A website is very much like a house, it requires:
- Real estate or land, in the World Wild Web it's called web space or web hosting
- An address , called a domain name
- A house or other construction , called the Web Site or Pages
The Web Site ( construction ) is the part everyone can see at the designated address. The " Real estate " is totally invisible but it's size determines how big your website can be, how much content it can hold and deliver on the web.
- Domain names ( addresses ) are provided by "Registrars"
- Web Space is provided by "Hosting Services"
- For the website itself there are a multiple of option to choose from. The best solution depends on your needs. The most common are:
- Automatic Site Builders
- Content Management Systems (CMS)
- Website Templates
- HTML Editor Software
- Design and Programming Services
Very often you can find all of these services with the same provider or you can choose to buy them from different specialized sources. Most of the time "Registrars" also offer Web Hosting, Site Builders, email services and many other options. Hosting Services often offer Domain Names Registration services, options like Site Builders, Content Management Systems and many others. Most Design and Programming Services will also offer Domain Name Registration, Web Hosting and all related services.
With "Automatic Site builders" you choose design, colors and fill in the blanks with the information you want to show on your site. It is the quickest and easiest way to make your own websites but you will have to make many compromises if you choose this solution. Layout choices and features will be very limited and a quick look at your website will reveal your choice for this cheap solutions.
A Content Management Systems is a Software that runs on your website and allow you to make your own websites and add to it an incredible number of advanced features. Anybody with basic word processing skills can easily learn to add or edit content, update images, and other data to show on the site. It takes a bit of learning but it allow for a quick start, unlimited growth and easy management. You can also easily change the layout of the site with already made "templates" and modify them to your liking.
Website Templates are design layouts you can modify with a text editor to insert your own content and images, save to your PC and then upload to your web hosting account. Here it gets more technical so it requires more time to learn and to produce but there is no limit to what you can do with your website.
HTML Editor Software make creating a new website or modifying a template much easier. It still requires some technical knowledge but it eases the learning curve as HTML Editors are usually fitted with numerous shortcuts. Making your own websites this way is time consuming and require a lot of testing to make sure your site works as expected.
Design and Programming Services are the easiest solution but it may become very expensive. Then you have to provide them with ll the necessary information and make sure they clearly understand your needs as you will likely see the end result at the end of the cycle.