Whether you are considering building a website from scratch or using a web designer to do the job for you, a long and daunting road lies ahead.
Web design has a very steep learning curve and the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) software won’t give you everything. Hiring a designer will cost an arm and leg – at least for a high quality, half decent one. So what other option do you have?
WordPress – a free website for all!
I used to be a blog-a-phobe until about 2 years ago. I was lecturing in Web 2.0 at a local University and the syllabus required I conducted a talk on the subject of blogging – WordPress being at the centre of all inquiries. I had to do my research, so I downloaded WordPress and installed it on my server. I was amazed! Incredible easy to use and very search engine friendly. I started to wonder why I had spent so much time putting together personal pet-project sites, when excellent results could be achieved in a matter of minutes with WordPress’ amazing interface and WYSIWYG editor. Extremely intuitive and can deliver a free website to anyone.
Not just a blog – It’s anything you want it to be
After looking through the available plugins, widgets and themes, I realised that WordPress was so much more than just a blog platform. In fact, it could be developed into any kind of website, without even the hint of it being primarily a blog framework. There are so many features and functions; it could be used to deliver, sell and express just about anything.
Tailering the look & feel
There are thousands of free templates or ‘themes’ to choose from. Best of all, you can modify the appearance of your chosen theme as much as you like. You can change the graphics, layout, font size, colouring, the list goes on. If you’re not a designer, you could hire somebody to merely tweak the look and feel of your WordPress site to bring it up to your requirements. The hard part of the build is already done once you have installed WordPress and you can change the theme at any point, even after you have created lots of content.
If you haven’t already got an account with a host, you can get a decent package from 1and1, UKHost4u, Easy Limited, Namesco, 123-Reg, UK2.net including web-space and a domain name. You don’t need anything too expensive, just make sure that the package allows for PHP and MySQL – very important!
It will be delivered in .zip form. Unzip it and copy the files over to your server. Now access your web site’s domain in a web-browser. Follow the on-screen instructions and add your connection details. Now go and make a hot drink because hereafter the fun starts! You have installed your WordPress site and all that needs to be done now is for you to add your own content and tweak the look and feel. I’d recommend you keep on adding content to keep your visitors and search engines happy and coming back for more. I tend to add at least 2 new posts per week.