Are you eager to build your own website ... or does the
mere thought of it bring you out in a cold sweat?
worry about it right now because there are way's that
you can have your very own website that do not involve you
actually building it yourself from scratch!
said that, it is very satisfying if you do manage to
build it yourself and it's really not that difficult
once you know how!
Designing Your Own Website
first rule is Take
your Time ... despite what you may have read such
as "... you can have your site up and running in
10 minutes ..." (or something similar)
- this does NOT apply to a website built on solid
foundations and run under your control!
If you are running a business, your site must
look professional so do not rush it ... OR use a quick
fix method! You want your website to
enhance your business - not damage it - so bear in mind
that a badly designed website is worse than not having
one at all!
want their own website for a variety of reasons - it
could be for personal / family use or even a non-profit
making venture or charitable use - but at the moment we
are talking here, primarily, for business use.
have to decide what
you want your website for - for
example, maybe you want it for:
your offline business
the web as your online "business card"
or "brochure" to attract customers to
your "offline" business)
that can be ordered and paid for over the
internet but will require shipping to the
(products that the customer can purchase and
download straight away from your site)
(like Web Hosting, Automation, Tracking
etc. ... (or even Web Design!))
Affiliate programs /
(where you send the customer to the site owner
of the products, services or affiliate program that you are
course, there may be other reasons why you want a
website - but, in general, most "business
reasons" will fall into one of the above arguments.
is Required of You
- visualize your product, decide on a color that
will blend with your product's identity, think
about any images you want to use, whether you're
going to use a background color, background image,
or leave it plain white - and don't forget about your logo and your
you get stuck, spend some time looking at
different websites and make notes of one's that
visually appeal to you to give you some ideas
for the layout.
Abilities - a
organized to enable the viewer to click on an
internal link and be taken to a particular page
that they are interested in. This is
called "navigation". In order to
obtain this, your pages must be structured in an
on how to structure your website building
project can be found in our publication Website
and Perseverance - building
your first website from scratch is not
a quick job and can even become quite
frustrating at times - especially when something doesn't work
quite right the first time (or second, third,
fourth or fifth time!!) - however, providing you
stick with it, once your site is up and running you'll
get great satisfaction knowing YOU created your
As I've already said, building a website from scratch is not for everyone -
you have to learn about using a text/HTML editor (this
is the best way for a DIY beginner), learn how to create
tables, forms and navigation, learn all about
images, image types and positioning - then there's
the keywords, meta tags and SEO (stands for Search Engine
Optimization) ... yes - there's a LOT of
learning to do and it sure isn't geared towards the
So what's the alternative?
you would like to design your own site but feel you
haven't got the knowledge to do your layout, there are
companies that specialize in selling Ready Made
Templates - these templates are blanks (this means
"no content") and,
if you choose wisely, they can be a very good way of
getting a professional looking site base in which to
house your own content.
give you a starting point for your site - and
potentially could eliminate around a fifth of your
work load in getting a site up and running - but don't forget the content has to be added along with the
Some templates can be downloaded so
you can fill in the content from your own computer, but
others only work from the template creators / suppliers
website. This means you have to connect to their site to do
everything you want to do, every time you want to do
it. Call costs and tied up telephone line connections may be
a problem for some.
more information on working with templates in our publication
Design Madezi and there's also our own free
templates which you
right now if you're raring to get started.
Ready Made Affiliate Sites
sites are simply "self replicated" web sites
which often come as part of a sign up package with another
company to sell another companies products, usually
through an Affiliate
that you sign up for are absolutely identical to, not only the one you signed up from, but also to everybody
else's that have signed up just like you - so take a
guess at how many sites are out there that all look the
you stand a chance with these? - hmmm ...
Web Designers abilities, services and prices vary widely, just
like any other profession - and there a lot to choose from - so how do you make a wise choice?
First of all, determine which category your site will fall into
- personal, commercial, retail ... or even charitable ... and check out the designers that
specialize in your particular category.
Secondly, decide what you want to achieve
- for example, if your site is a store front then you will probably need
a shopping cart. If it is an information site with either single items
or, indeed, nothing to sell at all, a shopping cart would be useless to
You don't have to know how
things, like a shopping cart for instance, actually work
- just be clear in your mind what you will really need so that you are not talked
into paying for something you don't require!
- The whole technical concept of your website building will be done for you so you
should end up with a site which is both user friendly and search engine
- Take care if your requirements are for a business site, particularly
if you deal in a specialized field. A designer will not know the
technicalities of what you do, so you will have to be very very precise
over the content.
- Actual cost must certainly be levied against your own time costs on
this one - depending on your requirements as outlined above (i.e.
versus "information" sites) the cost could be prohibitive.
cannot tell you what each individual designer will ask you for in terms
of information about your product, service, content etc. for your site as
every company works differently -
but if you'd like to get a rough idea of some of the things you'll
probably be asked for , fill in our own Website
Design form (with no obligation!) and I'll send you our design
you are going down this route, I would advise you, most definitely,
to spend some time in performing
comparisons on several web designers before making your final decision -
once you've got our design information sheet you'll be
able to ask your chosen designers the same questions -
that way you'll be judging like for like so you'll
easily see how similar - or widely differing -
individual web design companies can be!
check out their portfolios of websites they've designed
for others to see how unique and inspired they are - in
fact, why not check out our own website
design gallery while you're here!
A Few Words of
If you are building your first site, be prepared for an element
of frustration - there will invariably be times when you'll know in your
mind what you want to do - but getting it to actually work can seem
elusive - if such a situation arises you can always use our Helping
Hand Design Service.
No matter what the content of your site, or whether you are
instructing a professional designer, using templates for your layout or
building from scratch ....there is one very important issue to remember
Lose Sight of Your Finished Site!
In other words, choose your site theme and stick to it - don't
be tempted to diversify. Once this happens you can kiss goodbye to
success - you'll get low ratings with the search engines and you'll not
only confuse your visitors - you will lose them - for good!
If You're Really Serious
about making your Internet Business a Success,
look at our very own publication
of our "Madezi" publications are aimed at
beginners, and this one's no different - we cover every
aspect of Website Design from the blank page that you
start with - right through to the completed design.
We tell you about
fundamentals of design, page
layouts, tables, basic HTML,
keywords, content, color,
images and graphics,
site structure ... ...
we even show you an easy, foolproof way to
create your own header and logo! Check
it out here