Sod and sand have been replaced with digits and dials. Shopkeepers no longer build businesses from brick and mortar; they construct stores using URLs, FTP and markup languages. The internet has become the new grounds for corporate homesteading; it is the new business downtown. However, like the art of building houses, building websites requires a proficient and practiced hand. Otherwise, the end result is unstable, precarious, and likely somewhat odd-looking. But not everyone has the time or tools to become a master craftsman. For those who need to create web pages fast but find themselves without shovel or spade, here is a how-to article to alleviate the headaches and create web pages fast.
What’s Your Type?
Web sites and web pages fall into three main categories: business, interactive, and presentation. Each type requires its own design, files, languages and protocols.
Business websites are designed to sell a product or service. They typically include a structured hierarchy of web pages, a process called pyramiding, which creates a conversion path for customers. The end goal of the conversion path is a sale. Usually, business websites include a balance of static content, e.g., a sales pitch, and interactive programs, e.g., an e-commerce widget.
Interactive websites provide a service that requires input from a visitor. Examples include gaming websites, tax preparation websites and collegiate financial aid calculator web pages. Developing these sites requires advanced computer acumen.
Presentation websites are the most popular. Blogs, newspapers and interest forums are all presentation websites, which use mainly static or synergistic content. These websites may be based on nothing more than HTML, an English-based computer markup language easily learned within a few weeks.
Why are these categories important? Because a “newb” – condescending professional slang for one uneducated in computer protocols – has a snowball’s chance in hell to create an interactive website without expert assistance. On the other hand, a motivated entrepreneur can create web pages fast for a simple, non-pyramided presentation website. Identify which type of web page needs to be built, and then choose between the following options.
Drag-and-drop website builders (aka, WYSIWYG “What You See Is What You Get) let users create websites as if they were painting a picture. Users start from a blank canvas and add text boxes, images, widgets, multimedia and other elements per preference. Drag-and-drop builders are extremely easy to manipulate and customize. Many of them are available for free so long as banner advertisements are displayed on the web pages. However, some people may not want any advertisements on their pages. Also, customizability is limited. Perfect for presentation websites and some simple business websites, drag-and-drop builders are god sends to the newb, but may not be sufficient for creating an intricate, large or demanding web site.
Many creative-minded people recoil at the idea of pre-designed template; shouldn’t a web page be unique and artistic? Yes, thus, pre-designed templates. With the tens of thousands available templates, individuality is a guarantee, and many may be aesthetically customized via CSS for the computer-inclined. Pre-fabricated templates also avoid design mistakes common to exclusive websites. They are time-tested warriors of the internet terrain. Liked drag-and-drop builders, pre-designed templates are a dime a dozen or even free. Besides the addition of text and limited multimedia, however, templates offer little customizability. They are fabulous solutions for any size and type of presentation website.
Group or Forum
Rather than erecting a lone shack in the middle of a desert, why not dwell in an apartment with company? One can create web pages fast by joining a larger website and feeding off the efforts of the group. There are two primary ways of doing so.
The first technique is to claim a subdomain. Ever see a URL that looked like www.myfamily.familieseverywhere.com? The main site is www.familieseverywhere.com; the myfamily bit is a subdomain, a virtual leased apartment. Using a subdomain is usually much cheaper than owning one’s own domain name; it may even be gratis – por favor. Main domains can lease a large number of subdomains to different users. On the downside, a subdomain is generally less visible and memorable than a main domain. Be prepared to sacrifice some visibility for the extra pocketbook savings and design simplicity.
The second method is to join a forum. These websites do not offer subdomains. Rather, they present users their own page or two to do with what they will – in effect, one page websites. These are great solutions for presentation web pages concerned with temporary events or single-thesis topics. Often free, these web pages can be easily deleted or added as the situation requires. Unfortunately, visibility is at a minimum, and customization is zilch.
Content Management System
A CMS offers a highly customizable method of creating web pages fast without technical knowledge. There are several popular CMS programs which are free to download and use, and after a short steep learning curve, are easily used and personalized. However, they take longer than drag-and-drop builders or subdomains to set up. CMSs accept foreign widgets, programs and plug-ins, so they are beautiful solutions for any type of website.
Start from Scratch
Web pages can be created from scratch, but it generally requires a high level of experience and skill. Remember, one does not build a mansion without first putting up a hut, so why design and implement a full website with no experience? If you so choose, your dedication is laudable – just bring an energy drink, headache pills and a sturdy pillow to punch when angry.
What is the best?
From our experience the best and fastest way to create a website is to use WordPress. You can literally have a website update and running in as little as hour. Important to note, that not only will the website be professional looking, it will also be mobile compatible and has a ton of free tools. We have been using WordPress for quite sometime, in fact the webpage you are looking at was built in less than 45 minutes using WordPress. If you are looking create a webpage right now, we recommend getting a WordPress Hosting site through HostOtter.com.