The seemingly daunting task of building a website has been what has stopped many from having their own website. Well, thankfully due to recent advancements in web technology, you no longer need to be a geek with extensive knowledge of writing codes to build your own website. Building a website is now as easy as ABC. Take that figuratively.
Building your own website from scratch primarily involves three steps They are:
- Choosing a platform to build on
The platform you chose matters a lot as it takes additional work trying to migrate the website to a different platform later and importantly, there are specific websites that are tailor-made for specific platforms. Also, the platform you choose should be based on your technical expertise. You do not opt to build your website by writing HTML and CSS codes if you have no knowledge of HTML and CSS. For a beginner, it is best to select one of the content management systems (CMS) as the platform to build your website. Popular CMS are WordPress, Drupal and Joomla with WordPress being the most commonly used in Nigeria.
The complexity of the intended website may also determine the platform to be used
- Choosing a Web Host and Domain name
Alright, you now have a platform to build your website on. The next step is deciding how the website goes online. You need to select a web host. See a web host as the person that provides a hosting service that connects your website to the internet such that it is accessible by everyone on the internet. There are free and commercial web hosts that are available for you to select from.
A free web host, like yourname.blogspot.com or yourname.wordpress.com, has many limitations hence, the general recommendation is to opt for a commercial web hosting service.
Choosing a commercial web host requires many considerations. Basically, the web hosting service must be available always so that your website is always on. Your website becomes inaccessible if your hosting service is not accessible. You can host your website on Azure, Microsoft cloud service platform. Factors to consider while choosing a web host include
- Data bandwidth,
- Physical storage size,
- Technical support and supported technologies
Other factors may include extra services like the ability to create personalised email services and adding additional domains to the same account. Generally, pricing should only be used as a consideration in selecting a web host after other important factors have been considered. Choosing a web host that offers a low price does not mean a better choice was made and a high price does not translate to a bad choice.
A domain name, on the other hand, is the name you give your website eg. www.yourname.com. Just as people call you by name, you need a name for your website. This name is what people use to access your website via a web browser. It is important to note that a domain name must be unique as it should link to just one website. A domain name must be brandable and catchy.
- Building the website
Now that, you have decided the platform to build your website, a domain name and web hosting service. We can now go into building your website.
If you have decided to build your website writing HTML codes, you would need an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to write your codes. Coding techniques, languages and technologies are important things that must be decided here.
Once all the pages in your website have been coded and styled as desired, you upload them to your hosting account provided by the web host selected. The website is thereafter live and can be accessed on the internet.
If you choose to build using a Content Managing System, WordPress being the most widely used CMS would be used as a case study.
To start with, WordPress needs to be installed. This can be done directly from the web hosting account as most of the popular web hosts provide the option to install WordPress. Alternatively, WordPress would need to be installed manually. A guide on the manual installation can be found online.
WordPress is the best platform to build a website for beginners as it simplifies the website building process. No extensive technical knowledge is required and takes much less time to build websites. The Structure of a web page is already defined and all that you do is to create pages and add contents that are to be present in each of the pages.
To add styles and glamour to your WordPress website, there are varieties of templates to choose from, that beautifies and add create a better user experience in one’s website.
It is possible to have a WordPress website without paying for a hosting service as WordPress hosts all the domains registered on it on the “domainname.wordpress.com” till you specify a hosting service if desired. Your website address now becomes “yourdomainname.com.”
At this stage, your website is built and ready to be accessed.
Open a web browser and type in your website address to visit the website, yippee your website is up and running….