We get it. The idea of creating your first website can be confusing and overwhelming. And knowing what steps to bring your website to life may feel like a complicated task that requires a lot of work.
While there’s some truth to that, there are online solutions and services that make the process a whole lot easier.
We’re here to help you with that. Check out this ultimate guide to creating and launching a website in the online world.
The Essentials You Need to Create Your First Website
Your domain name is your unique web address on the internet. To put it plainly, if your website was a house, your domain name is your address. Your visitors use it to access your website through their web or mobile browsers.
An ideal domain name should reflect your brand so customers can easily find you on the internet. But it can also reflect your product or service so your website comes up on relevant search results.
For example, say you’re looking for a coffee shop. You tap on Google and search for nearby coffee shops, and voila! You get a list of search results that include relevant websites identified by their domain names.
How to register your domain name
When you’ve finally come up with a domain name, register it with a reliable domain provider before others beat you to it. Here’s how you can get started:
- Find a good registrar like Crazy Domains.
- Provide your chosen domain name.
- In case your chosen name is not available, run a domain name search and pick the best available option.
- Finalise your order and complete the registration.
- Verify the ownership of your new domain.
Tips to remember when coming up with a domain name
You need to think carefully about the domain name you’re going to use since it’s likely going to represent your business for a long time. Keep these in mind when creating a domain name:
- Keep it short. Make sure it’s easy to pronounce and spell.
- Avoid numbers and hyphens. It’s easy for visitors to forget to type them in.
- Include relevant keywords people might enter when searching for your type of business.
READ: 11 Ultimate Rules for Picking a Domain Name for Your Business
A web hosting stores your website files and makes your site accessible to visitors. When you get a web hosting plan, you’re renting space on a physical server where you can store all necessary files and data for your website to work.
Going back to our analogy earlier, web hosting is the land your house (website) sits on.
Types of Hosting
There are different types of web hosting that cater to the diverse needs of customers. These include:
- Shared Hosting – The most common and excellent solution for most small businesses and personal blogs. With shared hosting, you share one server with other users.
- VPS Hosting – A Virtual Private Server means you get a dedicated server space and a reserved amount of memory and resources. This is perfect for medium-sized businesses with a growing number of websites and traffic.
- Cloud Hosting – If you own a very busy website, Cloud Hosting is for you. It provides you with a cluster of servers where you can replicate your files and resources should there be any issues in one of your cloud servers.
- Dedicated Hosting – With Dedicated Hosting, you get your own physical server all to yourself. This type of hosting is perfect for large businesses that deal with heavy traffic and manage multiple websites.
- WordPress Hosting – This type of hosting is created for WordPress site owners, which means your server is configured specifically for WordPress. Since WordPress is pre-installed, you can use the platform right away to start building your website.
Which Hosting Plan Works for You?
You can never get the right hosting plan without knowing what you need. Keep these factors in mind when choosing a web hosting for your website:
- Estimate the amount of traffic you expect.
- Consider your specific needs.
- Look into hosting reliability and speed.
- Know your upgrade options.
- Look into security features and quality customer service.
- Know your budget.
Now on to your website — your house or your piece of estate on the internet. But first, how do you build one?
To build a website, you’ll either need to code it from scratch or use convenient tools like website builders or content management systems (CMSes) to make the process easier.
Using a website builder
Website builders are online tools that enable you to build a website by dragging and dropping pre-coded design elements. Think of it like putting together blocks of Legos to build a structure!
Website builders provide free and customisable templates for your convenience. They’re low maintenance and have a library full of user-friendly design elements. It is perfect for those without coding knowledge, building websites in a snap, plus—it’s low cost!
READ: 5 Powerful Benefits of Using a Website Builder
Using WordPress or other CMSes
Apart from being the most popular CMS globally, WordPress is considered one of the most accessible options for building and managing a website.
It provides a library of plugins that extend your website’s functionality. Plus, WordPress has educational resources to help you learn the basics and get the most out of the platform.
So, who is it for?
WordPress is perfect for anyone who wants to build different types of websites without having technical skills. And since it’s an easy platform to get started with, it’s also a great option for beginners.
If you want to try other functionalities aside from WordPress’, here are other popular options:
- Joomla – Like WordPress, Joomla is also free to use and allows you to build your website however you want it. Since Joomla is a smaller community than WordPress, it may have fewer resources.
- Drupal – This CMS is the top choice for large businesses and government entities as it is more scalable, offers more flexibility and customisation, and provides the best security. If security is your website’s top priority, then Drupal delivers.
- Magento – This CMS allows users to create and manage multiple storefronts. It also offers convenient features that help generate sales and business reports.
Which platform should you choose?
There are various factors to consider when choosing the right website-building platform. These include:
- Your technical skill and platform preference
- Your website needs
- Time, money, and opportunity cost
If you’re having a hard time deciding which platform to go for, our in-depth FREE Getting Your Website Online course will help you come up with an answer.
Your website is now up and running
Congratulations! You’re now on your way to publish your first website. But your online journey does not end the moment you hit Publish.
Don’t forget to update your site regularly, optimise it for SEO, and market it in all relevant channels. Your audience is waiting!