Web Design For Dummies: Creating a Website By Yourself

In 2010, soon after I started Silverleaf, one of the first things I did was get business cards. After choosing a design, finding a printer, and deciding on how many I could afford, I anxiously placed my order. The day my new cards arrived, I ripped open the box…

Instantly, I hated all 500 cards. The free template design I chose looked low-quality and cheap, and having a personal e-mail address on the card seemed really unprofessional.

I needed a new design, and a separate business email address. However, there were problems: the domain name I purchased was WAY too long, and I didn’t know how to create a new email address @mynewdomain.com

Oh, and I didn’t know anything about creating a website.

Creating a Website With Software

As I began researching website design, it soon became clear that creating a website was not going to be easy. The more I learned about domains, host servers, CSS, FTP, and HTML, the more I lamented, “FML”.

Website Design

First, I looked into using web design software. The software promised to make website design easy: position some buttons, images, and menus, and viola: a professional-looking site, complete without the need to learn any code!

In reality, what I ended up with was a strange-looking, mis-aligned template page that I couldn’t fix, because I hadn’t learned any code.

I had a vision of what I wanted my website design to look like, but I just couldn’t make it look right. As a do-it-yourself-er, I would normally have the patience to continue learning on my own, but at this point I was spent. I needed help.

Finding a Web Design Professional

Next, I decided to look for a web design professional that could make my vision a reality, and not overcharge me for a basic design. After all, why should I spend a lot of time trying to do it myself, when I could pay someone to do it for me, quickly and correctly?

Silverleaf Web Design

Finding someone to do a professional website design turned out to be much harder than I’d imagined, however. I asked family and friends for referrals, and out of about SIX website designers I contacted, only ONE responded to my request.

Even worse, the designer that did respond quoted me a high price and long wait time, for creating a website that I felt had an extremely basic design, and shouldn’t take that long to make.

After my discouraging experience hiring a web designer, once again the do-it-yourself attitude in me kicked in. I decided that if I wanted a website, I was going to have to learn web design myself.

Website Design For Dummies

Fast-forward two years later, and www.silverleafcs.com is complete. I’ve even completed a few other sites as well. I honestly can’t say how many hours I’ve spent learning HTML and CSS, staring at line after line of code, and creating a website that I think finally looks perfect.

I don’t recommend that anybody assume my crazy “do-it-yourself” mindset, at least not when it comes to a technically and creatively complex project like website design. In fact, I’ve partnered with a team of web design professionals for exactly this reason: website design isn’t easy.

So, if you’re thinking about creating a website, please, save two years of your life and check out the Silverleaf web design page for a free quote instead.