How to Start a Website in a Day
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Over the last few years the mystery surrounding building websites has gradually been broken down as more and more companies offer pre-built sites and people modify their blogs into websites. That’s not to say web designers are out of a job – there’s so much involved in creating, maintaining and updating a website that we’re guessing the average person doesn’t have time to learn. But if all you need is a basic website, then you can get one up and running in a day all by yourself.
Get a domain name
The first step to take in creating any website is to get a domain name, that is to say the web address of your site i.e. facebook.com. Assuming you know what the website is going to entail then you’ve probably got a good idea for a name. Visit a site that registers domains and find out if your name is available. If not, try to think of subtle variations.
Remember, most simple domain names have been taken so consider a different top-level domain such as .org or .net if the more common .com is taken. Domains can cost anything from a few dollars to hundreds of thousands of pounds. Some companies will sell domain name with a specific country code (i.e. -.au, .uk, .in, etc.), which can be useful if you are specifically targeting local users.
Find a web host
A web hosting service will ‘host’ your website, putting it on their servers so that it can be accessed over the internet. Many companies will sell domains and hosting for a discount package, so you may want to opt for one of these deals.
Hosting can cost anywhere from a few dollars a month to upwards of $50 a month if you have a more complex site that needs more storage and dedicated space. After you choose a provider, you’ll be given nameservers by your hosting company which you can point to your domain name; and from there your website is up and running, although there’ll be nothing on it as of yet. To get content on your site you’ll need to take a few more steps.
Use WordPress (or another CMS)
WordPress is one of the most widely-used CMS (Content Management Systems) for designing and uploading content to a website. Your web host might include templates for design, but if not you’ll probably want to use WordPress for its ease of use and widespread templates. To upload WordPress to your website so that you can use it as your content management system you’ll need to access your FTP client. Many hosting companies offer the option to automatically install it. Once you’ve done this you can download the latest version of WordPress and go about their famous 5-minute install as detailed here. Once you’ve got WordPress uploaded, you can decide on a look. There are thousands of themes to choose from, which range from free for the basic styles to premium for some truly professional-looking sites. After that you can start creating different pages, such as contact and about us, and experiment with fonts and colour schemes.