Saturday, 5 May 2018

How To: Essential skills for running a website


Image: Flat Earth - boat falling over the edge It seems like any idiot can have their own website these days; and most of us do. You no longer need to be a genius-level computer programmer - or indeed any kind of programmer - to do this. In fact, you can get by on almost no knowledge of IT whatsoever.

There are now so many point-and-click, drag-and-drop, site-builder, page-builder, menu-builder, widget-builder platforms on the web, complete with step-by-step wizards, guides, help and tutorials, you could be a medieval peasant with a belief in the Flat Earth and sorcery and still be able to build your own website to talk about it. Perhaps with the help of a wizard.

The bar for essential skills is now very low:
  • You have the literacy level of a five year old or better
  • You have access to a computer (laptop, tablet, at a stretch - smart phone) and can connect it to the Internet.
  • You have content to publish on a website or blog; text, images and maybe other media files such as video, audio, animation.
  • You know what a web browser is and how to type in a web address
  • You know how web links work (tap or click on a link to go to the thing it links to)
  • You know that a web site sits on a server somewhere 'out there' on the Internet and it has a web address
  • You can point and click with a mouse or tap a touch screen
  • You can find enough keys on a keyboard (real or on screen) to enter text
  • You can upload files to the Internet (or at least know in general how it's done)
That's about it. Everything else from choosing a web host to creating pages is on line and it's up to you how much of the technical stuff you want to learn - or not.

Your site may not be pretty, or well structured, but if you have something to say, or an audience to whom to connect, you can.

So what's stopping you? RC

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