Building a Website

As a freelance web developer I get approached frequently with proposals from different people to build a website for them.  Often these people are pretty novice to the whole concept of what it takes to build a website and generally think it is far more complicated than it is.  Below I’ve included a breakdown of the basic things you’ll need  to have or consider when creating a website

  • A domain name – this is one of the first things you’ll need, it’s the URL address for where your website will live.  For example, the domain name for this website is www.brittnyhansen.com or www.techiechic.net depending on how you got here.  You can purchase multiple domain names and they will typically go for about $10/year.  Generally you want to keep this as simple as possible so that it’s easy for people to remember and something they would likely guess if they didn’t know your domain name off the top of their head.
  • Web hosting – Generally you have a third party host your website.  This means that they will maintain the computer that will house all of the files that make up your website.  Your web host is in charge of making sure that your website is available to the internet and giving you access to change your files and all sorts of good stuff.  There are more web hosting companies out there than I care to think about but my personal favorite is DreamHost.  Their basic package costs $8.95/month (generally paid up front for a  year or more) and has everything you could want in a web hosting service and more.  They are slightly pricier than options like GoDaddy, but worth every penny in my opinion.
  • Site design – this is the actual layout and graphics that make up your site.  Basically the artistic elements that people will see on your site.  Depending on your budget there are some places to get a nice looking site design for as low as $25 on sites such as http://www.4templates.com/.  On the other hand if you want a really nice custom design can  run more in the thousands of dollars.  There are two parts of the design.  The first is getting a designer who will create the design (note: this is NOT me) and basically create a picture file of what the website should look like.  Then you get a web developer (this is someone like me) who can code that design into a website format.
  • Content – All of the pictures, videos, text etc that you would like to post on your site.  You can write up the content yourself or hire a professional copy writer to write it all out.  I provide some copy writing services however I have no professional training in this field, just an appreciation for the power of words gained through lots of reading, editing and my Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics 🙂
  • Social Media – Services like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook are becoming a more and more prevalent part of people’s lives.  It is generally wise to link your website to any sort of social media services you are involved in as it gives your internet presence some connectivity. If you already have accounts set up on these sites I can just link them up for you or I can set you up with whichever ones you would like if that intimidates you 🙂