How to code a website?
Without a doubt, this is a question that breezes through most people’s minds at some point in their lives. It’s no wonder, though - nowadays, it would seem that everyone and their dogs have a designated website that they run, for some reason or another.
Admittedly, coding isn’t an easy process. Learning how to code a website can prove to be time-consuming and require a lot of mental prowess - there’s a pretty steep learning curve involved, which tends to deter some people away from this process.
Today, in this guide, I’ll let you know about the different ways that you can go about coding your own website - both in the general sense of the word, and in some alternative ones. After reading this article, you’ll have a better understanding of the process of coding a site, and will be able to see if it’s truly something that interests you or not.
How to Code a Website: The Benefits, Shortcomings and Everything in Between
Before we get into the actual methodology of how to code a website, let’s take a look at some of the most common benefits and shortcomings associated with the process, and also some misconceptions, too.
What many people do not know, however, is that there are also some alternative ways of how to code a website - namely, simpler and less time-consuming ones. We’ll get to them in a minute, but let’s stick with the traditional route first.
If you’re adamant on coding your own website the old-fashioned way, you’ll have to invest some time and, more often than not, money into the process. If you have both of those resources, that’s great - there are a lot of benefits associated with learning to code:
- Creative freedom. If you learn how to code a website yourself, you’ll be able to do anything that you’d like with your website, in the way that you’d like to do it. When opposed to hiring a professional website developer to do the work for you, this process is beneficial in that you can be as meticulous as you’d like, and develop your own vision in the exact way that you see it.
- Save a lot of money in the long run. Sure, learning how to code your own website can be an expensive process. Having said that, when you place it near the costs that would come up while hiring another person to do the act for you, they are incomparable - this is especially true if you plan on making your website expansive and top-tier when it comes to the feature and design aspects of the matter.
- Great skills to have, in general. While you might be adamant about learning how to code a website for yourself right now, being knowledgeable with programming languages is something that can be very beneficial, in general. This is especially true when it comes to future career prospects - website developers and programmers tend to get paid quite well, and it’s a profession that’s in constant demand, too!
Naturally, there are many more benefits for learning to code yourself - these are just some of the more well-known and more often talked-about examples. Now, do keep in mind that it’s also very important that you pick the right resources to learn from!
There are basically three big groups of such resources available for you to pick from - traditional courses (university, special after-school programs, designated courses, etc.), free online sources, and paid online courses.
- Traditional courses. Traditional courses are great if you, once again, have time and money. You’ll be able to freely interact with the lecturer at your own whim (since you’ll have him or her right there, in arms reach), and ask all the questions that you’d like. On the flip side, though, once again - these courses tend to cost a lot of money, and they usually “take it slow” - coding a website from scratch with such courses can take up to a few years even!
- Free online sources. Undoubtedly, upon Googling “how to code a website”, you’ll find endless amounts of different articles and other resources that talk about this specific process. If you search for some specific programming languages, though - such as CSS, HTML, and others -, you should also be able to find free resources that’ll allow you to get the basics - pretty cool! The downsides to this, however, is that these resources tend to be very limited, and that there won’t be a lecturer with whom you could consult.
- Paid online courses. The most commonly-preferred method of learning coding online, paid online courses will provide you with the perfect balance between price and quality. You’ll get a lot of information that’ll usually be compacted into short and to-the-point lectures. Definitely a great alternative!
Now, with all of that said, there are also two alternatives to learning how to code a website the traditional, old-fashioned way - one of them is a bit more related to the “traditional” way of doing things, while the other is going to be great for those who want to have their website done and figured out in the next hour or so.
Let’s talk about these two methods a bit more, shall we?
Two Alternatives - WordPress and Website Builders
WordPress.org - A Content Management System
WordPress.org is a CMS - a content management system. The main difference between a CMS and a website builder is that the former provides the user with a lot more freedom, while also possessing a significantly steeper learning curve.
Having said that, though, learning how to code a website, you should know that WordPress is actually one of the most popular tools for website creation - period. To be frank, a huge number of websites on the internet have actually been created by using WP!
When compared to the process of traditional site coding with CSS and HTML, WordPress is quite a bit more approachable and simpler to learn to use. It has a vast array of different features that you can utilize, all from the comfort of a single dashboard.
