How to Create a Personal or Business Website Using Online Platforms

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In this article, we’ll provide an overview of web design software and web hosting to help you understand how to create a website. In addition, we’ll provide a list of web design software products and web hosting companies.

Web-Based Design Tools

In addition, there are many web-based design tools and services that don’t require software to be downloaded or installed. A web-browser is used to access an online content management system to create and edit files. All files, images, databases, etc. that are associated with the site are stored online on the hosting server.

Some of the more popular brands include WordPress, Drupal and Blogger. Also, check out the various blogging and content management software options available. They make it easy to design, launch and maintain a site.

A number of web hosting providers have integrated site management tools that help you develop a site quickly. The benefit of this approach is the design program is usually included in the cost of the hosting package for free. Following are some of the more popular services:

  • Wix.com – Wix.com is a leading cloud-based development platform with millions of users worldwide. Wix makes it easy to create a beautiful, professional web presence.
  • Weebly – Weebly is a complete platform that allows anyone to start and grow an online business with templates, powerful eCommerce and integrated marketing.
  • SquareSpace – SquareSpace is a web-based content management system that makes it easy for anyone to setup their own personal or business site on the internet. It serves as an all-in-one service for registering a domain name, web hosting, creating your site and your online store.
  • Duda – Duda is a leading website builder for web professionals and agencies of all sizes. Duda enables you to build amazing, feature-rich websites that are perfectly suited to desktop, tablet and mobile devices.

Web-Based Content Management Systems and Blogging Platforms

A blog is short for “web log”. A blog is a website that allows an individual or group of individuals to share a running log of events and information related to a particular topic.  It is also a regularly updated journal published on the web. Some websites sites are intended for a small audience; others vie for readership with national newspapers.Blogs can be very influential, personal, or both, and they reflect as many topics and opinions as there are people writing them.

In recent years, blogging has become a legitimate source of news and information on the web.  Many bloggers (people who write blogs) have turned their website into a full time profession. For more information on various blogging platforms, please visit the following websites (most are free):

Blogger – Website that makes setting up blogs easy and fun.  Owned by Google.

Drupal – Drupal is an open source content management publishing platform. Drupal makes authoring web content easy and it’s most important feature is its flexibility. And best of all, it’s free.

Joomla – Joomla is an award-winning content management system (CMS), which enables you to build Web sites and powerful online applications. Many aspects, including its ease-of-use and extensibility, have made Joomla the most popular Web site software available. Joomla is an open source solution that is freely available to everyone.

LiveJournal.com – LiveJournal is an online journaling community, where people from around the world share stories, discuss topics and keep in touch with friends. It’s a free service that you can use for meeting people and creating bonds through writing and sharing.

WordPress – WordPress is a blogging tool and website publishing platform. We recommend WordPress as the best choice for private investigators. It is easy to setup, easy to use and makes maintaining your website a breeze. Also, it comes with a number of great plugins to help you manage security, fixing broken links, build your social media presence and review website analytics. It’s what we’ve been using to manage the content for einvestigator.com since 2012.

What is Web Design Software?

Web design software is used to create and edit of web pages, websites and web applications using HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), and images. It can also be used to create HTML newsletters and other web-related content for use on website and email programs.

Web design software is in contrast with web development software, which includes tools that allow web server configuration, writing web applications and server security.  However, web design software is often used for website administration tasks.

To be competitive, it is critical that private investigation agencies have an online presence to provide information about their investigation business, the services offered, and the geographic area covered. There are a number of quality web design software packages on the market that can help you develop a quality website.

The following web design software programs may be useful tools in setting up a website for your private investigation business.

Web Design Software Products

Currently, the most popular website design software packages are:

  • Adobe Dreamweaver – The most popular design package, representing the industry standard in website creation and management. Anyone who is serious about designing a high quality site should investigate using Adobe Dreamwearer. However, it is consider to be much too advanced for most beginners.
  • Microsoft Expression – Microsoft’s answer to Adobe Dreamweaver. Formerly known as Microsoft Frontpage, this product merger ease of use with power design features. It is a solid product, but not as good as Dreamweaver.
  • SiteSpinner – SiteSpinner is easier to use than the packages listed above, but also not as powerful.
  • Microsoft SharePoint 2007, 2010, 2013 – SharePoint offers powerful content management and document management system. Great for business that need to have multiple users contribute content to a web-based interface. It is a great product if you need to collaborate with others on your team and manage documents.

