How To Create A Website
Creating a Web site requires proper planning. You want the search engines to be able to crawl and index your Web site as soon as possible.
At the end of this chapter, you should be able to upload your Web site editor and successfully create your Web site frame.
Before You Create Your Website – General tips for the design of your website
A simple rule of thumb: Have a close look at every element of your site, and answer the following question: Must this element really be included on this site? If your answer is a clear “yes and no”, remove it. You will be surprised, how “clean” and well designed your website will look after you have analyzed it in this way.
If you find the above approach too radical, we have a few tips for you on things you should avoid in any case:
- “Click here to enter our website”: What is the point in having such a welcome page? Let’s face it, there is absolutely no reason why a visitor should not directly access the useful information rather than being “welcomed” in this way.
- Music: A guaranteed way of annoying every single visitor! First of all, they have to wait until the music file is actually loaded. Then, they will likely see their browser freeze. And then there is a good chance that the music they hear is not at all of their taste.
- Graphic gimmicks: Many websites can simply not be designed without graphics (e.g. product catalogs). However, if graphics are used without any good reason, they are probably as irritating as music, as they slow down the loading of the page.
- Lost graphics and broken links: Ensure that all graphics are correctly displayed and that none of the links on your page is broken. Broken links give the impression of a home-made job that is not properly maintained.
- Spelling and grammar errors: If you do not have the time to check your writing properly, how can you expect people to read on in a text full of errors!
- Slow pages: Have you booked free website space from Geocities and similar services and loaded your 1MB-site? Well, before visitors ever see your page, they will have moved on, as they are not willing to wait.
- Text in color on colored or image background: How do you expect visitors to read your text?
- More than one ad banner on a page: Your visitors will click the nicest banner and will be gone without ever returning!
- Large pages: Is your entire site set up on one 3 megabytes large page? Why not do it as they do it in books? Divide your text up into chapters!
- Boring content: Please, only show us your cat, if it has five legs or something else that make it special in this world. Please, do not show us your cat because you love it. If there is not a very good reason, why it is on your website in the first place, remove the picture 🙂
Now let’s get down to business. To build a Web site, you need to plan it. It’s like erecting a building with the proper building plan; it needs proper planning by the architect. In this case, you are the architect, the builder, and the publisher. Once you’ve gotten a domain name and decided on your URL, you can start planning your site. You need to decide the type of site you want to create. Most websites are news, information, product, or reference sites.
As such they each have a slightly different focus. For the purpose of this book that you are reading now, we will focus on informational sites. This means that whatever you do on the design of your Web site, you have to consider the form of the information. The first and most important are the architecture of your Web site, which includes: Navigation – The navigation affects the information architecture of your site. Content – Content is the actual pages you’ll be building or developing. If you can recognize page types, you’ll be able to recognize what types of pages you need for your site.
Step 1 – Hosting
Hosting is derived from the word “host” – This is the where you put your website and all the Web pages after you have developed it from your desktop. If you don’t transfer your Web site files onto your host server, no one will ever be able to see it. So the first thing you’ll want to do is find a reliable Web hosting provider. As I mentioned earlier, I recommend 1and1 or Hostgator. If I have to choose only one provider, I’ll choose Hostgator. Use the link above.
There are several types of Web hosting options depending on your purpose of renting the space
Free Web hosts
Standard Web hosting
Dedicated, Virtual, and Shared Hosting
Most people run towards the free Web hosts. If you choose this option, you won’t get as much space as you might wish, you could also be required to run their ads on your site, or there may be bandwidth limits. Make sure to read all the fine print before you put your website on a free Web host. If you must host your Website for sale or for business, the freebie is never the way to go. I recommend using paid hosting providers like Hostgator and 1and1.com. Their home pages look like the pictures below.
Get 1and1 Hosting here . Get Hostgator hosting here.
You don’t need a domain name to put up a website if you don’t intend to sell the Web site. You can put up a site on free hosting or even paid hosting plans without a domain name. A domain name provides extra branding for your site and makes it easier for people to remember the URL. But domain names cost money, typically between $8 and $35 a year.
