Do you want to build a web site for your home business but find web design complicated? You can find many web design tools online to help you design your own web site quickly and inexpensively. They range from web editors, web site builders, web site templates, to hosting, autoresponders and shopping carts.
If you want to design your first web site yourself, you probably want to use a WYSIWYG web editor or site builder.
A web editor is software that creates the HTML code for you. Web editors and site builders help you quickly create simple web sites without the need to know HTML programming and without having to buy expensive web design software.
A WYSIWYG editor helps you design your web site using a “What You See Is What You Get” interface. You can see what your page will look like similar to the way your word processing software displays what you’re typing. WYSIWYG editors are easy to use and don’t require knowledge of HTML. A WYSIWYG editor may be a good option for you if you want to make a small, simple web site quickly and easily without paying for software.
Some of the many good free WYSIWYG web editors that are available on the web include KompoZer, HTML-Kit, SeaMonkey Composer (Mozilla), Amaya and Trellian.
Even when using a web editor, it helps to learn the basics of HTML to solve some design problems and make changes.
Paid editors will give you more powerful features. Dreamweaver is the most popular professional web editor today but has a steep learning curve. You can get a free trial of Dreamweaver at http://www.adobe.com/downloads/. FrontPage is popular for non-professional users. However, it is incompatible with other programs, is not receiving any new updates, and will cause problems if you need help from a professional designer in the future. I don’t recommend it.
Site Builders help you design your site from pre-packaged templates. Sometimes they provide a WYSIWYG interface to change elements from the templates. Using a site builder is an easy way to get your first web site up fast.
Advantages of site builders include: no HTML web design knowledge is required; they typically include pre-designed web site templates; you can upload the site easily without the need of an FTP program to upload your pages; they usually come with an image library where you can download free images, templates, backgrounds and web site headers; you can upload your own images.
Free site builders usually have restrictions that may include a limited amount of pages, you may not be allowed to include custom HTML, and you have less options for customizing your template and page layout than you have with commercial site builders.
Free web site builders include 1&1 Website Builder, Office Live Small Business, Site2you and website Wizard.
Many hosting companies offer template-based site builders and wizards that will guide you through setting up your web pages. Using those makes it easy to start creating web pages. Wizards allow you to create web sites easily through point and click design. Typically, they work like this: You can choose a layout from their library of web site templates. You choose a graphic, select the font size, text color and navigation button style. You can edit your content. You can often add features like a counter, feedback form and guest book.
Be aware that it might be difficult to make changes when using template-based site builders and wizards. When using templates and site builders provided by your hosting company, you probably won’t be able to move your pages or they won’t work properly when switching providers.
If you want to design your own web site, try some of the options above.
Think you don’t have the time or know-how to build your own Web site? Then, consider hiring a professional web designers so you can focus on running your business instead of the numerous technical issues involved in web design.
Leva Duell, Five Star Web Design and Marketing, provides web design built on proven marketing strategies. To get a FREE ebook, Inside