Got a great idea and itching to get it online? It’s not as difficult as you might think. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a degree in web development to put your stamp on the net. There’s a variety of DIY website software available that’ll help you get your big idea going places. And that’s the case whether you’re a complete web novice, a budding blogger, or an entrepreneur making the transition from local shop to online store.
When you’re starting out, you might have a big concept but little or no budget. In this case a “plug and play” solution will allow you to get started with your project without costing you the earth. The first step to getting online is selecting your platform – the one you choose should be based on the type of site you’re creating. Before you so much as click a button, ask yourself what the purpose of your website is. Here are a couple of examples…
Are you building a content-based site?
Content-driven websites can have a variety of different purposes but they are ideally suited to a magazine-style offering or businesses selling a service – e.g. a plumber or an accountant. If you’re seeking a way to put content online for next to no cost, consider WordPresss. This platform might be known as a portal for blogging, but in reality it’s much more than that.
WordPresss offers a simple CMS (content management system) that enables you to get your words, images and videos online with ease from any computer, anywhere. You can edit pages yourself, without spending a fortune sending minor amends to a web design company. Plus, there is the potential for growth as you can add extra pages yourself.
On top of that, WordPresss allows you to choose professional-looking templates – some are free, some can be purchased for a fee. This keeps all your pages consistent, which is ideal for your web visitors. In the future as your business grows, there is the the opportunity to incorporate your own design.
Through the WordPresss dashboard, you have the option to analyse your traffic to find out where it’s coming from, how much you’re getting and what search terms you’re being found under. You can also use plugins, enabling you to connect your website to Facebook, Twitter and more – great for promoting your business through social media.
Are you selling online?
If you’re planning to set up an ecommerce site, consider Shopify. This software enables you to build an online store without any tech or design experience.
Over 25,000 online stores already use Shopify to power their online sales; however, just because so many businesses use the software, it doesn’t mean all their websites look the same. Shopify offers 115 templates, all of which can be customised in terms of colour, font, layout and logo. If you have your own designs, these can also be used.
Other benefits of the platform include the dashboard, which allows you to manage everything from your web content to your inventory. Additionally, this platform takes the headache out of accepting payments online, offering everything from credit card payments to Paypal using an easy setup service. Included as part of the platform is the mobile app, which allows you to keep track of your sales while you’re out and about.
Shopify is a useful plug and play ecommerce solution for the complete novice – but is also a viable option for those with a little more online experience.
Are you blogging?
You might ask why you wouldn’t use WordPresss for your blogging endeavours; but there are other alternatives out there. Take Tumblr for example. Tumblr works best for short text blogs, including quotes, as well as photos, videos and links. It is described as a cross between WordPresss, Facebook and Twitter, and claims to be the easiest way to blog.
Granted, this site offers an incredibly simple blog set-up process, and allows you to update using your phone, your email, your browser and more. But its benefits also including the very compelling fact that it is completely free, unlike some other platforms.
The complexity of your Tumblr blog is completely down to personal choice – but for the newbie blogger it is possible to keep things incredibly simple while maintaining great presentation. Take a look at these popular Tumblr blogs…
On top of this, Tumblr also comes with its own ready-made blogger community, with elements that allow you to network internally and reach a large community with ease. Plus, the rest of the online world can find you through the use of tagging.
Whatever your online idea, rest assured you needn’t shell out a small fortune getting it on the net. Just choose one of the many software options available to get online with ease.
Author Bio: This post was written by the bloggers over at love designs, a fellow design & inspiration blog.