There are an estimated 650 million websites in the world. Why wouldn't you have yours too? It is still easier said than done despite the many tools available today that offer to help you to design, build, upload and activate yours in minutes, with no previous experience required what's more.
From the early days of
There are stages to having a website up and running from scratch, however simple the site may be. You first need to design and build the site using software tools. You also need to have a domain name (www.mysite.com for example) ready, and you must have space hosting available too before you finally upload and activate the site, making it available for the whole world to see and enjoy.
Most online services will easily take you through all these stages. Some of the big host servers' names such as GoDaddy will even offer you to buy a domain name and web space in one single, streamlined process.
This is where the easy part ends.
Many think that a simple personal website is the equivalent of a business card on the Internet. It is not. The very nature of the contents you publish on the web is a very dynamic one, requiring continuous update, renovation, etc. You simply cannot leave a website for a long period in the same shape and state you first built it.
The frequency of change is variable, from a few minutes for websites with breaking news contents to a few weeks for others. But a site that remains as is for say a year or more sends the wrong signal to a reader. If you know in advance that you won't have the time to update your website every now and then, or have no one to do it for you, or find it a daunting task, it may be wiser not to start it at all.
Updating the contents is what makes the entire process not as simple as one might think. Beginners often think that to update a personal website they can just go back to the drawing board and redesign if not all at least part of their site. This is the wrong way to do it. It's slow, time consuming and would fail in the end. You can't just update a picture or a text by redoing the page where they are placed; it would be a pure waste of time and tantamount to reinventing the wheel each time.
The answer is found in what professionals call the concept of Contents Management Systems (CMS). The software manages your website contents. Once designed the site can be easily updated by using a CMS through simple commands and functions. Want to replace this photo on page 3? Run the CMS and it will do it for you.
Systems like WordPress have recently gained huge popularity because, precisely, they don't just provide tools for creating websites but also provide tools for updating and maintaining them. Over the last four to five years the entire process of website creation has been streamlined. You don't imagine a website today like you would do it in 2005, for instance. Things have changed and for the better. The need to work quickly and painlessly has led to the development of several excellent software tools like WordPress.
Some are easier to learn and operate than others but most are simple enough not to necessitate a degree in computer science or graphic design, or to master all about web hosting, IP addresses and intricate networking settings. They are made for all those who are motivated to go ahead and create simple but nice websites and to keep them updated and well maintained at all times with as little effort as possible.
To name only a few and to whet the reader's appetite, we can mention Drupal, Joomla and WebsiteBaker. But WordPress would probably be the friendliest!
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