If you want to get online and are wondering, “How do I make a website?” you have three choices: hire a Web vendor such as a Web designer to make it for you, use an online template-based turnkey service or make it yourself from scratch.
Creating a website should not be daunting, intimidating or overwhelming. There are some basic principles and fundamentals that need to be followed and there are some basic building blocks that all websites have. This article is intended to help the Web novice who wants to have a new website live on the Web and has never had one before.
The good news is that you don’t need to learn any technical skills such as coding in HTML for example. The not-so-good news is that you really ought to arm yourself with some basic knowledge beforehand so that you can avoid common pitfalls and use your time and money as wisely as possible. That’s what this article will do for you. So, all you have to do is read on and you’ll be equipped with the proper information to help you with your website building endeavor.
You have a few routes you can take to getting a new website live on the Web. You could:
- Hire a Web designer, consultant or company to design, build the site for you and make it live
- Use an online service that offers template-based websites and full service solutions that do everything you need for you. Examples of this are hosting companies such as GoDaddy that offer everything you’ll need to get your new site live on the Web, including offering a site creation service. Often times you have to do everything yourself on their site (such as choose the website template you want and customize it) but you won’t need to have any technical skills to do it.
- Learn HTML and the other necessary technical skills required to design, code and publish a website on your own.
Of course, as with anything, each option has both pros and cons:
- Hiring a Web professional to do it for you
- Pros: You’ll get a completely unique site that’s custom designed and built for you. You ought to be able to rely on them to do almost everything for you.
- Cons: It can be costly. You’ll have to take the time to find and hire the right Web vendor.
- Using an online full-service
- Pros: It’s relatively inexpensive. It’s easy and you won’t need any technical skills.
- Cons: You risk getting a website that looks a lot like numerous other websites. The website usually can’t be customized enough and you won’t be able to offer unique features that your vision requires.
- Doing it yourself
- Pros: This method is free since there are enough easily-accessible tutorials and primers online to teach you everything you’ll need to know. You’ll be able to manage, edit and update your website in the future on your own.
- Cons: Extremely time-consuming to learn.
The next step in this process is to determine the answers to the following questions (before the design and construction of the site takes place):
- What do I want the website to accomplish, what’s its purpose?
- Who do I think will make up the website’s main audience?
- What’s my budget?
- When do I need/want the project completed (which means the new website live on the Web)?
Your unique answers to these questions will help you determine which route you’re going to take. For example, if you have no budget and lot of time, maybe making the website yourself would be your best bet. Or you may have no time, a decent budget and you want the site to make you significant money. In that case you’d probably be best off choosing to hire a Web professional to do it for you since doing it yourself would take too long and using an online, template-based full service solution simply wouldn’t be adequate for your vision of the website’s design and functionality.
Regardless of your answers to the questions or the option you choose, there are a few basic steps you’ll need to have done in order to get a new website live on the Web:
- Every website has its own unique domain name, so you’ll need to choose one that isn’t already taken.
- You’ll need to register your domain name with a registrar. You pay for the usage of your domain name for a set period of years.
- You’ll need a host computer, also called a Web server, to house your website. Usually you pay a hosting company for this service.
- You’ll need some unique content which will be what makes up the website. This can be created by you, a program or a Web professional depending on the option you choose.
- You’ll need to get the unique content (again, you wouldn't want to get into copyright issues) onto your Web server. This is called ‘publishing’ the content.
- And you’ll need to ensure that your new domain name is “hooked up” with your specific Web server which is also called setting up the DNS (which stands for Domain Name System).
Whether you hire a Web professional to do all these things for you, use an online service or do it yourself, you’ll need to have each of these steps completed in order to get your site live on the Web.
If you choose to hire a Web professional or use an online service such as Network Solutions, GoDaddy or Homestead, you should ask them if they take care of each of the above six steps. If so, look at other sites that were made by them to see if they meet your standards. And be sure that the site is built taking into account what you want it to accomplish and who will be the site’s audience. This is all you'll need to make a website and now you know how to create a website.