How Do We Design Websites?

There is no doubt that in the 21st century, having a website is a crucial part of doing business. Websites have come a long way in the two decades or so the concept has been around. To those who aren't tech savvy, building a website may seem like a daunting challenge, but it's actually simpler than most people think. Here's all you need to know to get started:


Web pages are mostly composed in HTML, meaning "HyperText Markup Language." A couple of smaller languages, CSS ("Cascading Style Sheets") and PHP (a programming language which generates HTML on the fly) are also typically used. If an interactive component is required, Javascript (a programming language which can create apps right in the web browser) and Flash (a fancier type of Javascript which focuses on animations) may also be used. There's many more software platforms for website use, but these are the main basics you'll usually see.

Additionally, images will usually be part of the design.

Website parts:

A typical website will have a "home page" - the root domain, sometimes called the "landing page," a blog or image gallery, a couple of pages to tell visitors about the site, a sales page or shopping cart app if the site sells something directly, and a comment form, guestbook, or forum for visitors to leave feedback.

Since the point of having a website is to have a web presence, your website should link to your social media accounts - that would be at least your Facebook and Twitter listing. Sometimes you'll have accounts at LinkedIn, Google+, or other social media hubs as well. If you have a blog, each blog post will have buttons for visitors to share your content on their own facebook and Google+ accounts, or submitting the post to Reddit if you're going for viral content.

Website platforms:

For your own domain, you'll typically find a web hosting company such as HostGator or GoDaddy, register your website name there, and start an account which will only cost about $10-20 / month to keep up. You'll get a whole package to build and maintain the site, usually using CPanel as an administration interface, and including blog software such as WordPress.

The acronym to know here is CMS, for "Content management System." This can include CPanel and Wordpress, but may also include Joomla, Drupal, or DotNetNuke. All of these are built to be user-friendly CMS interfaces, with clear instructions and lots of overview management to save you from getting your hands dirty writing the code yourself. Most of them take only minutes to set up.

If you don't want to go with a full domain, it's entirely easy to simply start a blog on, a Facebook profile, a Twitter feed, and something like an Instagram or Tumblr blog and go from there. You really don't need a full domain for a web presence.

Content creation:

Now comes the sticky part: You have your online soapbox to spread your message to the world, now what do you want to say? You can talk about your product or service, but how do you keep the audience engaged? You'll want to keep a steady stream of content going to the blog - write articles about your niche, share pictures of products, tell your customers handy tips to get the most out of your product or service, or simply share funny memes related to your business.

Depending on your business, you may decide to post content on alternative sites such as Pinterest (good for wedding and bridal, home decor niche) or DeviantArt (good for graphic artists, musicians, and other creative freelancers).


More than likely, you will want to hire freelance workers online to handle some of these details for you. You can use sites like UpWork or ELance to outsource web design and content. Once you find a steady worker you want on your virtual team, you can conduct business with them through email or Skype. Hundreds of online entrepreneurs use this system to work from home, and have a high-tech experience while doing it.

So, it's not so complex when you break it down. Running a successful online business is a chore to get started, but once it's rolling it feels like you're hardly working at all.

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