If you’re creating a website for the very first time, it can be a confusing world of technical phrases and jargon. But fear not, because creating a website can be as simple or as difficult as you want it to be. So in order to help you get to grips with the initial basics, here is a basic guide to help you to get started with creating your very own website:
Type of website
You’ll need to decide what sort of website will fulfil your needs. Will it be a blog you update on a regular basis, a simple five-page site for your business, or an ecommerce site?
Once you’ve decided what would be best for you, you can start thinking about how to get that website online.
Hosting & Domain
All websites need hosting, and there are great ranges of websites out there that will help you to sort one out for your own, such as http://www.webhostingbluebook.
Quite often the simplest form is free hosting that comes with a website builder. These tend to be suitable for personal website or blogs but not for businesses. The cheapest alternative, with a lot of options, is shared hosting. It can cost as little as $1.99 per month depending on your requirements.
Compare features and prices between a number of hosts before making your decision.
Your website will also need a domain name. You can skip this step if you’re going for free hosting as you’ll get a domain along the lines of www.yoursite.yourhost.com. However, it’s best to buy a domain any way, and forward it to that site. It looks more professional and people will take you more seriously.
You’ll need to check your chosen domain is available, you can also choose what suffix to have on the end (.com, .net, .co.uk and so on. These vary in price).
The easiest way to build a site is with a dedicated site builder. A lot of hosts provide these to help customers get their websites online. They tend to be very basic but are good for straightforward websites and blogs.
If you are very new to the world of the Internet, try and find a website builder that will allow you to drag and drop different elements (such as images, text, links etc.) around. This means you can create a website with no knowledge of web design or development.
If you’re looking for something in-between a site builder and cold-hard-code, take a look at WordPress.org. It’s designed for blogging but you can create some beautiful websites using the platform too.
You’ll need to choose a web host that can support WordPress but other than that you’ll need to look out for all the other things (reliability, space, bandwidth) as you would with a normal website.
In order to make your WordPress site look pretty, you’ll have to find a theme. These can be downloaded from external sites (it’s easy to find free themes just Google ‘free WordPress themes’ but there are premium ones on offer too). You then just need to upload the theme’s .zip file to the WordPress dashboard.
WordPress is handy if you want more control over your website but don’t have a lot of skill with code. Your site will be easy to update, you can install plugins to give it more functionality and it’ll look nice.
If you want to set up a shop online, you’ll need something that’s secure for customers to make payments on. There are plenty of platforms that will help you to do this. However, if you’re looking for more control then it’s best to speak to a web developer. This can be an expensive solution but security can be built into your site and this is very important if you want to sell online.