Gee, I'm three pages late to the party . . .
I started my website over ten years ago, using Claris Home Page. Wonderful back then, stinks now. I have also used Front Page, Dreamweaver, and now Sharepoint Designer -- which is a sunset version and it's free.
There are two basic ways to write a website -- either build it on your home computer, then upload it using Filezilla or similar, OR use an online software to build the site. The online version is simpler to use, but you're limited as to how you arrange everything. You choose a template and insert your name where it says to -- and voila! Website.
Mine is a rather complicated story. After writing the site, I wanted to set up a section for e-commerce. I ran into nothing but dead-ends, and people who say they will get me started for only $3,000.00. So I canned the idea.
Later I found that Sams Club was offering web hosting for business members, and it INCLUDES e-commerce! I signed up, got my very own second website, and used THEIR online soiftware to build it. It so happens most of it is rather cheesy, and the online shopping pages were difficult to navigate. BUT -- once you're looking at a product, it's easy to order cand check out -- and it all works! So I built pages with links to the products. This is for car stereos. Example, dash speakers -- look at the charts for each make/model car, and you'll see a thousand links. Took quite awhile to write but it works well.
Then one day I got a phone call. Sams Club is getting out of the web hosting, and these people will write me a new site for, well, many thousands. So I scrambled to find something. What I found, Hostmonster gave me space, and has a section that allows me to download any of several e-commerce software packages for the site. I settled on OS-Commerce. It got set up, I put in a bunch of products (but never finished), and guess what -- people have started buying from it using Paypal! It has a bug -- shipping. It messes up. Some guy in Germany ordered a pair of kickpanels and was only charged $8 to ship! I've made very little progress in fixing thius.
Meanwhile, some two years later after that Sams Club phone call, I got a note from Web.com stating that the Sams sites will drop as of April 29. So I signed up for renewal of the site with Web.com; the site is still there, but instead of taymanelectrical.samsbiz.com, I now have garytayman.net. I had to change EVERY link on EVERY page! But it works.
If you want to peruse, the actual site is http://www.garytayman.com
. If you click on various products, you'll notice the background changes from the textured white to a solid white with purple banner (and a 55 Ford on the corner). The purple banner apges are the Sams Club section which is now on web.com.
So it's convoluted but it works. If you're a beginner, best to find a site that you can build online. Once experienced, you can use a software program to build it your way, then upload it. Either way I recommend the KISS method -- keep it simple stupid. Two reasons: first, although you m,ight have the latest fios technology with lightning speeds, you must keep in mind that there are still folks using dial-up, or other protocol that's just as bad. You don't want pages that take a half-hour to load; make it fast. Second, the easier you maker it, the easier it is to update. You WILL make changes; if the site is simple it's easy to change -- complex, you'll be tearing your hair out, or simply procrastinating till you have enough time to study how to make the changes.