6 Website Building Shortcuts to Consider
Just as we witnessed a revolution where the personal computer (PC) was introduced into nearly every home in America, we’re in the middle of a new revolution where everyone has a website (or three).
Further, since we live in a busy world full of people who have places to go and things to do, building a website can be time consuming. Thankfully, there are some pretty efficient ways for pros and novices to build their websites quickly and efficiently. Here are some tips to get your website going quickly and easily:
1. Don’t fuss over perfection
We all want a pixel-perfect website. And there isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t have one. But expecting to have it the day you launch is only going to keep you from launching in the first place.
It’s acceptable to publish your website and make small changes and tweaks as you go along. It doesn’t need to be perfect the moment it’s introduced to the world. Think of perfection as a gradual achievement. Otherwise, you’ll just slow down your project and drive yourself crazy in the process.
2. Use tools whenever you can
If you’re a front-end developer, you can take advantage of some really useful tools to help you make the development process smooth. If you haven’t heard of tools like GitHub or Heroku (a development platform to help you build, run, and operate your applications in the cloud), you can read about them (and many others) here.
+ Also read, "Friend or Foe: Selecting a Framework for Your Next Project"
3. Use templates to save time and money
Creating a website from scratch with a designer is going to cost a lot of money and take a lot of time. And that’s not to say it’s not worth it – it is – if you have the resources to spare. If not, then your best option is to use a template. You can get professionally developed templates for under $100 for just about any publishing platform you use (WordPress, Weebly, Wix, MODX, Drupal, Joomla, etc.). It’s also possible to find beautiful templates for free.
Choosing the right template
Although templates come with a pre-made design, various components can be customized depending on how they’re crafted. You just have to choose a template that has the overall look and feel you like, and start with a basic structure that works well for your needs. Colors, photos, graphics, and typography can all be changed to fit your brand.
Where to find templates
Templates can be found all over the web, and most hosting companies provide templates for you, like Wix and GoDaddy for example with both offering them to free and paid customers.
4. Document your colors in a list using hex codes
Nothing can slow you down more than having to open a screenshot in Photoshop to sample that color you just chose for your links because it’s faster than finding your way back to the CSS file.
When you’re building a website, you’re going to be using your colors’ hex codes frequently, and instead of searching through your code every time you need to use it, just create a text document with a list of all the color codes you’ve chosen. You can print this list out, tape it to your computer, or keep it open in a text document for copying and pasting.
5. Outsource small tasks
If you use a service like Get Leverage, Virtual Staff Finder or their competitors to outsource your small tasks like simple graphics, PDF compilation and website customizations, you’ll take a lot of pressure off of yourself.
6. Backup, backup, backup
Believe it or not, backing up your files and databases is the greatest shortcut you’ll ever use. Can you imagine building your entire website, only to have it crash without a backup? It would take you a long time to put it all back together from scratch.
Websites crash more often than you may think. If you’re not sure how to back up your databases, you can always call your Web host and ask if they provide a backup service you can sign up for. Backups are always worth the money!