Deciding on how to create your website and identifying website creation tools can be a hunt also. I continue to challenge myself as I work to improve my own website and help others. There are a plethora of options if you want to create your own website. Many template based website platforms such as Weebly or Wix offer user-friendly interfaces without the need to write code. Weebly offers options for customizing code so power users can have full control over the HTML and CSS in the website theme. Power users may also enjoy creating a site using WordPress. WordPress is free open source software built by a distributed community of mostly volunteer developers from around the world. When using Wordpress, you can select a free or paid theme for your starting point and then add additional functionality to the theme by finding plugins that fit your needs. The learning curve can be a little steeper with WordPress depending on your experience and knowledge.
If you are embarking on a website creation hunt, below are a few questions that may be helpful to ask yourself before you begin:
1. Do you plan to manage the site yourself or prefer others to manage it for you?
If you plan to manage the site yourself, evaluate your knowledge, experience, time, and desire to want to update content and handle any issues that may occur. Some interfaces will be more user-friendly than others. Keeping content fresh and current is significant.
2. What content would you like on the site? Text, Photos, Videos, Audio, Downloadable documents, Contact Form, Online Store (eCommerce), Social Icons, Maps, Password Protected Pages, etc.,
It is important to think through what content and features you would like on your site as some website packages have different levels of functionality and you want to make sure you purchase the plan or choose the platform that best fits your needs. If you are selling digital goods, physical products, or services, you may want an online store.
3. Do you currently have a blog or do you want to manage a blog on the website? Are you currently active on social media or do you want to become active on social media? Do you use email marketing?
There are lots of options for social sharing and blog tools. For example, some website platforms may allow you to create a blog right on the site where other platforms may connect with third-party blogging tools. If you have an email newsletter you may want to check with your email marketing provider and they may offer plugins or code for you to insert in your website for users to subscribe to your email newsletter.
I continue to enjoy my website creation journey as my website evolves and I add new features. The Voice in Bloom website was created using Weebly and it has been a wonderful, user-friendly experience. Hope you dig into your site and let your creativity explode!
Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson