Building Your Own Website

Imagine this:

  • You meet an old college friend in the mall, one you know has a very active social network and loves to shop. You get to talking about old times, and before you go on your separate ways, you hand her your card and ask her to visit your website to see your on-line clothes shop.
  • You’re a free-lance photographer. Your gallery is on-line, as are your contact numbers and information.
  • Your family is scattered all over the globe and current airfare is atrocious. You have a family website (set to members-only access, can’t be too careful nowadays).

Your website can be your showcase, your business and advertising in one, a place to welcome family, customers or people with similar interests. All it needed was planning, some research on tools, and patience… voila, your very own website!

What do you get with it?

  • You’re visible – You get to establish your presence on the World Wide Web with no censors and no big expenses (unless you plan ahead to reach a point where you need them). You have a presence out there, not just in your immediate community or circle of friends and acquaintances.
  • You connect – Whether you want to be a rabble-rouser, sell stuff or just share your opinions and experiences, you have the potential to reach more people than you can in person.
  • You create a community – you can meet and make up a tribe of like-minded people, a support net. When you go online, you visit groups and places you like. When you make your own website, you’re the town mayor, gate-keeper and all-around cool guy.

Aside from the general benefits mentioned above, take note that if you have or plan to have a business, a web presence is as essential as a contact number. It’s a tool, a way to get known, to connect and to share.

What are the steps to building a website?

Decide what kind of site you want. Go here for some ideas and answers.
What is your purpose for having a site? Your purpose will define the way your site will be designed, and what it’s supposed to do. “Form follows function,” is a very good guide.
Plan it out -Sketch the site out on paper, and cover the following elements.

  • Text, also known as copy or content – what content do you want on your site. What content does it need?
  • Images – you can, of course, upload your own pictures, aside from looking for free images and clip art on-line.
  • Links – to where? If your part of a link exchange, you can post the links on your site in a special section if you please.

Prioritize and group these elements among the following:

  • Home page – what does it look like, what images or contents should hold front and center?
  • Landing page – where are the top three or more places on your site you want your visitors to go ? What do you want to say there in those landing pages?
  • Second tier – what about the other pages that didn’t make it to landing-page status? What do you want to share here?

Choose your host (go here for some advice).
Choose your website name.
Start building. Show your site to a few friends and ask them to review it. Ask them for feedback. Refine your site and keep it fresh with new content, and you’re well on your way to success.

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