Start Building a Website From Scratch With the Right Tools

Posted in WordPress on May 16, 2014

Key decisions need to be thought out when going about building a website. What the average first time developer needs to know is what the fundamental tools are for getting started. There are two different routes you can take to make a website. You can either use a free online content management system to set up the basics for you or start from scratch. This article will demonstrate the advantages and disadvantages of both.

The first tool you’ll need is a web development application to code your webpages. Kompozer and Dreamweaver are both examples of this software. Kompozer is free to download online while Dreamweaver will cost you $300 – $400. These programs allow you to generate webpages without prior knowledge of the more technical parts of coding. These programs come with a lot of tools and wizards which will create the code for you. Dreamweaver has a lot of documentation to back it up. If you’re ever stumped you won’t have to look far for a Dreamweaver tutorial. However, $300 is a lot of money and Kompozer has all the relevant tools to make a website.

The second thing you’ll need when you make a website is an image manipulation application. Photoshop and GIMP are two such examples. Once again, one is free while the latest version of Photoshop will cost you up to $700. Photoshop has a lot of extensive features for in depth image manipulation. GIMP however, is certainly the cheaper choice if you just need some basic shapes or text. It should provide you with all the tools you need for creating images for your site.

So you’ve now got the tools to code and create images for your site. Starting from scratch is tough though, you could also have a look at using a prebuilt content management system. WordPress and Joomla are two examples. They both give you basic templates that you can then manipulate to suit your needs.

Before deciding between Joomla and WordPress you need to consider your site’s focus. If you’re looking to start a blog then WordPress will definitely be the option for you. Once installed, its admin section allows you to create posts fast and effectively. It also has a wide selection of plugins you can easily install allowing your visitors to quickly bookmark posts or track the amount of visitors to your site. Quickly adding widgets is also convenient. With the touch of a button you can add a calendar to your page or link up with your Twitter account.

So WordPress is certainly a useful tool but it is primarily aimed at blogging. If your looking to set up a website for an organization it might be worth looking into Joomla. It has been built to manage all forms of content rather than just posts. Its advanced framework can provide communication tools or even ecommerce systems for your website.

Both Joomla and WordPress are valuable tools for quick web development However they obviously have their drawbacks. An inexperienced developer will struggle to deviate too far from their set templates. Starting your site from scratch means you can shape it in anyway you see fit but will always take more time. All these choices need to be considered when deciding to make a website.

By Mark K Kostner

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