Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
CAREER ADVANCEMENT / AUG. 03, 2014
version 8, draft 8

How to Create Your Own Website

For some, creating a website seems like it would be an impossible task. Although it seems extensive, it isn’t as difficult as one would imagine. You do not need to be experienced in web design or have extensive technical experience in order to create an attractive website.

Create Your Website

Follow these steps and you will create a website in no time:

1. Choose a Domain Name

  • Choosing your domain name is an important step as it is essentially the name for your website. Whatever you choose will become part of your brand. To get a domain name, you will need to pay an annual fee.
  • It’s important to choose a name that is catchy and not too lengthy. You want people to easily remember the name you have chosen. Start to brainstorm, thinking of around five potential names. The names should describe what it is you’re trying to portray in terms of your brand or idea.
  • Your domain name should also be unique. If there are domain names similar, stay away from that name. You do not want to be one letter off of another domain name, this could hurt your potential traffic. To ensure the uniqueness of your name, do a copyright search and register your domain name.
  • This is simply a name, it does not provide you with a website. Think of the domain name like you would a business name. It’s important to have a domain name because if you ever change your web host, you take your domain name with you. This is important for repeat business; past customers are able to find your website under the domain name you originally used.
  • There are various options available when registering your domain name, but GoDaddy.com is one of the most popular today. Registering a domain name is highly recommended if you plan on doing any professional business.

 2. Choose a Web Hosting Company

  • The company you choose will house your site, providing you with the space you need to create web pages. Your site can not launch until this step is achieved.
  • If you are only creating a website for fun, then you can get by with a free hosting site. Although free is great, free web hosts create advertising on your site, provide little support, and tend to be fairly slow.
  • If you are planning on launching a business website, you will want to avoid a free site. If your business begins to grow, your traffic is going to increase. You should always have the future in mind, thinking about what you’ll need if your business grows and develops. Free sites make it challenging to switch later on.
  • Be aware of the three possible hosting types:
  1. Shared Servers: This option shares service resources with the other websites that are on the same server as you. This is most certainly the most affordable, but is not recommended if you’re creating a website for business purposes.
  2. Virtual Servers: This can provide you with more resources and higher levels of stability. This is a better option if you plan on running a small business or eCommerce store online. This is also a good option if you have a fairly decent number of visitors each month.
  3. Dedicated Servers: This option is entirely dedicated to your website. This is the option you want if you have high traffic or do a lot of business. Although they are the most expensive option, they provide the highest level of resources. 

3. Create Your Website

  • Basically there’s two types of websites: Static HTML and Dynamic Websites. Static HTML was far more common years ago, as content is uploaded and displayed ’as is’. These websites require you to learn HTML coding, use templates, or buy software. Dynamic websites pull information from a database, displaying the content you’d like. This content can be displayed by category, date, and more. Dynamic websites are those like WordPress and Joomla.
  • Depending on the site you’d like to create, there are various options available. For example, a blogging website can be built through WordPress. You can choose from a number of templates, avoiding the need to code anything.
  • Although WordPress is commonly associated with blogging, you can use WordPress for any type of website. There are plugins that allow you to use a variety of functions. Plugins are simply scripts that you install, providing your website with a number of features. These plugins can be anything from social media icons, to feedback options.
  • If you plan on selling a product or service, you will need to create an eCommerce website. Since you’re selling something, you will need to accept payments. Once again, there are plugins that allow you to accomplish this. They are easy to install and can be integrated with a PayPal account. Once this is completed, you can begin taking your first orders. Shopify is a very popular and reliable eCommerce solution as well.

4. Using WordPress to Create Your Website

  • As mentioned, WordPress is no longer just for blogging. It can be used for all types of websites, allowing users to easily change their main menu. Templates allow your website to be built with ease. If you ever want to change your theme, you can update changes instantly.
  • There are two options for WordPress sites. You can create a free website at WordPress.com, but you cannot monetize your site and you cannot include ads. This option is generally good for blogging, as it will allow you to write posts and display them in order of their date or category. The problem with free websites is that content is not owned by you. They also tend to look less professional.
  • A self-hosted website requires you to go through the steps above. Once you have registered your domain name (e.g. yourname.com) and find a web host, you can create the website you desire. Once your account has been setup, you’re ready to login. The WordPress login screen will ask you for your username and password. Once you have logged in, you begin to build the website you require.

Ten Tips For Creating a Website

  1. Navigation should be direct and clear. When creating your website, try and limit the number of clicks it takes the visitor to locate the information they would be looking for. If there is a lot of information, make sure it’s easy to get around the site. 
  2. Keep your website simple in terms of it’s design. Keep your colour palette to around three options; the same applies to fonts. You do not want the design to be super busy, distracting visitors from the content you’re trying to deliver. 
  3. Connect your website to social media outlets. Market your website effectively so that you can increase traffic. If you’re a business, continually update your social media. Facebook and Twitter for example, are a great way to reach out to people, letting them know what’s new and exciting. Your status updates should provide information and content that is useful to your audience. 
  4. Make sure that any blog posts or articles are only as long as they need to be. When people read content online, they tend to skim. Keep blog posts between 250-500 words, articles can be a bit longer (500-1000 words). Break up information with subheadings and insert lists and bullets when appropriate. 
  5. Make sure that none of your links are broken and that they’re working properly. When links are broken, it shows your audience and search engines that your site is not well maintained. 
  6. Mobiles are now a common device used to access information, keep this in mind. Limit images, because it can take a long time to load when using mobile devices. Images are great for your site, just make sure they’re not too large and that you don’t have an excessive amount. Use smaller images and compress them, this will prevent your audience from being frustrated. 
  7. You should include some sort of contact information so that your audience can get in touch with you. This is especially true if you’re selling services or products. You do not need to unload all of your private information, but make sure you offer at least a reliable email address. Check your emails daily. keeping your audience happy and informed. 
  8. Make sure everything is legible. Your text should not be on top of a busy background for instance. Contrast effectively, allowing all of the content to be seen. 
  9. Don’t spend a ton of money, there’s no need. If you’re creating a basic WordPress website, there is no need to spend hundreds of dollars. The only thing you should be paying for is your domain name, hosting, and in some cases a premium theme. With that being said, there’s a selection of free themes to choose from. 
  10. Make sure each page of your website adds value. All of your content should have a purpose. It’s not all about design, it’s about providing useful and interesting information. In terms of your audience, make it worth their time to visit your site. If you plan on making money by posting ads, make sure you do not overdue it. If your website is 50% ads, this is not appealing to your audience. If it’s all ads and no content, what’s the point?

If you’re looking to build a website, follow the steps above. Feel confident in your ability, allowing you to create a successful website. Whether you’d like to simply blog, or create a small business online; you have the resources available. 

Writing long codes is presently not the only option available. You no longer need to be experienced in the tech world in order to create a highly functioning and attractive site.

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