So, you already have known how the Internet works. You understand the difference between the web page and web browser. It is high time to build a website from scratch of your own. While the building process is no longer a pain in the neck, users with absolutely no technical skills have great opportunities to go live with their new online projects. Advanced software and web tools bring those opportunities.
They actually make it easy and fast to build, customize, and deploy. In most cases, you will need form 6 minutes to several hours to come up with a fully functional site with zero coding experience. So, what are those tools and how can they help? Keep reading the article to find out the software needed to create a website from scratch.
Core Website Components
Despite the fact users may not have special techniques to create a site from zero, it is vital to understand some of the terms related to the web industry. Moreover, it might be good to realize how the website actually works and what components it consists of. You have already heard some of the expressions although you might not have the foggiest idea about what they mean. We will clarify those terms for you.
The key components to establishing your web presence include:
- A Web Page – is a web document that may be accessed by means of a web browser by typing in the web address.
- Website hosts and manages a selection of web pages as well as put them together or divides into specific groups or sections.
- A Domain name – is your website address that you may see in the browser’s search bar.
- A Web Server – is a computer that hosts your website files and content as well as ensures its accessibility for the end-user.
- Search Engine – is a web instrument to help users find the website they need. It comes as a simple navigation system to surf the net and browse the sites you need.
Now, put all those components together and you will get a so-called Global Web with millions of live websites and their owners. To make the website work, you need a baseline package of web software and technologies.
Web Instruments Needed to Create a Website
The Internet is full of different tools to build a website. Some of them are pretty basic while others are more advanced and up-to-date. Some tools are available free while others come with extra costs. Different technologies require different approaches when you start using them (online or downloadable software, etc.).
It is up to you, which one to opt for. However, you need to consider some vital factors that may include:
- Ease of Use – are those tools easy enough to use? As you are a non-technician, you should select the ones with the simplest interface and minimum learning curve
- Feature Set – make sure a chosen instrument lets you handle the prior task. At the same time, look for enhanced functionality. An Image Editor is not just for cropping and cutting. Consider image size alteration, elements removal, multiple layers, etc.
- Budget Expectations – some tools re free while others come with extra costs, paid extension or premium versions. Make sure a chosen toolkit meets your budget expectations.
To put the things at ease for you, we have highlighted several categories that cover all the instruments needed to build a website. They include in-house resources (PC with the pre-installed OS and browser), web designer tools (website and template builders), and additional software that is not mandatory but will certainly make your life easier (graphic and text editors). Let’s have a closer look at each category.
1. PC with Pre-Installed Operating System (OS)
Having a computer is not enough to start operating it. You will need to have an operating system installed to move on. The OS is actually the soul of your PC. It launches all major functions as well as the computer itself. It may also deliver some extra features, customization tools, and already built-in features. You are to decide, which one to choose.
Although you probably have the one already installed, we will only highlight the top 3 options available for users.
Windows – is a popular operating system that holds over half of the OS market share. The system is very user-friendly making it simple to set it up, log in, and get started. Windows comes in multiple versions regularly updated. Each version bring s a selection of baseline features, which make it a #1 hardware choice today.
The key Windows features:
- Ease of Use – most of you have already dealt with earlier OS versions including Windows XP or Windows 7. Everything is simple and familiar.
- Software Selection – Microsoft has grown into a dominating force on the hardware market delivering tons of applications, extensions, and add-ons for the OS. Let’s face it. We all loved playing Microsoft Solitaire Collection of card games.
- System and Feature Updates – Windows makes it easy to keep your PC run smoothly. It notifies each new update available as well as ensures automated backups with the help of system restore points.
Windows OS might be a good choice whether you are an ordinary home user, gamer, or corporate worker.
Linux differs from traditional OS types, as it is an open-source operating system. Launched in 1991, the system can be met not only on desktop devices but also on smartphones and tablets, gaming consoles, electronic book readers, digital recorders or storing devices.
The key Linux OS features:
- Open-Source OS – it means that users may edit and customize the system by accessing its source code. Of course, it only refers to users with enough technical background.
- Flexible Licensing – for GPL-licensed Linux users, the system reserves enough space for software modification, distributing or unlimited re-using.
- Complexion – the OS is pretty hard to set up and install f compared to Windows or Mac. On the other hand, users may count on advanced support through multiple Linux forums.
