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Web Design - The Essentials

For all you people out there who are thinking about creating your own web site for what ever reason, there are many web based resources that you can use to help you get up and running.

If you are feeling lazy and couldn’t be bothered to read the next few pages, then click here to go straight to my recommendations. Please read my latest update below before you do so as this post was written many months ago. My advice still stands but for me, since this post was written, things have changed a little.

Web design is a form of art, and it really depends on how much time you have to put into your work. If you have the freedom to spend hundreds of hours on a web design that blows your audiences away, then by all means do so. The more effort you put into your design, the classier your site will look. However, most of us have a lot to get on with in life and haven’t got the time to spend doing this. The Street Musician Top 100 web site design was done extremely quickly within a couple of days, just to get things up and running. This basic model will serve its purpose until I have time to update it properly and make things look better.

What Really Matters is Content

Although design is important if you want to look professional and make others take you seriously or monetise the site, the most important thing is the content. If you have a good sound knowledge of what you are talking about, or you have a lot to say, or even some good music to reach out to your audience with, then getting your message out there and building a fan base is what really counts. If you can get your site up and running quickly and start adding decent content then Google will take note, index your site and visitors will be able to find you. Once your creative platform is established, you can start building your fan base and working on your site design at your leisure.

You will notice this site is constantly changing all the time. The greatest thing about being your own webmaster is that you can do what you want, when you want.

Web designers will often charge you hundreds of pounds or dollars to design a basic site for you and then every time you want to add content or change something, you have to pay an update or maintenance fee.

This is okay if you’re loaded, but most of us aren’t (yet), and throwing money away every time you want to add a new page or song to your site seems a waste.

How Long Will It Take Me To Build My Own Web Site ?

That depends on whether you take the easy road and use an established blogging platform such as WordPress or a Blogger template, or you do it the hard but more rewarding way and build it yourself from scratch.

……

UPDATE 1 YEAR ON

This particular site was initially built from scratch very quickly with no previous knowledge of code or html using the methods I have outlined in my guides, but after creating a successful blog and almost 15 months of fun using Dreamweaver, I have finally decided to switch to a WordPress site in order to integrate with the blogging network more closely, save a bit of time and take advantage of the numerous plugins available in order to extend the business model I am creating for my blog.

Initially, I created my site for fun and the skills and knowledge I have learned by choosing to do it myself have been invaluable to me as a webmaster. For me, now over a year on and with many new commitments in my life, I believe time and compatibility is now my main concern and so a swap to WordPress has been made in order to maximise my own efficiency.

I’ll be posing a W.P guide at some point in the future to give my opinions on the swap and the differences it has made to my site from the point of view of both user and webmaster.

……

Learning how to build a basic site from scratch (without the use of a blogging platform) will probably take you about a week, maybe more, maybe less, depending on how you choose to do it.

If all you need is a few pages of written content, a few videos, either of your own or from You Tube and a few graphics, then I would say the actual building of the site would only take you a couple of days, working a few hours a day. You would also have to spend a few days previous to this learning how to use your web creation software.

Learning New Software

Don’t be put off by the thought of learning how to use new software to create your web site.

Most people cannot bear reading instruction manuals and learning how to use new programs, and it’s easy to understand why. Every time you want to know how to do something, you end up having to side track off the subject every few minutes and learn what something else means, just to get back to doing the thing you meant to do in the first place. It drives you nuts.

Constantly having to look back through thousands of pages of instructions to remember what you have previously read is a nightmare and picking a manual or tutorial book that the average user can understand is a chore in itself. These things are no good for motivation and people often throw in the towel after the first few pages thinking ‘This just isn’t for me, I’ll leave it to the professionals’. In actual fact, if you do it the right way, learning to build a website¬† is not that hard.

What is the quickest way to learn to build web sites (excluding wordpress) ?

There is one simple answer to this question.

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Posted 20.07.08

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