Body of Knowledge

YOUR OWN WEBSITE: ONE

The Joys of Creating Your Own Website

A light-hearted yet serious look at that Dream of creating Your Own Website

Your Own Website - Chapter One


This is an honest yet light-hearted look at the joys and simplicity of creating your own Website.

Make no mistake, this Article is totally serious and will hopefully give you the determination to achieve your goal.

But my task, will be to encourage you to give up the idea and take up skydiving. It's less dangerous!

If you make it to the end of the Article and still have the passion, then let me know and I will publish Chapter Two.

My Pipedream Website


There are a number of Hurdles to jump. You're at the starting line, 60 meters to run and five hurdles ...

Do you accept the Challenge?


IF CHOICE = "Yes" GOTO HURDLE_1
ELSE GOTO EXIT
HURDLE_1: So, you want to create your own Website?

The starter's pistol has fired, and we are off and running! I have plenty of time and will convince you to give up before the end.

Now you're thinking, "What colors should I use?", "How many likes will I get?", "What will my friends say?".

Or hopefully, "How do I do that?", "Where do I go from here?".

I guess they are all valid questions and have some merit, but let's abstract ourselves from the Shiny New Site for a few seconds.

Now, focus on Questions to Yourself 1.01:
  • Why do I want a Website?
  • What do I want to put on it?
  • Can I achieve similar results with Social Media, such as a Facebook Page?
  • Do I know anything about programming?
  • Am I good with Technology?
  • How much will it cost me?
  • Should I take up skydiving or just go down-the-pub?

Have you thought it through fully and are you still determined and keen?

IF ANSWER = "No" GOTO EXIT
ELSE CONTINUE


Well, in that case you have made it over HURDLE_1.

GOTO HURDLE_2
HURDLE_2: Will your Site be Worthwhile

Well done, we're on our way! You have crossed the first 10 meters and the first hurdle, but still nearly 50 meters to run. I am not worried yet, I still have plenty of time to dissuade you.

Let's try another question, "Is it a worthwhile goal?"
  • Is there a valid use or reason for your Website?
  • Have you really got something compelling to say or display?
  • Will other people be interested in it?
  • Is there any true worth in your dream?

Wow! That was a bit tough! Yes, I guess it was, but you really need to ask yourself whether it is worthwhile, turning your pipedream into a reality. There are literally millions of Websites already out there in the ether.

Possibly you don't care. It might not be important to you that thousands of people flock to your Site. It may be just for you, your family and a few friends.

If that is the case, fine. I have no valid reason for telling you not to go ahead. But, as mentioned in HURDLE_1, maybe a Social Media Page will be enough (and much quicker and simpler).

Do you want to give-up yet or shall we continue?

IF ANSWER = "I want to continue" GOTO HURDLE_3
ELSE GOTO EXIT
HURDLE_3: Do you have the resources

That last hurdle was a bit rough! Oh well, less that 40 to go. I'm a little worried, so I'll up the ante.

Now for a few tough ones:
  • Do you have the time to dedicate to a Project?
  • Have you got the spare cash to potentially waste?
  • What about experience, are you good with technology?
  • Do you have the intelligence? OUCH!
  • Is there anyone who can help you and do they have the time?

You may feel that was brutal, I must admit it was a bit over-the-top, but these are valid issues that must be realised. There is no point spending your time and money if you don't know what you are up against.

Do you have any programming experience and are you still keen?

IF ANSWER = "Yes" GOTO HURDLE_4
ELSE CONTINUE


Creating Websites takes a lot of resources: time, money and experience. Why waste them, if you have no chance of success?

So, are you eager for more?

IF ANSWER = "Yes" GOTO HURDLE_4
ELSE GOTO EXIT
HURDLE_4: What will I use to build the Website

You've got up some speed now, over halfway there! Yes, I am now truly getting nervous.

So now we open Pandora's Box! There are just so many ways to create a Website, so many different structures, languages, philosophies and paradigms. Where do we begin?

