How to make your own website

Websites are fun!

There's no need to be constrained by social media pages and how they'll let you present yourself and your ideas. Making your own site is easier than it's ever been, and it was never very hard! If I could do it as an 11 year old in 2000, I'm sure you can do it now - and I bet your site will look better, too! It can look however you want it to :)

What kind of site do you want?

What do you want it to be about? You don't have to decide everything at once, but different kinds of sites lend themselves to different kinds of layouts. If you think your site will be about more than one thing, like mine, then I think you can't go wrong with a nice big navbar to help people get around. You could put it anywhere, but down the left or across the top is pretty standard.

A site for images, a site for words, a site for anything else - they'll probably look different. But you can make different kinds of pages for different kinds of things. My site looks pretty much the same on every page, though I do actually have different little templates for different purposes, but that's not mandatory. Some people have every single page of their site looking totally different, and that can be fun too :)

Coding is easy!

All you need to make a site is a text editor. (I use Notepad++, which helpfully colour-codes tags.) You might be thinking, oh, sure, and perfect knowledge of html and css and a thousand other things - not true! Because you can, and should, learn by copying!

From sketching out a layout to thieving lines of code, the easiest way to design a website is to look at other people's! View the source of any page that interests you. Get comfortable inspecting elements in your browser! It's fun, and you can learn a lot!

Learn as you go

When you have a design in mind, and especially when you start to build it, you'll come across specific problems. How do I centre this? How do I change the position of that?

Don't be discouraged! Having a question takes you most of the way to finding an answer. Just type that query into DDG/google/whatever and you're off. It's overwhelmingly likely that someone else has already asked and answered your question.

Where to start?

There are two easy places to start: with a very simple website, and build from there as you decide what to add; or with a template, and tweak from there as you decide what to change.

W3Schools (html for the structure of your site, and css to make it pretty) has been a really useful resource for me, even though I knew the basics of html and css. You can learn from their free tutorials from the beginning to weird css properties. I really love their colour mixer, too!

For templates, REPTH here on neocities is a great resource for simple but cute layouts. That's the kind of website I have here, aside from the minimal javascript, but if you want something more fancy, I really like these ideas from Codrops.

Any tutorial you start with - including this one - you'll outgrow so fast, as soon as you start experimenting. A simple webpage is so easy to build. Don't let yourself get intimidated by the experts and their apps. A static page is barely more complicated than plain text!

And now... a home for your new website!

You're reading this on neocities, a great totally free host! Sign up here! :)

I pay $5/month because I love what they are doing - what they are helping everyone do! But you don't need to pay a penny, and there are no ads or anything else. You can just upload your site and have fun!

Easy peasy! It won't be long until you're wondering who exactly made some of the websites you visit. But you'll never stop looking up css selectors. Or, I haven't :)