How to Build a Website

Today I want to talk aboutWebsites”.  





This is actually one of my favorite topics, because there are tons of different ways that you can build a website.  One of the biggest non-computer hardware-related tech questions I get is about building websites, either how to build a website, or how to make one better.  There are literally 1000s of resources both on and off the web to help you learn more about building websites, and all the many variations of options that you can have within your website.

For brevity's sake, I'll provide a “quick and dirty” overview about websites, and a few of the ways that you can get one up and running in a fairly short amount of time.

One of the first things I like to ask people when they say they want a website is: What will you use the website for?  These days, websites provide many different functions.  They can be the equivalent of an online brochure or business card, merely stating the information that you already have in a printed medium.  They can be completely interactive, designed to pull the site visitor in and get them to take any number of actions while visiting your site, or they can be anywhere in between those two extremes.


How you construct your website will depend on what purpose the site is to serve for you.  If you just need to have your own niche of online space stamped out, then a brochure-like template-based starter page is definitely the way to go.  In fact, in my business SSS for Success (Small Business Survival Specialists), one of the first things I suggest to people going from “no website” to “a website” is to start small with a template-based site, because it’s both economical, and it allows you to start by “getting your feet wet” in the online environment.


The reason I start people off with template-based starter sites, is because MOST people aren’t willing nor can they afford to make a multi-thousand dollar investment in a website in the early stages of their business.  Especially in today’s market.  Also, once people see what a template-based, brochure-like website looks at, they can say whether that does or doesn’t meet their online needs, and if they want more, they at least now have a reference point to move from.

Even once you decide what you’ll use the site for, there are other questions to be answered, like “who’s going to build it?”, and can you build it yourself? Or do you need a “traditional” static website that only gets updated every so often, or should you go with a blog-based page that provides the same “look” as a traditional website, but it allows you to keep up current topics that are relevant to your niche?


The answers to these questions will depend on the needs of your business.  To make this choice a bit easier for you, I’m going to show you some of the options that you have for getting your own website up and running.

Option 1: You can hire someone.

Option 2: Build the site yourself 
With this option, you can theoretically save money, but the time commitment will be more intense.  What I like to tell people before they embark into this stage is, consider your own hourly rate that you charge, and your level of technical expertise when it comes to dealing with computers and information technology.  Figuring out this algorithm should help you to determine if taking the “do it yourself” option is really for you.  For instance, if you charge $50 an hour, and you think it will take you 20 hours to complete your site (and believe me, 20 hours can pass by faster than you think when you’re trying to create something from scratch, even if you have templates), then you’re working with a $1000 budget.  Ask yourself: Can I find someone to build me the type of site that I want for $1000, and would that be a better investment of my time and resources?


If you’re intent on building a website yourself, here are a few more options to consider:





  1. Create a site using a web template service.
  2. Create a site using a template edited by web design software.
  3. Create a site using an all-inclusive package that includes a combination of templates to use, and other services that help you get your site up and running.

Again, I could go on and on about this topic, but these are the options you’ll have if you do decide to build your own website.
If you’re going to be more hands-on and involved with your site, and if you’re interested in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), I would suggest you start a blog, and use that as your website/online home base.  Lots of people are doing this now, especially with WordPress and Blogger offering options for additional pages.  You can look at this site as an example of what one of these sites looks like, if you need a frame of reference.

So, to recap, here's how you get a website created:



  1. Decide whether or not you’re hiring someone or if you’re going to do this for yourself.
  2. Next, choose a domain name that your site will be hosted off of.
  3. If you’re going to build the site yourself, the next thing you may need is web hostingWhat web hosting does, is it allows you to have a space where you can upload the files of your website, and they’re “hosted” there, meaning that when someone types in your URL (or your domain name) that they can see your actual website.  Web hosting isn’t always necessary for you to purchase, depending on what option you choose for creating your website, so I’ll get more into this topic when I talk about web hosting at length within another post.
  4. The next step is the Website Design, which essentially is the stage where you determine what your website will look like, and what you’d like to have on it.  There are some website design options out there, like GoDaddy’s Website Tonight, that let you pay for the service, use it to build your website, and it includes the hosting of the site, thus you don’t have to pay for an additional web hosting account.  Other website design options, like DreamTemplates would require you to have a web hosting service, since it merely creates the site visually.
  5. The final stage of building a website, in my opinion, is Search Engine Optimization (SEO), especially if your goal is to use your website to get internet traffic.  Most people that create a site do so because they’d like to take advantage of the many properties of the World Wide Web for connecting them with tons of people all over the globe that they can’t otherwise reach out to.  Search Engine Optimization (SEO), unfortunately isn’t something that everyone thinks about when constructing their website, but they should.  Just as there are many options for building a website, there are many options for creating a successful search engine optimization strategy, some of which are free and others that cost money.  As a soon-to-be Certified Search Engine Marketer, I have a preference for “organic search results”, which means the non-paid or sponsored search results that you see whenever you do a search for a term.  The reason I’m more partial to the organic results is because at least 70% of web traffic that comes to websites from search engines does so from the organic results.  Again, I’ll talk about this more when I get into the SEO part of the series, but just know that search engine optimization is something you should be keeping in the forefront of your mind, as you develop your website’s online strategy.

This is a topic that could lead to an even longer blog post, thus I’m going to chop this topic up into different sections, where I’ll talk about a few of the different ways that you can get a site created either using your own resources, using a web-based template service, template-based service, or going with a web-publishing firm that lets you control the site, or hire others that can control the site for you.

At first, it will seem like a lot of information, but it can be whittled down into smaller chunks, and hopefully from there, it will make more sense.




By the way, since we’re not spending any money this week, nothing is being subtracted from our remaining balance of $353.34.



Don't forget to check out the other YouTube videos that have already been uploaded to my Youtube Channel which can be found at
Leave comments on this blog, or send me an email at “podcasts[@]”.  There’s also a Twitter account where you can reach out to me in 140 characters or less, and that’s withoutboots
Finally, you can give me a call on my Google Voice Line at 615-59-BOOTS (that's 615-592-6687).  
Kindra Cotton, Small Business Survival Specialist  
Serial Entrepreneur: Jill of All Trades and Master of Two (Information, Technology) 
Click below to listen to the podcast: 

An Open Call to Entrepreneurs, Artists, and All Other Service Providers

This week’s posts were about “The Power of Bartering” and money-saving benefits of partnering with other up-and-coming entrepreneurs as you work to grow your own business.

With this in mind, I’d like to submit an “Open Call to Any Entrepreneurs, Artists, Freelancers, Writers, and Other Service Providers“, who are either willing to barter their services, or looking to make a mutually beneficially professional connection with another entrepreneur.

Leave comments on this blog, or send me an email at “opencall[@]”.  There’s also a Twitter account where you can reach out to me in 140 characters or less, and that’s withoutboots.  Finally, you can give me a call on my Google Voice Line at 615-59-BOOTS (that’s 615-592-6687).

Kindra Cotton, Small Business Survival Specialist
Serial Entrepreneur: Jill of All Trades and Master of Two (Information, Technology)