In this fast moving world of ours, it is important to keep up the pace with everything around you. More and more services and offerings are moving to a web-based medium and communication with the world increasingly relies upon having a web site with which to spread your message, whether it is simple information, commercial products and services or even to just tell the world about yourself.
Here we will teach you the fundamentals of creating your own online presence and taking advantage of a global reach.
What We Need
To start with, we are going to be needing a few things. Some of these you might already have, some of them you might not. Let's have a look:
A domain or sub-domain. This might look like www.yourname.com or yourname.yourserviceprovider.com. If you do not have one of these, you need to register one. Registration can be very quick and easy, and very affordable too. GoDaddy is a popular place to register your domain(s). You can find other good domain registrars by searching for “domain name registration” in your favorite search engine.
A web hosting account. This is like the online equivalent of the land your house is on. It is all yours while you pay your hosting provider to maintain it and you can build whatever you like on it. You can also have it as small or as big as you want.
A content management system. This allows you to easily and quickly get your website up and running and viewable by everyone who visits your website. This can help eliminate website maintenance costs as you do not need a dedicated webmaster to run your website for you unless you really want to. Many content management systems allow various extensions, so you will almost never run out of options to extend your website.
Alright, we know what we need, now lets put it all together. Purchase the domain name you want and find a web hosting provider. You can find plenty of offerings at www.webhostingtalk.com, just look at their Shared Hosting section in Offers and you are sure to find a good deal.
Now all that is left is getting your message, your content up on the site. Once your hosting provider has given you full instructions for how to get up and running with your new hosting account, we can set to work.
Putting It All Together
Log in to your cPanel account, and find either a button labelled Fantastico or Installatron.
If you are unsure and just want the easy road to getting set up, go through Fantastico. If you are feeling adventurous and want to make sure you have a good chance of installing the latest version of your content management system, use Installatron.
With the content management tool of choice, you can choose between many CMS packages, but WordPress and b2evolution are fairly well progressed. WordPress is the industry de facto standard for blog and basic website management and comes with access to a large variety of themes and plugins. It is a basic and effective blog tool that can be extended as you wish. B2evolution is a more complete and integrated system of content management and designed for heavy duty management and skill.
If you want, you can even install both in a separate test folder on your account to give them both a try and decide which you prefer. Remember, choose carefully. More times than not, your choice of a content management system to use is a long term one, so make it one that you will absolutely enjoy.
For our guide though, we will look into WordPress as it is currently the definitive CMS.
Learning Your Way Around
Once you have logged in, you will see all your options and modules you can change on your left, and a summary of your WordPress installation in the center of the screen.
Click on Settings
where you can change the name of your site, a tag line, your time zone and date format.
Click on Reading where you can change whether your landing page appears as your last few posts, or as a specially allocated index page, such as About Me.
Click on Discussion
to control how you want people to be able to participate on your website. You can control whether anyone can comment at all, if they need a simple user account to comment or whether commenting is free for all. You can also set up basic spam detection here.
In Privacy, you can specify whether search engines will be able to easily find you, or just allow access to actual people. If running a blog, you will definitely want to allow search engines to know whether you have updates. If not, it basically comes down to personal preferences. You choose.
Which leads us to Permalinks. Permalinks are are an easier to read and easier to decipher version of a URL. You can set them up however you want and will make your site much easier to be indexed by a search engine, if you are going that route.
Now, further up you will see Posts. When that section expands, click on Add New.
Here is where you get to write your message to the world and have it instantly appear on your new website! Enter a title, some text and click Publish. Now look at your website. Do you see what you just wrote on the page? Good!
You have now successfully created your own website from scratch, with a reliable platform to get your message across, that is live 24/7 and which you can change and reconfigure as much as you want.
It simply doesn't get any easier than this. Enjoy your new site. Let your family and friends know about it. I'm sure they will be amazed.
Comment from: SMS Marketing Visitor
I see that you also use Wordpress to make your websites. I’m curious though, are there any merits to learning HTML the old-fashioned way and writing it out manually?
Comment from: Member
Writing out HTML manually only makes sense if your site will only have 1 or 2 information pages and no user interaction.
Beyond that, relying on software like WordPress or b2evolution is more sensible way to go.