Monday, May 12, 2014

278- How to Build Any Website

A website is like a plot of land in the vast universe of the Internet, akin to real estate upon which you can build ceaselessly with the sky as your limit. Your domain name, a.k.a. the URL, is the address to this virtual real estate, and visiting this location requires nothing from the viewer but typing in that address and hitting enter.

How to Build Any Website

The best part is, there's bajillions of plots in the infinite undiscovered abyss of the World Wide Web, waiting for adventurous souls like you to stake a claim and start something! I bet you're telling yourself, "Easier said than done!" right now, am I right? So the question is, how do you go about crafting a webpage of your own?

Luckily, there exists many sites and services out there to build, or assist you in building, a website. Of course, taking this route means that you will have to relinquish some control of your site to the builder app, but it's by far the most solid option for beginners trying to get a foothold in the digital world. You may even come to find that builder apps and services are actually more suited to your style!

Method #1: Website Building Services

When it comes to site builders, there's an impressively diverse number of services to choose from. You also have to decide whether or not you want to build something like a blog, which is usually quite personal and sees content added post by post on a regular basis, or something more like a regular, static site, which is updated at your discretion. Once you've figured out the format, you can pick the site builder you want to use:


For those who wish to start a blog, check out WordPress and Blogger. Advanced bloggers will find working with WordPress best, thanks to a plethora of options available. Customization on WordPress can be quite in-depth, though that sort of serious precision will require some learning or experience. For the unitiated, WordPress works on two basic elements, the first being themes, and the second being plugins.

Themes on WordPress can be installed at the click of your mouse, changing the entire look and feel of your page. There is a fairly wide variety of free themes to choose from, and you can always opt-in for premium templates for a fee. To expand on these themes and templates, however, you will need to utilize the plugin system. Tens of thousands of plugins exist, from nav bars to page optimization to user databases -- you name it, there's probably a plugin for it.

For total newbies, or those people who don't want to deal with complicated design tools, Blogger is by far the preferable choice. Owned and run by the good people at Google, the Blogger service can put a respectable site online in a few minutes, and you can tweak the design to your preferences. Crafty users will find lots of useful tools and settings in the "Layout" and "Template" sections, like changing the background to a custom image or choosing a different font design/size.


To build a regular website that you update at your discretion, take a look at You will find that Webs is one of the most versatile and popular site builders out today, used by everyone from kids in their moms' basements to professional business entities. If you want simple, you got it -- but sites on Webs can also be finely tuned to your needs. Best of all, much of their services are free, though you can always pay a rather small fee to get exclusive tools.

If doesn't really fit your type, then try Weebly. This free online website creator utilizes easy, drag-and-drop design tools to put your site together in no time. Just choose the widget you want to add, and then drag it to where you want it to be on your site. Customize to your liking, and that's all there is to it. This simplicity is exactly why so many users have been coming to Weebly to publish their websites.

Lastly on our list of website builders is, which is a cloud-based site builder that also makes good use of drag-and-drop tools. doesn't have as many free options as its counterparts, opting instead for premium options that allow many of its users to put together top-grade sites. This site builder is based on HTML5, but you don't need to know a single line of code to get a professional website running (which is a pretty sweet deal).

Method #2: Learn To Code!

"Learn to code? Are you cra--" Now hold on, before you call me crazy, let me just say that you don't have to go to some internet college to get a degree in computer science, or even really learn advanced coding. Hell, you don't even have to learn more than one or two languages if you use the right tools. If you're willing to fork up a small payment for domain name and web hosting services (e.g., something like GoDaddy or HostGator), you can just build the site yourself.

The best part of learning to code is that all of the tools are free, thanks to the open-source nature of true 'code monkeys.' Even the most cursory Google search will turn up resources by the thousands, but here's one reliable and professional source:, which has a learning path for HTML and CSS (the languages most used in site building). If you get even a reasonable grasp of HTML alone, you will find that making simple pages is a breeze.

CSS in addition serves to improve your page's styling. If you want to design your page, you're going to need to learn CSS. Luckily, both HTML and CSS are easy languages to learn, and you can get going in a relatively short period of time. As always though, practice makes perfect, so spend time working on your coding skills to make a truly great site!

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