If you have ever wondered how to make a website, you will be relieved to know that building a website today is easier now than ever before. With an endless number of website designing options available to users, there is nothing preventing anyone who wants to build a website from creating something that is both feature rich and professional looking. The secret lies in the capabilities of the latest website platforms.
Where once users were required to code a website from scratch, website platforms and content management systems enable even people without any programming ability to easily access all of the tools required to create a fully functional site. This is achieved through a user interface that is intuitive and simple to learn. Today a majority of websites are built on such platforms.
In the beginning of 2017, the most popular platforms on the internet were Joomla, with 6.5% of market share, Drupal, with 17% of market share, and WordPress, with an astounding 50% of market share. If you are looking to build a website, these are the three services with which you should consider beginning your journey.
Choosing a website platform is a decision that many would consider the most vital step of the website creation process. This is because the website platform is the tool you will rely upon over and over again to make site changes, add content, and more.
If ease of use is your priority, we recommend WordPress. WordPress is trusted to create and manage some of the most popular and important websites on the internet. This is because it is incredibly stable, provides excellent functionality, and… it just works! Sites small and large alike depend on WordPress.
WordPress users have access to thousands of themes, both paid and free. These themes are applied as templates on which you can build anything imaginable, such as blogs, forums, eCommerce stores, news sites, business pages, and more.
Choosing WordPress also guarantees that your site will be mobile friendly with responsive layouts, SEO friendly with easily editable titles, tags, and descriptions, and user-friendly with some of the best-designed user experiences of any platform.
There are other platforms, of course, but they require more website developing experience and a greater learning curve than WordPress. You may have also encountered website builders.
Website builders like Wix, Weebly, and Shopify offer users a streamlined platform that creates websites with little to no input from users. While these options are admittedly incredibly easy to use, you simply do not have the same capabilities on these platforms as you would on content management systems like WordPress.
This, in part, is due to the proprietary nature of these platforms. This means that they keep all of the features in an enclosed environment and once you choose their system, you will be forced to remain with it because they provide hosting services, tools, and add-ons that are not compatible with other options. If you decide to switch providers at any point, you will find it incredibly difficult or even impossible (without starting over).
The intention of this article is not to convince, but rather to inform. We encourage all readers to look into all of their options further and make their own decisions. We are confident, however, that the vast majority of users will end up choosing WordPress. It is simply too prevalent and flexible to ignore. Because it is our platform of choice, we will focus on using it to make a website.
Step #2: Choose a Host and Domain Name
Once you have chosen a website platform, you will need to find a host on which to install the software and begin using it. If this sounds complex or convoluted, it really isn’t. In fact, most hosts make the process of installing WordPress as simple as clicking a button after signing up.
A web host provides the technologies and services needed for a website to be accessible on the internet. This is achieved by storing all of your website data on a server. A server is a device that caters to clients, or anyone accessing your page. While it is possible to use your own server, most people will find that the simplest and most reliable option is to “rent” server space from a host that will ensure that your website data remains safe and online.
Choosing a host is another important decision in your overall website building experience. If you are dissatisfied with a host, you can always transfer your site to another, but it is advisable to find a host that will give you everything you’re looking for the first time.
What comes standard in a basic web hosting package and what are some important things to keep in mind?
A basic web hosting package should provide any new website with everything it needs to get started. This includes bandwidth, storage space, security services, and even a domain name. Because there is so much competition among hosts, it is not unusual to find services that offer all of this and more at competitive prices. There are two things you should always keep in mind, however.
A hosts uptime is a measure of how often the sites that are on its servers are accessible on the internet. If a host is down, that means that your website will go down as well. Because uptime is the lifeblood of any website, ensuring a high uptime percentage is extremely important. A good host will tout this figure boldly and proudly — that is, if it’s worth bragging about.
A good uptime rate is anything above 99% or higher. This may sound like an extremely high measure, but considering how much time 1% of a month can equal in both hours and dollars, it is important to understand that this is essential. The best hosts have a 99.99-100% uptime rate, thanks to reliance on the top technologies and cloud-based servers. Uptime is the most important thing to consider about a host.
The second consideration you must make is cost. All plans begin at an absurdly low yearly rate. This makes it easy for hosts to reel you in with an introductory offer and then charge more once it’s time to renew. While this kind of pricing scheme is unavoidable, you should always pay attention to how much a hosting service will cost after your introductory rate.
