This guide is intended for complete novices who are interested in building, designing and hosting their own website. See it as less of a walk-through accompaniment from step one to the end, but rather more of a helpful boost to help get you started, point you in the right direction, and let you know what to look out for. After that, the rest is up to you and your judgement. Without further ado:
1. Have an idea
There’s so much tech involved in the process that sometimes people forget the basics at the start. Everything begins with an idea, and your website is no exception. It doesn’t have to be the new Facebook or Google; try and figure out a way your site can solve an existing problem. Or, if your website is intended for personal use, make sure it has one consistent idea that is evident in every aspect of what you create, from the visual style to the domain name.
2. Secure a domain name
Ignore the rumors, the Internet is not full. There is plenty of space for your website. Once you have settled on a name, Google it to see if it is free. If it is, pursue a purchase through the domain name registrar. Domain names cost around $10 USD a year to own. If the registrar demands a lot more than that then beware and don’t make a payment, it could be a scammer.
3. Pick a host
Hosts provide your website with a platform for entering the Internet, simultaneously allowing anyone in the world with Internet access the ability to visit your website. You will require an easy-to-use host which provides solid customer support. Take some time to research a provider who offers such a platform to allow you to design your own website, like 1&1, and your website will be in safe hands.
4. Get designing
Now it’s time for you to start building your website the way you want it, so you can upload all your content to your chosen host unveil to the world wide web. Unless you hire or work with a web designer you will have to do this part yourself. Having a basic understanding of HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is essential, and some knowledge of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) will also prove important for the design of your site. Learning these programming languages needn’t be too daunting though, with various free educational tools for learning code readily available on the internet.
Achieve this basic proficiency and your website will start taking shape in no time. As you get more comfortable with coding, you can even begin making your site more advanced, such as by crafting a responsive website design.
5. Test, then test again
Every time you make progress with your website, test it. Run your idea by friends or relevant forums to see if your target audience or peers appreciate it. See how others respond to your domain name: Is it memorable? Compare and contrast deals and services offered by hosts. And finally, give every page you build with HTML a thorough inspection. This means you should be clicking every link and function of your website’s pages on the most popular browsers (Safari, Firefox and Chrome).
Now you’ve covered the basics you can go out and expand your knowledge of each step as you move along the process of bringing your website to life.