Would you like to create a website or a blog? What’s standing in your way? For many of my clients, the two main obstacles to new website development are time and money.
No surprises there, I guess. However, these two hurdles will simply melt away when you use the ten online tools that I am going to discuss in this blog post.
By using these tools, you can create a stunning website in 24 hours.
Of course, if you have more time then great, but if you need an online presence like yesterday it can be done.
The inspiration for this post actually came as a result of a project that I have been working on recently.
I love movies of all kinds but, over the past few years, I have lost touch and missed so many great films. As a result, I decided to set myself a challenge: to watch 500 movies in 500 days. Call me crazy but that is what I am doing :)
I then realised that what I love almost as much as watching movies is talking about them. However, I often forget what I have seen, who directed it and what I liked about the film in the first place. So frustrating!
So having embarked upon my challenge, I decided to create a blog about my 500 Days Of Film.
What with being a mum, working on my business and having lots of films to watch, I didn’t really have a lot of time to spend on creating my film blog. I just put my head down and went for it.
When it was finished, I showed it to my husband who commented on the speed by which I had developed the website. And (ping!) the idea for this blog post came into my head.
So here are the ten tools that I used to get my new blog website up and running. I hope that you find them helpful.
#1 Jimdo - The Website Builder
I really cannot recommend Jimdo enough if you want to create a website that looks amazing and is also super easy to use.
Within a few minutes, you can secure your domain name and hosting and start designing your site.
You can host a website for free with Jimdo. The only drawback is that your domain name will have a ‘dot jimdo dot com’ addition. For example, my website would have been www.500daysoffilm.jimdo.com. I decided to upgrade to the Pro version as a result.
Jimdo offers lots of templates for you to choose. You also have a bunch of options to customise these templates - all enabling you to achieve the design and style that you want.
For my new film website, I chose the Bordeaux template as I wanted a site with a sidebar. I then added an image slider - which, by the way, I absolutely love.
Time: 7 Hours
#2 Pixabay - The Image Library
Websites look more appealing if they are visual. As a result, I needed to find some images for my new website (and for my slider in particular). For this, I went to Pixabay.com.
Pixabay is a great stock photo library that allows you to use images for free with no need for any attribution. I use Pixabay all the time in my business - it is a great source of website images and blog visuals.
Time: 1 hour
#3 Canva - The Graphic Design Tool
Having found my slider image, I started thinking about the other visuals I would need on my website.
I didn't have much time, so I focused on my film review images. I decided to create an image template that would suit each one of my blog posts. I just wanted to change the film title and background picture each time.
To do this I used Canva - a free and truly awesome online graphic design tool. I selected the Facebook Post template option and then designed my own blog image template (see below for a selection of the images I have designed.
Time: 2 hours
#4 PicMonkey - The Other Graphic Design Tool
I then decided to create a favicon for my website. This is the little image that appears on the tab at the top of your browser.
To do this, I used Picmonkey - another incredible online graphic design tool that I use for creating visuals.
I simply took my clapperboard image and re-sized it to 32 x 32 pixels. I then went into the settings area of my Jimdo website and uploaded my new favicon image via the settings menu.
Time: 30 mins
#5 Google Docs - The Content Tool
Next, I created the text for each of my new website’s pages. I used Google Docs for this task as I love the way I can access my work from anywhere and I don’t have to worry about saving every few minutes.
I can type my content directly into my Jimdo site. However, by using Google Docs, I have a saved copy of each page just in case something catastrophic happens to my website. (I have never had any problems with Jimdo but this did happen to me when I was working on a Wordpress site. I no longer take any chances!).
I then simply pasted the words into the text elements of my Jimdo site. Tip: paste as plain text if you want to maintain consistent font styles throughout your website.
Time: 6 hours
#6 Add This - The Social Media Sharing Tool
Having added the content, I needed to start to promote my website via social media.
I love floating social media sharing buttons - ones that move with you as you scroll (you never know when you will want to share something!). For my www.picpresents.com website, I have used Shareaholics’s floating buttons. For 500 Days Of Film, I decided to try another tool from Add This.
It is really easy to do - simply sign up and then pop a small piece of code into the ‘Head’ section of your website (for Jimdo websites you can find this in ‘settings’ under ‘website’ - the button you need to click is called ‘edit head’).
I have also used Add This to create a call to action pop-up box that will (hopefully) encourage my visitors to join the 500 Days Of Film Club!
Time: 30 minutes
#7 Powr.io - The Plugin Source
In addition to my social media sharing buttons, I needed some social media follow buttons.
My Jimdo website provides these buttons, but I decided to use Powr.io instead as I really like the tools that they provide.
Again, this was a very simple process. I simply signed up, added a piece of code and I was done.
What I really like about Powr.io is that I can edit my buttons without having to leave my website - genius. Plus they are free!
I would really recommend that you check out the tools offered by Powr.io. For example, I am planning an online film chat section on my website. I can do this by installing Powr.io’s comments section.
I am also planning to add Powr.io’s social feed plugin - this will show my website visitors what I am up to on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Time: 30 minutes
#8 Social Media - The Promotion Tools
I have decided to focus on five social media platforms to start:
- Facebook - I have created a new Facebook fan page for 500 Days Of Film. I designed my cover photo by using the template in Canva.
- Twitter - I have created a new Twitter account for 500 Days Of Film because I feel that using my existing @PicPresents account could prove confusing. Again, I designed my Twitter cover image using Canva.
- Instagram - I have an Instagram account but, to be honest, I don’t tend to use it for my business. I know that this platform has amazing advantages - it has just been a time thing really. As a result, I will aim to use my Instagram account for 500 Days Of Film.
- Pinterest - I have created a new board in my existing Pinterest account for 500 Days Of Film. Here I will post images that will link back to my website reviews. I will create these Pinterest images in Canva.
Time: 2 hours
#9 Buffer - The Scheduling Tool
Social media needs to be both social and also to provide media. This can be really time consuming.
To save this precious commodity, I have signed up for a 500 Days Of Film Buffer account. Buffer enables me to schedule my social media posts - thereby allowing me more time to get social!
Time: 30 minutes
#10 Get Clicky - The Analytics Tool
Finally, I would like to know how my blog is doing. I have not created 500 Days Of Film to make money but I would like to see which of my reviews is most popular and how long my visitors are spending on my site.
As time is of the essence, I have installed Get Clicky onto my website. Once again, all this involves is the pasting of a small piece of code.
Time: 30 minutes
So there you have it, a website up and running within 24 hours. It is also worth pointing out that it only cost me £60 and that is for my domain name and a year of Jimdo hosting. Not bad eh!
I will probably add to and tinker with this website over the coming weeks - but it is there and I am free to go and watch my movies!
I hope that you have found this blog post useful. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment in the box below!