You don’t need an expert to build your own website
Building your own personal website is not as daunting as it may sound. Advancements in Web standards and technology have resulted in web development evolution, causing new practices to emerge. For common users (non-technical/non-developers), this is good news due to the standardization of design and code used to build websites following W3C, XHTML/CSS and SEO compliance.
Follow these straight forward steps, and you’ll be on your way to establish Web presence.
Step 1 – Register a domain name
A domain name is the URL visitors type in the address bar of a browser to visit your website. Choosing an appropriate domain name is essential because it gives a hint about the identity of the site. It could be your full name (e.g. www.johnsmith.net, www.johnsmith.com), your nickname or the name of your business/company (e.g. www.google.com).
Registering a domain name will cost around $10 per year – price may vary depending on the registrar and the extension of the domain (.com, .net, .me, etc.). In order to register visit HostMonster, check your chosen domain availability then follow the site’s instructions.
Step 2 – Hosting Options
While going for a paid hosting plan powers your site with special features such as online storage space, email accounts, simple site builders and online support, it’s not necessary and if you don’t go for this option, it won’t stop you from getting your website up and running.
Paid hosting will cost you around $6 per month. It’s very important to go for good web host that offers excellent support, and features. HostMonster is one of the best web hosting companies there is, it offers a free domain name with every hosting plan.
I don’t recommend using free hosting plans with any of your websites because they often show adverts on the pages of your site and they provide little or no support.
Site builders make building websites easy and save you a lot of hassle avoiding HTML editing and technical tweaking. Usually the web host provides a site builder where you can easily create the front page, edit the content, choose a preset layout and design, change the colors and fonts, add photos, and do the same for every sub-page.
Step 3 – Building your website
If you choose to go for paid hosting, use the site builder provided to build your website. The first thing to do is choosing the template of the site from a list of templates. Then you can change the layout of the content and the color theme used with the selected template. Your website should at least have a Frontpage, Contact page and About page, make sure you create those pages with the builder.
WordPress on the other hand, gives you more control over the site, and saves you money from paying for web hosting. Create an account with WordPress, all you need is an email address for verification. Login and start building your website by changing the Theme, add categories, and start writing your content.
Note that if you build your website using WordPress, they will provide you with a link to your site (e.g. http://you.wordpress.com). In this case to make it work with your domain name, redirect your domain to point to the link provided byWordPress (check with your web host to learn how to redirect).
Step 4 – Spreading the word
List your website with the major Search Engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, in order for it to show in their results. Whether your site will have good rating is a whole other topic involving Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and is strictly for advanced users. However, increasing the rating of your website depends on the number of visitors, and the number of your site’s links found on other websites. In other words, invite as many people as you can to visit your website, and share your website’s link on as many sites as you possibly can. Join forums related to your interests and join active topics, write comments and include your link to your website. Also spread the word amongst your friends on Facebook and MySpace, your followers on Twitter and on as many social networking sites as possible.