Need a Website? How to Simplify the Frustrating Task & How to Do It Yourself

When it comes to the complex stuff of websites and all the things attached to it, I often found it to be a difficult and frustrating task!

There is no reason in our technological age that this stuff should be difficult for the average user.


The Frustrating Task of Websites!
There are just too many choices when it comes to:
1. where to get your website domain name
2. where to find website hosting
3. not to mention finding website designers and paying all these fees for them to manage the maintenance of your site
4. or how to function your own website or blog design & constructing custom themes/ templates and avoiding the fees
5. the list goes on into choosing a service that doesn't impose bandwidth limits, functionality limits, and all imposed boundaries to creativity
Basically with most services, you have to first decide what you want to do and second choose your service based on what they can offer compared to what you have in mind. There doesn't seem to be any freedom to be unlimited in your creativity, adjust to changes, and flexible to unforeseen future outcomes.

Because of the amount of extreme frustration that I faced around this and having to change so many services providers based on unanticipated changes over time; I would like to simplify this process for others.

The Simplifying Solution
It's quite simple to narrow it all down when you look at the top choices and see why these services are at the top. Usually they are offering something free, easy to do it yourself/ user-friendly, and/or offering extreme value compared to most other services.

Take blogger.com and wordpress.com for example:
These are the top companies offering a free blogging format (a website that continuously gets updated) with a user friendly service that any average person can figure out. There are some other free blogging sites, but these two are the top known brand names and for good reason.

There is nothing wrong with wordpress and I don't have anything negative to say about their service, but I want to focus on blogger.com and why I choose them for both my personal blogs and business websites.

With blogger.com you can create both a blog and/or a website. Although the service is designed for a blogging platform service, with a little tweaking you can create a website.

No Limitations with Blogger
In fact, with blogger.com you can custom design and create ANY look and functionality you desire if you have the know how. There truly are no limits with Blogger.com

To mention a few:
  1. There are no limits to the number of blogs and websites you can have. And you can host them all from the same blogger account dashboard.
  2. No limit to team members, contributors or administrators.
  3. No limit to the number of posts or drafts you can store.
  4. There are no size limits to the posts.
  5. No limit to the size of videos you can upload to blogger and post.
  6. There are no bandwidth limits. In other words, you can have millions of visitors to your site a day without any limits (you will find that most all services place a daily or month cap on the amount of data that can be transferred).
  7. No limits to how many comments you can have on each post.
  8. And as mentioned; no limits to creativity, layout, themes, templates, designs, applications, functionality, look and feel, etc.. with the know how.
I will offer some solutions to number 8, but first I want to mention that this is just the beginning of what blogger.com offers (which is already extremely amazing and difficult to find anywhere else, even if you are paying for such a service!).

Blogger: Most Trusted Name & Extreme Benefits
To top is off: blogger.com is owned by and hosted on Google.
Google is one of the largest & most trusted names in the online world.

Since Google is the host:
*You enjoy the benefits of up-to-date technology.
In other words, Google is the top leading company that has a constant ability to develop new technological advances/ updates. Which makes your blogs and websites maintenance free and always up-to-date with the newest features available.

*There are slim to no server downtime with extremely fast page load.
Google's servers are some of the fastest servers found online. This is testable at: http://www.webpagetest.org/ where you can check the run time, performance, and analysis of any site.
It tests the sites infrastructure around the globe. You will find that when you test blogger sites, the "Page Speed Score" (fastest being 100/100) is averagely much higher than most any other services.

*Up the the minute website stats monitoring traffic right from your dashboard. Traffic is the amount of people visiting your site.
1. You can see how people found your site (traffic sources) and how many people found it through that source.
2. What posts they visit on your site and how many visitors visit that post.
3. How many page views you receive in a day (today, yesterday, week, month, and all time).
4. You can tell what country they come from, what web browser they use, and what operating system they have.
And if you use Google Analytics (another free program by Google) you can go the extra mile into the depths of your site(s) and the visitors to it.
It provides valuable information that can be used to determine anything and everything you need to know about your site(s) and visitors, to enhance ability and maximize results.
I am telling ya, the technological capabilities and interface that Google offers right at your fingertips is unbelievable. You can even generate income by hosting ads, like Google Adsense and affiliate marketing, which is also free.


