As the Internet expands and the number of website setup increases so does the number of web designers and developers. I think that is a fair analogy as your local market increases so will the number of traders. Many IT based courses and degrees will include modules on developing websites, most will teach the industry standard web design solutions from the likes of Microsoft and Adobe but there are other options you can choose with some being better solutions for those wanting to do casual web design or don’t want to folk out hundreds. Here are some ways to develop a web site.
- Hand Coded – While it is important for any web designer to have a basic understanding of the code that sits behind the what you see if you don’t know your HTML tags from your PHP functions you’re unlikely to be developing amazing websites by hand any time soon. Hand coding was the original and once only way of creating websites the problem is that it takes more time than most people want to spend building websites. This method is only for the most determined code monkey but it is worth knowing the basics when it comes to designing websites.
- Dreamweaver – Probably the most well know WYSIWYG software for web design, if you’re going to do a course in web design there is a good chance you’ll be using it. Dreamweaver has a lot of advanced features and can do everything you would want a website to do but costs for training and the software aren’t cheap.
- Flash – Like Dreamweaver Flash isn’t cheap and can take some time to master and use to it’s full potential. With Flash you can design fancy animated websites that look the part in many industries. Flash does have it’s downsides, search engines find it difficult to read the content of Flash websites so you’ll often have to create an additional version of the site in HTML so that the website will perform better in the search engine rankings.
- Microsoft Expression Web – Part of the Expression Studio suite of software, Expression Web allows you to build and maintain websites the Microsoft way. The suite of software that comes with Expression Studio allows you to build beautifully designed website and also add coding to create dynamic and application based websites. You have a steep learning curve to get started with Expression Web and it will also put a dent in your wallet.
- BlueGriffon – Is a relatively new open source project from the developer of NVU which is no longer being actively updated. BlueGriffon has already released a version to the public which can be downloaded from their website. This software will continue to grow and as it supports a lot of the WC3 standards like CSS3 and HTML5. I’m sure you will be hearing a lot more about BlueGriffon in the near future.
- Joomla – Is a CMS that has a large following of loyal users and developers, the software is free but you must dedicated a significant amount of time to learning how to setup and use Joomla. Joomla is used as the CMS for many of the Internets biggest websites and is just as well suited to small business websites, just be prepared to put the time and effort in to learning our to use the software to its fullest.
- WordPress – Originally designed as a blogging platform WordPress is often used as a general CMS by web designers to get sites up and running quickly saving time while still being able to offer an array of customisation. As WordPress is open source and has a vast community developing themes and plugins your website can utilise these to create a website that performs well and looks the way you want.
I use WordPress for nearly all my web projects as it means I can develop websites quickly and efficiently and provide my clients with everything they could possibly want from their online presence. If you want to talk to me about a web project contact me here.