Tools & Tips for Making a Website
By Christina Paulk
Have you ever wanted to learn how to make a website? The world is quickly moving towards digital technology, and there is an increase in demand for people in jobs with technical skills. Especially in the field of digital marketing, employers are looking for potential hires that are well-versed and experienced in both marketing and technology. Many universities do not teach technical coding and design skills to marketing majors. As marketers, we often have to teach ourselves. Below are some tools and tips for novice web developers to prove that anyone can make a website—not just computer science majors!
1. Purchase Your Own Domain Name
A domain is the web address you type into a browser to find a website. Many people start building their blogs and websites on hosting platforms such as WordPress and Wix, but opt in for the free version rather than paying a little extra to own their own domain. These platforms provide a good start to novice web developers, but if you are putting your website address on your LinkedIn and business cards, it looks more impressive and professional if you own your own domain. My advice is to go ahead and invest a little money into purchasing a domain name. Good domains encompass the purpose of the website and are simple and to the point. You can purchase your own domain from domain registrars such as GoDaddy and Google Domains.
2. Learn How to Code
Learning how to code might seem difficult and scary, but I promise you it is not! Coding is not rocket science and is actually easier to understand than you think. As a novice web developer, you only need to know these three coding languages in order to build an impressive website:
HTML (HyperText Markup Language): The language that describes the structure of a webpage.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets): The language that describes the presentation of a webpage including fonts, layout, and colors.
3. Use a Template
After you learn how to code, the quickest and easiest way to build your own website is to download a website template. With a template, all of the hard work of developing a website frame from scratch is already completed for you. All you have to do is fill in the blanks with your own pictures and content! I also suggest that you download a template that is adapted for responsive web design. What is that? Responsive web design is coding website content to easily adapt and change based on the viewing device and screen size. Mobile websites are just as important as desktop websites, so having a responsive website is pretty much expected these days. Here are some places to find free HTML website templates: Start Bootstrap, Too Plate, HTML5 Up, and Shape Bootstrap.
4. Learn Graphic Design
Now that you have the basic skills to code, it’s time to make your website visually appealing to visitors! Putting thought into the visual design of your website will create a more successful and engaging website overall. Keep this tip in mind—less is more. Create visuals for your website that encompass simplicity and purpose. Don’t use too many contrasting fonts or colors and don’t clutter your website with unnecessary content. Develop a specific brand image for your website and stick to it. As a novice developer, you don’t need Photoshop to create good graphics. Websites like Canva and Piktochart provide basic tools and templates that will give you a jump start on graphic design. In addition, you can download fonts from DaFont and Google Fonts.
Hopefully this post has provided you with useful tips and tools for making a website. Now it’s time for you to go out and make your own website!