Can you really get a website even without knowing anything
about code, and without paying a fortune? Find out.
The days when websites were primarily distinguished
by their code are long gone. Nowadays, the web is a
true publishing medium that favors well thought-out
ideas. You can get a professional-looking website online
in minutes with many website building services and software.
But what should you look for? What are the features
you really need and which are just clutter?
Some website authoring software packages only allow
you to entire plain, unformatted text. Some of them
allow you to entire HTML tags. Others provide a WYSIWYG
("what you see is what you get") interface
with options for font, links, and image insertion much
like a word processor's. Some will allow you to use
more than one, or even all of these options so you have
a choice on how you want to format your text.
Every website builder ever invented came with at least
one or two templates for creating the graphical look
of a website, so you don't have to design the look of
the site yourself. But some packages have very large
libraries of templates, some have only a few. Some will
let you mix and match elements of the design templates,
while others will lock you in to one setup.
Many ready-to-go websites created by website builder
software feature built-in shopping carts. Some even
come with credit card processing. This is of course
necessary if you're going to be selling stuff direct
online. But if you're not going to be selling anything,
ecommerce functionalities may just complicate the administration
of the site and pad the price for the software or service.
Blogs are "web logs," but blogging software
involves more than just a simple online journal. Blogging
technology allows you to send your new posts directly
to subscribers via RSS, without them having to visit
your site or receive an email from you. Still, unless
you plan on updating your site regularly (at least once
a month), your website's blog will just gather cobwebs.
Some hosted web authoring systems provide email accounts
at no additional charge, while others do charge separately.
Some web builder systems even come with modules for
creating email newsletters.
It is very likely that you will encounter a technical
difficulty at some point while owning your website.
Make sure you know in advance of paying whether the
company provides only paid support, and if any included
support is over email, a web ticketing system, or the
Photo and Image Management
For many, if not most, people who want personal websites,
displaying pictures online is a primary motivation,
if not the only motivation. If you want to display pictures
on your website, make sure to choose a website builder
system that makes it easy to upload and publish images.
Renting vs. Owning
You can buy website authoring software upfront for
a flat fee, or you can "rent;" i.e., pay a
company every month to use a hosted service. The choice
is up to you, but remember that the hosted service will
likely charge you much more in the end: averaging around
$20/month, hosted the typical hosted website builder
will cost you $240/year--far more than most desktop
In short, you don't need to know how a website is coded
to make one, any more than a book author needs to know
about printing ink. Don't burden yourself with learning
how to do web design. Having fun with your website starts
with choosing a website builder software that will make
About the author:
Joel Walsh recommends you check out http://www.ezgenerator.com/documents/167.html?%20web%20authoring%20software