How Do I Create a Website? – Follow This Step by Step Guide to Getting Online
Creating a website is a more straightforward process than you might imagine. While there is an enormous amount of knowledge surrounding website design and promotion, you only really need a tiny bit of know-how to actually create your own website.
This article is intended to point you in the right direction for the basic steps you need to take to have a website of your own. My assumptions are that you wish to set up a personal or small business website, and that you would like to make an income from it. Starting with the basics, you should not waste time with any of the various free website hosting services on offer if you are even vaguely serious about your site. You have little control over these and no freedom to develop them as you will need to. They are fine for setting up a family or fun site for friends, but you will not attract serious visitor numbers, which is what you need for your site to be successful.
The basic things you need to get online are a domain name, a web host and a design tool to create your site. Finding these and starting to build your site is not a complicated process, and there is a load of good free advice available online. Don’t worry about a domain name too much as your web hosting package will probably include at least one free one, so you can register the domain of your choice through them when you sign up. You can make life a lot harder if you choose the wrong web host, so make sure you take time to look at some reviews and recommendations.
When it comes to a website design tool, you have plenty of options. To create a website when you have no knowledge of html (hyper text markup language), you will need to use a WYSIWYG design tool. This is an acronym of ‘What You See Is What You Get’. What happens is that you create your site in a familiar, word processing type environment, and the tool automatically translates what you do into html, turning it into a web page.
There are some free WYSIWYG tools available, but in my experience they can create more problems than they solve. There is a tendency for them to generate lots of surplus and unnecessary code, and some have glitches that actually delete or destroy crucial bits of code or text. Like the free website options, they are OK for playing around, but will lead to unwanted problems if your plan is to have a decent site.
There are several good WYSIWYG tools on the market and many do not cost much at all. If you are feeling ambitious you could go for Dreamweaver, which is the choice of professionals, but this may be a bit of a sledgehammer to crack a nut if you are new to web design. Dreamweaver is not a WYSWYG tool and you would need to learn how to use it. It is also very expensive. An alternative to any straight design option is to use a specialist package that will include everything you need to create a website, such as hosting, design, search engine optimization, etc.