that are offered for free as well.

ProsFull control over website. You can practically change anything on your website simply by updating the code on the back-end. Plus, it's a good skill to have in this day and age.
ConsTakes time to learn and practice. No support; you are responsible for everything.
RequirementsHTML editor/Notepad, domain name and web hosting
Minimum experienceIntermediate to Expert
PricingFree

 

2. Website HTML Templates

HTML templates are pre-made website designs that are sold or given away for free on various HTML resource sites. While these templates are designed to help save time, you are still required to know some HTML, or at least hire someone that does. This is because you still need to customize the template for your specific business needs. For example, you might want to change out the logo, links, content and even change the color or font of the template.

ProsFull control over website. You can practically change anything on your website simply by updating the code on the back-end. Does not require you to be an HTML expert, but you still need enough understanding to perform basic customizations to your site.
ConsLack of uniqueness. If you do not customize your site enough from the original template, it might appear to be a copy of a different site if many other people are using the same template. Little to no support.
RequirementsHTML editor/Notepad, domain name and web hosting
Minimum experienceIntermediate to Expert
PricingFree to low cost

 

3. Content Management System (CMS)

Content Management Systems, or CMS programs, are software that allow the user to build a website with very little knowledge of programming. If you want something simpler than an HTML editor, then a CMS program may be what you’re looking for. Once downloaded and implemented onto your web hosting server, you can login to the admin interface and begin building your site.

A CMS will allow you to easily customize the design, content and pages of your site. Because a CMS is built around a specific framework, you are limited to how much you can customize, but for most common features, it should be more than sufficient. Furthermore, if you need customizations beyond what the CMS is designed to handle, you can always ask the CMS developer to customize something for you for a fee. One of the most popular content management systems ever developed is WordPress.

ProsNo experience necessary to build and manage a website.
ConsLimited control over the design and content. If you do not customize your site enough from the original CMS template, it might appear to be a copy of a different site if many other people are using the same template. Little to no support.
RequirementsCMS software, domain name and web hosting
Minimum experienceBeginner
PricingFree to low cost

 

4. Online Site Builder

Online site builder services are popping up everywhere. You may have seen the TV commercial for Web.com (line drawn cartoon of man walking a dog along a row of small businesses) or Wix (showing people sitting in an office viewing and discussing their website). Yes, those are examples of the companies that provide online site building services. It just doesn’t get any easier to build a website and take it online.

Similar to a CMS software, online site builders allow anyone to easily create their own website without any technical experience. You can design and edit your website through a simple user interface with drag-and-drop functionality and fill in the blank forms. Also, you can go live with your site immediately by simply clicking on a single “publish” button.

Online site builders typically charge a monthly or yearly service fee and this includes web hosting. Some providers also offer domain registration services. An online site building service is really the simplest way to build and publish a website. Prices for these services are so low that cost shouldn’t even be an issue for most people.

ProsNo experience necessary to build and manage a website. Good customer support.
ConsLimited control over content and features.
RequirementsPaid service and domain name
Minimum experienceBeginner
PricingLow to mid cost

 

As you may already know, prices for web services can range a great deal. A company can charge 10 times as much as the next company for the same service. It is up to you to do research and figure out which services to use. The price range I give above is based on the assumption that you are handling all the tasks involved in building a new website, and that you are paying reasonable fees for web services, such as domain names and web hosting.

Need advice on planning or developing a website? Contact me and I’ll be happy to show you the way.

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