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Build a Website Step By Step

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Build a Website Step By Step

Want to create a website? This article explains how step by step.

If you are trying to learn how to make a website, you’re in luck because the process is easier now compared to what it was before. Back in the early 2000s you had to know HTML, Flash and coding to create websites, but now that’s no longer the case: even if you don’t have much in the way of design skills, the process has been simplified. Still, the whole thing might seem complicated for a beginner, so let’s go over the major steps.

Find a Content Management System

If you’re asking the question what to think about in website production, look for a content management system (CMS) platform first. A CMS platform provides you with an accessible system to create websites and develop content. Rather than create individual HTML pages, you just use CMS. WordPress is the most popular CMS platform today but others like Drupal and Joomla are available too.

These platforms are free to download and install, and most importantly, they come with several themes so you can start making and editing pages quickly. These platforms also have large communities of users you can interact with.

Here are a few more reasons why using CMS makes sense:

  • They’re easy to use: if you use Word templates to create content, then you should have a notion of how these CMS platforms add content.
  • They’re versatile: whether you want to create a simple home page, a professional website to promote your product or social networking, these platforms can do it.
  • Plugins are available that do everything from add image galleries, create forms, animation, etc.
  • These platforms can grow with you: CNN, NASA and eBay use WordPress, so there’s no reason why you can’t.

Select a Domain Name

The next website building steps have to deal with the domain name. First you need a domain name (i.e., mywebsite.com) and a host (a service that puts your site online). Most CMS platforms also offer hosting and domain name services for a fee (not to be confused with their free website design service). There are lots of reasonable but good hosting companies to choose from.

Aside from CMS platforms there are other online services that offer domain name and hosting, some of them with extras like a free email address. Yes there’s free email everywhere, but here it is personal, i.e., myname@mywebsite.com instead of having Yahoo or Gmail at the end.

If you don’t have a domain name keep the following in mind:

  • Your domain name has to be your company’s name.
  • The extension .com is the most widely used and if possible, go with that, but other domain names like .org, .net and many others have emerged and worth looking into. If yourcompanyname.com is already taken, use .net or .org rather than the other extensions because people are not yet familiar with them.
  • When choosing a domain name, make sure that it is marketable and one that people will associate with your product or service.
  • The name has to be memorable and short. Long names are best avoided as users might make a mistake typing or forget what it is.

Set Up the Website

Once you’ve got a domain name and chosen a CMS platform, it’s time to create the website. The good news is all the major CMS platforms offer one-click installation and the process is straightforward.

  1. Go into your hosting account.
  2. Look for the control panel and search for your CMS platform’s icon (if you chose WordPress for instance, its icon should be there).
  3. Click “Install”.

Once the CMS platform has been installed, go to the user dashboard (in WordPress it’s http://yoursite.com/wp-admin). Once you are there, browse the free themes and select the one you like best. There are some websites that offer thousands of themes for a small fee, but since you’re just starting out it’s best to look at the free themes your CMS platform offers, and go only with the paid themes if the free ones don’t meet your requirements.

Once you find the right theme, click “install” and it will be added to your website. One of the reasons why it’s so easy to work with CMS platforms is you can change the themes as often as you like without affecting the content. No matter how often you change the themes, your posts and other content won’t get deleted. If you want to add other elements like an About page, add pages and such, go to the WordPress dashboard (or the equivalent in your CMS platform) and add the features you want.

That’s really all you need to know how to make a website. Yes it seems involved at first and that’s understandable for someone who’s never done this before. But the fact is website creation today is much simpler and efficient than it once was. After you have the domain name it’s just a matter of finding the right themes and adding elements.