In order to build a website, you will need 3 things:
1. Website Address - a domain name or subdomain
2. Website Hosting - a place to store your website files and make them publicly accessible
3. Website Builder - an easy-to-use tool that will create your website
This tutorial will guide you step-by-step through the process of acquiring these things, along with the different option you have and our recommendations for best practices.
A Quick Note...
It is best to put together a plan and prepare content for your website before you attempt to build it. While it can be a hassle to put together a plan and content, the benefits far outweigh the inconvenience.
So, we strongly encourage you to have the following:
Logo and Branding - you should have a logo and some idea of the style and color scheme you want to aim for
Plan for Page Structure - you should have a simple plan for what pages your website will have (ie. homepage, products or services page, about page, contact page, etc.)
Website Content - content includes text, images, video, headlines, descriptions, and a lot more
These things alone will not make your website a success. There are a lot of things that can dramatically impact the success of your website such as poor design, lacking an effective marketing strategy, or numerous other issues.
This guide will not teach you these things, it will merely teach you how to set things up. From there, you can learn how to improve upon what you create.
You can think of a website address like the physical address for your business. If you wanted to tell your customers how to get to your store, you would give them the address. A website address is very similar.
There are different options when it comes to acquiring a website address. You can choose between purchasing it by itself or buy it with your hosting.
While not recommended, there is a free website address that is often bundled with website hosting and a website builder. While this option is appealing to some, it is not recommended as scammers frequently use free platforms and so it can hurt the credibility of your website potentially leading to lost sales.
There are 2 kinds of website addresses:
Domain Names - these are a unique combination of letters and/or numbers followed by an extension such as .com or .net.
Here are some examples:
Subdomains - these are domain names with a prefix. You can think of them as a child of a parent domain name. They are commonly used for free websites and blogs.
Here are some examples:
Domain names are best suited for business websites, while subdomains are good for personal blogs and non-business websites.
Website hosting is a service where you rent some space on a special computer that stores the files for your website. This special computer is called a web server.
A web server makes it so that your website is accessible from anywhere 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
There are thousands of companies that sell website hosting around the world. Hosting companies vary in terms of cost, features, limitations, service, technical support, and more.
Some companies offer website hosting packaged with their website builder software, others offer website hosting by itself. Most website hosting companies include some kind of free website builder.
A website builder is a program that will create your website for you. It takes care of all or most of the complicated, technical stuff so you don't have to.
Website builders also have tools that allow you to edit and change the content or look of your website as needed.
There are many website builders for you to choose from, each with their own features, costs, limitations, and support. You must weigh the pros and cons of each, especially with consideration of your budget and your plans for the website in the future.