How To Create Your Own Website
Creating a Website is becoming easier with each passing week. New and robust platforms make it easy to make and maintain your own website. It’s no longer as daunting a task as it used to be creating websites and they can look and feel just as good as the ones you pay for. You don’t need to be a techno guru or need to know HTML, CSS or PHP.
Having some basic knowledge in HTML, CSS is of help, but you don’t need it. There is no requirement to study any coding nor need to master any sophisticated programming language to get started. You can create a website if are able to do the following;
- Can you turn on a computer?
- Do you know how to use a keyboard?
- Are you able to use a mouse?
- Can you write an email?
- Can you copy and paste?
Depending on your enthusiasm and keenness, you can literally launch a website in hours. In order for our website to be found and be accessible online here are some basic points that have to be completed.
- Decide on the platform or method to create your website (template, website builder, CMS platforms etc)
- Buy Domain Name
- Buy Hosting
- Create the website
- Add email address
- Quality images for your website (some website building software’s or platforms even provide you with stock images to use)
- Go live, promote your website and grow your business
Selecting the platform or method to create your website is an important factor which needs to be decided before any other steps because it will determine the route you take in terms of domains and hosting etc. Further down below is a list of the various options on how to get started with your site.
Choose one of these options to help create your website;
- Hire a webmaster or designer to do ALL the work
- Choose to buy a ready made website template
- Use a website builder
- Use a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress, Joomla or Drupal.
Buying A Domain Name
Buying a Domain is similar to having a business name. You cannot start or launch your website without a domain name. There are multiple places to buy your domain names. We buy all our Domain names, hosting etc from 9XDomains.com. But of course, you may choose to buy your domains from anyone of multiple registrars. The only difference when buying a domain is the price and your comfort level in dealing with the registrar or company.
HINT: Before buying a domain name, check what the registrar is offering in terms of deals. Some give free domain name if you buy hosting or other product(s). Do check what the domain cost the following year (they are bought on a yearly basis). Make sure the domain name belongs to you, should you stop using them.
Buying Hosting For Domain
Hosting your Website, this is similar to having an address for your business. Without an address, no one will ever find your business. Once you create your website, this is the location where you will host it.
HINT: Again, check the offers available. Many registrars or hosting companies will throw in a free Domain name for hosting with them. Check the cost differentials for the various options and decide what works best for you. Make sure you own the domain name, should you stop hosting with them and/or what it costs to pay for the domain name the second year.
The Best Choice To Create Your Website
1. Hire A Web Designer:
The purpose of this blog is to provide alternatives to hiring a web designer and show you to save money plus share on alternatives to actually getting you to create your very own website. So not much more on this option.
2. Buy A Website Template:
Before the drag and drop technology took over, this was a very popular method to get a website launched quickly. Buy from thousands of ready-made website templates, edit and upload it to your hosting site. If you want to stay away from technical stuff, don’t bother with this option. There are three variations of templates; one requires you to have HTML knowledge. The second and third options are drag and drop templates.
Here are a few places where you can buy website templates:
- Template Monster
- Dream Forest
- Theme Forest
My opinion is to opt out of this option. A bit too technical and expensive.
Don’t use FREE Website Offers:
There are several platforms that allow you to create a totally free website, without paying a penny. Free hosting, free use of templates, but it is not under your domain name. In essence, your “domain” name is under their umbrella.
This is similar to operating a business under someone else name. and your website URL would look like so; http://www.YourDomainName.TheirCompanyName.com
Imagine how unprofessional that would sound sharing your URL with a potential client. In addition to not having your own domain name like so; www.YourDomainName.com, you also have to keep their company ads on your web pages.
If you are serious about growing your business, even if it just a small home-based one, I strongly suggest you Stay Away From Free Website plans which have such a setup.
