Website creation is one of the most efficient ways for individuals and companies to get their name out in front of potentially millions of people every day. Gone are the days of only large corporate companies owning websites for you to buy things. Now it is the age that you can have your very own website for anything that you want. However, it is still not as simple as that sounds.
All you have to do is Google the term “Website creation” to see that there is a plethora of information and offers telling you to do it yourself on their platforms. Some even offer it for free. We will take a brief look at those offers, and see what you think is best for you.
What Types of Website Creation Are There?
There are now hundreds of website creator platforms that you can use, and they will all offer you “the best” package for the money. However, the creation of that site will largely depend on what sort of website you want. In this section, I will give you a run-down of the top ten types of websites that you are likely to see while you are browsing:
Of course, the most popular type of website you are going to come across is an online shop. Otherwise known as an e-commerce site. You probably use these every day for buying goods and services from the comfort of your own home. They bring shopping directly to your door or e-products straight to your device.
If you have goods or services to sell, you may want to have an e-commerce shop. Again, many companies will offer you their platforms to build and run these on. However, the use of those sites are often limited to their structures, designs, and layouts. Some will even take a percentage of your sales to run the website.
Personal Sites and Blogs
Individual sites and blogs have become a more accessible route to the online world in recent years. They offer you to document your own life on a platform that everyone can see. Some people use them for keeping track of their work, and some for their not so private lives. Blogging is something that you have undoubtedly seen while you were browsing, and some of the sites you may not even know that they are blogs.
Others, on the other hand, are blogs hosted on a more extensive website. They are usually easy to spot, as they have different web addresses. The main issue with them is that if the company goes bust, so does all of your hard work.
Informational sites are the new libraries of the world. There was a time that you had to borrow a book from a library to research something new. And if you ever wanted to know something specific about a different country that was not in your local library, you had to travel. Although that seems like a good idea, you may have to go for a long time to have a simple question answered.
That left a lot of people in the dark. Now, a quick search on Google will often provide you with the answers you are looking for instantly. You can now either learn another language while sitting in your living room or with the right website creation; you can even teach it.
Online communities and forums are an ever-growing type of website. They are brilliant ways of finding the thoughts of like-minded people with similar issues or interests to yourself. If you ever have a broken car, you can likely find the answer to your problems on an online community forum.
These are a lot more difficult to make than you think they would be. However, with the right skills and knowledge, they can be excellent tools.
There are many photo sharing websites available for you to sign up to, if you wish. You can upload or download royalty-free stock images of many different types and genres. You can either pay for or get paid for high-quality images on these types of sites.
A Resume website can offer you a way to show potential employers who you are and what you are capable of doing. You can do a lot more than list your qualifications. You can provide an interactive platform to showcase your abilities, interests, and much more.
Portfolios are fantastic ways to show off your abilities. Whether you are a photographer, artist, fashion model, or a landscape gardener. A portfolio website allows people to see what you can produce when they need you to.
Brochures and Catalogues
A little bit like an e-commerce site, an advertisement or catalogue site allows you to list your services and costs to an audience where online payment is not required. Online catalogues are ideal for local companies who get to meet their customers in person when they are working. There are a lot of these websites, and the creation of them is a tricky business. The site needs to be engaging enough to drive the potential customer to contact you and complete a purchase.
Remember those books that used to get posted through your door every six months with a list of companies in your area?
Well, now there are online versions of them. These online business directories can be location, industry or topic-specific. They are great to create if you have an in-depth knowledge of your local area businesses.
Many types of professionals now have their own, dedicated online biography. It tells the audience about what they are like, what they do, and how they do it. There are large numbers of people who are starting to make their bios now and for excellent reason. They can have links to their social media pages, and to places that you can buy their works. They are great for establishing fan bases and increasing awareness of themselves.
What Work Is Involved In Website Creation?
Now that you have seen the most common types of websites, we will take a look through what is involved in actually creating the website. Depending on which kind of website you are trying to get will change your steps slightly, but we will look at a general website development work cycle.
Information gathering may seem like a difficult task, and it is. But it is also one of the most fundamental steps to creating the perfect website. It is what will mould your site into exactly what you want it to be.