Following are recommended products available from Amazon.com:

Wikis: Websites that can be edited by Multiple Visitors

Wiki comes from a Hawaiian word that means “quick”.  A wiki is a website that can be edited by multiple visitors to produce a collaborative website.  A Wiki is server software that allows users to freely create and edit web page content using a web browser. The most famous wiki website is Wikipedia, which is used by millions of people each day.

Wikis are a great way to collectively create documents, reference guides, investigation reports, etc.  Wikis are especially useful when users are geographically dispersed. Working on documents that are stored in the cloud reduces the amount of time spent emailing documents back and forth. For more information on wikis , visit the following websites:

  • Wikipedia.org – By far the most popular wiki, Wikipedia is written collaboratively by volunteers from all around the world. Since its creation in 2001, Wikipedia has grown rapidly into one of the largest reference Web sites.
  • Wikia – Wikia is a community destination supporting the creation and development of wiki communities on any topic people are passionate about. We currently support over 5500 communities in more than 70 languages. Part of the free culture movement, Wikia content is released under a free content license and operates on the Open Source MediaWiki software. Explore our existing communities or start a new one. Every person can edit content on Wikia.
  • Wiktionary – Designed as the lexical companion to Wikipedia, the encyclopedia project, Wiktionary has grown beyond a standard dictionary and now includes a thesaurus, a rhyme guide, phrase books, language statistics and extensive appendices. We aim to include not only the definition of a word, but also enough information to really understand it. Thus etymologies, pronunciations, sample quotations, synonyms, antonyms and translations are included.
  • Wikiquote – Wikiquote is a free online compendium of quotations from notable people and creative works in every language, including sources (where known), translations of non-English quotes, and links to Wikipedia for further information.
  • Wikispaces – Dedicated to building the world’s easiest to use wiki service by listening closely to the ever growing Wikispaces community.  Hosts millions of wikis for over five million people and have products designed for the smallest classroom and the world’s largest corporations and institutions.
  • Wikispecies – Wikispecies is an open, free directory of species. It covers Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Bacteria, Archaea, Protista and all other forms of life.

An Overview of Web Hosting

A web hosting service is a type of Internet company that allows individuals and organizations to provide their own website accessible via the World Wide Web.  Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server for use by their clients.  They also provide Internet connectivity, typically in a data center. Such companies can also provide data center space and connectivity to the Internet for servers they do not own to be located in their data center, called co-location.

The scope of services varies widely. The most basic is web page and small-scale file hosting, where files can be uploaded via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or a Web interface. The files are usually delivered to the Web “as is” or with little processing. Many Internet service providers (ISPs) offer this service free to their subscribers. People can also obtain Web page hosting from other, alternative service providers.

Personal sites is typically free, advertisement-sponsored, or cheap. Business web sites often has a higher expense. If that’s what you’re looking for, get started at Yahoo!

Single page sites are generally sufficient only for personal web pages. A complex website calls for a more comprehensive package that provides database support and application development platforms (e.g. PHP, Java, ColdFusion, and ASP.NET). These facilities allow users to write or install scripts for applications like discussion forums and content management. For e-commerce, SSL is also highly recommended.

The webhost may also provide an interface or control panel for managing the Web server and installing scripts as well as other services like e-mail. Some hosts specialize in certain software or services (e.g. e-commerce). They are commonly used by larger companies to outsource network infrastructure to a hosting company.

Server Up-Time

Server uptime refers to the percentage of time the web server is accessible via the internet. Many internet service providers state that they aim for a 99.9% uptime, but there may be server restarts and planned (or unplanned) maintenance in any environment.