Maс OS – is a proprietary operating system designed specifically for the Apple device lineup. In other words, it is used only on Apple’s tablets, laptops, and smartphones including some of its wearables. The software was launched to oppose Microsoft. It delivers ease of use as well as a wide range of built-in apps.
The key Mac OS features:
- Integrated Apps – from voice recorders and commanders to web browsers, calendars, calculators, messengers, and more.
- Compatibility – users are free to integrate various third-party applications. The OS is compatible with different software for business and home usage.
- Interface Customization – you may change the size of screen items, replace the desktop background, benefit from monitor support as well as plug & play feature.
Switching between different OS versions might be a nightmare. So, if you are used to Windows, working with Mac will be like grasping at straws with all the elements placed in a different and annoying way, and vice versa. You’d better stick to a single software.
2. Web Browsers
A web browser – is a software app that appears to be your guide to the inside world of the Global Web. The software helps to not only access web pages but also take the use of some web instruments, tools, or extensions. Having a browser is vital in case you decide to use SaaS online website builders or popular CMS solutions. Otherwise, you will not be able to access web design and customization tools.
While operating systems usually come with already integrated browsers (Windows comes with Internet Explorer while Mac has Safari browser installed on default), you might need more enhanced, lightweight, and functional software to surf the web.
Here are top 3 user options with some core features described:
Google Chrome – is the most popular browser with more than 81% of users in 2019. Apart from good performance and privacy tools, the browser comes with a selection of extensions and integrated apps. They include parental control tools, CPN services, etc. On the other hand, Chrome is one of the resource-hungry browsers.
The key features are:
- Enhanced performance.
- Support for multiple extensions and apps.
- A heavyweight browser that requires much of OS resources
Mozilla – is a popular browser that has recently received its biggest overhaul in the last decade. The software is extremely easy to use and flexible. Moreover, it offers versatile extension support and means to protect users’ privacy.
The key features are:
- Non-Profit App with no charges or third-party sharing.
- Little OS resources needed.
- Advanced Privacy protection tools.
Opera has been underrated for many years. The web browser offers great functionality and integrated tools that are vital for effective web browsing. For example, users may benefit from built-in ad blocker in addition to Opera Turbo functionality. It is used to compress the traffic and ensure faster access to popular web pages. In addition, the app offers multiple customization tools and extensions to enable.
The key features are:
- Fast page load thanks to Opera Turbo.
- Built-In ad-blocker.
- Support for fewer extensions if compared to competitors.
4. Online Website Builders
The idea of using online website builders is to let users access them via browser with no extra software or additional downloads. You simply log in and start the editing process. We have highlighted several good options in terms of ease of use, feature set, and affordability:
Wix – is a leading website building platform, which works great for creating different types of websites. It offers a rich feature set for small business projects, portfolios, digital stores, etc. The software uses the latest technologies to let newbies and web design pros build sites in minutes. No deep coding skills are necessary as the website builder uses intuitive approach to the website development process, which is understandable to everyone.
The most distinctive Wix highlights include:
- Rich Template Collection. The website builder boasts an impressive collection of free, mobile-ready designs (there are over 550 of them now), which are customizable and niche-specific.
- Editing Options. The platform allows choosing one of two website editing options to come up to versatile user skills and requirements, namely the advanced Wix ADI tool and Standard Editor.
- App Market. Wix allows choosing its free and paid extensions/widgets available in the App Market with regard to your website specialization.
- Blogging and eCommerce. The system comes with powerful integrated blogging and eCommerce engines, which let you start and customize functional blogs and digital stores in almost no time.
Wix has a superb free plan, which lasts for the unlimited period of time and lets you explore the entire functionality of the system. As soon as you decide to go live with your project, you’ll be offered to choose a premium subscription. There are two types of plans to pick from – Standard and Business/eCommerce. Each of them includes more detailed plans, the cost of which starts from $13/mo.
uKit – is one of the easiest and most affordable website builders designed for content-based websites, portfolios, and small business representation. The software features an intuitive WYSIWYG editor in addition to a selection of adaptive templates, third-party integration and instant support options. The use of the website builder does not imply any programming awareness, which makes it a perfect choice for newbies.
Key uKit advantages are as follows:
- Responsive Designs. uKit boasts a collection of responsive designs (there are over 400 of them here by now), which are free, stylish, customizable and niche-specific.
