It’s fair to say that it’s far easier to build a high quality website now than it was just a few years ago.
There are all kinds of different ways to go about it: If you wish, you can still sit and type raw HTML code into Notepad, or build sites using a combination of Photoshop and Dreamweaver – but few many people use those methods any more.
Thanks to quality online website building solutions and content management systems (CMS), it’s a lot more straightforward to build a good website than it once was. If you are reasonably confident with technology and have a little time on your hands, there’s not really any need to involve a Web designer.
If you have a new website to create for 2014, we would suggest using one of the five methods detailed below. The really good news is that, right here on this site, we have step-by-step tutorials that take you through every stage of building a site using each method. You will find links to them below.
We are all huge WordPress fans here at Make a Website, and the world’s favourite content management system (CMS) quite rightly finds itself at the top of our list.
We go into detail about why WordPress is such a great platform here, but in short, it’s because it combines power and flexibility with the perfect learning curve. It’s never intimidating to use, yet it’s possible to turn out world class results.
You will find our detailed WordPress tutorial here. It will open in a new window or tab so you can easily return to this page if you wish.
If you’re a complete beginner when it comes to websites, Weebly sits alongside Wix (see below) as the best option for you.
Weebly is entirely Web-based in nature and aimed at novices. It’s also completely free to get started. If you create a Weebly site, you can host it on Weebly’s own servers, so there’s no need to learn much about hosting and domain registration.
Despite this apparent simplicity, it’s possible to create surprisingly modern and attractive sites using Weebly. It’s easy to add modern features like social networking integration, and most of the Weebly templates are mobile-friendly too.
You will find a detailed tutorial on Weebly here. It will open in a new window or tab so you can easily return to this page if you wish.
Joomla is the most advanced option so far. It has much more in common with WordPress than with Weebly, but the learning curve is steeper.
This doesn’t mean Joomla is particularly complicated to use, but it will definitely take you a little longer to become fully comfortable with it. The trade-off is that it’s possible to create really large and complex sites once you have become familiar with the basic Joomla concepts.
If you are planning to create a site with many users who all need to contribute and log in, it’s worth considering Joomla alongside WordPress.
Our Joomla tutorial is available here. It will open in a new window or tab so you can easily return to this page if you wish.
Wix is a really clever browser-based site building tool, suitable for anything from simple brochure sites to online shops.
We’ve placed it just below Weebly on this list, but really there is little to choose between the two platforms. Both guide you by the hand through the process of creating a new site, and both include simple hosting.
Speaking purely subjectively, we think Weebly’s templates are perhaps a little more attractive, but that Wix is a little easier to use. Still, we recommend both of these beginner’s choices without hesitation.
You will find a step-by-step guide to using Wix here. It will open in a new window or tab so you can easily return to this page if you wish.
We will be honest and say that Drupal is NOT as easy to use as WordPress or Joomla, so it is more of a choice for the techie or enthusiast. However, it’s an extremely powerful CMS, and one that’s been chosen to run websites for numerous blue-chip companies.
If you choose Drupal, you will soon find that you need to think about things like FTP and file management on your Web hosting package. If you’ve been in the website game for any length of time, you will find this second-nature, but there are undoubtedly easier options for beginners.
Even so, Drupal has the potential to help you create really advanced sites with bags of functionality.
You will find our Drupal tutorial here. It will open in a new window or tab so you can easily return to this page if you wish.