Not long ago, creating a website was a daunting task left only to web designers. Today there are tools available online that make publishing a website as simple as creating a Powerpoint Presentation. Below you'll find all the tools you need to create a website of your own in a matter of minutes but first let's clarify what this process involves.
Every website is made up of large amounts of code blanketed by the text and images that are visible from a web browser. If you'd like to see the underlying code for a particular site simply right-click on a page and go to 'View Source.' This explains to web programmers how each element on a web page works. Don't worry, the plan for this article is not to try and teach you HTML code but to show you that there are alternatives in creating a website.
Another area that can be daunting to a novice website creator is hosting. Think of hosting as an online hard drive where your website is stored. Luckily, the tools listed below provide hosting for free. If you later want to add more features and be in complete control of the design of your website you can easily upgrade to your own hosting.
Purchasing a domain is a mindless chore but choosing a domain should be taken with great care. Again, the tools listed below provide you with a domain for free but expect to have their company name in the domain if you choose this path. To buy your own domain first you should go to a domain purchasing site such as GoDaddy and do a search to see if your desired domain is available. If not you may have to make a slight alteration. Once you've found your chosen url it's simply a matter of paying for it. If you want to make the hosting and domain setup effortless buy both from the same company. They'll have setup everything for you saving you time. Be wary of additional features you don't need. Many domain purchasing sites will by default try to get you to pay for 2 years rather than 1 year.
Weebly is the easiest way to take an idea and put it on the web. The drag & drop features make it very straightforward and you can see what your website looks like during the creative process. You can manifest forms for customers to fill out, switch between preconfigured themes, add polls, picture galleries, Youtube videos and lots more. Although these features sound rather complex Weebly has made it a snap to implement them into your site. If your computer use is kept to a minimum then Weebly is a good starting point.
Wordpress has a low learning curve and runs smoothly, but what differentiates them from the rest is the sheer number features that can be added. Plugins (which can do such things as track your traffic and optimize your site for Google searches) can easily be downloaded and joined with your Wordpress page. It's possible to find a slew of free Wordpress themes that can change the look and feel of your pages. Creating a website that is both visually stunning and dynamic with little effort can only be produced using Wordpress.
While Twitter is used by many as a platform to log their activities or thoughts it can also be used as a key instrument on your website. Once you create a Twitter account (free) you can add what's called a widget to your website that will print your updates to your page. Adding messages to Twitter can be done from your computer or even your phone. If there are small pieces of information that need to be updated regularly to your website (such as restaurant specials or questions for your readers), Twitter is the answer.
These are just a few options that should help you get started in creating a website. There are many more out there and many forums to help you along the way. Even if you don't consider yourself 'tech savvy' you'll be surprised at how much you can accomplish with the user-friendly tools available.