Let's just tackle a few common, contemporary alternatives:
  • Wordpress (hosted or otherwise)
  • Site Builders (generally offered by Host Providers)
  • CMS (Content Management Systems)
  • Google Sites
  • HTML and JavaScript
  • LAMP Stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Perl/Python)
  • Countless other Stacks
  • Pay a Professional

That is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Even if you have a truly great friend who is willing to give up hours, days or weeks of their time, they still have to go through the same headache.

And paying a Professional? How much spare cash do you have!

Potentially, the simplest and quickest options are Wordpress, Site Builders and Google Sites. But if you want a simple, quick development curve you will end-up with a simple, quick, cookie-cutter Site. With nothing to differentiate you from the other gazillion Websites already out there.

Who wants to spend their time on a text-based, fill-in-the-blanks Website that doesn’t inspire them!

I mentioned icebergs a moment ago, but you still have Hosting and SEO to consider.

Where are you going to host your site? Believe me the days of hosting a site on your home desktop are well and truly gone. So hosting is the true: who, what, when, where and how much of launching and maintaining a Website.

What about SEO, Search Engine Optimisation? Who is going to look at or even find your Website if you are not listed on Google and/or Bing? And believe me, from learned experience, SEO without doubt, is a can of worms that you do NOT want me to open here and now.

So, have I finally convinced you, or are you fresh and ready for the final hurdle?

IF ANSWER = "Fresh and ready" GOTO HURDLE_5
ELSE GOTO EXIT
HURDLE_5: Persistence

If you have made it this far, then I assume that you have at least some persistence. But there is one more barrier to overcome and then just the homestretch. This is my last chance, getting desperate now!

So just how can I convince you that skydiving is the safer option?

I will go through some roadblocks to reaching your goal and then hit you with my last trump card:
  • Running out of Resources, such as: time, money, energy or that once close friend
  • The goal posts keep moving or there is always just One More Step to complete
  • Descending into Procrastination and not getting the job done
  • Lack of Confidence to finish-up and release the Website

Without dedication, resources, project management and determination your goal may disappear into the distance.

Now my final attempt – The 90 / 90 Rule:

The 90 / 90 rule in Software Development states that, “The first 90% of the Project takes 90% of the time and the remaining 10% takes 90% of the time”. So, the project blows-out to 180% of the initial projected time. And again, from personal experience, I would say that is an extremely conservative estimate.

And finally, don’t forget that once your Website is complete, you still have to consider and organise Hosting and SEO.

You made it to the grand-final but there is still a decision to be made. Are you still convinced that you need a Website?

IF ANSWER = "No you have convinced me to give up" GOTO EXIT
ELSE GOTO MADE_IT_THROUGH
EXIT: Time and money saved

Your choices are simple here:

IF CHOICE = "Sky-diving" GOTO SKYDIVING
ELSE IF CHOICE = "Go down the pub" GOTO PUB_AVAILABILITY
ELSE GOTO DONE
SKYDIVING: Much safer option

GOTO DONE
PUB_AVAILABILITY: Is my local Pub closed due to Covid-19?

IF ANSWER = "Yes" GOTO GET_SIXPACK
ELSE GOTO THE_PUB
THE_PUB: Drown your sorrows

GOTO DONE
GET_SIXPACK: Drown your sorrows at home

GOTO DONE
DONE: Job Done!

The End ... or is it?
MADE_IT_THROUGH: Well-done! So, what's next

Congratulations, you have crossed the line and broken the tape. Let's hope you have all the good luck you deserve, because there is another race to run. Potentially a marathon.

So where to from here?

GOTO CHAPTER_TWO
CHAPTER_TWO: The Series continues

Read Chapter Two.

Originally Published on Vocal Media


This Article was originally published by Tim Stix on vocal.media.
Tim StiX - Dec 2020
Tim StiX is a Software Engineer with over 20 years experience in Net Technology.
See timstix.com for more information.
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