Many providers tie uptime and accessibility into their own service level agreement (SLA). SLAs sometimes include refunds or reduced costs if performance goals are not met.

Types of Web Hosting Services

Many large companies who are not internet service providers also need a computer permanently connected to the web so they can send email, files, etc. to other sites. They may also use the computer as a website host so they can provide details of their goods and services to anyone interested. Additionally these people may decide to place online orders.

  • Free service: Free service is offered by different companies with somewhat limited services, sometimes advertisement-supported, and is often limited when compared to paid versions.
  • Shared service: one’s Web site is placed on the same server as many other sites, ranging from a few to hundreds or thousands. Typically, all domains may share a common pool of server resources, such as RAM and the CPU. The features available with this type of service can be quite extensive. A shared website may be hosted with a reseller.
  • Resellers: allows clients to become web hosts themselves. Resellers could function, for individual domains, under any combination of these listed types, depending on who they are affiliated with as a provider. Resellers’ accounts may vary tremendously in size: they may have their own virtual dedicated server to a collocated server. Many resellers provide a nearly identical service to their provider’s shared plan and provide the technical support themselves.
  • Virtual Dedicated Server: also known as a Virtual Private Server (VPS for short) divides server resources into virtual servers, where resources can be allocated in a way that does not directly reflect the underlying hardware. VPS will often be allocated resources based on a one-to-many VPSs relationship, however virtualization may be done for a number of reasons, including the ability to move a VPS container between servers. The users may have root access to their own virtual space. This is also known as a virtual private server or VPS. Customers are sometimes responsible for patching and maintaining the server.
  • Dedicated service: the user gets his or her own Web server and gains full control over it (root access for Linux/administrator access for Windows); however, the user typically does not own the server. Another type of Dedicated hosting is Self-Managed or Unmanaged. This is usually the least expensive for Dedicated plans. The user has full administrative access to the box, which means the client is responsible for the security and maintenance of his own dedicated box.
  • Managed service: the user gets his or her own Web server but is not allowed full control over it (root access for Linux/administrator access for Windows); however, they are allowed to manage their data via FTP or other remote management tools. The user is disallowed full control so that the provider can guarantee quality of service by not allowing the user to modify the server or potentially create configuration problems. The user typically does not own the server. The server is leased to the client.
  • Co-location service: similar to the dedicated service, but the user owns the co-location server; the company provides physical space that the server takes up and takes care of the server. This is the most powerful and expensive type. In most cases, the co-location provider may provide little to no support directly for their client’s machine, providing only the electrical, Internet access, and storage facilities for the server. In most cases for co-location, the client has their own administrator visit the data center on site to do any hardware upgrades or changes.
  • Cloud: A new type of platform that allows customers powerful, scalable and reliable hosting based on clustered load-balanced servers and utility billing. Removing single-point of failures and allowing customers to pay for only what they use versus what they could use.
  • Clustered: having multiple servers housingthe same content for better resource utilization. Clustered Servers are a perfect solution for high-availability dedicated hosts, or creating a scalable solution. A cluster may separate web serving from database capability.
  • Grid: this form of distributed hosting is when a server cluster acts like a grid and is composed of multiple nodes.
  • Home server: usually a single machine placed in a private residence can be used to host one or more web sites from a usually consumer-grade broadband connection. These can be purpose-built machines or more commonly old PCs. Some ISPs actively attempt to block home servers by disallowing incoming requests to TCP port 80 of the user’s connection and by refusing to provide static IP addresses. A common way to attain a reliable DNS hostname is by creating an account with a dynamic DNS service. A dynamic DNS service will automatically change the IP address that a URL points to when the IP address changes.

If you have any questions about how to create a website, using content management systems or setting up web hosting, please lease a message below. Also, see more Web Design Software products at Amazon.com.

1 COMMENT

  1. SEO is one of the best methods to generate targeted traffic to
    your website. The reason for this is that search engines like
    Google send bots to look at websites and they take into consideration how easy the website is to use and they also look at the content you have and this can affect your rankings.

    A poorly designed website would not attract the clientele.

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