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Make Your Own Website

Having a website is important for a business of any size.

To keep costs down, you may want to create your own web site. [©Jupiter Images, 2010]
©Jupiter Images, 2010
To keep costs down, you may want to create your own web site.

Make Your Own Website

With the latest software and educational tools, it is easy to make your own website. Web marketing is one of the most popular ways to display professional work and to attract new customers. There are numerous programs designed to help professionals build a website for marketing, networking and sales. While there are hundreds of companies that create websites for businesses, for smaller businesses or for personal use, it may be more practical to make your own website.

What is a Website?

A website is a text page that has been created for viewing on the Internet. A web page can contain text, graphics, video, animations and numerous other elements. These elements can be created on any text editing program and then stored on a server where they are made available for viewing on the Internet.

In order for a website to be viewed on the Internet, information must be coded into the text telling the Internet browser how to display the text and other objects on the page. Hypertext Mark-up Language (HTML) is a system of coding that contains information about the position, size, style and general appearance of items within a web page. Each item within a web page must be marked with an HTML tag in order to be viewed properly over the Internet.

To make your own website, there are three basic steps:

  • Creating content
  • Coding
  • Hosting the website on a server


Creating Content for a Website

Content for a website can be created using any text editing program, including the basic word processors that come installed on most computers. While any kind of content can be added to a web page, business websites should attempt to keep their web content simple and easy to understand.

There are numerous websites that provide information on how to write web content for different uses. The Web Accessibility Initiative, for instance, provides hints and tips on how to write web content that is friendly for different categories of web users, including elderly and disabled persons.

When writing the basic text and navigational components for a website, keep the following points in mind:

  • Keep writing clear and simple, using common language
  • Avoid long blocks of text
  • State important information first
  • Create an easy navigation system to travel within the site

Photos, illustrations and other objects are also part of the web content and can be included in the text program used to create the basic website layout. When choosing images and other objects, it is important to note that illustrations should not distract from the purpose of a site and should be placed strategically to maximize ease in reading and navigation.

The style of any website should be designed according to the site's purpose. For instance, a site designed to showcase a painter's portfolio should contain high-resolution photos of the artist's work. Similarly, a site used to advertise a law agency should use illustrations sparingly and should concentrate on simple, clear writing that explains the capabilities, experience and expertise of the firm.

Coding a Website

There are many options for coding a website. Web writers can choose to learn basic HTML coding procedures and manually insert codes in the site template, or they can purchase a program that automatically inserts the appropriate codes.

There are hundreds of software packages that provide coding and other aid to persons wanting to build their own websites. Software for web design can range in price from less than $100 to over $2,000 depending on the various features provided by the program.

Adobe's Dreamweaver and Microsoft's Frontpage are popular programs used to create web pages. Both Dreamweaver and Frontpage allow users to automatically insert HTML coding and other technical elements.

There are also numerous free templates available on the Internet that allow users to insert text and other content objects into a form that has been pre-coded with the appropriate HTML. Searching for HTML templates using any search engine will produce a variety of sites, some of which are free, providing templates for web page design and coding.

Using a pre-made template can limit design choices, but is an expedient way to get a site coded and ready for publication on the Internet. Some computers come with pre-installed web creation programs that can automatically code web content as it is created.

Publishing a Website

Before a website can be published, it must be linked to a domain name (e.g., www.websites.com) and it must be hosted, meaning that the page must be stored on a remote server so that it can be accessed by browsers on the Internet. While it is technically possible for an individual to use his or her own computer to host a website, most personal computers do not have the capacity to handle standard web traffic. Companies that offer web hosting store their sites on servers that can accommodate thousands of visitors.

There are numerous companies that specialize in searching for availability of domain names and reselling taken domain names for an annual fee. GoDaddy.com or Network Solutions offer a search service to determine if the desired domain name is in use, and then it offers to sell and register the desired domain name for an annual fee. Most domain name vendors also offer site hosting.

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