- Research. – You will need to research your target audience, what they like, and what they don’t. Not just in a content respect though. You will also need to take the time to look at similar sites and how they present themselves. What functions you will have on the site, how you can interact, which technologies should be available, etc.
- Goal Creation. – You need to project long term plans for your website. You should have a good understanding of the direction of your website, and alternatives if something doesn’t work out the way that you plan.
The more information that you can get and plan for, the better website creation you are going to get.
This step of creation is not the same as the goal creation that you see above. It is more of a sitemap and “wireframe” or flowchart plan of what your site will look like at the end. It will show how all of the pieces and pages of your site fit together. The sitemap will provide you the chance to see what pages you will use and in which silos or categories.
These presentations will help you to understand how usable the end site will be and the relationship between pages, posts, and articles. They allow you to see how the information that you provide will be accessible to the end-user, how easy it is for them to find the information that they are looking for, and so on.
These wireframes will allow you to keep on track with website creation and move through the developing stage with the minimal of hold-ups.
Next, it is time for the design phase. This stage is where all of the visual aspects of a website come together. However, the information and planning steps of the work is where this section can fall apart. You must keep your customers and target audience in mind throughout this stage. There are many types of end-users, and mixing them may result in a catastrophic failure of any website.
Designers are required to create graphic designs of layouts and other visual information such as logos, headers and images. The basic functionalities of the website start to come together in this section too.
You should never underestimate content writing for a website. You can have the prettiest site on the internet, but if your content is sub-par, then you are going to fail to get your message across. Calls-to-action, catchy headlines, text editing, writing new material, etc. All play a crucial role on any site.
All of the written content must keep your users engaged and ready for more at all times.
During the coding phase of website creation, you can start to bring all of the elements together into an actual website. Graphics and text from previous steps are compiled into easy to read and navigate sections on your site. Sticking to your website hierarchy created will allow for better planning and placement of your internal linking systems and routes to all sub-pages and posts.
Frameworks and CMS will all need to be set up correctly to allow hosting servers can handle all of the information correctly, with a smooth set-up. Static elements of all pages should be added into the site and tested, followed by unique features and interactive components. You will need to have an excellent understanding of all of the technology that you use during this phase.
Search Engine Optimization is the optimisation of all of the website’s visual and non-visual elements to allow search engines to rank the pages correctly. That includes Meta titles, descriptions, page load speeds, caches, and valid codes.
After you have inserted all of the components, you will need to test them all, review them and check them for functionality. All internal and external links need to be examined to ensure there are no broken or misplaced links. Check all forms, payment processors, and scripts to ensure they work correctly.
Responsiveness of the sites coding is also crucial to get right if cross-platform or cross-browser compatibility is important to you – and it should be. There are so many people using different devices and browsers now that it is naive to plan for just one type of operating system.
After all of the checks are complete, use FTP software to transfer all of your files to your server. After you have done that, run a final test on all components to ensure nothing failed during the upload. It is then time to make your website live.
After you finally have your website up and running, you will need to take steps to maintain it. There is a pretty long list of things that you need to do to support a website.
You should check and fix all of these points weekly.
- Check all pages load without errors.
- Back-up site and save previous version.
- Update software and plugins.
- Check all forms.
- Remove spam comments.
- Check for broken links.
- Repair or redirect all 404 errors.
- Add new content.
Although you may think that some of these items may last for more than a week, you will regret it once you have an unrecoverable issue.
- Check load speed and adjust if anything is slowing it down.
- Review security.
- Analyse statistics.
- Update old pages or articles.
- Review design and structure.
- Look for outdated or inferior images and graphics.
- Check all SEO
- Check links, popups, forms, etc.
- Test the site for browser and device responsiveness.
- Review any campaigns running for updates.
- Update yearly references.
- Renew domain.
- Check for inactive users or email addresses.
As you can see, there is a lot of maintenance that goes into a website, even after its creation. They are all things that need to be considered and planned for when thinking about a website.
Is Website Creation Easy?
The answer to this question largely depends on what you expect to gain from your website creation. There are companies on the internet that will offer you cheap or free ways to create a website. However, as I have said, if that company goes bust, so does all of your work.
