Are you ready to announce your presence to the online world but feel intimidated by the work involved? Website creation doesn’t have to be complicated. All it takes is an understanding of a few simple steps to get on your way to carving out your personal Internet niche.
Brainstorm Ideas and Designs
Ask yourself the purpose of your website. Do you want to share your musings in a blog, or are you looking to promote a business? The design should reflect this purpose with a clean layout that’s easy for visitors to navigate and makes people want to stick around to see what you’re all about. List your goals for your site and sketch out a few layout ideas to give yourself a blueprint to work from. WordPress offers thousands of free designs, plus many more premium themes from hundreds of amazing designers.
Understand the Code
Though many useful site building tools exist, you have more control over design if you take some time to learn basic HTML and CSS code. You can do this by enrolling in an online course that shows you the ins and outs of using code to manage site structure and appearance. With this knowledge, you’ll be better able to troubleshoot any problems without having to find outside help.
Choose a Site Editor
Services such as WordPress.com, Wix and Sprout Builder offer free or low-cost tools to get you started with building your website. Begin with a template and place text, pictures and links where you want them. Other options include “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWIG) editors that provide options for creating your site with drag-and-drop methods or by editing the code.
Find a Hosting Provider
In some cases, the editing platform you choose will also come with low-cost hosting, meaning that you get a place to store your site files and information along with use of the editing tool. If you are going to use self-hosted WordPress then look for a separate hosting company that provides the space you need for your site along with tools to help you manage it once it’s up and running. Business sites require more robust hosting options than personal ones, so make sure you understand what you need before signing up.
If you go down this route then you should read this comprehensive guide to setting up your website. It covers alot more ground than we do here.
Choose Your Domain
Think of a domain as your “home address” on the web. It should relate directly to the subject of your website, and you can search to see whether or not it’s available to register. If you’re promoting yourself, choose something like “yourname.com.” For a business website, use the name of the business or a recognizable attribute of the related brand. Most hosting providers allow you to register a domain when you sign up, but the fee is separate from the cost of hosting and you’ll have to renew the domain every year to keep using it.
Once you have all the elements in place for your website, go through each page and proofread the content. Check that links lead where they’re supposed to and that images display properly. If everything looks good, publish your site and share the URL to start bringing in visitors.