How to Design Your Own Website

Planning is More Important than HTML

Sketching a website design
Sketching a website design.

Designing a website takes a lot of work, but it gives you a lot of flexibility that Facebook and blogs don’t. By designing your own website you can make it look exactly how you want and express your own personality. But remember that learning how to create a good looking website can take time.

Where to Start When Designing Your Own Website

Many tutorials will tell you that the first place you should start is by getting web hosting or some other place to put your web pages. And while this is an important step, you don’t have to do it first. In fact, for many people, putting the site up on a host is the last thing they do once the design is to their liking.

I recommend, if you are going to design a new website from scratch, the first thing you should do is determine what editor you will use. While some people just rely on price, there are a lot of different free editors out there, so it’s a good idea to think about what you want from an editor. Think about things like:

  • Do you want to learn or already know HTML? While a text editor can very flexible for some people, if you don’t know HTML then a WYSIWYG editor might be a better solution. You can design a wonderful website with either.
  • Do you want to sell things from your website? If you do, you will need to learn more about e-commerce and how to accept payment from your customers. Plus, some editors are better suited to e-commerce sites than others.
  • Do you plan on writing a blog? Blogs are much easier when you use software to build them, and some editors have blog support built in.
  • Is this the only website you plan on making? If you’re not planning on becoming a professional web designer, then there is no need to spend a lot of money on a professional editor. And like I said above, there are many free web editors that offer lots of professional features.

Start Designing Your Website Once You Have an Editor 

But I don’t mean in the editor or in HTML. While we will get to learning HTML, when you’re working on designing a website, you should work with your imagination first. Planning a good website design will ensure that it really is good.

The web design process I use goes like this:

  1. Determine the site purpose.
  2. Plan how the design will work.
  3. Start designing the site on paper or in a graphics tool.
  4. Create the site content.
  5. Begin building the site with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other tools.
  6. Test the site as I go and when I think I’m finished.
  7. Upload the site to a hosting provider and test again.
  8. Market and promote my site to get new visitors to it.

Designing a Website Is More Than HTML

Once you think you know what your site should look like, you can start writing HTML. But remember that the best websites use more than just HTML. As I mention above, they use CSS, JavaScript, PHP, CGI, and lots of other things to keep it looking good. But if you take your time, you can build a website that you would be proud of.