In this post I am going to share with you, the methods and madness used to create my first monetised website, Staffordshire Fitness. I am writing this post almost 11 months after creating the site so I will try my best to document my actions is accurately as I can.
Since creating this site, I have learnt a great deal and if you have read my last post Staffordshire Fitness – Project Overview, you will no doubt be aware that there are many things I would change about the project if I were to start it now. Making mistakes is part of progression, it is nice to think that you will get things right first time, but in reality, things are rarely that easy. This project was my maiden voyage in the world of Internet Marketing and I have learnt a great deal from it, hopefully by reading this you will avoid some pitfalls which I willingly walked straight in to,
Before reading the remainder of this post take a quick look at the site. Staffordshire Fitness
Having just finished a course in web design, I started Staffordshire Fitness to get some site design practice and try to make some money out of doing so. If you are new to web design then I would recommend this method to anyone. It is a great way to refine your design skills in an environment where the only person you can let down is yourself.
With my plan laid out, I set about designing a website in the only way I knew how; XHTML 1.1 with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) written in Dreamweaver. I had never heard of WordPress at the time and even if I had, I would have dismissed it immediately. The course I had recently completed had made me somewhat snobbish about the use of blogging systems and it was for this reason that I decided to create the website entirely myself. I created a static website, free of any content management system or dynamic content population; if I wanted a new page I had to create it manually, as with the listings.
The site took me around a month to create and populate. The main image on the site was produced in Photoshop using purchased images from istockphoto.com
There is very little else to discuss on the physical design of the site, it is simple and in my opinion, badly designed with hardly any attention paid to future expansion or growth. There will be more to comment on when I discuss my SEO attempts in a future post.