If you are a novice in the web site building and just starting out, this article is the perfect resource for you to learn how to build your own website from scratch. In the following I will explain step-by-step how to set up a website and publish it online. I will give you alternatives that can be used for website building, so you can choose that fits you the best.
You may think that making a website is a difficult task and only web designers or developers can do it. It is certain that you might not be able to implement certain functionalities to a website if you are a beginner, but it is possible to build a properly functioning and professional looking website in less than an hour.
There are 3 key components that are needed to make a website:
- Domain name
- Web hosting
- Site builder
These terms might sound strange to you, but I will give you more info about them bellow in this article.
Registering a domain name
Getting a domain name is the first step in the process of creating your website. The domain you register will be the address of your web-page. Each and every domain is unique and can be registered once. So for example, you will not be able to register google.com or cnn.com, because these domains are already registered. Finding a good name that will represent your company can be difficult, however here are some tips to help you out in the process of finding an appropriate domain name:
- There are many domain extensions you can choose from, however the most popular and best domains are .com, .net and .org
- If your website will target a specific country, you should pick a country specific domain such as .co.uk (for United Kingdom), com.au (Australia), .de (Germany) and so on.
- Keep the domain name simple and easy to remember, if possible avid hyphens and numbers.
- Also avoid the use of copyrighted names in your domain. You should never register a domain such bestamazondeals.com, because beside you will lose it, you can also end up in a lawsuit.
- The domain you choose can be a keyword (or multiple keywords describing your website and business) or can be your brand name or company name. Choose a domain the represents you the best.
- Always register your domains at companies that are accredited and have a good reputation. This way you can be sure that your domain will be in safe hands.
A .com domain will cost you around $10 per year, however most web hosting companies such as BlueHost, InMotion or iPage will give you a free domain name if you buy web hosting from them. Continue reading to find out what web hosting is.
Getting a web hosting account
The second step in is to buy a web hosting plan, where you will upload your website. Web hosting is basically big room or building (called data-center) where multiple high performance computers are connected to the internet. These computers are owned and operated by a web hosting provider. When buying web hosting, you actually rent a very small part of a computer.
Image by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/data-centers/4011191691/
With so many hosting providers and plans it is difficulty to make the right choice. I will give you few tips on how to pick the right hosting plan for your website:
- If you are planning to build a presentation website for your company, or want to create a small blog or a simple website where you will upload information about the services and products your company is dealing, a shared hosting plan should be good for your needs.
- If you plan selling products online, and need an ecommerce type website, you should opt for a VPS (virtual private server). This will give you a higher control and security over your website at additional cost.
- Probably you will not need a dedicated server very soon, however if your website traffic grows to thousands of daily visitors, you will need one for sure.
Here is a great animated video that explains each hosting plan:
The video was presented by InMotion hosting, who offer shared, vps and dedicated plans.
You might think that hosting service is expensive, but is not. Shared hosting is priced around $5 per month, and is usually billed upfront for a one or two year period. The cost of a VPS hosting starts at around $20 per month, but this really depends on the server specs.
Building and publishing your website
Once your domain and web hosting account are in place, you can start on developing your website. As mentioned, you don’t have to be a developer to build a website. There are many tools you can use to create stunning, professional looking, fully functional websites in no time. I will give you few examples of tools and the use of them:
- Website Builders: are great software that are designed for people with no skills in programming. These types of tools come with a very user-friendly interface and drag-and-drop functionality, which gives the user the ability to fully customize the website with the pressing of few buttons. Usually web builders come with ready-made templates for different niches, which can be customized. For instance HostGator’s website builder has hundreds of templates available you can choose from. I recommend using a site builder for small, static websites that will not be updated frequently.
- WordPress: is free and is one of the most popular content management system, used by over 75 million websites world-wide. This software requires a bit more time to be learned, but the use of the software is very easy, once you know how it works. It is not required to know programming to build and manage a WordPress site. There are hundreds of websites full of tutorials and guides on how to use WordPress. For a blog or a website that will be update frequently, WordPress will be the right choice. For hosting your WordPress site, I highly recommend BlueHost.
Certainly there are many other tools you can use to build a website, however these two are the most popular and easy to use.
Now that you know how to create a website in theory, get practical and start building your website. I highly recommend using the following web hosting providers to start your website.
Best choice for creating your website with website builder
So if you want to create your website with a site-builder, the best option is to use HostGator – GATOR, their premium website builder plan starts at $2.75 / month and includes a free domain, tools to customize your website without touching the code, website statistics for motoring your website traffic. Websites built with the Gator website builder are hosted on their cloud hosting platform, which provides a better performance.
Best choice for websites built with WordPress
If you want extra features, and don’t want to limit yourself to a website builder, you should choose WordPress. For hosting your WordPress website, I recommend BlueHost or InMotion. Both companies offer similar services at almost same price. My favorite, though, is BlueHost.
iPage is another good option for hosting WordPress, but I only recommend them for smaller websites. Their price is the lowest, starting at only $1.99 / month. If you are on a budget, probably this is the best you can get.
For Spanish readers who are struggling understand this tutorial, I recommend MetroPagina, where you can learn how to create a website using WordPress.