How to Create Your First Website or Blog
In a world where there are more than 1.1 billion websites online and 3.5 billion active internet users establishing a digital presence as a business or an individual became very important. A strong digital presence will help you compete and get recognized in the online market.
When you are faced with the task of creating your first website or blog, you will need to address the following:
- Website Purpose
- Domain Name
- Hosting Plan
- Building a Website
- Website Design
Let’s cross off these items one by one, in order to get you ready to create your first website.
The Purpose of Your Website
The purpose of your future website and your skill set will determine the process of website creation. Whether you are on a mission to get a small business online or to start a blog, here are the common categories that you can choose from based on your website’s purpose. You can, of course, combine any of these in order to make a custom website that will meet your and your audience’s needs:
- Business-card Website – This is a simple website, consisting of only one web page that contains the company’s logo, short company description and product and contact information.
- Portfolio Website – This website is a perfect solution for artists and creative studios who want to showcase their work.
- Product Brochure Website – This type of website is like an online store, just without the option for visitors to purchase items. The idea is to present your services or products to the audience. It usually contains well-designed Products/services brochures with descriptions and pricing.
- Ecommerce Website – On this website, visitors can purchase products or services you are selling. If you are completely new to the web, don’t worry, there are systems in place that can help you get your store online in no time, for instance, Wix and Shopify.
- Blog Website – This website consists of posts that appear in chronological order. A place where you can publish your blog posts reviewing products and services, expressing opinions on various topics, keeping an online diary etc.
Choosing a Domain Name
According to Moz, the world’s leading SEO company, your domain name decision is something you will have to live for quite a long time. This is why you should take this decision very seriously. The general advice for picking the right domain name goes as follows:
1. Don’t choose a name that sounds too generic. Sticking with keywords will make your domain name impossible to brand. If you already run a business, use your business name for the domain name.
2. Make it short and easily pronounceable. If your business name consists of several words, try to see if the abbreviation can be used as a domain name. If it’s taken, you should make sure to check all the popular extensions (.com, .net, .co).
3. Don’t restrain from using broad keywords. Google is biasing away from exact keyword matches and you won’t lose that much on SEO if you pick a domain name that contains keywords from the broad specter.
Getting Web Hosting
Getting a web hosting service for your first site is not that hard. Basically, you are buying a digital location where your website is going to be stored. Selecting a tool with which you want to build your website will open the door for new decisions for you.
There are quite a few all-in-one web builders that include free web hosting along with the paid plans, which include a web hosting plan that lets you choose your own unique domain name (like Shopify or Squarespace).
If you choose to pick a content management system (CMS), you will need to get a web hosting plan that meets the specific needs of the CMS, you have chosen. You can also go with a shared hosting account. A shared hosting account is very cheap and easy to maintain.
If you are new to the web and you want to start, run and grow your online presence, then using a CMS is the best solution for you. There many CMSs on the market and you can use one to build any kind of website.
A CMSs are a good option because their interfaces are very user-friendly and intuitive. Some of them even have a drag and drop interface, which make website building quite an easy task. You will get the chance to pick from dozens of website templates, features, and analytic tools.
If you have no previous technical knowledge about website building, you should choose a CMS such as Weebly, Wix or Jimdo. All of these are beginner-friendly, but they still offer advanced features and very good functionality.
On the other hand, WordPress offers a lot more options for customization, but at the same time, it is a bit more complicated to use; but don’t worry, there’s still no coding required. The community gathering around WordPress is quite helpful and you will have access to some useful plugins that can increase the functionality of your website.
At the start, there are only a few things to make sure about your website design. The theme you pick should reflect your brand values. Also, make sure that the theme you choose is responsive. Responsive design is what makes your website attractive on mobile devices. Besides, you will get ranked higher by Google, since the responsive design is a very important SEO factor.
Filling your Website with Content
Everything you upload to your website is considered as content. For business purposes, make sure to have your company logo on display. If you decide to put on product images, make sure that you use high-quality photos. Include well-written product and category description. If you are starting a blog website, make sure to regularly post new, valuable and original blog entries.
This is all the basic information you will need to build and launch your new website. Before picking a website builder, make sure to visit their official web page to get familiar with their designs, features and payment plans.
Nick Colakovic works for firstsiteguide.com. He’s passionate about helping other bloggers take their craft to the next level and likes to help newbies understand the joy of being online.