Building a website is far easier than you think and getting it to appear on the internet is really as simple as putting in a username and password. There are a few technical bits but I’ll cover those as we go along.
To begin with, you need to have a domain name and hosting account which I’ve covered already.
You Need Content
Next, you need to create some content for your website. There’s two ways of doing this. Either create it yourself, or get someone else to do it for you, and by that I mean outsource it.
Lets take a look at outsourcing first as that’s going to be the easiest way if you’re a complete beginner. You still need to provide some content, which you’ve either created yourself, or have outsourced to an article writer. Normally you’d also provide all the images, audio and videos for the website as well.
Of course all the content you provide should be your own, which means articles, images, videos and audio.
There are a lot of websites where you can get images and videos for free, but in general, if it doesn’t say it’s free then it’s not, and you could be in breach of copyright if you take them and use them on your site.
Try Outsourcing The Building Of Your Website
Then you need to find someone to create the website for you. The best places to start looking are www.elance.com and www.rentacoder.com. What you need to do on these sites after you sign up with the usual details, is give an outline of what you want your site to look like. The more detail you give, the easier it’s going to be for the designer to create your site. A good way to start is to look at other projects on these websites and see what sort of outline other people have given. Another easy way is to look at other websites you like and ask for your site to be designed along similar lines.
Two Ways Of Building A Website
There’s two ways to create your own website, and one is by far much easier than the other.
1. Do It The Easy Way
The first and easiest way is to create your website as a blog.
The two most popular blogging programs are blogspot and wordpress. Blogspot is run by google and you don’t even need a domain name as you get one automatically when you create your blog for free. They also host it for you so running a blog with them is completely free, and also has the advantage that because it’s google, it’s going to be picked up by search engines fairly quickly.
WordPress is marginally harder to use but I think more flexible, and you do need to have your own domain. The good thing about WordPress is that there are thousands of free themes you can use to change the look of your site, and thousands of free plugins that can do virtually anything on your site you could think of, from showing a quote of the day, to optimising your blog for search engines.
All you need to do to add content to either of these, is post your article and it appears live on the internet.
2. Do It The Hard Way
The second way is to create your website from scratch.
The easiest way to do this is to get one of the popular webpage editing programs also known as html editors. I use xsitepro but there are others equally popular out there like dreamweaver that do pretty much the same thing. You need one that’s wysiwig, which means what you see is what you get. This means what you type on the screen is what you’ll see on your webpage, exactly the same idea as a word processing program like Microsoft Word for example.
If you can use Microsoft Word you won’t have any problem with using any of the popular html editors.
They also come with a lot of preinstalled themes so you can choose what your website is going to look at, and you have full control over the final product. You don’t need to know any html; html is the code that sits behind the webpage you created, as it’s all done automatically for you.
Making Your Site Live – As Easy As Putting In A Username And Password
Once you’ve created your website, you need to upload it to your hosting account which is how it’ll go live on the internet.
If you’re using html editing software, this will be a onetime setup and you’ll just have to click a button each time you want to upload files.
The other way you can do it, is through FTP, which just means File Transfer Protocol, and is a way of uploading your files to your hosting account. You can download third party FTP software for free, just by searching for free FTP Software on the internet.
As you can see, getting a website live on the internet isn’t a hugely daunting or technical task. I’m going to create a series of videos on starting a website from scratch and putting it up on the internet, using xsitepro. I also plan on a series on setting up a blog in wordpress so watch this space.