However, if you want to do it properly and safely, you need to look through the above points and ask yourself if it seems easy. If you understand the outlined processes above, then it is easy for you. However, some professionals have many years experience in website creation who still have issues that need attention. Is it easy to create a website? Yes. Is it easy to create a long-lasting, high-quality website? No.
Should You Try Website Creation Yourself?
By all means, nothing is stopping you from trying website creation. However, in my opinion, a website is to provide an interface for an already running business. If the company is not already running, then you are probably trying to start it up. Creating a website takes a lot of time, patience and a steep learning curve for beginners.
All three of those things are probably lacking when you are starting or running a business. You always have something else to do. However, if you find yourself with an abundance of them, then have a go. However, before you try, remember that it is likely that it will not go as smoothly as you imagine the first, second, and probably third time.
How Much Does It Cost To Create A Website?
Again, the cost of a website all depends on what you are using to build it. However, remember that cost is not only monetary. Time and patience are both things that you may need to spend in vast amounts to make a website yourself, especially if you are trying to develop a site for a long term project.
If you are tight for cash, you can try to use one of the free website creators. However, we highly recommend not going down that route if you are serious about a website as a long term investment.
Why Not Use A Website Creation Package?
In this article, we have spoken a bit about things that we dislike about website builders or creators. However, in this section, I would like to tell you a little bit more about the issues that we have come across with them.
You Can Tell They Are Package Sites
If you have ever used a website creation package, you will know the frustrations of seeing the final product. You spend an awful lot of time trying to perfect your site on the backend of the platform, to then find it looks different to how you had planned it. Most of the website builders that are available on the market will only allow you to place images or texts in certain places of the pages, too. That can do two things:
- Become frustrating. – If you have a large amount of text that you would like to place in a section that doesn’t allow it, you are stuck. You have to condense your work down into a more bitesize package, that may look out of place. That may give the appearance of a lack of effort from the creator’s side. However, if you have tried to use one of them, you will know that is not the case.
- Look very similar to other sites. – When you have to create a package site to the requirements set out above, it often means that you can only have an image “here” and text “here.” After you have seen one or two of these types of sites, they become difficult to differentiate between any of the other sites. That can mean your services are overlooked as “the same as the others” even if they are not.
As I have already pointed out earlier, responsiveness is a huge part of any website. That means that the transition between viewing a site on the desktop and mobile should be virtually seamless. However, the majority of builder packages will focus on desktop responsiveness and dismiss mobile devices and tablets. That is becoming more and more of an issue now, with over 50% of all internet browsing being on mobile.
Some builders are better than others. However, there is no option to edit the layout of your hard work based on viewing device. You are at the mercy of their coding and mobile rendering. That becomes very frustrating when you have paid for the service, made your site, and then find out that it looks wrong on your mobile phone!
A lot of, if not all, website creators will tout themselves as being very easy to use. That is a huge plus point in many peoples eyes. Of course, if everything were smooth, that would be great. However, when you try to get into the nooks of internal linking strategies and website design, you are going to find yourself in trouble.
As we have already pointed out, most builders will only allow you to place an image here, and text there. However, that is not the only thing that they will limit. If your image is the wrong size for their template, it looks wrong. Trying to resize all of your images to suit the models provided will become painstaking and infuriating. You may even find yourself adding borders to your pictures to be able to fit all of the image into the space provided.
Moving sections around inside the pages is also usually a no-go. Therefore, if there is a large section for text where you don’t need it, you will have a significant gap there. You are then stuck for space further on in the builder where you would have preferred a more substantial section of information.
Missing SEO Elements
If the only way that you plan to drive traffic to your site is by giving out your website address personally, then this may not be an issue. However, if you are planning on your website showing up on the search engine results, then you may be out of luck. SEO requires a large amount of specific coding and other back-end elements to produce the results that you want. However, when using these platforms, and carrying out SEO on them, we have found that they often lack vital components to get your site ranked.
You may, after all, manage to create your perfect site with a website creation tool. However, there seems minimal point in doing so if no one will find your site on the search engines.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Website Creator?
Prices can vary quite a lot from designer to designer. However, here at The Website Designer Group, we offer highly competitive rates for everything that you have read in this article about website creation. If you want to find out more, please either contact us or use our free cost calculator to find out how much your perfect site could cost you.
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