Before Creating A Website
What the sales copy doesn’t tell you.
Website Creating the Inside View
The inside of a website isn’t mysterious, it’s just an organized content management system that operates when you know the commands. All software works this way. Once you know how to operate it, the mystique disappears.
The problem with creating a website; the initial information before setup.
It’s true anyone can create a website. This is usually the developer or the designer’s territory. But now website software is built for the user as well. There are two ways to go about creating a website, have someone create the website for you, or create it yourself.
Now not everyone likes to do it themselves. Whichever way you want to create your website you still need the foundational knowledge before the website is created. The foundational knowledge is the inside view, it’s not the sales view, but the information you wish you’d had before the startup that you now have to undo.
If you haven’t started a website don’t jump into the first easy-to-use, free, website… here’s the foundational knowledge based on my experience buildling websites since 2006.
The foundational knowledge is the know-how-it-works. This is what the advertising doesn’t tell you, and what you find out after you’ve bought into the freebie website with ads. Or worse still, your website just crashed because there’s insufficient memory to properly display the website.
This website is powered by WordPress. You’ve no doubt heard about other software for a website, Wix or Squarespace. Wix is a free software with ads, but if you need your own domain name or want to do business online, you’ll need to upgrade to one of the plans. The least expensive plan without any ads is $13 per month. This plan gives the website 3GB storage. This isn’t enough memory space for a website.
The same is true for a WordPress website hosted on WordPress.com. WordPress.com also requires an upgrade to remove ads from the website. You don’t want to have ads on your website. That’s the problem with free, it means use someone else’s platform and live with features not needed. Why would you advertise your competition? They pay for their advertisement to be on your website because it’s a relevant match advertisement.
- WordPress 64.1%
- WooCommerce 15.5%
- Wix 2.3%
- Weebly 1.6%
- Squarespace 1.5%
Source: W3Techs, 2021
WordPress is used by 39.5% of all sites on the web.
Before you take the time to read make sure the information is current. Check the date, last year’s information is considered current. If you can’t find a date the information is most probably ‘evergreen’ meaning it might be factual and doesn’t go out of date. But even the ‘evergreen’ article will at some point be outdated.
Tech information on the Internet isn’t always updated and revised, unless the owner of the website is meticulous and cares enough about the content on their website to be current and not outdated.
The fast pace of uploading and publishing content is always going to be at top speed. Don’t be in a hurry to jump at the nearest cheap bottom line price. The website you create should be long-term. You want your presence on the web to generate business. For this you need a professional website that will accommodate the growth you envision for your company, or as an individual practitioner.
- Website Software
- A Professional Website
- Website Theme Choice
- Website Hosting
- Have to know code.
- Free website
- Discontinued Theme
- Cheap Hosting
The truth of this is in the usage. The best website software to use is WordPress, this is based on my experience using the Blogger software, the Microsoft Small Business Software (now discontinued). WordPress came out the winner having the most flexible layout and I didn’t need to know code to use it. The WordPress core software is provided by a reputable Hosting Company. WordPress is the remarkable invention of co-founders Matt Mullenweg and David Little. WordPress started as a fork from b2cafelog a blogging software that needed improving. They modified the software so well that it grew to become the most used software for a blog and a website.
The WordPress core is open source software. Developers from all over the world contribute to the code. The result is a versatile software with the flexibility to add functions as needed. WordPress has created a higher standard for websites. This is good news because this is exactly what you want for your website. Longevity and flexibility. WordPress is not going to suddenly be discontinued and they won’t raise the price and make it proprietary code.
When a software creates an environment where everyone benefits from it’s use, the developer, the designer, and the user, then it stands out and this is why 64.1% of websites are powered by WordPress as opposed to 2.3% by Wix.
Large Corporations, Governments, Educational Institutions, Schools, Restaurants, Individuals, Businesses, Entrepreneurs, Individuals, all use WordPress for their website.
Adding to the excellence of WordPress is the availability of Plugins. A plugin is designed by a 3rd party developer and if it passes the grade is offered in the WordPress Plugin Repository. If you’re serious about doing business online you will need a profressional website.
A Professional Website
Premade Theme Layout
Designers and Developers use this Theme. Anyone can create a website using this theme. You don’t have to know how to code to create your website.
There are 125+ Premade Theme Layouts designed by Elegant Themes designers. Using these layouts is like hiring a professional designer. Even if you’re a total beginner you can create a professional website.
The Divi Theme is the world’s most used Theme, and has the flexibility to style a website to suit the subject without emptying your wallet.
The WordPress core software is the shell onto which a Theme is built. The Theme is the decoration or style relating to a subject or topic. Today the WordPress Theme market is saturated with every kind of theme you can think of. The technology of website styles changes all the time. What looked good in the 1990’s doesn’t look good in 2020.
WordPress recently rocked the boat and introduced a new Classic Editor. The section where you input the content that goes onto the web page. The introduction of the Gutenberg Block Editor is the biggest change WordPress has made since it was launched in 2003. The result is now what is called a Block Editor, or Page Builder system to help you put content onto the page.
Themes styled with the earlier Classic Editor are now outdated and will cause the website to operate on an older version of WordPress. Theme developers will need to update their themes or discontinue that theme. This is a definite consideration before you use the inexpensive theme that you found on the web. Is it compatible with the most current version of WordPress 5.3.2? Updates to the WordPress core softwear happen regularly. In a few months WordPress will be up to 5.3.3.
