When the internet was young and your dial-up modem sounded like an unearthly banshee as it prepared to connect, building a website took monumental coding and heavy nerdery action.

That was then.

Nowadays building a website is a simple, fairly intuitive process that can be done by just about anyone with enough practice and expertise.

Start a new small business? Make a website. Are you preparing for college graduation and need a portfolio? Make a website. Would you like to share your creative work with the world? Make a website.

In all honesty, there are a million reasons to build a website and when you consider these simple tips, building a website is a breeze.

Of course, the very first thing you have to do is come up with an idea. What do you want to share with the world? Hopefully you figured this out before you made your decision on a website. So let’s skip this particular step and focus on the actual creation process. First of all, you need to decide which platform you want to use to build your website.

If you’re looking to create a website for your portfolio, flaunt your hobby, or pursue a niche interest, the first thing you should do is use a free website builder. You may want to go beyond the free model, but if you’re just starting out, free builder platforms are the way to go. And luckily there are some powerful ones out there.

Websites like Wix, WordPress, and GoDaddy have free tools that users can use to build simple websites. While these are usually limited for the most part to free users, they have everything you need to create a simple website. These tools are great for first time web designers.

If you’re working on a website for a personal small business, it might be worth shelling out the money and picking one of the paid tiers on a website like SquareSpace. Otherwise, I’d suggest sticking with the free tools for your first website build.

Next, you need to decide on an aesthetic for your website. Fortunately, most website design platforms include themes that can be applied or copied and tweaked based on archetypal website designs.

These pre-made themes can be very helpful when you first start out as they can be used to copy designs that are already known to work. Design and layout are crucial to a great website. You could have some of the most exciting content in the world, but if it’s an ugly website, it won’t get nearly as much exposure.

However, if you do decide to design from scratch without the help of a pre-installed theme, here are some things to keep in mind.

Keep it simple, minimalism is popular for a reason. Use text that is eye-catching but not particularly cluttered or fancy. Try to keep the colors to a minimum. Neutral backgrounds with bright, energetic colors that highlight important information will grab your reader’s attention.

Another important thing is balance. Nobody likes an asymmetrical website. So make sure that you aim for a balanced design in image and text.

After all, it is always a safe bet to follow the path of those who came before you. Is there a website that you really like? Emulate it. If you’ve never designed one before, studying designing websites that appeal to you is a great place to start.

And as with all things, just have fun with it. The more you experiment, the more you will find that it’s not as intimidating as it used to be.