In this article we are taking the curtain down and showing everyone how easy it is to design your own website. The more advanced method of web development is presented first, with a simple, free method towards the end.
First and foremost, it is recommended to have some html and web design awareness. That being said, the easiest way to create a website is to download a free template and host it with a service like iPage.com. I recommend downloading a Dreamweaver CS5 template online. There are many websites that offer free or cheap templates that look quite nice! That's where the template for HikeMySite.com came from! iPage offers a tool called the FileManager that allows you to edit your pages using an html preview or a coding view. What this means: you don't actually need Dreamweaver to edit a dreamweaver template. It makes things more delicate, but it is do-able. That being said, I recommend buying Dreamweaver CS5 if you plan to do updates to your website's appearance and structure. If you are eligible for the student/teacher edition, it is around $180. Dreamweaver is so helpful because it provides a user-interface that makes html coding as simple as basic desktop publishing. With the Design feature, you edit and customize the pages as if they were a flier. The coding is all SEO-friendly and is widely used.
It is good to keep in mind that you will get stuck. My advice is to take a brief break and approach it later with a clear perspective. If the problem is still there, it is time to research your way out of it. Using Google as a resource to search for threads for information is the most effective way to do-it-yourself. Youtube is a great resource for Dreamweaver video tutorials. Using Dreamweaver is reassurance that other people on the internet have used the same program as you and done the task that is so daunting. The important question to ask before researching a problem is who should I ask? If it is something that your hosting service may be able to help with, give iPage.com (or your hosting service) customer support a message. If the problem is still not properly addressed, begin to post the problem on web development forums and blogs. The readers of those types of feeds are extremely educated in their industry and are often times willing to help. What takes them 5 seconds to comment on your post may save you ten hours of stressful, ineffective methods. Just ask! If the problem is too complex or too time-consuming, you can always outsource that part of the code. If you Google "web design outsourcing" you can decide for your self which service to use. Giving a service like that a specific task to perform for you will save countless hours and is very inexpensive in comparison to hiring a web development expert.
In this less-advanced section I will list a couple resources to help you start your simple, cheap website. Services like webs.com and blogspot.com allow you to create a free website by including their domain in your url. Google also offers a free website builder. A third option that I would recommend is simply purchasing your desired domain from iPage.com and using their Website Buider tool to design your basic site. You will have a custom domain and will have to pay a few dollars each month for the service. iPage is a great resource and offers the beginner, expert, and even web developer useful resources. iPage will help you set up shopping cards, credit card processing, Google adwords advertising, and even a blog on your domain (ex. hikemysite.com/blog). To be clear, a hosting service is the website that you pay to "make your website live on the web."
For more information on web development or HikeMySite.com services, feel free to contact me personally at Jahines.firstname.lastname@example.org. Our SEO Development will bring your site to the top of Google's search results. Average rates are usually below $.08/potential customer for the first year's exposure. After the first year, there are no costs!
Contact us today for a free website development and/or SEO strategy step-by-step guide.