I thought it would be great if I shared with you what I have learned about building a simple website. You don’t have to be a techie to create an awesome website. So, lets start with the basics:
- First, choose a host for your website – A host provides space on a server, similar to the space on a computer’s hard drive, but the server allows your website’s files to be accessed from anywhere. There are many hosting providers out there from free hosting to paid hosting. What’s the difference? Usually, with free hosting, you don’t have a custom domain name nor do you own the domain. The domain is basically your place on the server. Similar to a file folder in your file cabinet; the cabinet is the server and the folder is your domain. With free hosting, the server and the domain (i.e. the cabinet and the folder) belongs to the host in which you are allowed to place your content in the folder. With paid hosting, the server belongs to the host but the domain belongs to you, you own the domain and can customize your domain name. As an example, I’ve set up a free website using Wix.com, the URL is https://cballw.wixsite.com/myfamouscousins. As you can see, the URL has wixsite in the name because the domain belongs to Wix. The website that you are currently visiting, www.gogetthatlife.com, is a domain that I purchased from Bluehost.com for less than $3 a month. I own the domain and have chosen a custom domain to mirror the name of my company, Go Get That Life. It is a personal choice when deciding to go with paid versus free hosting, the choice is up to you.
- Build the website – Word Press makes building your website easy and is provided to you free of charge by Blue Host (web host provider). There are many theme templates to chose from to customize the look and feel of your website. Also, there are many plug-ins to add functionality to your site.
- Build your pages – You can start building your pages! Usually, your home page is good place to start. You can add photos, and an About section, or anything else that you want your visitors to see when they first land on your page.
- Add Content – This is the “meat” of your website…the information that will bring visitors to your site. You’ll want to write posts that are relevant to your audience and keep them coming back for more. Your posts are what search engines like Google will be indexing your site with, so you’ll want to be sure to add key words or “tags” for search engine indexing. This is important for a potential visitor who may conduct a Google search, for example, on “how to build a web site”. If your post is about how to build a website, you’ll want to use keywords such as website building, how to build a website, learn website building, etc. You can play around with these keywords or tags, but make sure the tags are effective enough that your posts are included in a search engine’s results when a potential visitor conducts a search.
- Publish your site – Once you’ve written your first post, take a deep breath and publish your site! Spread the word to your family and friends, and even share your posts on social media to attract visitors.
These are the basic steps for creating your first website. If you would like practice your website building skills before your commit your $$ for a paid hosting service, check out the free hosting options discussed in #1 to get the feel of it, then you can upgrade to paid hosting service when you get the hang of it.
Have fun! GGTL!