Step 2 – Build or create your Web site
There are two ways to creating your Web site. The easy way, and the super easy way. The easy way is when you have a bit of patience to upload files to the Web host and publish it like a pro. The super easy way is when you simply publish your Web site through the control panel of your Web host provider, either 1and1.com or Hostgator.com. Building a website requires that you work on one page at a time. To build your site you should be familiar with the following terms and techniques, although not necessary but it will come in handy sometimes:
Design Basics – The elements of good design and how to use it on websites.
Learning HTML – HTML is the building block of a Web page. While it’s not absolutely required, you’ll do better if you learn HTML than if you don’t.
Learning CSS – CSS is the building block of how pages look. And learning CSS will make it easier for you to change your site’s look when you need to.
Web Page Editors – Finding the perfect editor for your needs will help you learn to design, HTML, and CSS
You can choose between free and paid editors. Free editors are mostly open source scripts like WordPress, Joomla, NVU and much more, while paid Web site editors are Dreamweaver™, Microsoft Frontpage™, Microsoft Expression Web™ and much more like that. The blogging platform is an excellent way to host the content on your Web site when it comes to SEO and traffic. It is one of the best known open source content management service software on the internet. WordPress blogs are heavily favored by Google in their search algorithm.
Notice that I referred to Google because Google seems to hold the majority of the world search share. You should worry about Bing as well, but not as much as Google. If you are not used to installing WordPress on servers or locally through FTP tools, then you have nothing to worry about. 1and1.com and Hostgator both have the easy one click installation in their control panel.
For the sake of simplicity, I would recommend that you use a blogging platform like WordPress. You can download the free software from WordPress.org. Download WordPress script from WordPress.Org (The easiest way to create a Web site)
By the time you’re finished reading this tutorial on how to make a website, you will be able to have your site up and running in less than an hour. Before you can create a website you have to make sure you have all the information you would use. You need to find an appropriate domain name and a reliable web hosting service. You have to be very careful when deciding what services to choose, as this can play a big role on the overall performance of your website (stability, speed, uptime…). We will show you exactly where to find the best deals as we go along.
In case you are not familiar with the terms above, a domain name is the primary address of your website, also known as the URL (www.example.com). It is essential to understand that the domain itself (although an important part of the website) does not represent the actual website. Instead, it only serves as a pointer as to where your site is located (Hosted).
This is where a web hosting service comes in. Web hosting provides you with the web space necessary to support your content. It serves as a skeleton for your site. After you’ve successfully set up your domain name and web hosting service (which only takes about 5 minutes), it all comes down to configuring your website. We will be using a free software platform called WordPress. It is a very simple platform that enables users to build professional looking websites within minutes! Alright – let’s get started!
PART 1: Building Your Website The Super Easy Way
STEP 1 – Choose Your Domain Name
First, you will need to decide what domain name you want for your website. Obviously, this depends on what the site is about, whether it is a personal site, business site, a blog, etc. There are no “Rules” to what domain name you should choose, but here are a few ideas that might help you choose a suitable domain:
1. Try to make it relevant to the content of your website,
2. Make it simple and easy to remember,
3. Make it as short and descriptive as you can,
4. Use the right extension (preferably .com/ .net / .org)
For example, if you’re going to build a site about »wedding advice«, you could pick a domain name like www.weddingadviceonline.com – this is just off the top of my head…
Once you have an idea of what domain you want to use, enter it into the domain name availability tool here to see if it is available. If your first choice of domain name is already taken, you can usually just an add a word or two to the beginning or end of it. For example, if your first choice was DogTraining.com and it was taken, you could try, DogTrainingGuide.com or SimpleDogTrainingTips.com or something like that. Once you have found a domain that you like, you can move on to the next step.
Step 2 – Set Up A Web Host Account
I recommend using a company called Hostgator.com to register your domain and host your website, they are an American company and have great services & support at a very competitive price. So head on over to Hostgator.com: Click Here and Use Coupon code TNIBSPRING to Getting 25% Off at Hostgator! When you get there, you should see something like this:
Once you can see the screen above, click on the “Order Now” button and you will then see the page below:
You will need to enter your desired domain in the box to the left that reads “Register a new domain” and then clicks “Next”. (If you already have a domain name, then enter it in the right-hand side box that reads “I already own this domain”).
