So you have your name and logo, you may have decided on a color scheme, so now you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and start building.
First, I recommend three things:
- Draw your site map. List out on paper each page, the subcategories, and information to be stored on each (you can use bullet points for this). This is your outline, and it will help you stay organized so you don’t spend time remaking pages you’ve already completed. Sometimes I even sketch out each page visually. That way I have an idea of not only the page’s contents, but also what it might look like. The site map will also help you determine your links in your main menu.
- Chose the medium for your site’s construction. If you’re not super tech-savvy, I suggest using a template-based services such as WordPress, Squarespace or Wix. All of these services offer different levels of customization, some free and some paid, but they’re easy to use and can save you a lot of time and trouble-shooting. If you want to have control over absolutely everything, then I would suggest program like FrontPage or Dreamweaver (I prefer Dreamweaver). Both programs require more Internet know-how, but offer endless possibilities within your own control.
- Invest in a good graphics program and become familiar with how to use it. If you’re going to be doing all the photography and graphic work yourself, this is a must-have. Many computers, both PC and Mac, come with a basic program, and there are a few free ones out there. I use Photoshop. For everything, and I swear by it. It can do just about everything, so it can seem overwhelming. However the freedom in creativity you have by knowing how to use it lets you make your images and graphics exactly how you want it.
I will go into greater detail on some of these points in later posts, but here I wanted to lay out some framework for getting started. Once you have these items in your tool box, you can start to chip away at each element piece by piece. Staying organized will help a lot, so the site map is super-important and is a great tool to measure your progress.
What is the hardest part about getting started? What other things do you put together before you start building? Have I missed anything?