Jan Leow's Press Blog

How I made my web site and how you could too!

There are so many things one could do with a web site. So much easier if I explained how I made my web site, then based on what I did, you could decide how you may want to make your own web site.

My first real web site was build using Sitesell’s Site Build It (SBI) system. It was an interesting package in that it provided a unified way to make a successful heavily trafficked web site. However its package was also expensive (it may be so, but it was worth every cent paid!). So I thought with an existing SBI package I could use its tool and reapply it on a normal web hosting and save myself some money. The SBI brainstorming system could be re-used and with the information obtained from it, I could use it to build a web site from scratch using a normal web hosting company.

Hunting around for a good web hosting company, I decided to go for Bluehost web hosting company. It was not the cheapest around, but it seemed to provide a lot of features which I couldn’t find on other web hosting companies. Initially when I signed up the bandwidth transfer, storage space, and the number of domain that I could host in one account was up to a certain limit. But I guess due to competition, it now has become unlimited! And there was also constant improvement or additional features provided over time.

Initially they only had Fantastico auto-installs, and now they even provided Simple Script auto installation. Between the two I liked the Simple Script software installation best because some configuration settings can be changed to suit my requirement.

With a normal web hosting, there were so many things to learn and so many new software and features to explore and try! Even as we speak, I am still learning new things, trying out new stuff that I think I would not be able to completely post all my experiences.

Using SBI, my first web site was built on a page by page basis. The SBI idea was that you concentrate on building your web business, and less on tinkering with the web site configuration and settings. How true! I think I spend more time tweaking my web site than to compose articles for drawing traffic. Still I had lots of fun meddling with the settings. Crashing my web site pretty often notwithstanding in the process! Haha!

Though I am not a full fledge programmer, I just pick up stuff here and there and try to incorporate them into my web site. If it was useful, it stays, if not, I just throw away the codes. Of course in order to hack the codes, you do need some basic knowledge of HTML/CSS/JavaScript, etc. All this can be learned along the way as you make your own web site.

Later when I discovered about CMS software like Joomla, Drupal, WordPress, etc I could almost instantly create a web site. However using software has its complexities, you have to work within its limitations, its idiosyncrasies, and of course you need to maintain the software with upgrades to keep it up to date on its functionality. Initially I used Joomla, but found it was too heavy duty for my needs; tried out Drupal, it was ok, but not too much to my liking; and finally I settled down with WordPress as it was the most robust amongst the CMS software. There were more available but it requires a lot of time to explore each one. So we will take it one at a time.

Apart from content based web site creation, there was other interesting software from Fantastico auto-installs and Simple Script like forum software, photo albums, and even shopping carts for you to start an ecommerce web site! Interesting! I will have to explore those later.

For now, let’s think about how to make your own web site.

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