In past years building a website was something you needed to find a professional for and could often be quite costly. The advantage was that you only had to tell the web design company what you wanted and they took your ideas and developed the site you wanted. You didn’t have to worry about learning anything new or technical.
However that has all changed, yes there are still a number of professional web design companies but building your own website has been simplified. This has many advantages in that you save money, can develop your own ideas and designs and the learning curve can be mastered with a range of easy to follow tutorial and instructions.
The first thing you will need is a domain name; this is the address from which people will find your website on the internet. For example http://yoursite.com. Domains are purchased through registrars such as Go daddy or Name cheap but there are hundreds on the net just do a search for domain registrars and take your pick. They can range in price from a few dollars to several hundred depending on whether you are buying a new domain or an established one. The average price for a domain name is about $10 and you need to renew this on a yearly basis.
The next thing you will need is hosting. Think of it as the space on the internet where your site will be located, similar to paying for the lease of a shop in a shopping mall. Hosting can vary in price but can start as low as $3.00 per month from a company such as Hostgator.
Designing Your Website
Once you have your domain name and your hosting you can start to think about the site you are going to build. Most hosting companies provide you with access to a cpanel once you have registered with them and pointed your domain name to them. Your cpanel is similar to your control room and you will find that most have preloaded software for the more popular web building software such as Joomla and WordPress but there are many others.
Most new users will lean towards WordPress as this just entails clicking a few buttons in the cpanel to get a basic site setup. Once you have set up your basic site you can then access it through an administrative panel and customize it to the way you want it to look. You can make changes to the theme, many free ones are supplied with the WordPress software or you can upload one of your own.
When you have your site looking the way you want it’s time to add in your content, images and videos. An important thing to keep in mind is that unique and original content will get you noticed more than duplicating work from other websites. Your objective here should be to build a site that is unique and provides value to your potential client or customer. Google gives weight to sites that have value to the user.
In summary software such as WordPress and Joomla have taken much of the difficulty out of web design for the new user and you will find lots of information and guidelines to help you if you get stuck. Don’t be afraid to try new things yourself instead of paying someone to do the work for you.