This blog discusses how to make or create a website. It is intended for the beginner and amateurs. This blog will take you step by step through the process from the very beginning. It makes very few assumptions about what you know (except for the fact that you know how to surf the Internet). As some steps are more involved, this blog also links to selected relevant articles on other sites that you will need to click through to read. If you want to hire a Web Design Company instead to make you a professional website, please visit the Toronto Web Developers at DTW.
The Essentials of Making Your Own Website
Get Your Domain Name
The first thing you need to do is to get yourself a domain name. This is the name you want to give to your website. To get a domain name, you have to pay an annual fee to a registrar for the right to use that name. Getting a name does not get you a website. It’s just a name. It’s sort of like registering a business name in the brick-and-mortar world; having that business name does not mean that you also have the shop premises to go with it.
Choose a Web Host
A web host is a company that has many computers connected to the Internet. When you place your web pages on their computers, everyone in the world will be able to connect to it and view them. You will need to sign up for an account with a web host so that your website has a home. If getting a domain name is analogous to getting a business name, getting a web hosting account is comparable to renting office or shop premises for your business.
After you sign up for a web hosting account, you will need to point your domain to that account on your web host.
Designing your Web Pages
Once you have settled your domain name and web host, the next step is to design the web site itself.
- Although there are many considerations in web design, as a beginner, your first step is to actually get something out onto the web. The fine-tuning can come after you’ve figured out how to publish a basic web page. One way is to use a WYSIWYG (“What You See Is What You Get”) web editor to do it. Such editors allow you to design your site visually, without having to muck around with the technical details. They work just like a normal Microsoft Word.
- After you have followed my advice, and are on the way to designing your website, you might want to read some articles Appearance, Usability and Search Engine Visibility in Web Design as well.
- An integral part of web design is search engine optimization. Search engine promotion does not start until after the web site is made. Though need to keep in SEO on mind at the design stage already.
- There are many other issues regarding the design of web pages. The above will get you started.
Testing Your Website
You will need to test your web pages as you design them in the major browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer. All these browsers can be obtained free of charge. Unfortunately, directly testing your site is the only way you can be really sure that it works the way you want it to on your visitors’ machines. And those with access to Windows 10 should also test with Microsoft Edge, the successor to Internet Explorer. In addition, if you have a smartphone, try out your site there too.
If you want to improve the chances that your website will work in future versions of all web browsers, consider validating the code for your web pages. In layman’s language, this means that you should check that the underlying code of your web page, called “HTML” and “CSS”, has no syntax errors. You don’t actually need technical knowledge of HTML and CSS to validate the page, since you can use one of the numerous free web page validators around to do the hard work. On the other hand, if the validator tells you that your page has errors, it may sometimes be hard to figure out what’s wrong (and whether the error is actually a serious one) if you don’t have the requisite knowledge. Having said that, some validators actually give concrete suggestions on how to fix your code, and one of them, called “HTML Tidy”, is even supposed to be able to fix errors for you.
Making Money with your website
If you are selling products or services, you will need some way to collect credit card information.
If you need advertisers for your website, a list of advertisers and affiliate programs can be found on Affiliate Programs Google: Free Sponsors and Advertisers. Those companies are on the constant lookout for new web publishers to display their advertisements.
When your site is ready, you can submit it to search engines like Google and Bing.
In general, if your site is already linked to by other websites, you may not even need to submit it to these search engines. They will probably find it themselves by following the links on those websites.
Apart from submitting your site to the search engine, you may also want to consider promoting it in other ways, such as the usual way people did things before the creation of the Internet: advertisements in the newspapers, word-of-mouth, etc. There are even companies on the Internet, like PRWeb, that can help you create press releases, which may get your site noticed by news sites and blogs. As mentioned in my article on More Tips on Google Search Engine Results Placement, you can also advertise in the various search engines. Although I only mentioned Google in that article, since that was the topic of that discussion, you can also advertise in other search engines like Bing and Yahoo!. This has the potential of putting your advertisement near the top of the search engine results page, and possibly even on other websites.
Naturally the above guide is not enough. It is a summary of some of the essential steps in getting started with your site. Read on this site more to get more useful tips on building a website.