Making Your Website Just Right

Last Update: Jun 18, 2021

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There are many ways to build a Website. Some of these ways take longer to learn than others.

There is no "right" way to build out a website, only the individual builder can decide such issues.

Part of the problem is what exactly do you want?

Free Themes

The easiest way to build a website is through free themes. For example, there are very good theme builders that have free versions such as Astra and OceanWP. These two are rated at the top for free page builders which have free pre-built themes available.

All you have to do is to use these free themes as a starting point for individualizing them to your needs.

Of course, you will not have total control over everything with a free builder but you can make most free themes today look really good. Then with a few (usually) free plugins, you can add additional functionality.

But suppose you want more control and build out a theme that is not in a prebuilt theme? Suppose you saw a website while browsing on the Internet and decided you would like to build your own site - or modify your existing site - to look like that.

Paid Themes

One solution that might help is to get the paid version of some of the free themes you already used. This will certainly give you more options and you will almost certainly be able to do more modifications.

But suppose you want more - you know, graphics that pop out at you, modals, special effects on hover, special blogging effects - just some features you want but can't find on your paid theme version.

Then what?

Divi and Elementor (among others)

These are the two most popular theme builders for those who want more granular control and options than on most of the paid themes.

Elementor has a free version that while limited, and be expanded with plugin addons - although many of these are paid plugins. The free version otherwise is rather limited although it has more functionality than it used to have.

The paid version of Elementor has recently gone up in price which is a shame. It is now much more expensive than Divi and even the paid options have limitations on the number of sites you can use with one subscription.

Divi does not have a free version, but the paid version allows you have as many websites as you can build. It is competitively priced compared to Elementor. They have opened upon a "marketplace" where third-party developers can place their products that add additional functionality or features.

You can probably build just about anything you want with these two builders - just about. If you still more, you might be able to integrate CSS / Javascript to do more, or you might just want to start from scratch.

Coding with CSS - HTML - Javascript - PHP - Bootstrap (etc)

If you are really adventuresome and have some (OK, a lot) of free time on your hands, you can learn to code. Learning to code will enable you to do anything you can think of - eventually.

Of course, the problem with this approach is that it takes time - sometimes lots of time - to code. There are all kinds of places somebody can learn to code WordPress Websites such as Udemy and even classes on YouTube.

I have done all of the above and even make sites as a kind of a hobby.

What do you think? What have people used to make their sites - and particularly, has anybody coded their sites from scratch?

I'd be interested to know how long it took people to learn how to make their sites and whether they would do it all over again if they had the time or inclination.

Dave.

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Recent Comments

12

Hi Dave
As an ex-programmer, the idea of building a site from scratch is possible but for me, now, far from a good use of time.

I use the reasonably priced paid version of Generate Press with WP block (which is being improved regularly).

I admit I prefer relatively simple sites designed more for efficiency than anything else. I believe though that GP provides great scope for embellishment if required.
:-)
Richard

Hey Doc, know nothing about codes.

Excellent info, Dave! I'm simple, so I stay with Generate press!

Jeff

Thanks for your comments - I will need to look into GeneratePress more.

Dave.

Thanks, Dave! It is the default theme for the training here, and everyone usually has good things to say about it too!

Jeff

Fortunately, I got in at GeneratePress Pro, Elementor pro and even before WA made the bug updates to their respective websites...

GP Pro is $59 USD, up from $49. They now limit the number of websites you can create and use the GP theme. But seriously, do you really need 500 websites?

Elementor downsized their free and paid versions to accommodate the 'Agency' level...

However, the paid version of Elementor, the middle of the road one, still gives you plenty to work with. Trust me when I say that having too many options on how to create your theme or template can be overwhelming.

One thing I like about with elementor is they offer really good support and tutorial videos on their site as well as on their YouTube channel.

I first learned how to code when using Kompozer when I first learned about affikiate marketing. Chris Ferrell has a membership site that is still going strong.

If you want to learn how to code properly and for free, check out w3schools website. They offer tutorial that allow you to try out the code yiu just learned.

Learn some css, and you can add some customization to your WordPress themes in the CSS section.

Astra is good, I used that for my e-commerce website until yesterday. I switched back to GeneratePress without a hitch.

The reason I swapped back to GP was Astra was no longer useful to me. I previously used Astra because I was more familiar with it. Once I used GP more, I felt more comfortable and returned to GeneratePress.

The one thing I will say, is keep it simple. There is way too many shiny things to distract you, and once yiu build a solid site, Then you can make some changes.

Rudy



Thanks for much for your reply. I am really still looking for guidance on this and your post was just what I needed.

I am not familiar with GeneratePro although I have heard of it. I will have to look into it further.

I really appreciate your words about Elementor Pro - they offer an excellent product and there is something to say about having too many options!

I am trying to start a community of people who have never built a website but starting from scratch.

Dave.

Great information and thank you for sharing your insights, much appreciated.

Tracy

Thanks for the comments! I am trying to make a site for a community I am trying to build and would like other members to be able to have sites of their own. That is why I am looking for something simple.

Dave.

Sounds like a good plan. All the best with it.

Tracy

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