3. Website Builders; Weebly, Wix, Yola, Vista And Others
These platforms provide you with various options; some give you free domain name and charge you a nominal monthly fee for hosting your site, some have the option of totally free but without the use of your domain name. But almost all of them give you access to ready-made website templates which use the drag and drop technology to essentially make it extremely easy to just create a site in a jiffy.
All of these companies are so similar in setup, that you can pretty much toss a coin to pick one. You need to look at the various plans and decide which give you the best bang for your buck.
These are all referred to as website builders. They provide you with all the tools necessary; starting with a choice of hundreds of website templates for all sorts of industries and businesses, which you can convert to suit your needs and branding.
I know you are now thinking; which one would I select? I will give you my choice further down the line. BUT I will say this; if you are looking for a simple information website and want to do the least amount of work to get it created, then This Maybe Your Best Choice.
HINT: Check if it allows you to connect a blog without extra charges. If they provide a free domain name does that belong to you should you leave later? The cost of the domain for subsequent years. Check for any upcharges or upsells in terms of extra features that you may need to maintain or grow your site. Study the options each one provides, some give you more value such as; free stock images, multiple email addresses, free themes for your templates etc. Don’t just look at the price as your driving factor.
4. CMS: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal
These are Content Managment System (CMS) platforms which are the most powerful, versatile and robust to setup any website, blog or e-commerce site. Of these three, WordPress is by far the most versatile, easiest and widely used according to w3techs.com. Of all the CMS’s used on the net, over 27% of them are built using WordPress as their platform, with Joomla being in second place at 3.3%., followed by Drupal at 2.2%.
Are you wondering why these three hold the lead and why WordPress is so far ahead? It’s simple really; first and foremost they are all Free! You still have to buy a domain and hosting, but you pay nothing for using any one of the 3 CMS’s as the platform to build your website on.
So the next question is; if they are all free to use, why does WordPress hold such a wide lead over Joomla and Drupal?
Well here is a quick summary on all three to give you perspective;
- WordPress: The best choice for newbies, very easy to use and set up a website, blog or e-commerce site for small to medium businesses. A tonne of website templates (referred to as themes), plug-ins and online support from the tech community is available at zero cost.
- Joomla: similar to WordPress but requires a bit more technical know how to get going.
- Drupal: Most powerful of the three but requires an understanding of HTML, CSS and PHP.
Why Choose WordPress?
- Because it’s Free!
- Thousands of templates (many of them free) to select from
- Friendly and easy to use
- Lots of communities and free help available online
- Works great for small or large websites, blogs and eCommerce
- Thousands of plug-in features
- Easy to find designers and developers that can help
How To Install WordPress
WordPress has gained such a following that almost all hosting companies now have a single click install option built into their hosting site to activate it; (yes, they have it for Joomla and Drupal too but as stated earlier, we will focus on WordPress here). This never used to be the case a few years ago. Previously, you would have to purchase hosting and then upload WordPress to you hosting site to activate and use it. Now, just one click and it is automatically installed to get you started on building your website.
Here is pretty much how it works from a hosting account; It may look a bit different on hosting site.
I do all my hosting at 9XDomains.com and this is what it looks like for me;
The view on your hosting may look slightly different.
With WordPress installed, you log into your admin section. which displays default themes that accompany every install. From here you can search for other themes or blogs and Activate them, this is the start of your journey to creating a wonder site, blog or an e-commerce site.
Adding A Theme, Plug-In On WordPress
There are hundreds of free WordPress themes or templates you can find to use for websites, blogs, e-commerce sites. Find one which suits your purpose. There are add-on modules called plug-ins which help with specific tasks such as creating a contact page, capturing email addresses, pop-ups etc. Search for specific plug-ins, add it to your admin section, activate the plug-in and use it for the task at hand. Most of the plug-ins are free at their basic level but may have upcharges for more complex tasks.
You are well on your way to building and creating a wonderful website for your business. Get your questions answered by leaving a comment below.
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*image obtained from Freepik