If your first choice of domain is not available, you will see an error message, if that happens then just keep trying different variations until you find one that is available. Once you have found a domain name that you are happy with, you should see the “Create Account” link below. Simply fill out the Order form with all your details, and choose a suitable plan. Quick Tip: I usually try to pay for at least 12 months in advance, not only will you save a heap of money, but you also get your domain registration for free.
Step 3 – Setting Up Your Website
You don’t need any programming or graphic design skills in order to make a clean, professional looking website in a matter of minutes. Thanks to a free CMS platform called WordPress. This platform actually makes the website for you and all you need to do is to customize it to your own preferences! Thanks to Hostgator.com built in WordPress installer (Fantastico), we can set up our site in less than 5 minutes. That’s one more reason why I always recommend this host.
So without further ado, open up your browser and open up the Hostgator.com Account Manager (the link is below, but you will also find it in your email).
Click Here to go to the Hostgator.com Account Manager Login.
Usually, it’s your chosen domain with a forward slash plus panel. So using the example that I gave earlier, let’s say our domain is – All I did was added the Cpanel in front of the domain and you will see something like the picture shown below:
Simply enter your username and password (that will be in the welcome email you received from Hostgator.com), and then click Login to Account Manager.
Next, you will see a screen that looks like the one below where you can manage your website: When you scroll download, you will see the Fantastico.
Once you’re logged in, you will be astonished by the number of features that you can use, but for now, just focus on finding the blue smiley named »Fantastico De Luxe« and click on it.
In the newly opened window, in the left sidebar under the column entitled »Blogs«, click on the link »Wordpress«.
Once you’re here, there are just 3 steps to do:
1) Click on »New Installation«
2) Select your domain in the drop-down menu, leave the »Install in directory« field BLANK (this is very important!) and fill in the details (username, password, site title…)
3) Click Install WordPress!
Once you do that, you will be given some information about your database (which you typically won’t need right now), just press »Finish Installation«.
See how easy that was? I told you a 10-year-old could do it! Now wait a couple of minutes and try accessing your URL, you should see a default (twenty-eleven) WP theme installed:
Congratulations, you’ve now got a real, professional website!
To configure your site, type /wp-admin after your URL and press enter:
Once again, you will be asked to log in. Simply use the information that you chose yourself while using Fantastico Deluxe (in the previous step). Welcome to the WP dashboard.
This is the main control panel of your entire website.
Everything you will do, you will do it from here. Adding new content, images, videos, installing themes, plugins – it’s ALL done in the WP dashboard. Let us check out some of the main features of WordPress:
1) Posts and Pages
WP allows you to create 2 different types of web pages: Posts and Pages. Posts are commonly used when you wish to host a blog (instead of an ordinary website).
This means that you can have post reviews on your pages, so users can click on the link to read the entire post (this is a default blog layout).
On the other hand, you can also just use ordinary pages and have links to them from your »homepage« (the first page that is displayed once a visitor comes to your site).
Either will work, however, if you’re creating a blog, you will want to get familiar with posts.
This is an area in which all of your uploaded images and videos will be stored. You can upload media either here or directly while creating a page, it’s entirely up to you.
Personally, I upload my media right on the spot, and then I can review my media here.
WP also allows you to create various link categories which you can then populate with all sorts of links of your own choosing. This tool can be very useful when creating widgets.
You can enable or disable for people to leave comments on your website, which is absolutely fantastic. I highly recommend you enable people to leave a comment, as it encourages them to come back and participate in a conversation – this is how you build a community!
Of course, you can also set up comment restrictions, moderation, etc – totally flexible.
This is one of the best features of WordPress – its ability to change your website’s look entirely in just a few clicks! There is another free tutorial on our website that goes into this in deep details, so be sure to look for it.
Another brilliant feature from WordPress. If you ever need anything for your website, you can bet that there’s a free plugin for it – whether it be visitor counter, image slideshow, anything!
Simply search for what you need and install them with a single click – easy peasy.
Once again, all of this and more about how to set up WordPress after the initial installation is explained in our other free website tutorials – so be sure to check them out!