Hello! I’m Samuel Griffith.

I’m a budding website builder and designer and I’m here to help you build a beautiful website of your own.

Hello! I’m Samuel Griffith.

I’m a budding website builder and designer and I’m here to help you build a beautiful website of your own. I’ll be taking you along with me on my own journey to becoming a future website building master.

You see:

Folks often think that they need prior coding knowledge and expertise before they can even dream of building their own website. 

While coding know-how CAN be useful later on, it certainly isn’t a requirement if you’re a beginner. I’ll show you the ropes and you can learn along with me so you too can make your own dream website (or something close to it) into a reality. 

I’m a keen researcher which means you can expect to find more in-depth articles on topics such as web hosting, domains, and the Internet in general as time goes by. 

I also believe in learning through experience. I’ll be writing insightful reviews on website building or web hosting products and services that I’ve personally tested to help you decide if they’re worth your while (hopefully saving you time and money in the process). 

Here are some of my earlier works:

3 Website Building Principles To Remember

Have you ever wanted to make a website yourself but got discouraged? 

Three decades ago, businesses were perfectly fine without a website. But, as more people started hopping into the Internet, business websites slowly became an indispensable part of every business. These days, nearly every business has a website or is at least looking to build one. 

If you’ve ever wanted to build your own website but got discouraged for some reason or another, this article is for you. Here I’ll talk about three website building principles to always remember when building your website.

Back to Basics

It’s important to note that most websites have only three basic elements: domain name, hosting, and the content management system.

Domain Name

This is your web address (www.mywebsite.com) and once configured, it directs web traffic to the server hosting your website. This is the most important piece to any website.

Buying a domain name is like buying a house: most people only buy one or two in their lifetime. A common mistake is the lack of attention paid to the domain name account. 

Business owners often relegate the upkeep of the domain to an assistant or a bookkeeper who, in many cases, files the information away and forgets where the login credentials are kept. Often, a domain fails to get renewed, making the website unavailable, and in extreme cases, ownership can be lost.

Hosting

Every website needs to be hosted on an Internet-connected server. While it is possible to host your website on a personal computer, it’s not a great idea. Hosting usually involves paying a fee, but for many who use a website builder service (like Wix or Weebly), any hosting charges are typically included in the monthly fee.

Content Management System (CMS)

Many websites run on some type of content management system. Think of this as the website platform. The most popular of these is WordPress. In fact, approximately twenty-four percent of all websites are powered by WordPress.

The number of CMS options today is vast and costs run from free to hundreds of thousands of dollars. When it comes to choosing a CMS, there are many considerations, but there are two very important elements:

First, the CMS should fit your website’s business objective. So, if your objective is to sell products online, use an e-commerce CMS — not a blogging CMS that you just modified for e-commerce.

Second, the person who will be managing the site should have the requisite technical skills for the chosen CMS.

Think of the Users

We’re in the age of the Internet Of Things so it’s more important than ever to take into consideration how end-users will view and use your website across different devices.

This begins with a responsively-designed website that works as well (and looks as good) on an HD monitor as it does on a smartphone display — and everything in between.

The most effective websites begin with user-centered design, which includes:

  • clear objectives
  • simple, user-friendly navigation
  • concise, well-written copy
  • a plan of what content gets displayed based on screen size
  • incorporating unambiguous, strong calls to action throughout the site

While user-centered design is the norm for most web development firms today, it can be challenging (but not completely impossible), when using a do-it-yourself service.

Keep an Eye on Your Website

For many businesses, simply launching a website seems to be the only goal — and nothing more. This is apparent by the number of sites whose first and only blog article reads, “Hello world! This is your first blog post.”

Search engine optimization (SEO) has many factors to consider. But one of the most important factors is relevant and timely content. In fact, many marketers believe that Google and other search engines now value quality and authoritative content over traditional SEO.

Content marketing can be one of the most effective (and inexpensive) ways to stay in front of your audience. Once published, blog articles, news articles, and videos can be distributed through social media channels, email marketing, and RSS (Really Simple syndication) to extend the reach of your website. I cannot stress enough the value of a good website content management plan.