- Powerful eCommerce Options. The website builder allows starting web stores in two different ways – either by Ecwid plugin connection or by eCommerce widget integration.
- Blogging Engine. The system allows for blog connection and management, offering a set of integrated tools required for professional blog customization.
- Advanced Integrations. The platform makes it possible to browse its extensive collection of integrations to boost your website performance (social network widgets, contacts, media extensions, customer interaction widget, AmoCRM tools and more).
uKit charges very affordable fees for its subscriptions. There is no completely free trial here yet the system allows testing its integrated functionality during the free 14-day trial. To publish a website, you’ll have to upgrade to one of the premium plans it offers. There are 4 of them here, while their cost starts from $4/mo. This is more than affordable for an ordinary user.
The key benefit of using online website builders is that you may access them whenever you want. A user only needs a device connected to the Internet and data to login. There is no need to download several versions to have installed on multiple devices. All website building instruments may be accessed with a click.
Inline editing comes as another vital advantage here. It means that all the changes are saved automatically with no need to re-publish each age all the time after you have done some slight content updates. Moreover, you may preview those changes in real-time, which is impossible when using offline website builders.
5. Offline Website Builders
Some web-building applications do not require Internet connection. Users may opt for downloadable software and use it no matter if there is a Wi-Fi network or not. The key benefit of such platforms is that you may work on website creating whenever you need despite the location. Simply have the app installed and access its features any time.
The key downside here is you would probably need to pay for multiple versions in case you use the software on multiple devices. Otherwise, you will be able to access the program from a single computer, which is not very convenient. Another downside is that you will still need the Internet connection to import an already-designed template or have it installed on your server.
The good news is that there are both paid and free platforms that offer unlimited access to their features at zero cost. Let’s have a look at a couple of examples:
Adobe Dreamweaver CC – is a professional paid application launched under the Adobe banner. It has gained popularity after Muse support discontinuation. The tool makes it easy to create dynamic web designs although it is pretty complex and expensive. Users with no coding or web designing skills might have their backs against the wall yet it is still possible to master the platform and use it to start large-scale projects.
The main Dreamweaver advantages are as follows:
- Adobe Integrations. Being provided as a part of the Creative Cloud package, Dreamweaver is now compatible with other products available in the Creative Cloud Gallery as well as in the Adobe Stock Marketplace (Dimension CC and Animate CC, Photoshop CC, After Effects CC, InDesign CC, Illustrator CC, Premiere Pro CC, Business Catalyst, Bitbucket, GitHub etc.).
- Cross-Platform Product Creation. With Dreamweaver, you can design multi-purpose applications and websites for different types of desktop and mobile devices.
- Multi Language Support. The platform allows creating websites in several languages (English, Swedish, Polish, Dutch, Turkish etc.), which lets you start more feature-rich projects to target international users.
Adobe Dreamweaver is not a free software yet everyone can test its integrated functionality during the trial period, which extends for 7 days. As soon as you are ready to start a project with the system, you can upgrade to one of the premium subscriptions. There are two of them here – Personal and Enterprise. The cost starts from $14.99/mo.
Mobirise – an offline downloadable software that is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS for maximum flexibility. To use the system and to get access to its entire feature set, you have to download and install it first. The website builder is mostly focused on the needs of beginners yet it also has much to offer to web design pros. The platform is free to use and features ready-made digital store layouts in addition to responsive web design, mobile preview mode, etc.
Have a look at main Mobirise features now:
- Simple Editor. The website builder has a simple additive editor, offering integrated drag-and-drop functionality to simplify the web design process.
- Multiple Content Blocks. As a block-based system, Mobirise grants access to over 4000 elements you can use to create your website structure and layout.
- Bootstrap-Powered Software – Mobirise comes with Bootstrap 4 support, which allows starting responsive projects that display great on all the devices.
- AMP Builder – The platform includes the AMP website builder, which helps create content-based websites that load fast on all mobile devices.
Mobirise is absolutely free to download and install. To get access to its integrated features, tools and themes, you’ll need to invest a certain budget. Thus, you may be offered to get the Full Website Builder Kit as well as to pick a hosting provider to go live with your project. The cheapest Bluehost plan, for example, will cost you $2.95/mo only. This is quite an affordable offer.
The bad news about all of the above-mentioned is that they are not good for beginners. They require at least some baseline learning curve or coding experience. For this reason, opting for online website builders with drag-and-drop functionality as well as all features included in the pack might be a better option.