Most hosting services increase their rates by 100-200% after the first year. This means that a $5 monthly charge can become a $15 monthly charge in just a year. If you are vigilant about pricing, you will not only consider how much a host will cost in your first year but in your preceding years as well. It is also important to consider additional freebies a host gives you, negating the need to pay for additional features.
Choosing a perfect domain name.
Once you choose your host, you will be prompted to assign your website with a domain name. A domain name is simply the name assigned to your site that allows people to find and access it. If you are reading this page, it means you accessed our domain name, wpthemespoint.net. Choosing a name may seem simple enough, but there are some things you may want to consider before moving forward.
If you plan on making a domain name that is simply your name, or the name of your company, those are good options since they represent exactly what people will find on your website. Alternatively, if you are looking for a more original name, we recommend choosing something that meets three criteria:
Memorability – A website name should be both easy to remember and simple to type out. Remember, this is a domain name that you will be giving out at parties, amongst friends, and to potential clients, so make sure it is something that won’t be easy to forget.
Brandability – Some of the biggest brands in the world have names that didn’t represent anything until they created that representation. Names like Google and Twitter are highly brandable, but it also takes a lot of effort for uncommon or completely new words to catch on.
Catchiness – On that note, you should also consider how catchy a name is. Google works because it is easy to say, and perhaps even satisfying in a strange way.
When choosing the perfect name for your site, your host will prompt you for an extension. These can include ‘.com’, ‘.net’, ‘.org’, and even some more uncommon ones like ‘.pizza’. While it may be tempted to choose one of the rarely seen extensions, we recommend that most users stick with ‘.com’. At least until the wackier extensions begin to catch on.
Step #3: Build and Design Your Website
With your platform, host, and domain name taken care of, you can begin building your website. To get started, you will be taken to your WordPress dashboard. The dashboard is usually accessed with the subdomain ‘example.com/wp-admin‘. This is your starting point for any and all actions you will take in the lifetime of your WordPress site.
1. Install WordPress
Installing your first theme takes only a few clicks. The sidebar offers a multitude of options, including an Appearance button. Clicking on it will open a submenu, with Themes as the first option. The themes page leads you to a huge library of different choices, and it is completely up to you to decide which is best for your site. Whether you are creating a social site or a portfolio there is something for literally every need.
Once you find a theme you like, you can implement it by clicking the Install Now link. You can also preview a theme by clicking the Preview link. If you install a theme only to change your mind, it is simple to apply a new theme without losing any of your content or previously entered settings.
2. Add Content
After installing your theme it is time to add content and create new pages on your website. This is done by clicking Posts or Pages, respectively. Depending on the theme of your site, the posts you create will either be presented on your home page or a supplementary blog page. Additional pages that you add may also be used for posts.
Aside from posts and pages, you will find that WordPress is endlessly customizable. Many settings, like page titles, taglines, and your email address, can be changed using the Settings menu on the WordPress sidebar. Each setting is categorized, but you should go through all of them not only to get accustomed to the platform but to find out exactly what you can change.
Many of these changes will affect your backend (ie, things your visitors don’t see), but there are also settings that affect your frontend (ie, the things they do see). One of these changes, found in the Reading settings menu, is the static home page. A static page is one that does not take input from a user, whereas a dynamic page, such as your blog, does have that capability. A static page can be used to welcome visitors to your website.
3. Add Plugins
Another way to make big changes to your site is by adding plugins. WordPress is equipped with the ability to add thousands of features via proprietary and third party apps that you can install directly from your WordPress dashboard. These plugins can do everything from serving advertisements on your page to adding important tools like Google Analytics.
You can browse through some of the most popular WordPress plugins, and even search for whatever features you may be looking for. Often times there will be multiple plugin solutions to a problem, but a rating system allows users to help guide you to choosing the best or most appropriate one.
Fine tuning your website to function exactly as you want it to is a satisfying learning experience. You will be amazed at how far WordPress can take you, and once you master it, it’s a skill that will come in handy time and again. When you have completed your site, you can launch it by accessing the Privacy setting on the sidebar and changing it from Private to Public.
Once you publicize your site, people will be able to access it. Additionally, search engines will be able to find it, index it, and display it to a relevant audience. You will be able to make changes, tweaks, and additions any time you want after you launch, including started from scratch with a theme.
Now that you know how simple it is to make a website, why not try it out today?