Many beginners cannot help but feel daunted when they face the prospect of building their first website. Even before the actual design begins, terms like domains, IPs, and web hosts create enormous confusion. In truth, building a website sounds a lot harder than it is. Follow this guide to learn more about how to research the best web hosts, build a website, and launch it successfully.
Registering a Host and Domain
Imagine that you move to a new country. To start living there, you might to find a plot of empty land to build a house. Additionally, you will need an official address so that people can find you. The online world works very much in the same way. Web hosting is like the plot of land; it is an empty space on the Internet where a website can reside. The domain name is the site’s address. Most of the top web hosting companies allow users to register for hosting and a domain separately, or together in a package deal. Research the best web hosts carefully and compare their prices and packages before committing to one.
Determine the Website Platform
Before you start building a website, the next step is to figure out the website’s platform. Traditionally this was simply done by creating HTML pages and uploading them. Today there are several other options. For example, users can download a free, open-source blogging platform called WordPress and customize it to create their own website. Other options include platforms such as Joomla and Drupal. The best web hosts usually also include some of these options in their admin areas, enabling the user to install the necessary core files with just a couple of clicks.
Building Web Pages
Start by creating a skeleton outline or wireframe of the website’s content. It should contain a list of all the webpages in the site, as well as details about each page’s content. This is a great way to get organized and stay on track when you build a website. For beginners, programs like Dreamweaver or Frontpage make it much easier to build a website. They allow users to code or drag and drop content in a graphic interface area. If you have never tried to build a website before, look up a few website tutorials online to learn the basics.
After building web pages, there is still the issue of uploading to your web hosting space. This includes web pages html files, as well as multimedia such as images, audio, or video files. One way to do this is by using an FTP client. This is simply a little program where users can enter in the FTP details of their website and then copy the files to the server space. The FTP details can be obtained from your web hosting company. Most of the top web hosting companies also have an online version of an FTP uploader. Here, the user can either drag and drop files, or use the Browse button to select the appropriate files to be uploaded.
Testing the Site
It is very important to test the entire site before it goes live. Upload a temporary page called index.html to let users know that the site will be launching shortly. After the other pages and content have been uploaded, take the time to test out all the links in the site. Try sending a test email from the contact page to yourself to make sure it works properly. If there is anything that needs to be fixed, make the necessary changes. It is also worthwhile to test the site on several different computers. You can do this yourself, or ask a few friends to try it out on their screens and report how the site appears.
Launching and Promoting
On launch day, remove or delete the temporary home page, and substitute it with the final version, which should be renamed to index.html. This is quite an exciting moment! Now that the site has been launched, spread the word to encourage people to visit it. Submit the site to the main search engines and relevant directories. You can also use your social media profiles to alert people that the website is live. Install an analytics tracker or visitor counter to keep track of how well your site is faring.
Even after building a website, there is a bit of work to be done on a regular basis. To attract new and returning visitors, website owners need to continually update the content. The site might be a bit basic at first, but over time, it will grow. Make it easy for visitors to contact you, and encourage them to inform you of any errors that need to be fixed. Some of the top web hosting providers also include tools that alert site owners of broken links and other errors. Explore the different options in the admin panel and make good use of them.