6. Additional Non-Mandatory Tools
We have discussed some obligatory assets needed to create a website from scratch. In addition, you may take advantage of extra tools. They are not mandatory but may still make the development process much faster and easier. Not considering them would be a miss.
When we say extra instruments, we mean text and graphic editors to work with the content of different formats and types. You might need to write and store numerous texts as well as source code pieces in a single place. It is always better to copy and paste them instead of writing from scratch every time.
Moreover, website owners need to process numerous images and photos to make their project catchier. This is where graphic editors are vital. They help to not only resize and crop your images but also compress them, customize, add effects, new layers, etc.
Users may benefit from several types of text editors. The first category includes already built-in editors that come with each of the operating systems. Windows users may find Notepad already integrated into the OS. Mac OS has TextEdit installed while Linux comes with Kate, LeafPad, and some others.
On the one hand, having integrated editors is good. On the other hand, the usage might be tricky. For example, Notepad is perfect to store pieces of text or source code. However, it does not have many of the formatting or customization tools.
This is where you might prefer having Microsoft Office package compatible with all OS versions. It includes not only text editors, but also Excel, PowerPoint, and some other great instruments that may come in handy.
Using online editors is another alternative. They work the same ways traditional editors with the only difference: they are accessible via your browser and require an Internet connection. Most of you have used Google office cloud-based online package with all the same features as in the traditional desktop office kit. All the info is automatically stored in the cloud with a chance for collaborative work. You may edit the same doc, PowerPoint presentation or Excel table together with your teammates remotely.
As we have stated earlier, a graphic editor is not just to crop and cut the images. The type of editor depends on the project needs as well as your technical background. Some applications are easy to use while others require some design background.
Once again, website owners should consider their financial opportunities, as some software is free while other programs are available with subscription-based models or come with premium accounts to get access to all of the features.
Also, decide on how you are going to use an edit. Is it going to be an online app like Canva? There you may use ready-made templates for banners, presentations, Facebook or Instagram posts or create a unique design of your own. The software requires simple registration with our social account. A free plan is available through with limited features.
Photoshop Elements – is probably the best example of a downloadable graphics editor. It comes with a wide selection of instruments form layers editing and image compression to working with numerous design elements. A powerful editor is not easy for beginners. But once you have handled it, editing images, converting and optimizing them will be a piece of a cake.
Hardware Requirements for Website Development
When you make up your mind to start a website, the use of quality hardware becomes a must. To start with, the choice of computer matters most as you spend the prevailing part of the day working on your project. Experts recommended using an external monitor/computer (or even several of them) instead of a laptop. This is because it does not have such a negative impact on your eyes. What’s more, external monitors are more convenient, which helps accelerate the webflow.
When buying a computer, make sure to check the specifications first. The recommended RAM capacity should exceed 4GB yet the more it is – the better, no matter what programs and tools you plan to use. As to the screen resolution, it should exceed 1920*1080 pixels to reduce the eye load effect. The memory speed should be higher than 3.6 GHz for better data storage. The hard disk size may depend upon the complexity of projects you work on. The more websites (and, correspondingly, data) you save, the higher the disk size should be. These are the standard requirements you should rely on.
But what if you intend to start more feature-laden web projects, with unique video/graphic content included? Then you won’t go without a more powerful computer. The price range will differ as well. General configurations of such devices include 16GB (or more) RAM, 512 GB (and more) of disk storage space along with safe display parameters to powerful processors.
Availability of the external hard drive is also preferable. It is crucial to make regular project backups, when developing a project as there is also a risk of website crash or file corruption. If a website builder (or any other web design platform you use) does not provide instant hosting and you don’t intend to get the one from the external company for some reason, it makes sense to get a separate server computer to host your project there.
Finally, quality and high-speed Internet connection is also vital. This contributes to more effective and quality website development process, regular project backups, website updates, hosting use, data storage, content creation/customization etc.
The Bottom Line
To build a website, you may need a set of assets and tools. Some of the instruments are already integrated into your operating system while others require additional download or online access. No matter what you choose, the list of software needed to create a site includes an operating PC with the already installed OS, a reliable web browser, online or downloadable web building platforms as well as text and image editors.
With so many options on the web, you will find the tool that suits you the most in terms of technical experience, software compatibility, and budget expectations.