Here is the first article in a new blog I plan to write weekly but instead of discussing fantasy and science fiction content this blog will only focus on how to build your own website and what I have learned (or still struggle with) over the last three years since I began working on my fantasy and science fiction website http://fantasyworldworldwriter.com.
We can't all be programmers
If you are a programmer and already know how to build websites using PHP, mySQL, CSS, HTML, and Java than please contact me and help me improve my website for free. For all of the rest of us building a website has gotten much easier than it was just a few years ago. But don't think you will you be able to build a website as powerful and pretty as Amazon.com, Target.com or any large company that has a small army of full-time programmers, content creators, graphic artists and other highly skilled, full-time professionals. Very simply understand that you won't have the time or abilities to make your website as good. I hate admitting this myself as I like continuing to improve my website but I still don't have the skills of a professional or the time.
What are your options
But don't despair because you can still create a great website and I will walk you through some of the lessons I learned and specific options. There are a ton of website builder options out there and many are free financially but I really believe you get what you pay for. Free website builders almost always offer very limited support and also are missing key functionality.
I won't bore you with all the free options that I found but I will help you narrow down your needs quickly. If you are looking to make a blog and just want to start writing and posting online quickly than going with Wordpress, Weebly, Wix, or Google websites may be enough for you. Many of these are only free if you are willing to keep your site as a subfolder. Here are several of my free sites I started but moved away from.
What I found was that these sites were actually harder to learn than I expected and that they often were not responsive which means that they couldn't be viewed well on a mobile phone. Nowadays you have to have a site that is mobile-friendly.
Why I went with Joomla
To get to the point I went with Joomla as my content management system (CMS) and here are the main reasons:
- It is easy to install through most website hosting companies with just a click
- It is very responsive and therefore great for mobile design
- It is very powerful and there and tons of third-party add-ons available
- It is free for the core Joomla system that includes a ton of features
I will go over more of what I learned about website development using Joomla in future blogs.