If you stop to think about it, website building is much like home building. While not as complex, a website does share many of the basic elements that goes into building a home. Below are several elements of a home that can be used to describe how a website is developed into a finished product.
Before you can start constructing your website, you have to find a web host that acts as your site’s foundational platform. Some web hosts are free, some cost money. If you are creating a site for a business or organization, you should buy a domain name, which “brands” your site and gives it its own reserved spot on the web.
Once you have a spot online, it’s time to draw a detailed plan of the basic structure (or frame) of your site. What kind of information will it share? How will that information be organized? How often will the page be updated? Who will help provide new content? Will you be selling anything? If so, how do you plan on completing online transactions?
The Roof, Walls, Windows and Insulation
Now that you know what you plan on doing with your website, you can start thinking about what type of security you will need. Much like the roof, walls, windows and insulation of a house, website security helps keep out the bad stuff that you don’t want inside your domain. All sites need at least a basic security system, but some need thicker walls and more alarms. For example, all online businesses that handle transactions over the web should implement a credit card security system, and any website that requests contact information from the public should ensure that everyone’s personal information is kept safe.
The Electric Wiring, Plumbing and HVAC
Electric light, running water and a heating/cooling system are all modern-day luxuries that essentially make life easier and more comfortable. The equivalent of these on a website would be a quick page-loading time and easy navigation. These things are typically about user-friendliness and are what will keep people on your web page once they get there (and keep them coming back). Success in this may require hiring a web page design professional.
The Trim, Paint and Finishes
These are the finishing touches that are added to your page to make it attractive to the eye and give visitors what they are looking for. Some web hosts provide you with free design templates and some require you to create your own design (in this case, you may need to hire a professional). Once you have chosen your design theme, you will create the content for your pages. Be choosy with your words and images. Make sure they are unique, creative, informational, accurate and legal, and use various SEO techniques to optimize your website’s search engine rankings.
Image credit: Vincent Oberle.