Welcome to Allan’s tutorial page on Building a Website. The basic instructions listed below will help you get started and on your way to having a web presence. If you are new and using the WordPress Responsive Theme from ThemeID, Get your FREE Responsive Theme Area Map Guidebook Now!
Don’t forget to Sign Up to get access to web-related resources that could help you make some of the following decisions. As with everything discussed and represented on MindVisionMedia.net, it is your ultimate decision as to how you will go about creating your web presence and with what method or tools. I can’t guaranty your success or failure and can only provide a broad spectrum of information designed to educate you so that you can choose the approach best suited for your venture.
There are several different options available for each aspect of building a website including domain names, hosting plans and site building tools and software. You can do it on your own utilizing the basic tools so you can learn the process yourself. Or you can take advantage of some of the more advanced tools available in today’s website community. There is always the option of having someone build the site for you as well if you want to concentrate on other aspects of your online venture.
The standard website categories are:
> Micro Sites that are usually just landing pages, or Opt-In pages or sales letters or pitches.
> Brochure Sites usually for small companies to present their identity to the public with about 4-5 pages.
> Forum Sites that are used for specific topics of discussion or problem solving in a particular niche.
> Informational and Reference Sites.
> Content and Blog Sites that include articles, news and chronological information.
> E-Commerce Sites with shopping carts for products like Amazon.
Static Site Development with tools like Dreamweaver allow you to build HTML pages and require a lot of editing and maintenance to change or update your content . Pages are presented as is according to your updates and changes but remain the same once completed.
These types of tools can require a hefty investment in the software and come with a learning curve you will have to master to complete your project.
You will have to learn coding such as HTML and CSS to take advantage of these types of programs although they often have a WYSIWYG option to view your site as you code it. The content on these types of sites is manually updated and published by you and you cannot schedule the date and time it is published, what category it is under and whether or not it gets published to specific social media channels as well by using the built-in features of a CMS (Content Management System) such as WordPress or Joomla which has these options.
Static sites are not obsolete but require more knowledge and work and are becoming less and less useful on today’s Internet
Dynamic Websites built with tools like WordPress and Joomla are fast becoming the tool of choice and have allowed many from beginner to advanced develop incredible sites and blogs. These are known as CMS (Content Management Systems) and deliver your content Dynamically from a database. The site can then present your content based on different criteria such as date or category, etc. Adding functional and interactive features such as social media icons, surveys and feedback to your site is done with plug-ins which are mostly free.
Unlike static sites that require detailed and often complicated scripts to add these features to your site, WordPress ad’s them with ease. However there is another side to WordPress that requires some knowledge of PHP and CSS in order to unlock the true hidden power of this amazing CMS.
Example of a Dynamic Website:
Tools like Weebly and others usually offered as part of your hosting plan or package which are basic WYSIWYG visual site building tools don’t require any knowledge of coding and allow you to build your site visually. These usually come with options, pre-designed templates and add-ons, some support and a knowledge-base for reference and guidance.
ADomain Name: Determine what your domain name will be: www.yoursitename.com, .net, .org etc. You should have already figured out what kind of site or niche you want to be involved with because you will build your site accordingly. Knowing your sites purpose will help you pick a name that reflects your sites purpose or niche. This helps your potential visitors identify initially what site they want to navigate to based on the domain name and description.
You have the option of choosing a free domain name that is usually bundled in with a hosting package or purchasing your domain name separately and transferring it to the hosting companies servers. I highly recommend buying your domain name separately so you have control over it. Free domain names are owned by someone else and may cause problems if you want to expand or move forward with your venture. There may also be other limitations with your free or cheap package that could hinder you like intrusive advertisements on your site, the price for being free.
BHosting: Research and select a Hosting Service that will provide you with the proper plan for your needs. There are many hosting companies and packages available to choose from these days. Just make sure you get the bandwidth, storage and services you will need to make your site functional and effective. If you plan to build a shopping cart or e-commerce site you’ll want to consider security factors, SSL and HTTPS for your visitors and shoppers.
To compare the options visit the Site Hosting Page for more information on hosting options.
CBuild Your Site: Choose what method you want to use to build your site. You can either use the online WYSIWYG editor or site builder provided with your hosting package, or you can use WordPress or hire a designer to do it for you. Don’t be afraid to use the free site building tools provided by your host, they make it easy for anyone to create a site and offer limited support if you need it. there is nothing like seeing your idea come to life right before your eyes and knowing that you did it yourself. Even though these tools allow you to build a site visually, there are guidelines and best practices that apply to web design and you will want to follow those as much as possible. having a site that looks good is one thing, having a site that is functional and can be navigated is another. the goal here is to have all aspects blend together: content, looks, functionality, navigation.