There will always be an updated or improved version particularly with a website. Always make sure you can update the Theme and WordPress when needed. An outdated website will be hacked and this is what you don’t want to experience. Once a website is hacked, it’s dropped from the search engine. The website will then take a long time to get back into the good graces of the search engine.
Best Practice: always use an updated version of WordPress and WordPress Theme.
You want a theme that keeps pace with WordPress. Not only do they keep pace with WordPress but they integrated their unique Page Builder into the Gutenberg Block system. This theme is the Divi Theme.
The Divi Theme
The Divi Theme is your creative partner working by your side as you come to know how the sections, rows, and modules work. You are using one of the most used themes in the world. Even the designers and developers use this theme. The Divi Theme has built-in styling features and you can add content directly onto the page using the advanced Visual Builder.
Whenever there is an excellent product there are always those that will downgrade the product, claiming it’s slow and has too many things wrong with it. This is professional jealousy. The person, feeling the competition, criticizes the product with the intent to purposefully misinform you, so you’ll buy their product instead.
Are You Hands On?
As the owner of a website you need to decide how hands on you want to be with the website.
You might not have the time to do this yourself, in that case you should have your site managed by someone, and be prepared to pay them for this service. The back end site management is called site maintenance. The front end of the site management is called front end where you add content to the site. This is the part you should operate as the owner of a website.
The front end has a learning curve, as with anything we use, we have to learn how it works first. With the Divi Theme you have full control over the front end and you’ll be able to change an image, add content, and if you want, change a style.
Not having to use code is the best way to create a website. Website code runs in the background while you’re using it on the front end. If there’s a problem with the code, you initiate the built-in support ticket and the tech support developers fix it for you. This is how it should be.
Code is complicated, and unless it is your passion… don’t mess with it.
No one likes learning something by themselves. This is why YouTube is so popular. Whenever we want to know how to do something, we search for a video on YouTube.
But you can’t ask the video questions. You can ask questions if you have someone teach you. You can have one-on-one training with a Divi enthusiast, and learn to create a website using Divi.
Where toHostYour Website?
The answer to this question depends on who you talk to.
The Hosting Company is one of the most important choices you will need to make. It’s the second most important thing next to the domain name of the website.
The cPanel or Back End
This is where you will manage your website. Not the WordPress login to the live site but the back end of the website where it sits on the Hosting Company servers. Your website will be on a shared server, unless you’re a large operation and have a dedicated server for the website.
The Back End or cPanel, as it is named by some Hosting Companies, is not complex, but it is unfamiliar. Developers are at home in the cPanel because they deal with the FTP (file transfer protocol) and generally manage the back end of the website.
If you’re not familiar with FTP protocol, subdomain management, memory upgrade, and SSL certificate instillation… then you will need tech support.
If you like doing this yourself, you will be able to find your way around the Back End. Some Hosting Companies have customized this area and it is now easier to use to manage your website. If you run into a problem you don’t want to change or delete files in the database.
What you need is a Hosting Company with reliable tech support, and at all hours of the day and night. When something goes wrong you need to fix it as soon as possible. Downtime means loss of business and reputation. If you’re operating an online business this is what you don’t need.
How much web space does the Hosting Company provide? This ranges from 3 GB to 10 GB. Obviously 3 is less than 10, you do not want to be limited in the amount of web space and 3 GB is not sufficient space.
Website software is continuously upgraded, improved, and debugged. No software works perfectly all the time. But when you need to press the Update button you don’t want a server error message telling you there is insufficient memory to support the update of the Theme.
An outdated Theme and WordPress version is a website ready to be hacked!
Reliable Tech Support
Depending on the Hosting Company you’ll get variations. In some cases there will be an extra charge for tech support. In most cases though the tech support is built into the monthly amount with Hosting fees.
How do you know if the tech support is any good?
Ask around and people will tell you of their experience. Since Hosting Companies are essential to having a website, you’ll get instant feedback.
Hosting recommendations provided are based on my using those services. I’m so satisfied with their service I am part of their Affiliate program.
Three Different Kinds ofWebsite Hosting
DIY means do it yourself. A developer builds a theme on their computer, with special software, and then uses FTP (file transfer protocol) to upload the Theme to the Host server files. All the files in a website are stored in a database.
If you’re not hands on this is a good hosting option. For a fee, the Hosting Company maintains your website, keeping it up to date, and fixing any issues that might occur. Managed Hosting Company I recommend.WordSpaces
Some DIY + Tech Support
This type of Hosting is good if you want to manage the basics such as email setup and forwarding, but you don’t want to go into the database and root directories. Some DIY+Tech Support, I recommend.SiteGround
Website Software – WordPress
Professional Website – Premade Layout Pack
Website Theme Choice – the Divi Theme
Website Hosting – do it yourself, managed hosting, do-it-yourself with tech support.
The website journey is like a roadmap, you have to follow the road to reach your destination. You can go cross-country, but the terrain is more difficult and might not reach the desired destination. In this case your destination is a website.
No one ever got anywhere without knowing where they were going. With the inside view, you’re now able to decide how you’re going to create your website.