7 Ways to build a website - newbies and geeks alike

Since the inception of the internet and the web, software engineers and web developers have been continually introducing innovative ways in which a website can be built. The primary and main goal of most solutions provided by these technically minded individuals has been to automate the process of website design and development. In their attempts, they pay attention to the maintainability, cross-platform compatibility, screen sizes, browser compatibility and ease of application of the solution amongst other things.
The following is a list of the various ways in which one can build a website. Website needs always vary and so the different methods solve varied problems and also have different learning curves. I will try to arrange them in increasing order of learning curve steepness.

1. Build a website using an online site builder


The competition in the web hosting industry is fierce these days. For a web hosting company to attract and convert more customers, they device means that will permit their subscribers to easily setup a website on the web hosting space they purchase. As such, they come up with online site builders that are easy to use. Some even have professional templates that are easy to customize in minutes and get a great looking website on the go. Some examples I know of include: wix, yola. You can survive here without any coding knowledge.


2. Build a website using a WYSIWYG editor


The website design process is not as trivial, as such some companies are built around providing software for easy web design. These software allow for web design to be done in a similar manner to how visual programming is done. The user drags and drops GUI components (like form fields, buttons, text objects, images, tables, etc.) on a design container - webpage.

This process is very similar to building a website using an online site builder, in fact the online site builder is just like a WYSIWYG editor that has been installed on the server for direct online use. With the WYSIWYG editor some one with technical or coding skills can access the source code to tweak it for better design layouts which is not always the case with online site builders. These website builders come with quick start templates.

The advantages of this method come with additional technical overhead; after completing the website, website files must be uploaded to the hosting space usually through an FTP Client. Some examples I have tried and love using include: CoffeeCup HTML Editor, Dreamweaver.

3. Build a website using Microsoft Office Words


Microsoft Office suit in general has many features to harness and get things done. A document can be prepared using the software and saved as a web page. This sound short and easy but some technical adjustments need to be made to the resulting web page for it to serve a wide audience.

4. Build a website using a photo editing software


A photo editing software is a good way to design a media intensive website. With such a tool which is very handy for designers, the webpage is prepared visually and upon completion made ready for web publishing. An example is Photoshop, and flash.

5. Build a website by hand coding


Most programmers like the flexibility in this method and feel more professional when they do it this way. Here the coder expresses himself with his own very code. Although slow, this method places every square pin in a square hole. There are many controversies amongst the technically minded when it comes to building a website using this method but a good programmer will always have a way out in his codes; they pay attention to standards, trends and low level details.

6. Build a website using a CMS


This is perhaps the fastest and most beneficial method for the experienced individuals. In the beginning it may not be easy to settle down on which Content Management System to use but once acquainted with one, the others become less daunting.

 It is easier to do maintenance for sites built through this method especially as there are even varied CMSes that attend to different problems; we have web publishing CMSes (like Joomla!, Concrete 5, Wolf), eCommerce CMSes (like Drupal, Magento), Blogging CMSes (like Wordpress, Blogger, Movable Type), Video/audio sharing CMSes (like phpMotion, clip-bucket), etc.

7. Build a website using a Framework


This may sound like using a gun to kill a fly because web frameworks are best suited for enterprise level web applications. But it is yet another method that very well attends to website needs. There is added flexibility here compared to using CMSes but frameworks are more tricky to master and maneuver. With web frameworks it is easier to implement a design pattern - like the MVC pattern in PHP frameworks such as CodeIgniter, Symfony, Zend.

Those are the methods of building a website that are most common to me, if you know of other methods not mentioned here please help me improve the web by including it in your comment.


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