Website Creation – Online or Offline ?
Part 5 of a 7 part “website terminology” series.
Building and creating a website is actually quite easy. However, there are several options to consider in your website creation journey.
When you start to create your DIY website, you will have the choice of using either online or offline website creation tools. It can be hard to know which one to go for, as both have advantages and disadvantages.
Online DIY Website Creation:
Creating a website online is quick, simple and easy. You don’t need specialist software on your computer to do this, and when you publish your content it is visible to the world straight away.
There are many companies that offer online website creation tools. It is simply a case of signing up for the appropriate plan, logging in and away you go.
Most companies have different plans with different price points. Essentially, the more bells and whistles, the more it costs on a monthly basis.
Most online website creation tools are quite intuitive. They are usually a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) “point and click” concept.
It is easy to add text, or images, or audio, or video, change the layout, change the colours, add or change pretty much everything. They also are often template driven – you choose the layout you like from hundreds of options, then edit it to make it unique for your situation.
Three excellent online website creation tools that I highly recommend are:
For any skill level, we take the hassle out of building a website. Just pick your design, add your text, drag and drop any image you want and that’s it ! You’re ready to publish.
Wix.com is a leading cloud-based development platform with millions of users worldwide. We make it easy for everyone to create a beautiful, professional web presence.
Create a free website or easily build a blog on WordPress.com. Hundreds of free, customizable, mobile-ready designs and themes. Free hosting and support.
All of these tools provide different options at different price points, depending on your requirements.
There is no point paying more than you need, so a suggestion would be to sign up for the smaller/cheaper option first, experiment a little, and upgrade as you need to.
All three of these options have fantastic and easy tools, great “how to” documentation, and have excellent support options if you get stuck and need a hand.
Another option is a website creation tool such as the Divi Builder by Elegant Themes.
These are usually plugins or themes within a wordpress site on your hosting, and are very easy to install and use.
Online web creation is by far the easiest and fastest way to build your website, but there are a few downsides as well.
If you decide to use online website creation tools then you need to make sure that you are connected to the internet. You will only be able to edit your website when you’re connected to your internet…. however being connected and online is much easier now than it has ever been.
Creating a website online is quick, simple, very cheap and incredibly user friendly – and is a good choice for people who have a good, strong internet connection.
If you are updating a page with a large amount of text, video or images, there is a risk that your internet connection could go down in the middle of your editing. This would mean that you could lose what you have been working on – so don’t forget to save your work often.
Another bonus is that you can edit or create your website anywhere in the world as long as you have internet access: on the beach, under a tree, at home on the couch, on holiday, or even on your lunch break.
Just try not to get sand, leaves or lunch crumbs on your laptop….
Yes, there is yet another login id and password you need to remember. Make sure that your password is a strong one with lowercase and uppercase letters, plus number sand special characters !
Another concept to look out for is that the more functionality you need to add to your website, often the more it costs on a monthly/yearly basis.
If you just want a simple “brochure website” – eg: text, images, contact details – then these tools are very economical. When you need to add shopping carts or calendar booking systems, for example, then it can add to the ongoing cost.
Offline DIY Website Creation:
Offline website creation was a very popular option in years past – and still is in different circles of users.
Perhaps not as popular as online website creation, it still has its own set of advantages.
With offline website creation, software is installed on your computer that allows you to design the way you want your web pages to look and get everything in place before you publish it online.
This gives you the chance to check everything over before it’s published and make sure that everything is just how you want it to be.
Offline website creation options have fast become the tools of choice for specialty graphic designers.
However, the learning curve is VERY steep as these can be quite technical.
The costs for these software options also can run towards a thousand dollars, or more.
Older software options such as Dreamweaver are still available, but again, the learning curve is steep and the cost is nothing to be sneezed at.
Unless you have graphic design skills, time, or a specific interest in learning, this can become very difficult, very expensive and very time consuming, very quickly.
If you are creating web pages with lots of images or videos or audios, for example, you may find that uploading everything at once can take quite a lot of time. If your computer loses its connection to the internet while in the middle of uploading your website, you may have to start the upload again, which gets very annoying very quickly !
Messing around with the technology involved with uploading a website – usually via FTP software – also adds another potentially complex layer into the equation.
Also, having all of your website components on your hard drive poses some risks – a power surge can kill your computer, or your laptop can be dropped – so suddenly your diy website and all of your hard work is lost. Make sure you backup your website, and do it often.
However, with offline website creation options you have more control over the look and feel of your website. Those who are technically minded and graphically competent or clever with design may prefer this method.
Offline creation is the best option to go for if you don’t manage to connect to the internet very often. This way you can edit your website when you’re not connected to the internet, and then upload everything whenever you get an internet connection. This is very useful for those times when you want to be working on your website but don’t have internet connectivity…..which admittedly is getting quite rare in this modern day and age !
Whichever you decide is the right option for you, both online and offline diy website creation tools have advantages and disadvantages.
It is far easier, quicker and cheaper to use the excellent online website creation tools that exist.
Having said that, an experienced graphic designer can do wonderful things for you (at a price, of course) using their offline software.
P.S. Do you have a preferred website creation method ? What tools do you use ?
P.P.S. If you need a hand with building your website, please let me know – I’m sure that I can at best do it for you, or at the very least, point you in the right direction.
Part 5 of a 7 part “website terminology” series.