What gets measured gets done. Measuring the effectiveness of a website should be an integral part of any governance plan. Sure, your testing may have gone smoothly before the launch. But now you need to know if everything is working as hoped in a real-world environment. 

While most CMS platforms have built-in analytics of some form, Google Analytics is where many web marketers turn to better understand and analyze how their website is performing.

Today, websites vary from the simple, one-page brochures to complex, cloud-based sites integrated with dissimilar software. And clearly, there are many more advanced factors for consideration within the web development process than noted in this article.

But, no matter what type of site your business requires, it’s likely to be the first interaction with prospects — and the first opportunity to distinguish your business from your competitors. Make sure you get these basics covered so it’s available and ready for all those first impressions.

SOURCE: https://medium.com/startup-grind/3-website-building-principles-i-learned-in-13-years-of-web-design-7226ef38c84b

10 Things to Double Check Before Launching Your Website

So, you’ve gone through all the planning, designing, building and now you’re finally ready to launch your own website.

But, wait. 

Are you sure it’s 100% ready to launch? Are you sure you’ve ironed out all the kinks and are ready for your first wave of online visitors?

If you suddenly felt unsure, you can go through this short checklist to help you double-check your website before launching it. 

1. Check for typos

Don’t make the mistake of publishing a website full of typographical errors. Your site quickly loses credibility when it has poor quality content. Proofread your text content several times over.

Watch out for dummy text or placeholders that were not replaced with actual copy. Your content should be readable and clear. 

2. Contact page should be updated

The last thing that you need is to get your website up and not leave a way for your target customers to contact you. Provide clear contact details and test the phone numbers and email addresses you provide to make sure that you’re able to receive messages properly. 

You may also want to provide a map If you have a physical office.

3. Test for usability

You have to make sure your website’s features and functional aspects are working properly. Test all links and buttons and optimize all images. 

If your site is designed to accept payments or process sales transactions, test every step of the purchase process including shopping cart functions, sign-ups, and links.

4. Navigation should work properly

Visitors should be able to find their way around your website. Imagine yourself as a visitor and move through the different areas on your website to identify areas where they can potentially get stuck.

5. Your website should be mobile-friendly

Mobile-friendliness is an important item on your web site checklist because it also affects the overall user experience. With Google’s mobile-first indexing, it has become more important than ever to ensure that your website renders well on mobile devices. Content should look consistent and easy to read through smaller screens, navigation just as easy and the buttons spaced out appropriately.

Make sure to test your website out on different devices to see how it looks. 

6. Correct spelling of URLs

If you’re working from a staging area or a staging site, it’s important to ensure that the URLs remain consistent with the live version of your site.

7. Call to action

Your website should also have clear call to action buttons. If you have a multi-page website, every page should have a specific CTA based on its individual objective. Make sure all buttons work as they should before you launch.

8. Proofread site metadata for SEO

If your website builder has an integrated SEO tool, check your site’s on-page SEO factors to make sure that you have an updated site metadata. Your page title, meta description, and image alt tags should be optimized for the keywords you want to rank for.

9. Social media integration

Your website should work together with your social media pages to create a cohesive online presence for your brand. Make sure you have all relevant social pages up on your website before you launch. It’s also a good idea to test the social share functionality and social streams if you have those enabled on the site.

10. Site security

You may want to add SSL to your website for security. Adding SSL to your website is important not just to keep users at ease when transacting or sharing information with your site but also for SEO.

SOURCE: https://medium.com/@strikingly/the-ultimate-website-checklist-before-you-launch-74aead900b27

Shared Hosting vs. Dedicated Hosting: What’s the Difference?

When building your own website, you’ll inevitably ask yourself this question:

Shared hosting or dedicated hosting?

Making this choice is important to building your own website especially if you’re just starting out.

The problem is that, if you’re just starting out, it’s more difficult to determine which type of hosting is best for your website.

