Create a Website
Welcome! My name is Ian. I've been creating websites since 1996. If you need to create a website, but don't know where to start, you've come to the right place!
Here, I explain how to create a website. I also explain how to get your own domain name (eg, www.yourname.com), and how to host your website (make it available to the world).
Creating a website is much easier than you might think. By following these steps, you will be able to create your own website in no time at all!
Need a Website NOW?
Need a website right now? No time to learn the technical stuff? Sounds like you need Website Tonight...
The above link takes you to Website Tonight, a professional online website builder by our partner site, ZappyHost. Website Tonight includes free hosting, and you can get a domain name for $1.99. Domains for this price are almost unheard of, but this is part of the special package, so make sure you register your domain and Website Tonight at the same time.
No Experience Needed!
Did you know that anyone can create a website? Not only that, but did you know that you could make your own website within the next 30 minutes?
Website Tonight makes all this possible.
Here's an example website that I created in about 5 minutes using Website Tonight. I could have added a lot more to it, but I wanted to show you what can be done within 5 minutes. As you can see, it looks like a finished website.
More about Website Tonight.
Website Tonight is a website builder that makes it easy to create a website. It is especially useful if you just want to make a website quickly without having to learn the technical stuff like HTML, CSS, etc.
One of the great things about Website Tonight is that it is an online website builder. This means that you don't need to download anything. Everything is done online.
So if you need to create a website ASAP without learning all the technical stuff, check out Website Tonight.
Check out the demo on the right to see how easy it is to create a website with Website Tonight.
A Warning about Free Websites
You might occasionally encounter someone offering you a free website. Basically these enable you to sign up, and start building your website for free.
But... a word of caution!
There are things they might not tell you when they're trying to sell you a free website. While a few companies will be completely upfront about these extra costs, others will fail to mention them ...until you've signed up:
- Your "free" website does not have it's own domain name (i.e. www.yourname.com). If you want your own domain name, you'll have to pay for it. And you will probably pay more than you should.
- Your "free" website may have ads displayed all over it. This enables the company (not you), to earn money from your website. To remove the ads, you will usually have to pay money for a premium package.
- Most of the really good features are actually part of a "premium" package - which you have to pay for.
Of course, it's entirely up to you which way you go. But there is one thing I will always recommend: Get your own domain name - now!
Registering your own domain name is the best piece of advice I can give. Without this, your website does not have it's own "web address". This might not sound like much now, but later, once you've built up a fantastic website with loads of content, you will see what I mean. Without your own domain name, your "web address" is not actually yours, it's the company who provides your "free" website. If they decide to change something, you could lose all your hard work. Imagine losing months, or even years, of hard work, just because you chose not to register a domain name!
So, if you're shopping around, check for those three things before you sign up with anyone.
The Website Creation Process
Now if you choose not to use a website builder, you are probably curious to know what is involved in making a website. Here I explain the three main steps of creating a website.
Creating a website basically involves the following 3 steps:
|STEP 1 >>||STEP 2 >>||STEP 3 >>|
|Register a Domain Name||Get a Web Host||Build your Website|
|A domain name is the thing that looks like mysite.com. You register these on an annual basis.
Domain names can cost anywhere between $10 and $50 per year. I'll show you how to get one for $1.99 (below).
|A web host is a company that enables your website to be viewed by the rest of the world, 24/7.
A good hosting plan can be anywhere between $10 per month and many thousands per month. Below, I'll show you excellent hosting plans starting from around $5 or $6 per month.
|You can either build it yourself or use a website builder.
Below, I'll show you an online website builder that includes templates and hosting. And the great thing is, it's cheaper than most hosting plans!
A more detailed explanation of these 3 steps follows.
Step 1: Register a Domain Name
Before you even think about building your website, you should register a domain name. A domain name is the thing that looks like this: "yourdomain.com".
Your domain name represents the URL (or permanent web address) of your website. Therefore, when anyone types in "yourdomain.com" or "www.yourdomain.com", they will see your website.
You register your domain name through a domain name registrar or hosting provider. You simply check that your preferred domain name is available, then register it (online).
Domain names are registered on an annual basis, and you can usually register it many years in advance (or set 'auto-renew').
Prices can range from between $10 to $15 up to as much as $35 or even $45 (this is for the same product!). ZappyHost has some of the best prices on the web - and if you purchase hosting at the same time, the domain name is even cheaper ($1.99 at time of writing).
If you don't have a domain name yet, get your domain name now (before someone else beats you to it!)
Step 2: Get a Web Host
A web host (or hosting provider), is a company that makes your website available for the world to see. They have the equipment and technical skills to make sure your website is available to the world, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Choose your hosting provider carefully - a good host will have excellent support. A bad host can have almost no support at all! If you're new to creating websites, good support can reduce the stress that comes from doing something for the first time.
Also, some web hosts have an online website builder. A good website builder can enable anyone to make a website - even complete novices.
If you like the idea of using an online website builder, check out the website builder below. This enables you to build a website virtually within minutes, and hosting is included (as well as plenty of other extras).
If you don't need a website builder (i.e. you prefer to build your website by yourself), you can find some great hosting plans here. Once you've built your website, simply upload it via FTP.
If you'd like to learn more about web hosts, check out my web hosting tutorial.
Step 3: Build your Website
This part can be as easy or as hard as you like it to be!
The easy way? The easiest way to build a website is to use your web host's website builder (assuming they have one). As mentioned, ZappyHost provides Website Tonight which makes it extremely easy for you to make your website.
The hard way? OK, if you think a website builder sounds too much like cheating, you probably want to learn how to build a website the way the pros do it - by coding/programming. If this sounds like you, then see this introduction to making your own website. Also check out the Quackit homepage for links to thousands of pages of tutorials and other web building resources.
Website Design Services
As easy as it is to create your own website, some people prefer to leave it to the experts. And there can be benefits in doing this too. A good web developer can create a website uniquely branded to your company.
If you'd prefer to have your website created by professional web designers, try these:
- ZappyHost Design Team
Includes website design, hosting, monthly updates, email accounts, and more. This is a complete all-in-one service for a set monthly rate.
- Inverse Logic web design
Mainly just website design, but they also have a "Full Service Package" that includes hosting, domain name, etc.
Web design with a twist. You host a "design contest" where dozens of web designers submit their design concepts. You choose the winning design.
Shopping Carts & Ecommerce Websites
Websites with online stores are often referred to as "ecommerce websites". Ecommerce websites usually have a shopping cart that customers can add products to. Once the customer is ready to purchase your product, they can proceed to the checkout where they can register as a customer, pay for the product, provide shipping details etc.
Ecommerce websites are a little more complex than basic websites. For example, an ecommerce website needs to have an administration section where you can add/edit products to display on your storefront (along with other details such as price, description, size/color options, etc). The website also needs to enable customers to search your product catalog and purchase your products.
Because of the extra requirements of an ecommerce website, you will need more than a simple website builder. If you need to build an ecommerce website, check out the Quick Shopping Cart ecommerce website builder or try a free account at 1ShoppingCart.com.
FAQ & Help
Still not sure about how to go about creating a website? Check out the following:
|Information & Tutorials||Website Tonight Help|