It depends on what you need! A simple, information-based website can be built in a matter of hours, but these days, it’s likely you want and need something more: something dynamic and scalable, with a content management or e-commerce system that’s easy for your team to figure out and update on a regular basis, something that can grow with your business.
While there are tools out there that can help you build a website without learning to code, they often require expensive plugins, yearly subscriptions or frequent updates, and eventually you might reach a point where you can no longer expand your site to suit your needs, meaning you have to start all over again.
Things to consider before you build a website
To begin with, you need to have a decent sense of marketing and design — not just in theory, but in practice. You’ll want to consider imagery, color combinations, branding and copy, as well as the experience someone will have when they come to your site. How will they navigate it? Where will they find the information they need? What standards should you conform to? Additionally, you’ll want to think about Search Engine Optimization: what will you need to do to build a site that is “search-engine friendly?” Having an understanding of what coding languages do to make a website work can help you build a better website with a design that functions well visually and mechanically, and it means you’ll know how to fix things if something goes wrong.
How to get started building your own website
What do web development programming languages do?
HTML, which stands for Hypertext Markup Language, controls how objects are displayed at the most basic level, including text, images and buttons. This is what the origins of today’s web was made with. It’s fairly easy to learn, but of course, pretty limiting, which is why you’ll want to learn CSS next.
CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. CSS allows you to display content in a slightly more sophisticated fashion and, indeed, it controls the style of the content on your page. The “cascading” refers to the styling rules, which “cascade” down from different sources. Some rules take a higher precedence than others (for instance, some rules control how text appears over the entire website, while others control how text might look in one small box), so the “cascade” of style moves down this hierarchy. CSS can even detect whether a user is looking at your website with a phone, a tablet, or a screen, and display your site accordingly.
With these three languages, you can create a visually appealing website, but you won’t be able to accomplish much with it. If you want things like login or pop-up subscription forms or even something as simple as a contact form, you’ll want to learn PHP, which is known as a “server-side” or “backend” language. PHP, which stands for Hypertext Preprocessor, is the language that takes things from the back end (a database on your server) and hands them to the front.
Again, with these four languages, you can build a basic website that lets people get information about your business, but if you want to take it any further, you have a lot of options. There are many programming languages that serve different purposes, so you’ll need to research them to figure out which one works best with your server configuration and your specific needs. Oh, and also, you probably want to know at least a little about databases and how they manage information, too, if you’re collecting user data from your website.
The reason companies like ours exist
As you can see, creating today’s websites is a time-consuming affair. Unless you’re thinking about a career change, you likely have better things to do with your time, like build your business, manage your teams or sales processes, or easily update your site’s content without worrying that you might “break” something.
We can help. We’re one of the best for producing customizable websites that do exactly what you want them to. Not only do we know these languages, but we’ve grown with them and have a diverse team of designers and developers who know which languages work best for different needs. We understand how to build a site from the ground up, taking into consideration not just who will be using your website but how to build it so that it can grow with you.
We’ve worked with small businesses and multinational corporations, as well as everything in between. Visit our portfolio page to see some of work we’ve done. When you’re ready to make your vision live, we’re here to help.