How to Build a Website

By Annie Mueller

  • Overview

    Website and web design tools have come a long way in the last few years. It's easy to get started building your own home on the Internet, and you can make it match your personal style and be a great way to display your interests.
  • Find the Right Website System

  • Step 1

    Choose a blog system if you want to build a blog as your main website. The most popular options include Wordpress, which you can use with your own domain name and host or with their free hosting services, and Blogger, which you can use with their free hosting services. It's often nice to get started with a free hosting service such as Wordpress.com or Blogger.com, and then as you gain expertise and develop your website, you can switch over to your own hosting options as you need more space or options.
  • Step 2

    Choose a more complex content management system, such as Joomla or Mambo, if you want to set up a more complicated site. The downloaded version of Wordpress (from Wordpress.org) also functions well as a content management system. All three of those options are free to download and use.
  • Step 3

    Expect a learning curve at first. It takes a while to get used to the different systems and how to tweak them according to what you want. That's OK; take your time, read the manuals, and go to the many forums available for help with specific questions.
  • Choose Appropriate Design and Content



    • Step 1

      Decide what your overall goal is for the website. Determine your target market, or audience. The kind of people you want to reach should have a large effect on the kind of design you choose for your website. If you are going for an audience of business professionals, your website design should be streamlined and professional, business oriented rather than a means of personal expression. If you are reaching a more casual market, say, moms or teens, you should design your website appropriately.
    • Step 2

      Maintain professionalism. No matter how casual your target audience, remember that your website needs to be professional. That means that it should contain, at the very least, a good Contact page, an About/Welcome page that tells your visitors the purpose of the site, and appropriate Menu tabs to help your visitors navigate. Make sure that all the content on your site is edited (no incorrect spelling or lazy grammar) and formatted properly.
    • Step 3

      Customize a little bit. It's great when you find a theme or design that perfectly fits your purpose, but take a little time to make it uniquely your own. Add your own photos, appropriately sized, or play around with the colors, text size, and/or sidebar options. You don't have to go overboard, but making your theme unique while keeping it relevant will help your website design stand out.
    • Step 4

      Keep your content relevant to the purpose of your site. Don't get sidetracked onto unrelated (but interesting to you) items; you'll end up distracting your target audience and confusing them as to the purpose of your site.
    • Step 5

      Do include lots of information, links and resources relevant to your product, service or topic, but don't simply copy material from other websites. That is plagiarism, and not only is it illegal, but it will cause your page to look spammy and go down in Google page rankings.
    • Step 6

      Format your links properly and keep them up to date. Check your links regularly and be sure to correct or eliminate broken links.
    • Step 7

      Delegate, outsource or barter with a friend. If you don't have coding skills, don't try to write code; find someone who already knows how and arrange an exchange for a service you can provide, or simply pay with cold hard cash. Sure, it's great to learn the necessary skills, and you'll pick a lot up as you continue working on your website. But to keep it professional, sometimes you need to hire a professional. Don't be afraid to ask for help, delegate to your employees, or barter with people in your network to get things done the right way.
    • Skill: Moderately Challenging

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