It’s hard to imagine a business without a website these days. It’s obviously the best way to present your business to a potential client since the days of using the Yellow Pages are over. But what if a business is a new start up? They may have a limited budget and creating a website themselves might be the cheapest way for them to do it. There are two ways to start a website – hire a professional or do it yourself. Either way you should understand the basics of how to start a website.
The first step in the process is getting a domain name and internet space. You should try to stick with a.com name for search engine optimization purposes. It’s still the most popular one to use. Internet space is also called web hosting. Think of it as a hard drive for the internet where you will place all of your files. You a search engine for “web hosting” and you can purchase the domain name and internet space cheaply.
Designing the web site is the second part of the process that can be done by yourself or a professional. I will assume that you want to do it yourself. Anyone can learn how to design a website. It just takes time and patience. I recommend using a search engine to learn since this is about saving money.
This is where a person may get confused about where to even start. I recommend searching for some basic Photoshop tutorials. This will help you get familiar with the software that you will be using. Next, I would search for a tutorial on designing a web site. This will help you go step by step on designing a site with a navigation, text and images.
Now comes the hard part – making your website look good. This is where you should look for graphic design tutorials. Try to understand typography and composition. Look at websites and try to analyze them. See how they use the principles of graphic design.
I know you will think that your design is bad but do not give up. Designing a good website is not easy. Keep redesigning the site and over time, it will begin to look better and better. It could take 10, 20 or more designs to really start understanding the intricacies of web sites.
The last and final part of the design process is learning HTML to make the website functional. Do a search for HTML basics. Also search for a tutorial that explains how to cut your Photoshop design into multiple images. This will help you apply the look and feel of your design into HTML. Once you’re done, simply upload your files to your web host.
Designing a website by yourself is the most affordable way to promote your website online. It does take time from your personal life and from managing your business. This is the main tradeoff – using your time to save money. A great website not only looks good but it also help you accomplish your business goals. After all, you want your website to work for you.