Making a website can seem like an intimidating task. Despite my obsession with social media, advanced technology is not something I pride myself in. There are probably a thousand different ways you could go about making a website. There are various software, hosting sites, and mediums you could use to create your site, each varying in levels of difficulty.
When I went to make my site, my ultimate goal was to have a place where people could go to see my resume, bio, editorial contributions and my personal blog. I wanted something professional and informative, but I didn't have a lot of time or money to do it. Below are some things to think about before you create your website:
1. Determine the purpose of your website - Think about how you want to use the platform. Do you want to use it as a personal or professional website? Do you want your writing to be casual or serious? Who do you want to see your website?
These are all great questions to ask yourself before you start. For instance if you want to use your website for personal use, is it going to be something you want future employers to see when they Google you? On the other hand, if your website is for professional use, what kind of vibe or attitude do you want to give off?
2. Appearance - This will depend on what you will be using your website for. There are thousands upon thousands of templates you can use to make your website look good, it just depends on what you want. I think I went through about 15 different WordPress themes before choosing the one I have now. The good thing about templates and themes is that on most blog sites, such as Wordpress and Tumblr, you can change your theme and still save your content.
3. Keep it Simple - A website is something that you build over time, not over night. Don't pick the most complicated theme or template. Start with your homepage, bio and contact pages and go from there. It's better to have a few well-developed pages than a ton of incomplete pages on your menu. Use appropriate colors, fonts and pictures. Nobody wants to read clutter!
4. Tutorials, Customer Service and FAQs are Your Best Friends - Seriously. If you're like me and aren't technologically advanced, these resources will help you from wanting to pull out your hair and throw your laptop across the room. I went through a handful of tutorials on YouTube to learn how to do certain things. And I can't tell you how many times I have called the GoDaddy.com Customer Service hotline.
5. Choose your platform - Once you have determined the purpose and appearance of your website, you can choose the medium you want to use to create it. Again, there are tons of different ways to do this so I suggest doing your research. I used Wordpress.com and worked off a simple template. Then, I bought the domain www.elliejesse.com via GoDaddy.com and connected my WordPress site. I needed the most help with this step, so again, I would suggest calling customer support or watch some tutorials to figure out how to do this.
Remember, websites aren't built overnight. These are just a few things to think about even before you start to create your site. If you plan your site with strategy and fill it with good content, it will really pay off when you are able to put the link to your website on your resume or business cards to give to recruiters. Good luck!
This blog post was written by Ellie Jesse , our Campus Ambassador from UNC- Chapel Hill.