How to Create Your Own Website

Since you decided to build your own website, here are some tips to help you started.

Back in 2005, when we started building websites, the resources to build an online web presence for small business was more limited than today in 2016. We are talking about a DIY website option.

But we are not here to talk about 2005 web development resources and technologies.

Ways to Go Around Building Your Business Website:

First off, there are many ways to build a website, we just mentioned a couple here, but there are many ways to build a website.

  • Use a website builder:
  • There are many free options and of course some other very affordable too.

    Some of them are the ones you get when you buy your domain name or web hosting. There are also some online companies which provide a very affordable way to create your website, which already include hosting and free domain name. This companies provide a platform or builder tool, which has it own step by step wizard to help you in the process of building your website. They usually provide a pre-built template (or several to choose from according to your industry or service area), which you can then customized according to your business needs. Some give you a greater grade of customization and even deliver a responsive web design. Some give you the opportunity to insert HTML if you are familiar with that.

    As freelance web developers, we usually do not suggest to go with this option, for a couple of very simple reasons: most of the time you don't get a professional looking website, because their builder tool is very limited and, which is the worst part, if you later decide to get your own hosting and own domain name and transfer all the hard work you have put onto your website, you probably won't be able to transfer that website or even get the domain name transferred to your name.

  • Use WordPress
  • Wordpress ( a CMS) is probably the best open source platform to build a professional website for your company. You can find a lot of free and premium Wordpress themes online (Premium themes ranging from $40.00 to $120.00). Also it's relatively easy to setup Wordpress on your server and customize your theme to represent your company and products and services. (Later on these series of articles we will provide a step by step tutorial to create your website using Wordpress)

After You Decided Which Way to Go:

If You decided to go with a web builder tool

All you need now is to collect your information:
Do you have a logo? Pictures and content?

We ask these questions, because that's what usually business owners forget; that they need a logo and pictures, and most importantly, they need content! And if you know about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you know that you need really good SEO optimized content! If you are not familiar with SEO, we will explain later, what we mean by good content.

If you have the option of buying your own domain name, ( www.yourcompanyname.com), we strongly advice you to buy it from a different company than where you bought your hosting service, like cheapdomains-dot-com or go-daddy, you won't regret it if you do.

Buying a domain from a different company means also that you would need to point that domain name to your actual servers, or what is the same, change the DNS servers for the ones your hosting company provides.

That's actually not really hard to do if you know what you are doing, but if you don't know how to do it, you need to contact your domain name registrar and ask them to do it for you, they will do it gladly. But if you feel comfortable doing it yourself, every registrar website has a step by step guide to do it.

After that you are pretty much done.

If You decided to go with WORDPRESS

Now this is a longer more complicated process, but it is also a more secure path to follow if you are serious about building a strong web presence online for your small business. Wordpress is probably one of the most used and the best web platforms to build strong and professional websites.

Wordpress is easy to use and do not require you to know about coding, is completely free, is completely responsive (adjusts completely to mobile device screens: Iphone, Ipad, Tablets, Laptops, Etc.) which, by the way, it's a requirement from Google guidelines.

Best way to go about building your website with Wordpress is to buy a premium theme, which usually comes with step by step instructions to install your theme and to customize it according to your needs. Usually, vendors also offer customer support and are pretty good at providing instructions when you find yourself in a situation where you don't know how to change or do something.

If you need help installing Wordpress or Customizing your theme, give us a call at (857) 770-1119

Next Steps: Get your domain name and hosting

Before you can start building your Wordpress website, you are going to need two main things:

  • Buy a domain name
  • Your domain name is basically the address of your website online, (www.your-company-name.com) and usually is composed by your company name or an abbreviation of your business name, and we often advice to also include the town where your business is located, which it will help your business to show up on search results by appearing on Google Places, previously Google Maps. Believe us, that actually will be a huge step on showing your business on search results.

    Something very important to remember when buying a domain name is:

    Make it short and something that people can remember easily, make it memorable and catchy!

    If you read above, you will also know by now, where to buy your domain name.

  • Buy hosting
  • Hosting or server is basically a space that you rent out on a large computer, called server, to have your website files in. Without hosting, there is no way to have your website online. There are many hosting providers like Blue-host, to mention just one and they are actually pretty affordable (something in between of $3.00 to $50.00 or more a month, but you don't need to pay more than $12.00/month)

  • You also need an FTP program (Download Filezila here)
  • Filezila is a free FTP program that you can use with Mac or Windows platforms.

  • Download and install Wordpress
  • Upload files to our web server, using FTP.
  • Create a MySQL database and user for WordPress.
  • Configure WordPress to connect to your new database and
  • Complete installation and setup website!

Here is a video to help you install Wordpress on your server

 

If you need help installing Wordpress or Customizing your theme, give us a call at (857) 770-1119

We are not affiliated with any of the web hosting providers mentioned here.

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