Once you get rid of the thought that websites can be good only if hard coded, build a website becomes fun to learn.
I to was under the impression that you need to know code to build competitive websites and spent weeks learning HTML & CSS just to know the basic. After finishing several online courses I realised that being able to build a professional website would take me months.
I have heard of CSM systems but thought it would be nap work and did not trust the quality. This till the moment I learned that one of my go to tech info websites was built in WordPress. Yes, not only TechCrunch but The New Yorker and many more influential websites are built with a CMS and they are as professional as it gets. That same day 3 hours and just one YouTube tutorial later I had my first website ready.
I am still learning code and aspire to be a “real coder” but I also know that I don’t need to do things the hard way to get great results.
Here are 5 tips that I have for anyone who wants to build websites of any caliber, for them selves or others:
Find a cheap domain name & free hosting
If You don’t have a website idea yet and you only want to learn in a live environment, best is if you don’t spend big bucks on hosting for a site that does not generate any revenue. Buying a cheap domain will do and you can host it with a free hosting company like Hostinger.com or get the WordPress’s own hosting. While WordPress hosting is free and absolutely great it might not be your choice for a business website because your domain will get the WordPress extension (example.wordpress.com). Setting up a localhost on your computer is an other option but it is somewhat more advanced. (I will get back to localhost in a future post.)
Find a YouTube tutorial that works for you. I learned all the basics from just one video and I still use some of the practices I learned there. The right tutorial will teach you how to register your domain get it hosted and how to install WordPress for the first time.
Plugins are pieces of code that are being placed in your website’s already existing code. These are pieces of magic that make your website do the things you want it to do. And just like magic the more spells you know the more magic you can do! Plugins are very useful and there is a plugin for everything you need. The only thing you need to watch out for is compatibility. Sometimes the WordPress theme you are using and the plug disagree and this can break your code. No worries, almost every action is reversible once you deactivate the incompatible plugin.
Learn basic HTML & CSS
Although just WordPress will do but knowing a little code won’t hurt. Knowing basic HTML tags will help if a stubborn sentence won’t bold or your H2 heading spreads to an entire paragraph. codecademy.com would be my suggestion to learn HTML in one afternoon.
Learn how to formulate your problem
The great thing about learning how to build a website is that all the knowledge you need is available online. Any issue you might encounter with your website has been already solved by someone else. Important is to know how to ask the Internet about your issue. Describing what exactly you need help with is half the solution. Once you grasp the technical terms any website related dilemma has an answer online.