How to Design your Website

How to design your website is a huge, broad item to discuss. I could define a thousand, or even a hundred thousand different ways to design your website. I could talk about CSS, Java, HTML, PHP etc. However, I’m going to keep it simple, and keep things to as few different concepts as possible.

The first concept – and easiest. If you’re using WordPress to build your website, you can just find a theme – and away you go. Yes, it really is that easy. WordPress takes a lot of the thought process out of the design process, and just makes things easy. It’s not like I work for WordPress and being paid to put this message out there. The reason why I like to keep things simple in this manner, is because there’s a million different programs out there for editing. You can spend a lot of time on the design process of your website, and not get to the part that’s important – writing content. Writing content is probably one of the top things that’s important to establishing your website. Every page you write is another potential visitor, or hundreds of visitors, or even thousands of visitors to your website. You always want to be writing website content, and when you’re not your website is stagnant.

Logo Creation

You can spend a lot of time and money on a logo – or you can do it with “Paint” in Microsoft Windows. Paint is a bundled program that comes with Windows 10 (it’s been there in every version of Windows, actually). You can use it to make your logo for free.

There’s also a number of online logo creation tools you can use, too. Try just googling make a logo free and see what you find. There are always new tools being published, so if you don’t like one you can try another.

PhotoShop & PaintShop

One of the easiest and most enjoyable programs I used to use for logo creation was called “Jasc Paint Shop Pro.” It’s very likely that the company Jasc that made it has been bought out, so it may be called something different now. Try downloading a free trial of this if you can find one and give it a shot. Paintshop is the usual go to, but you’re not going to learn it overnight. There are lot of really good tutorials online though. Photoshop is part of the Adobe creative cloud suite, which is a monthly subscription to use Adobe products.

The tale of the custom build

If you’re building your very first website, I wholeheartedly recommend WordPress. Once you simply pick a theme for your design, you’ll never want to get involved in long, drawn out design and programming concepts in order to get a website built. There’s been people who have spent 50-100 thousand dollars or more just in the design process.

If your website concept is dependent on generating pages, or a database of products, you may not be able to use WordPress. If you’re in the boat where you have to build a website and come up with your own design, that’s okay too. Once upon a time I used to pay a designer about $200-$300 per design. He would design me a logo with a template I could use for my site. He was quite good, and I didn’t have super extravagant taste. I was fine with a clean looking template and a logo with matching colors to the template, that I could get started in terms of building my website.

If you’re not using a CMS (content management system) like WordPress or etc. to build your site, then I highly recommend learning about includes. If you are using PHP then there is a php include tag, in ASP it’s similar – #include. The reason I highly recommend this is you want to be able to draw the same header, footer, left menu on every page and you want it to be the same. The worst situation you can be in is not having a common left menu that has to be updated separately on every page. That’s a nightmare. Learn how to use an include function in PHP, or ASP, whatever you’re coding in. Then you can have one file for your left menu and every time you update that one file, the navigation will update across your entire website. The capability to manage in this regard is a difference of night and day.