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How to create your first website

An easy, step-by-step guide from a web developer
Start Learning

Three quick steps in guide

platform

Step One

Choose a website building Platform

setup and customise

Step Two

Setup & customize your website

go live

Step Three

Go Live & reach your audience

Step #0: Prerequisite

Before you start worrying about creating your website, you need to have a domain name & web hosting

Domain Name:

A domain name is a unique name that identifies a website. For example, the domain name of the our website “myfirstsite.net.” Each website has a domain name that serves as an address, which is used to access the website.

How to Register a Domain Name?

  1. Select a Registrar!
  2. Pick the right top level domain (TLD)!
  3. Brainstorm Your Name!

We Recommend BigRock & GoDaddy to register your domain name.

What kind of Domain name should I pick?

Things to Remeber?

  • If you are making website for your business, your name should match company name. For example YourComanyName.com
  • If you are planning to setup website for yourself, then YourName.com can be a great option.

Some of the most popular Top-level domain (tld) are .com, .net or .org, but in recent times, a huge number Generic Top-level domains (gTLDs) have came out ranging from .agency to .pizza

Besides tlds and gTLDs, we have country code top-level domains (ccTLDs). For example .de (Germany), .in (India), etc.

My best advice? Avoid the weird extensions and go with .com, .net or .org unless they perfectly describe what you have to offer – and even then, see if you can find a more common name.

While .com, .org and .net are commonly used and easily remembered, the domain extension craze hasn’t really gone mainstream yet – so people may not find you if you use a really different domain extension.


Any additional tips for choosing my Domain name?

There are few things that can help you choosing your domain name:

#1. Is it brandable? For example, if you are making a site about yoga then yoga-basics.com is not a good choice: yogabasics.com or learningyoga.com is much better.

#2. Is it memorable? Short, punchy and clear domain names are much easier to remember. If your domain name is too fuzzy, too long or spelled in a strange way, visitors may forget it.

#3. Is it catchy? You want a domain name that rolls off the tongue, describes what you (or your business) does and sticks to the head. Coming up with a cool name can be a bit tough since there are approximately 150 million active domain names in the world right now – but don’t give up.

There’s one rule that always applies to domain names: If you like it, go for it.


Web Hosting:

A web hosting service is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their website accessible via the World Wide Web. Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server owned or leased for use by clients, as well as providing Internet connectivity, typically in a data center. Web hosts can also provide data center space and connectivity to the Internet for other servers located in their data center, called colocation.

We recommend SiteGround, DreamHost and a2 hosting for web hosting services.

What are the Different types of Web Hosting?
  • Shared Hosting – Usually recommended for new websites, as it’s the most economical way to start a website. Your site is placed on a server with other websites to share the resources.
  • VPS Hosting – Recommended for more advanced users, and those needing to install specific packages or software not provided by shared hosting. Your website is placed on a server with other websites, like shared hosting, but usually there’s less websites per server. Also includes root or admin access to its own operating system installation in a virtualized environment.
  • Dedicated Hosting –  When you get a dedicated server, your website(s) get access to the full server, since it’s not shared with any other users. Also includes full root or admin access like a VPS. This is the recommended route for websites with lots of visitors (traffic) or custom requirements not available in a shared hosting environment.
  • Reseller Hosting – This service is geared for webmasters, or others, who want to resell their own web hosting service. It’s also a good option for those with multiple websites, as it makes it easier to manage many websites under one control panel.

 THINGS TO DO BEFORE NEXT STEP:

check iconDo some brainstorming to come up with a unique domain name that reflects your future website, business or blog.

check iconSecure your domain name and web hosting.

Step #1: Choose your website Platform

Before you start adding content to your website, you need to choose the right platform


What do I mean by “platform”?

Next thing you need to decide when starting a website is what site building platform you’re going to use, if any.

Most beginners have two main choices when it comes to creating a website. If you want to build your website from scratch, you’ll need to understand HTML code, which has a big learning curve and isn’t suitable for beginners.

The other option is to use website building platform, also known as a Content Management System (CMS).


Three Most Popular CMS for 2016:

As you can see from the graph above, nearly half of the websites on the Internet are running on WordPress website platform. Just look at those recent statistics made by W3 Techs and BuiltWith.


Why WordPress is better than rest of the platforms?

Because at this point there are no better/easier way to build a website… But more importantly;

#1. It’s Free – WordPress is open source, and is completely free to download and use. Also there’s a huge community who have designed beautiful themes and templates, making it easy to get going fast – In love with WordPress?

