Building your first website can be an exciting, but daunting task. Where do you start? Can you do it yourself, or do you need to have someone do it for you? The sheer number of questions you have about building a website can prevent you from ever taking the first step to create one!
Let’s start with the “why”; why do you want to build a website? Is it to express yourself or your hobby? Is it to start a business or share ideas? ’Or, is it simply for the challenge of doings something new and…cool.
Knowing your “why” will help you with other questions, such as how your site should look. Having a strong enough “why” will also determine your commitment to the task.
Let’s assume that you want to try to create your website on your own. This way, you will avoid some of the additional costs imposed by the various services associated with doing the work for you. Doing it yourself (or as much of it as you can technically and artistically handle) also allows you full control and the ability to tailor the site to your most specific needs.
You need a domain name to let people know how to reach your site. For example, the domain name for this site is “spotonsuccess.tv”. Another domain name is “cnn.com”.
You can search for and acquire a domain name from sites such as “GoDaddy“.
You need a hosting platform to hold the content of your website. This is were all of your website files will be hosted and downloaded for presentation into web browsers.
“Hostgator” is a great hosting platform, and it is one that I recommend.
A website design platform is simply the software, service, or site that you will be using to design your website and insert the content (our articles, pictures, etc.).
“WordPress” is great as a website design platform, and it is particularly easy for someone new to learn the basics. The “basics” are all you really need to get started. Other website design platforms include software that helps you design “HTML” websites. HTML is the underlying “code” behind almost all websites, including WordPress. It will take you much longer to create an HTML site (or even have one created), but they do offer the ultimate freedom in control over the design. For now, let’s keep things simple by using WordPress.
Once you have the basic components in place, it is time to start designing your website!
The most common form of design for a first website is a “blog“. This is simply a medium for you to get your ideas and your message out to those who visit your site.
The primary design elements to focus on in website design are the header, the main body of your site, and the sidebar “widgets” (informational areas commonly found on the right hand side of website).
Your header of your website can be a photo, a graphic, or anything that represents what your blog is about.
The main body of your website will probably have a summary of your blogs in chronological order.
The widgets on your website can add social media interaction or just a consistent message that you want to appear across all the pages of your site.
After you have completed the basics of your website design, you are ready to launch your website with a single post! By default WordPress will start you off with your first post of “Hello World”. Feel free to delete it.
Over time, you will discover more features that you would like to add to your website. You may wish to experiment with different “themes” and significantly modify the look and functionality. Always remember to make a backup of your website before making any major changes! This will give you peace of mind, if nothing else.
Creating your first website should be a fun activity that invites you to explore other areas of Internet presence.
Don’t worry about getting it “perfect” or making mistakes; no one will see your website until you give them the link to it. Just get your site up and running and be proud of your accomplishment; there are many who would envy you.
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Author: Wilton White