If you are planning on creating a website you may want to look into the tools that can help make your online idea a reality. There are many different tools – some user-friendly, others are more advanced – that you can use.
Below are some of the more popular tools that are used by millions of webmasters today.
Planning and Research
First and foremost, before you begin designing your website, you must thoroughly research your chosen field and see what else is out there. Study other websites that are offering similar services or products and gauge the effectiveness of their sites before constructing your own. You will also need to list all the functions that your website will need, such as a shopping basket, image gallery or online chat availability.
Free vs. Paid
There are two main types of Content Management Systems (CMS); those that charge you to install the software and those that are completely free. Depending on your circumstances, you may only have one choice available to you. Paid CMS tools will often offer more choice when building your site and can include added software bonuses within their packages.
However, if you know what you are doing, a free website builder can be just as good. It all comes down to research and finding out as much as you can before you begin. If you are asking yourself what is HTML or what are FrontPage extensions, then now is the time to hit the books and find out more.
WordPress – Free
WordPress is a free blog-style website builder that is straightforward to use and offers tutorials on how to publish pages, create themes and insert links. The best feature of WordPress, and why it remains so popular, is that it can be tailored according to your skill set.
If you are a complete novice when it comes to creating websites, this tool takes you through all the basics in an easy-to-understand format and guides you step by step. However, if you have a more in-depth knowledge of another CMS, you can opt to skip the tutorial part and set out on your own to create a more intricate site.
Dreamweaver – Paid
Created by Adobe, this tool offers a wide choice of customizable options for your pages and creates a website that reflects your needs. It looks far more intimidating than WordPress but it is very similar in design. Particularly helpful features include a drag-and-drop HTML creator so you don’t have to learn all the codes off by heart.
It also works well with all browsers and other web packages, so if you want to install a Flash video on your site, Dreamweaver can accommodate. The downside of Dreamweaver is that it requires some basic knowledge of CMS before you begin and so won’t suit complete novices. But if you’re prepared to put in a bit of study before you start, Dreamweaver is an excellent choice to design your website with.
Drupal – Free
A worldwide favourite, Drupal is a popular choice for CMS and has a very sophisticated system. The variety of choice available in its templates and themes gives an added bonus to those who are looking for some inspiration and its development features mean that you can tailor your own pages, rather than using templates, so you could end up with a website that stands out from the rest.
The downside of Drupal is its advanced user controls which make it more suitable for those who already know their way around CMS. It is also very modern, which may be a good thing in some respects, but this doesn’t allow for much backwards compatibility with older operating systems.