The minefield that is website creation

 Building a website is confusing, there are many different directions to take.

Building a website is confusing, there are many different directions to take.

“I love the sound of what you do, do you have a blog?” “Why don’t you blog that.” “That sounds like a great expedition, do you have a website?” “Have you got a gallery on your website?” “Can I find you on Instagram?”  “What’s your twitter handle?” “Can I book you on your website?” Ahhhhhhhh…Does this sound familiar to you?

 

So for years now I have been meaning to create a website. Somewhere to actually explain what I do and who I am; to be honest my job is confusing. I cant keep up with it most of the time; my family and friends are lagging behind, therefore the general public when they ask about my job I can see them walking away scratching there heads and thinking that sounds cool but I don’t really get it.

 

The creation of a website has been on my list of things to do for probably the best part of 4years. It kept getting put to the bottom of the list or even being crossed out as I thought I didn’t need one. I didn’t really need one at the time. I started to think about what was stopping me creating a website; the bottom line was that I was petrified. Petrified of what I don’t really know. I am a complete technophobe and I did not know where to start to create a website. I looked at other peoples; all types of people, chefs, adventures, sports personalities, and bloggers. They all seemed to be amazing, all so slick and sorted. I don’t remember any being rubbish. Mine would obviously be rubbish and who would want to read it anyway? So my website was never created.

 

So what changed? I have a website. Who will read it I don’t know, what I do know was once I sought out some advice and had a 100% reason to create a website it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Yes, still bone shakingly petrifying; pressing that ‘Live’ button made me feel physically nauseous but after that button was pressed the relief was immense. I have now thought how appropriate it would be for my first blog post to help others create a website if they want to and give them some steps to make it easier and hopefully not feel as sick as I did just thinking about it.

 

The main reason for me to create my website was to provide information about my 2018 challenge - thirty4thirty. Then I thought I might as well combine it with a website about myself like so many people had asked for in the past.

 

So here you go some advice and thoughts I have had whilst creating my website:

 

1.     WHY?

Think about why are you creating the website? Is it for business or to sell things, a blog, show photos you have taken, promote yourself. The reasons are endless to be honest, these days there seems to be a website for absolutely anything!

2.     WHO

Who are you creating the website for? Again is it just for you, for friends, family, for everyone, old, young, a certain profession?

3.     ASK

Ask people for advice and help. I for a long time refused to ask about it, thinking I would sound stupid or incompetent. You will have friends or know someone who has created a website before. Ask them for advice or guidance, people will be happy to help. I actually got in contact with a lady called Adelaide Goodeve (www.adelaidegoodeve.com) who gave me the advice and confidence I needed just to go for it. If you have no one you think could help you, give her a shout.

 

Right, you now at the point where you are ramped up to create a website. This is where I kind of stopped in my tracks. I was still scared because where do I start? There are many different website building platforms out there. I used Square-Space but there are loads. Seek out others to see what is available.

 

Sorry if I am teaching anyone to suck eggs here but if I had the following information it would have really help be not be so dazzled!

 

So at this point you can have a free website building trial, normally for up to two weeks. This is where you can try the templates and see if you can get to grips with how to put everything together. At this point I was already amazed at how intuitive I found it all to be.  

 

However, before this can all begin you have to ‘buy’ a domain name. This is the name of your website. I had not even thought about this! So it would be something like www.???.com www.???.co.uk www.???.org www.???.eu those options would be open to you but think of the website name. This will come at a price of £16 approximately per year. For the trail you wont have to pay but your card details will be held until after the trail and you accept the website builder or not.

 

4.     RESEARCH

Look at others peoples websites, look at website that would be similar to yours. Work out what you like about them. I made notes of things I liked and wanted and things I didn’t. I got a big piece of paper and drew what I wanted the home page and headings to be.

 

I then realized I need to have content to fill it. This only began to fall into place when I worked out the titles to the pages I wanted. I created a file of photos I wanted to use and then the writing that went with them flowed out more easily. I think at this point it all seems very daunting and you have lots of things you feel are important. Just keep writing and keep making notes. None of the content is permanent so it can be adapted and changed when you like.

 

5.     DEADLINE

Have a deadline either in your head or publically that you want the website to go ‘live’ by. This really helped me to focus and it also made me realize it does not have to be perfect it just needs to be out there. I can change it as much as I fancy, add things, take things away or just completely start again!

 

6.     TIME

If you have the time put 3 days aside to create your website. One day for the research and getting the domain name sorted. Day two, to create the content and organize then day three for putting it all together. Believe me I was not stuck at my desk for 8 hours per day for those three days but it did alleviate the pressure or creating it around loads of other commitments.

 

There are many other things you can do to get your website known, link it to your social media sites and also create an email address solely for your website; this does make it look more professional, I did this through G-suite but again it cost you £3.30 per month. All these little things add up weigh up the pros and cons of having these things.

 

Right, the website is now created or your trial time is up. The website can now go live! Scary hey? Well at this point you need to give the web creator permission to continue with the website and it will no longer be a free trail. Each website cost about £10 per month. More money! Way hey, you are up and running.

 

I hope this has been useful to some people, I know that if I had some of this information before I started I would have felt a lot more calm and I wouldn’t have thought I was being ripped off with all of these monthly payments being taken! I am sure to others it hasn’t been useful what so ever; but if you are thinking of creating a website my advice is don’t think too much about it, just go for it. The website can always be changed, adapted or worst case cancelled so you never have to see it again. Just weigh up the pros and the cons of having a website and what you will actually gain from having one.

 

I know doing it myself rather than getting a web designer to do it has saved me money, I have learnt LOADS, I feel really proud of myself and I am in complete control of what happens to my website and what goes onto it.

 

Happy website building everyone! Just to balance it all out – make sure you get outside and get some fresh air and exercise!