Alright, grab your cup ‘o joe and let’s talk about how to create a website for your grand idea or business.
Ah, how exciting…and so many choices. It’s really quite amazing how many website builders are now on the market, allowing just about anyone to get online without any technical expertise whatsoever.
That’s actually how I got my start. I bought into a website builder with a company called SBI (which I can no longer recommend) and I used it to build up a travel website which got over six-thousand visitors at it’s peak.
Along the way, I taught myself the basics of HTML and CSS (for non-nerds, you can think of those two things as structure and style, respectively).
Don’t worry though, you don’t have to get that technical if you don’t want to…and if it’s not of interest, all the more power to you. Good business owners know what their strengths are and focus on those.
Your Options: Site Builders or WordPress
Website builders are blowing up these days, and with some of them even launching commercials.
Website builders offer the following features:
- Site hosting
- Drag-and-drop design interfaces
- Ecommerce capabilities
- Mobile optimized (but this isn’t that impressive anymore, should be the default)
- Support teams
Some of the major players in the website builder space are:
- GoDaddy’s Website builder
- And many, many more…
There are lots of places that make learning how to make a website easy, however, I still don’t recommend them and prefer WordPress.
Brief Description of WordPress and Why Should You Use it to Create Your Website
WordPress is a free, open-source software that has grown up from a pure blogging platform to a full-featured Content Management System (CMS). What’s great about it being open-source is that it means that it is free to use. It’s also hugely popular – in fact, it’s estimated that 18.9% of all websites on the internet are powered by WordPress. That’s astounding.
Unlike the website builders above, WordPress doesn’t have the monthly fee to use it. All you need to pay for is monthly hosting, which can be super cheap. And if you ever decide that you don’t like a host, or you find a cheaper hosting company, you can actually switch from one to another.
Also, since WordPress is open-source, anyone can develop for it. There is a huge community that support WordPress and extend its capabilities through plugins. Think of plugins like accessories for your site. They add new capabilities.
On this site I have an SEO plugin, a contact form plugin, a Social Sharing plugin…you get the idea.
While many website builders have these capabilities, you don’t have any choice in the matter. With WordPress, I have the option of choosing among thousands of plugins. This way I can decide which of the dozens of SEO plugins, for instance, best meet my needs. While some premium plugins cost money, the vast majority of them are free.
WordPress Themes – Turn-Key Design
The great thing about WordPress is that there are so many thousands of themes available for styling your website. Once you learn the basics, these themes make it easy to get a professional looking website in a relatively short period of time. I admit that there is a slightly steeper learning curve with WordPress versus one of the aforementioned website builders, but I assure you it’s worth it.