Using templates is a quick way to get a site up quickly but templates often need to be modified in some way to fit your exact needs and layout. Most template site building tools offer basic editing capabilities such as changing color scheme, font etc. But fine detail or modifying the template itself may prove tricky and you may have to edit some of the template files HTML, CSS or PHP files.
DLaunch and Promote: Also known as building traffic or marketing your site to search engines and your target audience, the term used to describe this process is SEO (search engine optimization). There are many methods for achieving this aspect which will complete the bulk of your site building experience. Social media is one of the other ways to accomplish this as well as using strict guidelines for making your site search engine friendly which allows users to find you when they do a search for the category or niche your site is in. the beauty of a web presence is that the marketing aspect is far cheaper than doing the same for a brick and mortar type business. You just have to put in a little work and time for the results to happen.
Using tools such as Google Analytics among others will help you understand the whole “traffic” aspect and give you pointers on how to drive traffic to your site. Other sites like YouTube and Vimeo offer a great way to drive traffic since they give you the free space to host your content (typically video) that can reach millions of viewers. Just letting your friends and family know about your site won’t be enough. You will have to spend time building traffic to your site and doing submissions to search engines in order to build the awareness about your site and what it offers on the vast space of the Internet.
EMonetize: This is the process of adding value to your content and traffic to generate money. This can be done in a variety of ways such as Affiliate marketing and selling other products, placing ads on your site or blog to generate commissions or even selling your own products and services. Once you have a web presence and have built a list of interested subscribers, visitors or followers, it is then time to market something to them. This is why it is important to establish a good reputation and plan your site well. Building traffic cannot be done without good content or something to offer your visitors. The use of FREE promotions, free downloads, sales and other tactics can be used to drive traffic to your site and once the traffic is there you want to have something for them.
Your product can be anything from information to specialty items as long as there is an audience and market for it. It could be something you know how to do or are an expert in or even something you have no experience with but have an interest in. The goal is to learn whatever you need to learn to become credible in your niche and the rest will come.
Now there are a lot of get rich quick schemes out there telling you that it only takes 5 minutes a day to make $200,000.00 a week and you can do it without spending a dime, learning anything or doing any work, really? If you believe that then starting a web presence may not be for you because it does require work, pride and integrity to accomplish having a successful web venture. There are things you must learn, there are things you must do, some on a regular basis to start and maintain an Internet business.
The cost is considerably lower than starting a regular business but the time and effort is still a requirement.
FSecurity: Something that cannot be overlooked is security. These days there are many threats that exist online. From identity theft to spam and infected emails and comments to websites that are fake representations of real websites where you enter personal information to hacking your website and stealing you and your visitors personal information. Security is a must when establishing an online presence.
Your Hosting Company should be able to provide you with adequate security measures to protect your website and visitors. Make sure to create new and unique passwords and user names when you first setup your website. Don’t give out your login information to anybody and keep all of your site related emails and information in a safe place. I recommend creating a folder inside your email client and name it something to do with your website. Put all emails inside that folder and be sure to create backup copies in case your computer crashes or you delete them by accident.
Be sure you have personal virus and spam protection on your computer as well. The server where your website is hosted at will have their security measures in place but you can actually infect your website by uploading files from your personal computer that are infected. If you will be working on your site via FTP (File Transfer Protocol), be sure to clear your browsers history and temporary cache when you are done.
Also be careful when you download items from the Internet for your website. During the building phase you will need graphics, pictures, icons and other graphical or visual content. There are a ton of resources on the Internet that offer free content and graphics for web developers. Make sure to scan everything you download to make sure they are not infected with any viruses or Adware.
GBacking up your Website: After putting all the time and effort into building a website, you’ll want to backup all of your files in case anything happens. Computers, servers and even people are not perfect, things happen and you can be left in a bad situation if you don’t have backups. Your Hosting Company should have site backup options available that allow you to backup your web files. You’ll want this regardless but especially if you have a content oriented site.
Think of the days and weeks you will spend writing and creating content for your website, you won’t want to re-do all of that work and experience down time for your site and visitors when all you had to do is upload a backup of your files in a matter of minutes.
So backing up your files, keeping copies of your content, including graphics, images and video is essential to running a smooth operation. Think of it as insurance for your website!