In the first part of this series, I explained how I came up with the idea of establishing a surf agency. In the next steps I am going to highlight how I built the website from scratch.
It was really important to me that I have a website that catches the eye of surfers as well as people who are interested in surfing.
Youtube Academy and its Pitfalls
Let me say this in advance: I am not a programmer and I have never shown much interest for the topic of programming. That’s why I had join the Youtube Academy and learn how to program a website. Rest assured that it’s not easy for me to watch any other videos than short films about surfing, barrels, tubes, airs etc. However, having a goal on my mind, I focused and watched videos of how to set up your own website using wordpress. Of course, every now and then my fingers magically searched for Kelly Slater videos, but I’d say that I got the job done. Now I had to find out how to build a website that would be interesting to surfers.
Selecting a Template for the Website
In the first step I researched templates that would appeal to surfers. You should have a rough idea in your head about what the website should look like. The one I found seemed perfect for a surf agency and I hit the buy button immediately. It came along with an outstanding customer service, which is really important if you don’t really know what you are doing. I’ve used it quite a few times and always had a response within two hours. The first 50€ were spent on this template and I was really happy. Of course, you will be able to find free templates, but maybe they are not 100% what you are looking for, so choose carefully!
First Steps with WordPress
In the next step I set up wordpress with the help of youtube. The template itself provided a very detailed description of how to install the template on wordpress – that was easy as well. The first problem I had to face was understanding the wordpress menu. There are many things and buttons that I didn’t know anything about. I spent hours just browsing through everything and checking how things work on wordpress. I clicked through every single section of the menu and after having understood, I slowly started modifying the front page. The template itself came with many images and model pages. In the beginning I modified the front page template and addes a few surfing related pictures here and there. After some time it started looking more like what I imagined originally.
Using WordPress Nowadays
These days I would simply build a page from scratch and design it the way I would want it to be. That’s possible, because wordpress is so easy to handle. But learning by doing was part of the process and it was quite fun, because it’s such a nice feeling to see the progress right away. Of course, the website is still not perfect and we are working on it everyday, but I think that’s something that’s never going to change. But please be careful when you build you own website. Be it a surfing related website or not, but you should take care what pictures and images you use on your website. Most images are not intended for commercial use. Also make sure you have an imprint section in order to make your website legal. You will find lots of professional advice online regarding this topic.
My conclusion: I can definitely recommend building your own website from scratch, even if you don’t have any prior knowledge. You don’t only save money, but you can fix things on your own if an issue occurs. This way you don’t have to find an external programmer/developer who does all those things for you. Sure, you will have to invest quite some time in the beginning, but it’s always nice to learn new things, right?
Next week I will upload an article where I explain what I did next to building the website to get the project Wavebutler started.
Gerrit and Wavebutler ≈