On top of that, WordPress also has a seemingly unlimited number of plugins, too - no matter what sort of a website it is that you want to create (a blog, eCommerce platform, or else), there will be many plugins available to help you create a site like that.
If you’re looking for how to code your own website, WordPress might be an amazing alternative simply because it does allow the user to integrate their own CSS and HTML into the process of the site creation. Quite frankly, it’s an amazing compromise between doing things the traditional way, while also employing an amazing tool to streamline the process to a significant extent.
Oh, and one last thing - WordPress is completely free to use. All that you’ll need is a domain name and a website hosting provider - that’s it. Do make sure that you’re using the .org version of WP, though - WordPress.com is a completely different thing!
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Website Builders - The Simplest Way of Creating a Website
Finally, if you’re open to some alternative ways of learning how to code a website, and would like the process to be as simple as possible, and take virtually no time at all, then a website builder is the way to go about it.
While it can surely sound too good to be true at first, I assure you - it’s very possible.
Website builders are website creation tools that are designed for people who have never written a single line of code in their lives, yet still want to create their own websites. Some of the benefits of these tools would include, yet are most certainly not limited to:
- Amazingly beautiful templates
- A wide array of different features that you could add to your website
- Cost-friendly pricing options
- SEO functionality
- eCommerce, blogging, branding tools
To be completely frank, if learning how to code your own website is the long and expensive way of going about it, using a website builder will allow you to skip through all of the long and arduous learning processes, and create your dream site in just a few clicks of a button.
Now, having said all of that, it’s worth pointing out that, with so many different website builders out there, not all of them are going to suitable for the type of a site that you’d like to create. Some builders are designated for specific purposes (i.e. musicians, photography sites, eCommerce), while others are, in fact, more general.
To make things simple, let me tell you about some of the best website builders on the current market - if you’re interested in the concept of a website builder, in general, these should be the go-to tools that you’d first check out.
Squarespace - Some of the Most Beautiful Templates in the Game
Squarespace is one of the leading website builders in the current market. While Squarespace doesn’t actually provide the tools for coding your own website, it gives the user something better - the ability to create a full-functional and amazing-looking website in a very short amount of time.
Among other things, Squarespace is knowns for having some of the prettiest and best-designed templates in the game. If you choose this website builder instead of getting into the nitty-gritty details of how to code a website, you can be sure that your site is going to look amazing in the end.
Squarespace’s prices start at $12 per month - surely one of the most affordable website builders out there!
Webflow - A Middle Ground between Website Builders and CMS
Webflow is one of the more interesting website builders that you’re bound to come across. That’s frankly because it’s actually a mixture of a traditional website builder and a content management system.
Truth be told, that’s what makes it great for people looking how to code a website - Webflow will provide you with the options to both take the more simple route and use it as a builder, or to develop your website development skills a bit further and utilize the CMS features, too.
In general, though, Webflow is considered to be a website builder for designers - it has some amazing templates, and also provides top-notch SEO tools in order for you to optimize your site accordingly, too.
Webflow does have a free version available, but the paid pricing plans start from $12 per month - same as Squarespace, that’s surely a great price!
Shopify - The Leading Website Builder for Creating an eCommerce Site
It would frankly be impossible to talk about the best website builders out there without mentioning Shopify at one point or another. As the name likely clearly implies, it’s a designated-use website builder - namely, it’s one of the leading builders for those looking to create an eCommerce-oriented website.
Shopify will provide you with all of the essential tools that you’d need in order to build, develop and run a high-end eCommerce site. On top of that, the website builder in question is actually very simple and straightforward to use, too - the site creation process takes a very short amount of time, and isn’t at all complicated.
Shopify’s pricing plans start from $29 per month. Admittedly, it’s not a “cheap” builder to use, but it makes sense, since it is oriented towards the eCommerce side of website builders.
At this point in the article, you should be much more knowledgeable about how to code a website, and also about all of the main alternative methods of how you can create a high-end, fully functional and beautiful website.
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Table: Squarespace, Weebly and Shopify
I hope the information in this guide was useful to you, and do make sure to check out some of the best website builders mentioned earlier, if you’re interested!