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How can I build my own website?

A brick wall being built

Creating your own website isn’t as difficult as you might imagine. You could soon have it up and running – and the process doesn’t have to involve learning mind-boggling computer code.

Guy Clapperton | 9th September 2010

Building a website can involve using a few quick templates and tweaking them on the internet. Or, it can involve learning complex computer languages and writing it from scratch in raw code. I’m going to assume you don’t want to learn computer code.

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So you now have a choice: do you plan your website on your computer or on the internet?

There are many facilities for designing a website on your computer. If you have an Apple Macintosh, it might well have come with iWeb (software for building websites) built in. However, it’s not as useful if you ever change computer.

If you design it all on the internet, using an account with an online web-design program, then you can log in through any computer and pick up where you left off. Several companies will give you some web space and host your site for nothing. Moonfruit, Google Sites and Mr Site are some of the most popular.

How to build your site

The first thing to do is to decide what’s going onto the site. The design sites mentioned above will give you several ideas, based on templates for small clubs, small offices, personal pages, pages publicising specific events, and so on – and you can select colours and fonts, and upload logos, so that they don’t look completely identikit. It’s probably best to have a look at a site that’s similar to the one you want to build, and, without stealing the ideas, do something similar. You’ll need a home page – which is like a front page – and other pages, such as photo pages, book pages (if you’ve written a book) and pages devoted to each subject you think merits it.

Enter the details the site asks for to set up an account, including the address you want – for example, yoursite.moonfruit.com. This will be set up in the background for you.

Drag and drop images you want to display, hit “Save” and your basic site should be published immediately. You can update it at any time. Don’t forget to add a link to your site to the bottom of your emails and tell people about it – nobody’s going to visit a website they don’t know about.

If you keep your site simple, clear and restrained - and stick reasonably closely to the templates initially - you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can have something up online that looks pretty professional.


Guy Clapperton

Guy Clapperton

Guy Clapperton is a journalist specialising in writing about technology as well as small business for several major broadsheets. He broadcasts occasionally on BBC Radio stations and reviews the newspapers on the BBC News Channel.