This is an introduction post to help motivate those of us who are putting off setting up a website! Why not try over the Christmas period? Not that you will be busy…
I am not a web developer but I created my own website – you can too! I have given a brief breakdown of how to design one below.
1) Site function.
Decide what your site is going to do. Is it a showcase of your work? An on-line store?
When you know the sites function you can decide the layout. Think of a family tree with HOME at the top. Where will you need to go from there?
I’ll use an on-line portfolio as an example:
From your HOME page you will need to go to PORTFOLIO, CONTACT ME, LINKS pages.
From your PORTFOLIO page you will want to go to subcategories such as METAL WORK, GLASS, CERAMICS etc.
From METAL WORK, GLASS, CERAMICS you will want to see images of your work.
From CONTACT ME you want people to be able to email or call you.
From your LINKS page you can link to external sites such as Facebook, Twitter, your blog or LinkedIn.
Finally from your PORTFOLIO, CONTACT ME, LINKS pages it is always a good idea to have an option to go back to the HOME page.
I hope this makes sense. If it doesn’t, I can upload a quick diagram – let me know!
The hardest and most time-consuming thing is to get your content ready ie. your images, videos, articles. I’m afraid I can’t help with this!!!
Image size is really important. Your images do not need to be huge and the bigger the size the slower they load. Use an editing software to resize and compress a copy of your images. 100KB should be the absolute maximum used for the web!
Most PC or MAC computers will have basic editing software but you can always look on-line:
A lot of web design packages want to link to your video files from another on-line source. I uploaded animations to YouTube and linked to them from there.
3) Pick a name.
This took me quite a while. When I started out I just used my name – it meant I got going and didn’t procrastinate! You can change your URL later if you want.
If you brainstorm ideas, check on google to see if they’re already taken. You will quickly pick up key words that are commonly used.
I even used a URL generator site to help get the ideas flowing:
4) Design your site.
There are loads of web generating sites out there so have a look! For my portfolio I used www.wix.com but there are others such as:
You can also buy a ‘website in a box’ which might be a better option. I will more than likely do this for my on-line shop:
Blog sites are also great for displaying you work. These are generally free so it’s a good place to start!
5) Buy your domain.
There are so many places you can do this. Sometimes you will be able to do this through the web design package you have used. There will be step by step instructions about how to ‘point ‘ your website to your URL. I had already bought my URL else where but could have used the wix.com site. Ask around for advice because prices vary!
You have your site! I was a complete beginner when I started so don’t give up – it will take a little bit (maybe a lot) of patience! Let me know how you get on!
Any external links I have mentioned in this post are for information purposes only. Please have a look around and see what would suit your needs best.