I would explain how to create a website or blog of your own, in simple words and this post can be used as a very basic level starter guide.
Domain Name Registration
First and foremost, decide for a good domain name. It should be appealing and easy to remember. Though there are several TLDs (Top Level Domains) available but .COM is most popular choice and most difficult to get. Whatever you search seems to be already taken!
Try not to use numbers and hyphens in your domain, as far as possible. Another important point is the number of characters. The domain name should not be very long so that it is easier to type in the browser.
There are a number of domain name registrar with whom you can register your domain name. GoDaddy is the popular choice but since I am personally biased towards Google due to brand loyalty, I register my domains through them. (Google in-turn uses godaddy or eNom).
The cost of registering domain name, on an average is $10 per year, though it varies with the TLD.
Layout and design of the website
The Web Design you should already have in mind, even before registering the domain name. Nonetheless, work on the web design and layout now. If you are not sure, consult a professional web designer. However, you should be clear atleast about the features and your requirements.
Web Hosting Space
Please understand the difference between domain name registration and web hosting. In first step, you just have registered a name for your website. But you still need to put all the codes, HTML/PHP/ASP files, images etc on a server. For this, you need to get a web hosting account on a good web host. This account of yours will accommodate all the codes and resources for your website and your domain name will be “linked” to this.
The annual fee varies between the range of $80-$120 for PHP/Mysql supported hosts, most of which claim unlimited hosting space and bandwidth. My pick would be Host Gator, Bluehost or dreamhost which are good hosting service providers.
A word of Caution: Some of the hosts may offer unlimited hosting at $3.95 per month or $6.95 per month. However, a catch here is this is usually promotional offer and hence valid for 1 year only. From next year onwards, they will charge you the usually fees and in most of the cases, it would come to you as surprise! Also, nothing is unlimited in this world. Once your website grows beyond a certain limit and consumes more resources than there threshold, they will warn or even put you down!
Content Management System
If you have chosen to go for a database driven website such as one running on WordPress (Oh yes, its not just a blogging software, come-on its a CMS), Joomla, Drupal etc then definitely you have made a good choice! As the name suggests, it becomes easier to manage your content. Without any technical/scripting knowledge, you can add/manage the articles etc. Otherwise in normal HTML written static website, one has to edit the HTML source code again and again. Don’t hesitate to ask the web development company about the technologies and methodologies they would be using.
Website Theme/Website Template or build from scratch?
Using a website theme or template is generally cheaper than building it from scratch as development from scratch takes significant amount of time. Most of the templates do provide a demo-website as well to get a feel. There are free templates as well as paid templates available.
Once you are done with all the above steps, the actual web development can be started using your preferred web technology. Make sure that you test your website before making it “live”. Always keep in mind that your website is the online face of you or your company. So the development of the website should be done in such a manner that it gels with the brand image that you want to create in front of visitors.
Miscellaneous stuff and Wrap up
There are few miscellaneous things to do once you are ready with the website.
- Submit your website with all leading search engines.
- Set up Google analytics to track and analyse visitors count and demographic info.
- set up email in the form of [email protected]
- Sign up for Google Webmasters and track WebSite’s performance
There are many other possibilities and actions that could / should be done. However the purpose of this article was to give you a basic idea and hope it serves the purpose!