Website development – it can’t be too hard I thought. It is after all just images and text creating a story. One that you want to share with people who might be interested in your work.
Well not exactly – website development was and is much harder, but in ways I hadn’t anticipated.
Why Design My Own Website?
This is a very good question, and one I asked myself several times on this journey (!)
I thought I wanted the following:
- Control – I wanted my own site, created in my own way, with complete autonomy and control.
- Cost – I wanted to bring my expenditure down. Not mindlessly pay out each year for a host website package with bells and whistles that I don’t need or use.
- Flexibility – with a hosted website package its hard to change how your site looks. To tweak or add elements, flexibility is seemingly minimal.
- Challenge – that’s got to be a good thing hasn’t it? Who doesn’t like to learn something new?
So with all this in mind I spent lots of time and energy researching the options available. In hindsight it’s quite possible I didn’t spend enough time on the research, it was a good hour maybe even two, but patience has never been a virtue of mine!
I spent time ferreting around on Facebook and spending time lurking on the Guild of Photographers page. I soon established that I needed to signup to a website host that offered WordPress as the foundation of the website development.
Further investigation highlighted Siteground as a preferred option.
So far so good, I signed up for three years. It worked out cheaper but was admittedly a bit of a risk if I failed in my website development task!
WordPress installed without a hitch and I was ready ……..not!!
Where the heck do you start? There are a ton of options to help you create your dream web page. Beaver Builder, Divi, Themify, Page Builder and Elementor, to name just a few of the top recommendations.
I opted for Divi and soon found my technical ability very much lacking in understanding and patience. Or the wish to watch another 2hr 40 minute video on how to build a page of content.
This was the area I had completely underestimated in the whole process. The shear number of options available for home website development is utterly overwhelming.
I found Divi far to complex, even though it supposed to be for beginners. I was clearly still in kindergarten when it came to my understanding of website code and functionality . So back to the drawing board.
This time I approached from a slightly different perspective. I decided the “How To” video guides were fundamental in my need to understand and “drag and drop” widgets were also important.
These allow you to build the site visually without the need for in-depth coding knowledge.
Dave Foy came to the rescue!. I was already starting to get a sense that Elementor might be the way forward for me and he sealed the deal. His videos are clear, concise and not at all patronising – even for a beginner!
After an hour of watching (thats a long time for me!) I felt I was ready to make a start – and do you know what………… it worked!!
What you see here now is my effort at creating my own space on the inter web. I’m sure there are issues, errors and mistakes.
But I hope as my knowledge grows and my understanding becomes clearer I will be able to tweak and change my site as I see fit, or as society dictates.
It’s been a great challenge, one I have only just slightly scratched the surface of. SEO is the next hurdle, how to make my site Google friendly. Watch this space is it grows with me!
If you find any errors or issues please do get in touch and let me know!