Many years ago, when I first decided that I wanted to build my own website, I have to admit it was a daunting idea. I didn’t really know where to start. After a lot of trial and error, I have now put together several sites both for myself as well as for friends. In this article, you will learn what you need to build a website as well as other useful information to help you get started.
The good news is that now it’s easier than ever to create your own website. There are many free programs available that also provide excellent support to help you.
Got a great idea for a website?
By the time you get to the part where you want your own website, you will already have an idea in mind of what you want your site to be about. Maybe you have a small company that needs a little more exposure. Perhaps you have a great product that you could promote on a website. Or maybe you just want to promote products to make a little income. You can even turn your hobby into an income generating website. That’s really where it all starts–with a great idea!
Now that you have this great idea for a website, how far are you willing to take this idea? If you are willing to invest in a domain name and hosting account, be prepared to commit to this idea for a while–at least six months. Why? The longer your site is online, the better traffic you will get and Google will see you as a viable site. Google likes sites that are aged–meaning they’ve been around for a while. Google looks for sites that also have a steady stream of new content added at regular intervals.
What will I need?
- Domain Name: essentially the web address of where your site resides
- Hosting account: a space where your website is held via your account
- Website: the face of your idea with related online pages
Depending on how you decide to setup your website, there may be a few small fees you need to pay. If you decide to go it alone, you will need to buy a domain name and a hosting account. These charges are small. But if you want to give your ideas a test drive, you can buy a domain name and set up two free sites here for free.
Why do I need a domain name?
In order to have your site listed on the internet, it needs to have a web address, i.e., domain name. Your domain name is a reflection of your brand, who you are and what your site is about.
How to Choose a Domain Name
Now that you have your great idea, you’ll need to decide on a domain name. A domain name is the address that will point people to your website when they enter a keyword into a search.
Your domain name should be reflective of the site you want to build. For instance, if you have a product such as Superman comic books, you want the domain name to somehow reflect that. Chances are you won’t get a name like comicbooks.com. Plus, you wouldn’t want a name like that. It’s too general. It needs to be something a little less boring. Perhaps a name like comicbooksforkids or comicbooksforgirls. You want something that is a bit descriptive.
Where to buy a domain name?
The cheapest place I have found to buy a domain name is Namecheap.com. The names usually run around $12-$15 a year. You can also buy your hosting with them as well.
Other companies for domain names:
GoDaddy: Provides domain names and hosting services
Hostgator: Provides domain names and hosting services
Bluehost: offers a free domain name when you buy your hosting package with them
When you are choosing your domain name, you will have a number of options available to you. There are many different types of extensions you can get for your domain name. Some of them include .com, .net, .org, .info as well as many others. It’s a good idea to choose a .com extension for your domain name. The other extensions are not as common and may cause confusion depending on who your target visitors are.
Hosting a website
Once you get your domain name, you also have to have it “hosted” somewhere. Hosting accounts are basically space where your website is held. You will see terms like “shared hosting.” Websites reside on servers and hosting companies sell space on their servers in the form of hosting accounts. The easiest way to explain it is to picture your website as a slice of pie. Let’s say there’s eight slices in a pie and the pie represents the server. Your slice of the pie is your share of space on the server that is paid for through your hosting account.
Your WordPress Website
WordPress is my platform of choice. WordPress is a very popular platform for building websites because it is so user friendly and it’s free. Also, Google likes WordPress so any sites built with WordPress will have a better chance of getting ranked in the search engines. Most hosting companies will have WordPress available for download included as an option in your cpanel. You can also go to wordpress.org and download it free from there.
So now you have your domain name and your hosting sorted. Now it’s time for the fun stuff–setting up your website!
Thanks for stopping by and checking this out. I hope you found the information useful. If you have any questions or comments, please post them below.