create-websiteThe Bad Ol’ Days

Diving head first into web development is both momentarily exciting and nerve racking as beginners often have no idea what they are getting themselves into. As someone who began his life of site building on Geocities nearly two decades ago (with a Final Fantasy VII based site titled “Little Sephie’s Materia Mountain,” no less), I’ve watched the designer landscape change remarkably. I can remember the days when the only tools available to novice site creators were a couple of HTML books, some copy-and-paste code found around the net and a fistful of rage-inducing frustration that could leave the toughest people on earth in a pile of tears, hatred and body odor.

Nowadays, creating a site can take as little as a few minutes for professionals, and the tools available to beginners are easy and powerful enough to have a full website set up in only a handful of hours. Nevertheless, everyone’s experience will be different, and these questions should help amateurs figure out their first steps.

How Much do You Know About Design?

Having a rudimentary knowledge about the basics of web design can go a long way in helping a beginning web designer make the most attractive site possible, within his or her abilities of course. Understanding image compression and good layout practices will not only help with building the site more efficiently, but the final product will be much more effective as well. Those with a deeper education in design will have an have a much easier go at their first website, but that doesn’t mean those without that background can’t produce something that’s both eye catching and effective.

What are Your Goals?

Before getting into the work of building a new site, you should know precisely what you want the page to accomplish. Are you trying to sell a product? Are you promoting an event?How many pages do you want the site to have? These kinds of questions are the most important part of maximizing your efficiency in building your first site and its subsequent follow ups.

Answering as many questions about your upcoming project site as possible will help you map out the site quickly. This will not only lead to faster website building, but will often lead to a much more organized site in general. And, that’s always a good thing for attracting and keeping visitors on your pages for as long as possible.

The Tools to Use

Depending on the number of pages needed, customizability and user interaction required to have the website considered completed, the various site-building tools available can help achieve your goals. For the absolute beginner, there are locations online that will help get a few-page website up just as fast as you can enter the information and find the right photos for your topic. If you’re after a fast tool or service with ready to go templates, you can use a website builder. For instance IM Creator, a popular website builder has a wedding website template section available which can be used to generate an event site (photos, videos, etc) in minutes to hours. On the other hand, people who’re very comfortable with new software and have experience with technology in general should be able to install and setup one of a variety of content management systems with only minor hiccups along the way.

If you know what you want, take it one step at a time and concentrate on what you’re doing, you can have your first website up in short order.