No worries:

In this article, I compare shared hosting to dedicated hosting so you can figure out which one works best for you.

What Are Hosting Services?

All web hosting services work similarly. You sign up and have your website parked and maintained on servers owned by a remote provider. The level of server care and maintenance, as well as other services, depends on the web hosting plan you signed up for (often specified within the hosting plan).

First-time site owners are advised to get shared hosting first. Shared hosting is usually a basic hosting package offered at low prices for new site builders and owners of small sites. You may find that different web hosting providers offer different kinds of hosting services and that some providers focus exclusively on a particular type.

You may find specialized hosting options like: 

  • Managed hosting- The host takes responsibility for most if not all the tasks of maintaining a site
  • Virtual private server hosting (VSP)- Gives users a partitioned space for more privacy and control.
  • Specific site builder hosting (such as WordPress) 

Each type of hosting offers different levels of privacy, security, and control over the set-up and management of the site together with the exclusive use of web server resources and an array of support services. But this kind of hosting isn’t for everyone.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting allows just about anyone to establish an online presence — as long as they’re okay with sharing a server with many others. While each site on the server is owned and operated independently, loose security means malware or viruses that infect one website can also affect its neighbors. In this environment, hacking one site can also expose others in the vicinity to issues like identity and data theft. 

All sites on a shared server have to draw from the server’s overall resources. That means when one site pulls more than its allotted share, like in the event of a sudden surge in traffic, other sites on the server start to slow down or even crash. 

Fortunately, the web host can terminate the account of a site that continues to hog more than its allotment of server resources. Similarly, if a site attracts massive amounts of spam or creates other problems for the hosting environment, it can be locked out until site owners take responsibility.

Shared hosting packages are perfect for small sites with relatively low amounts of traffic. But if your site is starting to outgrow basic shared hosting, you may want to upgrade to dedicated hosting instead. 

Dedicated Hosting

At the other end of the hosting spectrum is dedicated web hosting. In dedicated web hosting, you rent a single server with all its available resources from the service provider. With the exclusive use of a server, you’re free to install any software you choose and manage the site as you wish. 

Dedicated hosting packages vary in terms of the amount of support and maintenance they offer, but typically the provider takes responsibility for maintaining the server itself. The owner is in control of the setup and running of the site itself.

Since your site isn’t sharing the server with any other sites, there’s no risk of exposure to malware, viruses, or other problems from neighboring sites. That also means your site runs faster and more stable since the dedicated server’s resources become available at all times.

Along with dedicated server resources, dedicated hosting also allows you to take almost complete control over the management of your site. Many providers also offer 24/7 technical support in case of problems. With an entire server at your disposal, you can scale your site as needed over time and add all the features and functions it needs at various stages of development.

Dedicated hosting is also more secure.  Although the web host handles security for the server itself, you’re free to install any kind of security and privacy protections you choose. 

This kind of hosting can also support complex websites for larger businesses and lets you add other features as needed over time.

The problem with dedicated hosting is that it can be more expensive than shared hosting.  Depending on the service package, you may have to pay hundreds of dollars a year — which is no small investment if you’re just starting out.

Pick the Best Hosting For You

If you’re just starting out with website building, or you don’t expect your website to suddenly grow over time, you may want to stick with standard shared hosting.

But if you find your site growing, or if you’re planning to build a larger, more complex, resource-intensive business website, you may want to opt for the security, stability, and scaling for the future that dedicated hosting can provide.

SOURCE: https://www.bluehost.com/blog/webhosting/shared-hosting-vs-dedicated-hosting-13096/

My Services

Website Building

While I don’t consider myself a master (yet), I have enough experience and knowledge to build websites with the right balance of aesthetics and functionality. 

Blog Writing

Let’s face it: 

Writing isn’t for everyone. 

A great idea won’t be any good if it isn’t expressed clearly and concisely. I can write well-researched and thought-out articles that get the point across to the reader. 

Let’s work together:
sam@sambuildssites.com

Contact Me