Five Ways to Build a Website

Five Ways to Build a WebsiteYou may want a website for business or you may want one for personal reasons. Whatever your motivations for building your online home, getting a website up and running requires a number of decisions, the first of which is to determine how you are going to do the work. Fortunately, your options for building a website are numerous and can accommodate anything from a novice DIYer to an advanced programmer to someone looking to contract out the process to a professional. Here is a look at five different options for getting a website up and running.

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01

Website BuildersThere are a number of web hosting companies that cater to people who don’t have programming or graphic design skills. When you choose to host your website with these services, they provide easy-to-use tools that let you basically point and click your way to a great website. The biggest drawback to these services is that they limit your options in terms of look, feel, and functionality. That said, a lot of effort has been put into enhancing the design capabilities of website builders as well as the functionality that they can offer.

02

Content Management SystemsContent management systems (CMSs) allow you to create complicated websites by downloading a kind of web site “operating system” that gives you all of the basic tools that a large website with multiple users would require. CMSs are often free and usually have active user communities who develop useful plug-ins for everything from e-commerce to subscription management. The drawback to these systems is their complexity. A novice can usually get a CMS up and running in a few days time, with basic functionality and a pre-made skin, but complicated overhauls and custom functionality usually require a professional programmer. Common content management systems include WordPressWordPress, Joomla, and Drupal

03

DIY CodingCoding a website yourself is a sure-fire way to get exactly what you want. It’s also a great way to develop a headache if you’ve never coded before. To make a decent website these days, you’ll need to know HTML5, CSS, JavaScript (or some other scripting language), and PHP (or some other server side language). In other words, it’s fine to code the site yourself if you have time and energy to burn, but it’s a terrible idea if you need a professional-looking website completed in any reasonable time frame.

04

ProfessionalsHiring a professional is the best way to get exactly what you want without having to compromise. Of course, you will pay for this service, and sometimes handsomely if your site requires a lot of features. Professional web developers have the tools and the knowledge to give you a cutting edge website with top-notch security.

05

Hybrid ApproachAnother option is to do some of the work yourself and have a professional do the rest. HTML and CSS are relatively straightforward languages, so you could pick them up pretty quickly and code the “look and feel” of the site yourself. After that, hand it over to a professional to hook everything up and make it function with more complicated languages like JavaScript and PHP. Adobe Dreamweaver and similar software can make HTML/CSS development easier.
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Getting It Done – In the end, the route you choose to go will based on your budget, your knowledge, and your needs. If you just need a simple site, the site builders and CMSs may be the best options. If you need a custom site with complicated functionality, then you might want to think about hiring a professional. If you do hire someone, remember to shop around for the best price and ensure that the person will stay with you for a few weeks or months after the site launches to deal with any bugs that may arise.