Written by Jessica Ann on December 18th, 2013
How to Build a Website for the True Beginner
This article is almost as much about kissing as it is about building websites. And why not – there are not enough discussions about kissing in the world of website building, domains and website hosting. It’s right to expect more – in fact we should demand more kissing in the world of the web. Smooching never goes out of style. And either should your website.
Remember when you were in school and you were trying to figure out the whole relationship thing? You worried if you were attractive and what you would do when your big day came along – the day of your first kiss. There were lots of things that were almost impossible to understand. Like what is the difference between making out and getting to first base? Why did your grandparents call it smooching and what the heck is necking? As for the British calling it snogging – and that just sounds disgusting.
Trying to figure out how to build a website is pretty similar. Many people are nervous and initially bamboozled by the technical jargon. Even beginners’ guides are difficult to understand. But just like after your first kiss, website building does get easier.
So let’s go through some of the basics:
Holding Hands (Domain and Hosting)
There are two things that you will need before you start thinking of the design and content of your website. Those two things are a domain name and website hosting.
A domain name is the name of your website – yourname.com, for example – and it has to be unique. A .com domain name is the most common, but there are others like .net, .co and .biz. You buy a domain name from a domain registrar. You’ll want to pick the best domain name for your business.
Website hosting, or cloud hosting, refers to the server (or servers) where your website is stored. You buy website hosting either yearly or monthly from a hosting provider. Often the same company will provide both domain registration services and website hosting.
Arm Around Waist (Web Builders and CMS)
The next stage of the process is to decide on the tool that you will use to create your website. Some website hosting providers offer website builders that allow you to create your site. These are easy to use and are designed for beginners.
Another popular option is to use a content management system (CMS). That sounds complicated but it is just like a piece of software. You will have to learn how to use it, but this can be done without any knowledge of code or computer programming.
The most popular CMS applications are Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress.
Goodnight / Goodbye Peck (Website Templates and Design)
The next thing you will need is a template. This is the basic layout and design of your website. Think of it as everything except for the content. You will have a choice of different templates and some will incur a small fee, but there are also many that are free.
One thing to look out for is multi-platform functionality. A lot of users now access the internet through tablets and phones. Try to learn about what the rise of mobile web usage means for your business. Your website needs to look good on all mobile devices as well as on computers. Modern high quality templates will have mobile site functionality built in – it’s often called “responsive design.”
The Three Minute Kiss – Success! (Content and Marketing Copy)
Once you have your domain name, your website hosting, your site building tool, and your template then you are ready to start adding content. Your content should be helpful to the user. And it should be concise and straight to the point. You should have an About section to explain who you are, and a contact section so users can get in touch with you.
After that it’s up to you. But here’s one final tip: a website is never truly finished. So, like kissing, you’ll need to come back to it again and again through the years. Enjoy the process and think of building your website as passionate fun. You’ll be surprised at how entertaining it can become.