#2. Easy to use – If you know how to use Microsoft Word, you already know how add your own content.  – pretty simple, huh?

#3. Can be Customized – WordPress can be expanded with free plugins to handle just about any site you can imagine – from gorgeous business pages to social networking sites. With “plugins” you’ll be able to add contact forms, subscription forms, image galleries and so on for your website.

#4. Small or Big – From basic blogs to beautiful business sites and online stores, WordPress can handle just about any kind of website. WordPress is used by eBay, Mozilla, Reuters, CNN, Google Ventures and even NASA.

#5. Mobile Friendly – There are hundreds of stylish WordPress themes that look good on mobile too. No need to hire a web developer for that.

#6. Huge Community Support – With so many people using the platform (Webmaster, Bloggers, Theme developers and Plugin creators), it’s easy to find QUICK help when you need it. In addition,there is a large WordPress community and lots of tutorials to help you if you get stuck.

If you want an example of a site built on WordPress, look no further than this site! My First Site is built entirely using WordPress. 🙂

Want to know about Drupal and Joomla?

Drupal:

Unlike WordPress, Drupal is not too well suited for the technically inept or a first time website developer. Drupal is an open source CMS and is largely utilized by big corporations with vast websites and high traffic loads. It has its own customization possibilities with themes and plugins created to add value to Drupal sites. Drupal websites are a bit faster and little less taxing on the host’s server resources.

But if you’re new to web development, it isn’t for you. Why? It is more complicated than it needs to be to meet your requirements. It is designed for complex, vast websites with high traffic loads, which your new website will not be to begin with. Given that, there is no need to add to the difficulty of the website creation process unnecessarily.  And besides, you can always switch to Drupal at a later date.

 

Joomla:

Open source and free like the previous two platforms. It is a tad better than the other two when it comes to creating a community of users (like a small social network or tight knit community for your readers) and is far more amenable to creating social websites with a lot of interaction and engagement from users. It is easier to handle than Drupal and offers more than WordPress in terms of performance and tweakability.

And again my reasons are the same for not recommending it for you, unnecessary complication that you do not need.

THINGS TO DO BEFORE NEXT STEP:

check iconMake up your mind on what CMS you ‘ll be using.


Step #2: Setup & Customize

In this step ’ll show you how to install and customize your WordPress website


1. One-Click-installation for Websites like WordPress.. (and Joomla & Drupal)

Almost every reliable and well-established hosting company has integrated 1-click-installation for WordPress, which makes getting going a snap. If you signed up with SiteGround or any other similar hosting company, you should find your “1-click-installation” in your account control panel.

Here are the steps you should follow (should be similar/same on all the major web hosting companies):

  1. Log in to your hosting account.
  2. Go to your control panel.
  3. Look for “WordPress” icon & Click on it.
  4. Click on Install tab
  5. Choose the domain where you want to install your website.
  6. Click the “Install Now” button and you should get access to your NEW WordPress website.

 That’s it – Well Done!

2. Manual Installation (if needed)

If for some odd reason (some hosting companies don’t provide one-click-install for WordPress) you don’t have the possibility to install WordPress automatically, look this manual guide below:

Installing WordPress Manually

#1. Download Latest version of WordPress.

#2. Create a new folder on your desktop and unzip WordPress in it

#3. Look for a file named wp-config-sample.php and rename it to: wp-config.php

#4. Now open the wp-config.php (with notepad for example) and fill the following lines:

define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘database_name_here’); – Database name
define(‘DB_USER’, ‘username_here’); – Database username
define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘password_here’); – Database password

Now open the wp-config.php (with notepad for example) and fill the following lines:

After you have filled the gaps, save the file.

#5. Now log into your hosting ftp (download FileZilla for that). The FTP address is usually ftp.yourdomain.com, username and password are the same that you used to register to your host.

#6. If there is any file named “index” – delete it. After that upload all the files from your WordPress folder to your FTP server. I believe you can use “drag n drop” function in FileZilla.

#7. Once you have completed the previous steps, go the URL: yourdomain.com/wp-admin/install.php

This is the page you should see:

insatll wordpress

Just fill in the forms and you are ready!

Pssst – if they don’t have 1-click-installation, maybe you’re dealing with a bad host!


Choosing a Theme/Template for your site

Once you have successfully installed WordPress to your domain, you’ll see a very basic yet clean site:

Default WordPress theme

But you don’t want to look like everyone else, do you? That’s why you need a theme – a design template that tells WordPress how your website should look. See a sample version below:

mfs theme