References for Building a Website

Aloha guys, just looking for advice on some of the better pathways, courses etc. to learn how to develop and build my own website for business purposes.
Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.

Thanks
 
237
116
What is your current knowledge/skills in web development?
If you are a total beginner, this is very helpful place to begin (based on my own experience):
https://www.w3schools.com/

You will find there many tutorials, examples, templates (usually free to use) etc...
 
10,373
3,890
There are a couple of popular website builders out there:
- google blogger
- squarespace
- wix
- etsy

In some cases, they provide the tools to run a business too ie credit card payment methods, product catalogs, client sign-on.
 
10,373
3,890
Wix has been pushing a lot of demo ads featuring celebrities that use their product where they show how easy it is to get started.
 

jtbell

Mentor
15,287
2,875
There are a couple of popular website builders out there:
- google blogger
- squarespace
- wix
- etsy
A potential problem with these is lack of portability. If your business grows and you later decide you want to move to a different website host or software platform for better performance or whatever, I don't think you can easily (if at all) export your information from one of these website builders. I think you would pretty much have to start over from scratch with a new site.

On the other hand, many website hosts can handle a Wordpress site, besides wordpress.com itself. My understanding is that even if you start on wordpress.com, you can export such a site to any other web host that supports Wordpress, possibly with some "gotchas" involving plugins. And many website hosts offer "one-click" installation of Wordpress from their control panel.

The trade-off is that you have to do more work to get a good-looking Wordpress site off the ground. You have to learn about Wordpress administration: adding content and menus, choosing a theme, security, etc. Other website builders are probably easier to work with, but the result is more cookie-cutter in nature (and as noted above, not portable).

Do you have, or will you want, your own domain name? Something like konagorrila.com (which you can "point" to your site no matter where it's hosted) instead of e.g. konagorrila.wordpress.com (which would have to stay at wordpress.com)?

What do you want your site to do? Do you just want to present information about you and your products, with contact information (e-mail or whatever)? Or do you also want people to be able to order stuff and pay for it, subscribe to a mailing list or newsletter, etc?
 
Last edited:
10,373
3,890
This is true. However, if you really outgrow these then you may want to hire a professional to design and maintain your site.
 
Last edited:
A potential problem with these is lack of portability. If your business grows and you later decide you want to move to a different website host or software platform for better performance or whatever, I don't think you can easily (if at all) export your information from one of these website builders. I think you would pretty much have to start over from scratch with a new site.
That might have been true 15 years ago, but moving web hosts is incredibly simple now that most support Wordpress, Wix, Joomla, etc.

You are right, though, that if you business grows, you may outgrow these cookie cutter platforms, but it depends on what your business needs are.

FWIW, I'm against cookie cutter platforms, but it all depends on the business, the technical ability of the staff, and where your goals lie (and if it can be done reasonably in one of these frameworks).
 

jtbell

Mentor
15,287
2,875
moving web hosts is incredibly simple now that most support Wordpress, Wix, Joomla, etc.
Wordpress and Joomla, yes. Wix, no. I've never used Wix myself, but I thought I remembered that those sites weren't portable, so I Googled a bit and found one of Wix's own support pages:

Exporting or Embedding Your Wix Site Elsewhere

Your Wix site and all of its content is hosted exclusively on Wix's servers, and cannot be exported elsewhere.

Specifically, it is not possible to export or embed files, pages or sites, created using the Wix Editor or ADI, to another external destination or host.
 
10,373
3,890
Yeah, this is the old corporate strategy to make it difficult for clients to move to another platform. Decades ago it was custom extensions to programming languages and standardization fix that. Now its custom web hosting.

For many of these strategies there are methods to adapt and map to a new hosting platform where you will have varying levels of success.

In the end, your business demands may require you to hire a professional web design team to handle your site but for small businesses the cookie cutter approach can get you started just don't rely on it to do everything.
 

harborsparrow

Gold Member
523
102
Developing websites, even using some of the so-called "user friendly" methods above, is pretty much a black hole of effort and tedium.

You might do just as well to rent a website from GoDaddy (I'm not all that fond of them, but hey it works) and use their web builder tools, which are pretty good. One of my friends has put up a basic website using that, and she is far from being about to write code.

OTOH, it depends on how sophisticated you need to be. Will you be selling anything? Do you want contact "forms" that can be filled out, or just to provide an email as contact? I've used Wix; it annoys the hell out of me, but young people like it because it loves large photos and graphics and looks fairly snazzy. But it's slow as hell on mobile devices and clunky for the designer.

Wordpress is great but it is still quite a learning curve.

Endless time sink. For a simply website, GoDaddy's tools probably can't be beat.
 
529
217
Wordpress and Joomla, yes. Wix, no. I've never used Wix myself, but I thought I remembered that those sites weren't portable, so I Googled a bit and found one of Wix's own support pages:

Exporting or Embedding Your Wix Site Elsewhere
Here's a tutorial that shows how to migrate a site from Wix to WordPress: https://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-tutorials/how-to-properly-switch-from-wix-to-wordpress-step-by-step/

Also, it's fairly simple to copy just about any site's content page-by-page to a wordpress site.

I think WordPress is the best option for cost-effectively setting up a new site that doesn't require too much expertise to keep up-to-date, adequately secure, and professionally functional.
 

harborsparrow

Gold Member
523
102
I'm not saying Wordpress is bad, but there are longterm maintenance issues to consider. It seems to be easy and straightforward to start a simple website using Wordpress. However, pretty soon, most people want more features; maybe SEO, maybe themes. And they add a couple of third-party plugins. Time goes by, and new versions of both Wordpress and the plug-ins come out (maybe fixing bugs, maybe adding features). Then someone needs to install upgrades, and when that happens, maybe things break, and you have to "dig into the code pretty deeply" to repair.

Whereas, if you stick to something like GoDaddy's online tool, they do the upgrades for you. HOPEFULLY they won't break things when they do.

There are no guarantees though! If a person is willing to go down the rabbit hole of maintenance pangs in the future, Wordpress is simply awesome in its capabilities to generate pretty websites quickly.

I mention this longterm maintenance thing, with third-party add-ons, because I've experienced it so often over the years, being as old as I am. It showed up in wikis, if which I manage several, and I've got friends who manage major sites on Wordpress, and I've seen them go through the upgrade pains. Not first hand experience, but I think it worth passing along.
 

jtbell

Mentor
15,287
2,875
So if it's in a blog format, it's easier because you can use an RSS feed to transfer the content. That makes sense. And there's a WordPress plugin to gather the images. Nevertheless, with plain old pages you still have to copy and paste the text one page at a time. For small sites, that's not a big deal, but with a large site it could get tedious. I wonder how many people end up with large sites (say 100 pages) in Wix?

And then there's still the issue of themes, formatting, and site architecture (menus, links, etc.). Before you copy and paste the page text, you still have to create the new (empty) pages and set up the menu structure. After the copy and paste, you have to recreate any internal links in the text. Maybe the external links too, depending on how you did the copying.
 

Want to reply to this thread?

"References for Building a Website" You must log in or register to reply here.

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving
Top