October 8, 2009
Knowing how to make a website is essential if you want to make a website, either for business or just for fun. There are many sites online that will explain to you how to do so, but few of them offer a good solution for a beginner. They all seem to need some form of pre-knowledge of many of the factors involved, and they make it look a lot easier than it actually is.
Sure, anybody can create a website that looks passable, but how do you make a website work for you to make money or to get visitors? These are the two reasons for anybody making a website. No matter who you are, or what the site is to be used for, it will meet one of these two criteria.
First it must get visitors: otherwise there is no point in having one. Even if you just want the site to run your hobby, or keep in contact with your family (better with Facebook!), people have to visit. If you also want to make money from it, then you still need visitors, but you have to persuade them to buy. That means keeping in touch with them: you have to collect the names and email addresses of your visitors and then keep in touch with them, making them special offers, providing information, until they eventually buy.
It takes the average person 7 – 8 exposures to your product before they decide to buy it. That’s what advertising is all about: to get these exposures until the prospect finally makes a purchase. However, back to the website.
Most sites that show you how to make a website don’t tell you that once you create a website you have to make it work. It’s like buying a car. You don’t just buy a car, sit in it, and it takes you to where you want to go like a cab does. You have to learn how to drive it. Once you have learned, then you can drive it. However a website is not like that even. Why Not? Because it doesn’t come with all the bits and pieces needed to make it work. These are extras!
Here are the things you need to make your website work to make money for you:
A Web Host The host provides you with the web space for your site. That’s just like a large directory on which you can place your files, such as your web pages, graphics files, products and so on. Your host also provides the means by which you can connect to the World Wide Web.
A Domain Name Your domain name is the name of your website: the bit that comes after http://www. You need it before you can create a website and put it on the web. You can choose from those still available, and then register them with the DNS (Domain Name Service). Your domain name will cost you around $10 a year – you never own it, you just hire it with first refusal every year, though you can pay for it for some years in advance. You will also need keyword software to enable you to choose the best domain name for your site.
Site Building Software You will need an HTML text editor. HTML is the language used to make a website what it is, and most HTML editors offer wysiwyg functionality, so you don’t have to know HTML, and just type in what you want. However, if you want to link to other pages on your site or to other websites, or if you want to add graphics and anything else other than plain text, you will need to know some HTML.
Email Service You will need an eMail service with your site. Nobody will buy from you if you are using a free eMail service to run your website!
Autoresponders Unless you want to be writing and sending eMails manually all your life you will need software that can do it for you. An autoresponder can send an email to people requesting information, take orders, deliver orders for electronically deliverable goods, send invoices and receipts, thank you notes and acknowledgements, and also parts of weekly or monthly courses you might provide to your subscribers, who will hopefully become customers.
Shopping Cart If you are selling goods, even eBooks or software, you will have to provide a means for a customer to order them. You will also need a product catalogue if you sell more than one item.
Payment Processor You will require a means of accepting credit and debit card payments. If you can’t do that, then shut up shop now and don’t even start.
Traffic Analysis You will need software to analyze your traffic and find out what your most popular pages are, what keywords bring most visitors and what pages most visitors leave from without buying. You can them improve these pages to keep visitors on your website where you want them.
Other Software Other software or tasks needed to create a website that works properly include Search Engine Optimization, to make sure your web pages are listed as high as possible on Google and other search engines and once you become more advanced, audio and video software to jazz up your website, graphics software, a blog to market your website and a lot more.
All of these are essentials that you will have to purchase and will have to learn how to use when you set out to create a website. It is possible to get free versions with your cheaper websites and hosting services, but some of these can lack the functionality to make them look really professional and persuade people to buy from you or continue to visit your site.
If that all frightens you then you are right to be scared, because you are going to have to learn how to use them all. However, there is an answer that can allow you to avoid all these, because there are systems online that offer you a website with all of these extras integrated with it. Some are truly integrated with the site so that all you need do is to add the text, while others offer all of these components for you to use to make a website, but you have to learn how each is used separately.
While the latter offers you more latitude in your website design and functionality, the former allows you to create a website from scratch without knowing the first thing about the subject. With these, you can make a website by choosing templates and filling in the blanks. A bit like painting by numbers really!
Peter Nisbet – If you are interested in making your own website, examples of each of these two different ways of making it easier for yourself are offered on How to Start a Website . Although easy to use, they provide you with a very professional looking highly functional website that thousands have used to make their fortunes.