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The Beginner’s Guide To Creating And Hosting A Website In 2019

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There are some basic and important decisions that need to be made if you are considering redoing your website or building a brand new one. This guide is meant to provide you with specific options that should serve your unique needs.

Essential Steps to Launching a Website

1. Understand the type of site you need:

  • Blog or a website with a blog: A blog can be a kind of website on its own or an extra feature for a website. It is arranged in chronological order, with recent posts at the top of the main page and older posts toward the end.

  • Business card site: A simple website representing a company or small business with a page containing the name, description, contact information, and a logo. May also contain some product information.

  • Portfolio site: This is similar to a business card site but contains a section that showcases your work and provides an option for visitors to contact you.

  • Product brochure site: This is an extension of a company’s marketing efforts and sales. Visitors can browse through products and services provided by the business. Visitors cannot make purchases on the site but there is a provision for pricing guidelines.

  • E-commerce site: Visitors can buy showcased products and services on the site.

2. Select the right tool to build a website:

It is difficult to move your website from one platform to another once you have chosen one to place your site on. It is therefore necessary to make the right choice.

Website building solutions can be placed in two groups: hosted web builder platforms and self-hosted content management systems.

WordPress is considered by some experts to be the best and most popular tool for making a website. It is can be used to make any website.

3. Choose a hosting provider and domain name:

You will need a web hosting provider and a domain name to create a new website on the WordPress platform.

  • Domain name: After selecting a platform for your website, the next thing will be to select a domain name. If you are marketing yourself or your business you should consider using your first and last name or your company name, e.g. “yourbusiness.com” or “yourname.com”.

  • Web hosting provider: The functionality and performance of your website will depend on your hosting provider. It stores your files and ensures 24/7 availability of your site to potential visitors. Most web hosting companies also provide domain registration services and can be seen in their URL like www.discountdomains.co.nz/email-hosting for instance.

It is recommended to keep your domain name with your hosting account for easy maintenance and management. It is recommended to use tested and trusted hosting providers like Bluehost GoDaddy, iPage, FreeParking, and HostGator.

4. Install and setup a WordPress Content Management System (CMS):

You can install WordPress in two ways: manual install (advanced) and one-click install (recommended).

  • One-click install:If you signed up at most hosting service sites, it will be easy to setup a WordPress site. There is usually an “Install WordPress” icon on the host’s control panel. Click the icon and follow the steps provided to install.

You can sign up for a web hosting account by following the information provided below.

Step One

Get a special deal on offer after which you can click the “Get Started Now” button.

Step Two

Start by selecting your plan. Go with the basic one if this is your very first one, until you explore your options. You should be able to cover all your necessities, when your blog goes live you can consider switching to the pro version once you start gaining some popularity.

Step Three

The host site will show you whether your desired domain name is available when you are typing it into the “new domain” box. You will be provided with a list of similar names that you can choose from if the domain name has been taken.

Step Four

You will get to the registration page after you have picked a domain name. Fill in your personal info and your billing data.

Step Five

You should pay additional attention to your hosting options. Often, the 12-month package comes with the lowest price but the other options may be preferable if you are going to make a long-term investment.

Step Six

Set your password for account verification purposes.

Step Seven

You can login into your account after creating a secure password.

Step Eight

You can make your website look better by selecting a WordPress theme. You can find a theme that suites you through the WordPress.org repository if you don’t like any of the themes provided.

Step Nine

Everything will be ready for the creation of your website when you log in to your WordPress dashboard once you have chosen a theme.

Step Ten

You will get a “welcome” message once you log in and the host site will offer help in creating your site. You can choose to continue on your own.

Step Eleven

You will be provided with a variety of tools that you can use to create your website when you click on the button. Provide a title for your website and name it. Also, provide a description of the site so that your visitors can see what you are about.

Your website will go live when you are done, and you can start posting new pages.

  • Manual install:There are full instructions on wordpress.org (for advanced users) on how to manually install WordPress if there is no one-click installation on your host. The best choice will always be to go for a host that offers one-click WordPress installation.

Setting up WordPress and managing your website

The two zones of WordPress are the back end and front end.

  • The front end: Your visitors see this when they come to your website. The tasks performed on the back end will be visible here, e.g. plugin functionality, theme customisations, and content publication. You and your visitors can perform actions directly from here, including social sharing and commenting.

  • The back end: This allows you to fully manage the content of your site, its design, and functionality. It is also known as the WordPress dashboard. To access the dashboard of your WordPress, type yourwebsite.com/wp-admin in your browser’s address bar and log in with the username and password of your WordPress.

The dashboard

This is the website’s centre of administration. It consists of three main parts: top toolbar, middle section, and left-side menu. Your creative focus will be concentrated on the left-hand column of dashboard. It is where you will find all of your admin options.

The items on the left-side menu include:

  • Home leads to your dashboard

  • Updates show themes and plugins that need updating. A number in a red circle next to this menu will appear if WordPress is updated.

  • Media shows uploaded photos, videos, and files. Files can also be uploaded directly into the media section

  • Comments

  • Appearance contains design, themes, and features related to site appearance

  • Plugins help increase your site’s functionality

  • Settings serve a variety of purposes

5. Design your site

There are a few options for selecting your site’s design depending on the type of website and the way you want to build it. Keep these in mind in regards to your website design:

  • Use clean design

  • Ensure mobile optimisation

  • Fit the niche and goals of your site

  • The best option is one or two column layouts

  • Ensure easy navigation

  • Use unique design elements

6. Write and prepare your content

Two important questions while creating content include:

  • Will your audience find them relevant and interesting?

  • How should they be presented to the audience?

Search engines reward sites with quality content.

7. Test before and after launch

Beta testing

Carefully go through the following areas:

  • Content-related materials (punctuation, spelling, etc.)

  • Design-related elements (fonts, images, etc.)

  • Web-development items (broken links, live URLs, etc.)

  • Network administrator areas (backup system, hosting, etc.)

  • SEO details (meta data, title tags, etc.)

Post-launch

Have a strategy on what to do next and how to maintain the site once it goes live. Consider these:

  • Prepare the site for promotion

  • Prepare to measure website statistics

  • Find maintenance if and when required

  • Back up your site

  • Collect visitor’s feedback

FAQs

How can I create a website?

The first step should be to choose a content management system. It is strongly suggested to use self-hosted WordPress.

  1. Select reliable hosting and register a domain

  2. Install and setup WordPress

  3. Select a theme and get it customised

  4. Find best plugins, install and configure them

What to do if your domain name is taken?

  • See if the domain is for sale by visiting Domaintools

  • Set up domain monitoring: set up domain monitor and get notified when your preferred name is available

  • Try different extensions

  • Use a different keyword

You do not need to rush. You can skip the registration of the domain since that is allowed on any of the listed top host sites above. Register the domain name later and focus on building your site.

How do I switch from HTTP to HTTPS on my host site?

  1. Login to your account

  2. Click on “My Sites”

  3. Select “Manage Site” on the main screen

  4. Select the “Security” tab on the top of the page

  5. Toggle the “Free SSL Certificate” switch by clicking on it

It might take a couple of hours for the SSL certificate to be active on your site.

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Author

James Cummings

Daily Posts I am a Business Psychologist and CEO of Daily Posts. I write a lot on technology topics and have extensive experience in marketing for hosting companies around the world. View James Cummings`s profile for more
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