The Freedom of Blogger
In fact everything I mentioned up to this point is free:
  • Free Lifetime hosting
  • Website for Life - no extra fees later down the road
  • No server fees, no upgrade fees, no hosting fees, no fees paying someone to manage your website.
  • You have full control over all content.
  • Easy user-friendly format to change and edit any content or to simply add new content - maintenance free - no fees ever
And this only touches the surface. I couldn't possible into all the details of what Google and the Blogger platform offers without literally writing a book.

The only service when it comes to Blogger that Google doesn't offer for free is custom domain names. In other words: www.your-custom-name-here.com
You can also choose from:
.com
.net
.org
.info
.biz
along with your custom domain name, for only $10 a year! With this custom domain, you also get custom email addresses.

Solutions for Website Creativity
Now as promised, let's look into the options of creativity, layout, themes, templates, designs, applications, functionality, look and feel of your blogger.com blog(s)/ website(s) when you don't have knowledge of coding.


First let's go through the options you do have:
From the blogger.com dashboard if you click "Design" you will see the layout:
1. From here you can choose to upload an image to your header (the top portion of the site)
2. You can choose a list of widgets, gadgets, and applications by clicking on the links that say "Add a Gadget" in the area of the layout that you want the gadget to be placed.
Gadgets are how you add content to your site. Examples are: follow by email, recent posts, popular posts, blog stats, slideshows, profile, link lists, labels, search box, etc..
You can also add the "pages" gadget which links to pages you can create: contact page, about page, home page, etc..
From the blogger.com dashboard if you simply click "Design" and choose the link that says "Template Designer".
From the "Template Designer" you can choose:
3. Color themes: where you can choose from a balanced color theme they provide or choose to custom any colors you want
4. Choose from 100's of backgrounds sorted by category or upload your own
5. Adjust the width of your entire blog and the sidebar(s)
6. Layout: which gives options of how many sidebars and how to split them, foot layout which can be one column or separated into 2-3 columns
7. Advanced: where you have a ton of more options, from fonts, to colors of different sections
Now let's look at the limits (if you don't know coding):
  1. You have the basic blogger gadgets and you can search through 1,000+ third party developer gadgets. However, you are limited to the design functionality of the developer and it's difficult to find anything of value to add to your site when it comes to the third party developer gadgets
  2. The layout is limited. Say you want 3 separate columns in the header or two separate columns at the end of the blog posts. Alternatively, maybe you want the layout to be completely customized to fit an idea you have, like this: http://satsangtube.blogspot.com
  3. You are limited to the templates you can choose from. At present you have 7 options (the first one is Dynamic Views which is a new addition, they are always upgrading and improving) and from those 7 options you have about 7 more different ways to customize the main options.
Basically if you own a blogger.com account, you will see the 7 same templates, the same layouts, and same gadgets everywhere. If you want to customize a unique look and feel, you need to know quite a bit about the coding.


Free Solution
Let's start with the Free solution:
If you go to www.google.com and type "Blogger _______________" and fill in the blank with whatever you are looking for, you will find several blogs that teach how to customize your blogger site.

If you are looking for ideas go to http://tips-for-new-bloggers.blogspot.com
and you will find a tremendous list of ways to customize your blogger site.


However, with the option above, here is a list of things to watch out for:
  1. It takes a lot of time, patience, and dedication.
  2. It takes away time from writing blog posts or advertising your website/ service.
  3. It can become extremely addictive
  4. Adding and subtracting changes too much can cause the function and flow of the website to decrease
  5. If you want a professional look and feel there is much to this process than customizing your layout and templates.
The vast amount of information and knowledge that every excellent website designer knows is priceless, especially if they have at least 5 years experience and incorporate business strategies.

Professional Solution
For this reason, if you really want to get serious about having a professional blog/ website on blogger (which offers more free benefits than most any pricey service out there)... I would hire someone who is trained in the multilevel arts of not just website design but also the incorporating of business strategies and the up-to-date knowledge of the blogger platform.

I know of no other professional service online that offers what I just described above except my team at BlogMakeover.net (use promo code: QEWNP9 for $30 off) We are a small team studio of creators and builders enhancing your online presence and taking care of the complicated stuff so you can focus on your clients.

For more information visit http://www.blogmakeover.net/ (use promo code: QEWNP9 for $30 off)

I hope you found some valuable information that will ease your frustration when it comes to this technological age of online websites and blogs.

~Nick