Where to start?
First you need to analyse market and set objectives for your website. What will be the source of profit – will you sell goods or earn money by advertising partners?
I would recommend you to create website, about something you good at and love it. Otherwise is a high probability you’ll leave it.
Technical part – implementation.
You have several options when choosing the way of technical implementation. It’s depends on functional requirements, your knowledge in website building and your budget.
Today on market available three main options to create a website:
- Cloud website building solutions, website builders (like Wix, Squirespace, Weebly etc…)
- Content Management Systems, CMS – there’s a lot of freeware and commercial systems.
- Website made by developer completely from scratch. It requires time, money, but provides you with fully customized solution.
All of those options have their own pros and cons.
Developing website from scratch
If you need custom functionality of your website, like specified data storing/processing, integration with third party services and you can’t find alternatives in CMS and builders – developing your own website or own CMS is your solution. Depends on requirements it could cost you thousands dollars. Hiring developers, creating a business plan, process management model and even more takes a lot of time, so prepare to be patient. Such projects also require expensive maintenance.
Content Management Systems is completed solutions for quickly creating working website from the box. Sometimes a lot of features can be developed for existing CMS. So in most cases you can search the web, or repository, or even create your own custom plugin for selected CMS. There is a hundreds available systems for any puposes you may need – online shops, blogs, forums, chats, social networks, crm’s, galleries, file storage systems, support tickets, classifieds and more. Later, we will review most popular CMS and you can suggest in comments, review for which one you want most.
Most popular Content Management Systems in 2018
|WordPress||Blog, Web portal, Information website||Very popular, open source CMS with huge amount of themes and plugins.|
|Joomla||Web portal, Information website||Another super popular system, open source.|
|Drupal||Web portal, Information website||The third one.|
|WooCommerce||E-commerce (Electronic commerce)||WooCommerce is an extension (plugin) for WordPress CMS which enables e-commerce functionality.|
|OpenCart||E-commerce||Create a shop in a minutes. Open source, work out of the box with tons of extensions.|
|PrestaShop||E-commerce||Another very popular open source e-commerce solution.|
|Magento||E-commerce||And again, popular, shopping software.|
|vBulletin||Forum, Community website||Very popular community software. First release in 2000. Pay attention, vBulletin is a commercial software and requires a license.|
|XenForo||Forum, Community website||Another great community software, developed by former vBulletin lead developers. License required. First release in 2011.|
|phpBB||Forum, Community website||Open source and free community software, great alternative to proprietary analogs.|
Choosing Content Management Systems as the solution for your website will save your time and budget. Open source software allow you to change it’s code and customize functionality / design as needed. But before you do this, check for current plugins and extensions, may be it has been already implemented by some one else.
CMS solution still needs some attention and maintenance. You’ll need to find hosting company to host your site at their servers. Sometimes you’ll need to apply security updates, make website backups (and it’s really important, believe you don’t want to end up without working copy of your website, as even hosting company can lose your data, no one’s gives you 100% warranty).
But don’t worry, you’ll learn everything needed in our next articles about website management. Or you can order our management services to help you figure out any questions.
Website builders and cloud based platforms
In case you don’t have time at all, and want to make website in couple clicks – cloud based platforms is for you. There is nothing much to talk about. Creating website on website builder platform is the same as creating group or page in social network.
It’s super fast solution. But there’s one thing you may not like. Once you registered account and created a website you become dependent on that company service and strictly limited in customization.
- Website builder service raised the price for monthly use – you have to pay.
- Builder service became slow and support ignorant – you still have to stick with them.
- You need to add custom function, plugin or whatever – you have to pay extra, or that imposible due to builder limitations.
And you can’t get your website backup and leave to another company, as it’s content (design) belongs to service and site’s engine isn’t open source or transferable. The only solution left for you is to leave this website and create new one. Which is bad for search engines optimization (SEO), and overall website statistics. (honestly, it’s still possible to save positions, but it requires a lot of work, using page redirects / rewrites and other magic, but it’s for another topic).
Website builder great for short term or static websites. If your website is moving forward, someday you’ll outgrow builder’s functionality.
Probably the main advantage of such services in comparison with self hosted solutions, you don’t have to worry about technical part of your website. Once created – will work stable until you stop paying. No need to check for updates, no worries about vulnerability, hacker break-ins or malware.
How to promote a website?
Everything is simple – the more visits you have on your website, the more income it will generate. Never mind if it’s a online store, or personal blog.
So how can we attract new visitors? Let’s look at ourselves first.
Why we visit certain pages, websites or even places in everyday life? To get specified content or product, right? And what if we received best product or service? We return.
The same here. But important remark – you must do everything possible, so that when your visitor return, he can remain satisfied to come back again and become frequenter, become your customer.
If your website is an online shop – you need to increase range of goods. If it’s blog – more valuable and unique content. Do not copy/paste or remake – write your own. And be prepared to work on your content daily. Your website now in top priority, until you reach desired results.
Of course it is necessary to consider the requirements of search engines (in other words – Search Engine Optimization). Later we will post more detailed article related to SEO and SMM (Social Media Marketing). But don’t forget that you have to love what are you doing and what you writing about.
Thank you, for reading my first post on dock.co.nz and good luck in website development!