How to Build a Website
Well I guess you may be thinking I have lost my mind explaining ways to build a website when building websites is what I do for a living. But you know what, I am happy to help, if you find it useful and go on to build a fantastic site then great, even if you start building sites for others, no problem. A long time ago when I was founding The Libra Centre our core was made up of three articles: The Advancement of Spiritual Science; The Fulfillment of Human Potential; Harmony and Unity. So I have a sneaky suspicion that in helping you I will be fulfilling at least one of those articles.
When I build my first site for The Libra Centre, ooh that's going back a bit now, the process of building a website was very different than it is today. Back then you had to learn how to code and guess what I still hand code every website I build today, but you don't have to.
Gather your Tools.
Whatever your craft you will need some tools. The craft of building websites is no exception but the choice of tools varies with working methods. I have set out below some food for thought and enough to get you started.
Blogging Platforms and CMS.
One way to easily build a website is with blogging platforms or Content Management Systems CMS. The most popular is Wordpress, actually there are two flavours of Wordpress; Wordpress.com which is hosted by them and Wordpress.org which requires your own hosting account but as more features but there are plenty of others, Blogger, Drupal, Joomla, some specialize in building online shops, BigCommerce and Shopify. All of these are worth a look but at the time of writing, 2016, I feel these CMS have had their day.
Website building software.
First came Dreamweaver and many web-developers became so attached to it that there seemed to be nothing else. However, it was a very steep learning curve and for most features you needed to know some coding skills and it was and still is, to my mind very expensive. Adobe the owners of Dreamweaver are continually trying to improve its offerings and so there are a massive amount of features. For most people there is overkill but you are welcome to try it out.
Hosted Website Builders
So many web host boasts the best, easiest drag and drop website builders it is bewildering, but basically they all have there pros and cons. One very important con is can you migrate your site somewhere else when you have built it, the answer for many hosts is no or not without a fee. So beware. Another thing to be aware of is the way the finished site is coded. They nearly always write your site with code bloat, that is there are so many calls to scripts and inserts that sometimes 90% of the page is useless code and 10% is the actual search-able content. This is not good if you want your site to do well in search results.
There are other ways to make your life easier and one is the What You See Is What You Get editors. Some are free and these are the only ones I would recommend you to try. Try Kompozer. I have found it quite easy to work with and useful to develop styles like fonts and size. You can also view the source to see what is happening when you change something in design view, which is worth doing as it will help your coding skills. It is free, will work on Windows, Mac and of course Linux.
Handy Code Editors
There are two code editors I like, free of course Aptana and Bluefish. Blue fish I have used for a very long time so I am quite fast with it now as I have memorized all the short cut keys, this is the editor I use for my web-development work. Aptana is also very good but I have more experience with Bluefish and we do tend to favour what we know even if another is just as good or better.
Getting your files on the web.
If you are building your files on your computer as opposed to working with a website builder you will need some way of transferring files. Some host offer the ability to upload files from their Cpanel but you will eventually need to use an FTP File Transfer Protocol program one such is FileZilla This is a very easy and fast program once you have given it the right details and password, your host will help you with this.