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Amanda Harvey
Amanda
Harvey

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Beginner's tips on creating a website

Beginner's tips on creating a website

Building a website for a growing company, an established business or for personal needs is one of the best ways to increase visibility and gain new clients. Of course, we might spend lots of time on the Internet but that doesn’t mean we understand everything that goes into website creation.

Whether it’s throwing together a basic website or creating one that is a bit more complex, it is important to follow specific steps to achieve a website that is both functional, beautiful and timeless.

It is important for beginners young and old to understand what building a website is all about. From content management systems to basic coding skills, there is a more than meets the eye when it comes creating your website. So, if you’re curious and want to get started, read on and we’ll help to guide you through the process.

Beginners tips for website creation!

The basics: what are HTML and CSS?

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source: Pexels

First, let us start by breaking down what HTML and CSS are exactly, as they play a vital role in the creation of a website. HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language, and although this might not mean anything to you, it is paramount to what consumers see in their browser when they visit your website. CSS is the computer language used in the backend of the creation of a website.

It works to define specific details, as well as adapting your page to different devices with varying screen sizes or layouts. Although it is generally used in tandem with HTML, it is independent of it.

HTML works to provide your website with a skeleton. Where HTML’s role is specifically the structure, CSS assists with design elements including font, colour, shapes and various other features. Both work to create and foster a positive user experience. Modern websites are made up of a combination of HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and these markup/programming languages control how your website looks, how it functions and all the structural elements.

Understanding and adopting basic coding skills can be beneficial. Although, now there are many ways to build a website without understanding how to write or use HTML, CSS or JavaScript. However, it is important to be aware of what’s happening in the backend of your website to know how to proceed if a problem in the code should arise.

First, pick a domain name

Now that you understand the backend basics, let’s move onto things that will need to be considered from the front. Your domain name is one of the first things that you must determine when creating of your website. This will identify your business to users and consumers alike, so the domain name you choose should fall in line with the name of your business. For example, if your company is called “Beginner's Guide” your domain name should be something like beginnersguide.com. Try to keep it short, sweet and concise. Also, make sure that the domain name you choose does not infringe on any copywright. Although this step is important, bear in mind that having a domain does not mean you automatically have a website.

Once you've chosen a name, it will need to be registered and a monthly fee for hosting will follow. Registration will simply give you the right to use that name for the time you’ve paid to have it registered. Most places where you purchase your domain will also allow for website hosting, though some experts recommend keeping your domain and hosting separate as a security measure. However, if you are a beginner, we are recommending that you buy the two from the same company. This is because it greatly simplifies the process. 

Next, choose a webhost for your company website

Before we explain hosting, it is important to differentiate between registering a domain name and hosting. These are two separate things, and although some companies may offer both services, they are not the same. In a nutshell, hosting is a place to put your website files, where as registering a domain simply means you have purchased and gained legal ownership of a piece of internet property. Now, if you’ve chosen and registered a domain name, you’ll need to choose a webhost and a hosting package. There are a few different options when it comes to hosting, and this includes shared hosting, VPS hosting and Managed WordPress hosting. Choosing one of these will depend on the needs of your business, as well as your budget.

Shared hosting: Shared hosting is the cheapest option of the bunch, and can cost you as low as 5$ a month. However, this means a single server is hosting many users, and as a result, there are plenty of downfalls. With shared hosting, many websites are running from the same hardware, and if any issue should arise your website could easily crash or stop working. Unfortunately, these problems are completely unpredictable.

VPS hosting: VPS stands for virtual private server, and is similar to shared hosting without the negative side effects. Although you are still sharing a server with others, there are fewer users and the hardware is divided equally. Since your company or website will be granted its own piece of a server, you have more freedom than you would with shared hosting.

Managed WordPress hosting: this is like choosing a website from Wordpress.com, the leading choice for new website creators. In this case, the architecture of the server is tuned to work with WordPress specifically and further, everything is geared to a single software package. This will help to create a faster and more secure website.

Once you have chosen the hosting package that works for you, you will need to connect your domain to your host and beginning designing the interface. 

Designing your website

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source: Flickr

Once you have settled on a domain and a host, you will have to build your website. This can be done by you alone or you can hire a web designer. Again, several factors will come into play when designing your website, and this includes personal preference, skill level, needs and budget. 

There are many things to take into consideration when it comes to web design. First, the simplicity or difficulty of the process will depend on your host. As we’ve mentioned, many new companies choose to use WordPress, but Squarespace has become another popular option. Even if you’re not hosting on a WordPress-specific server, many others offer WordPress and Squarespace plugins and installation tools.

Uploading content onto your website shouldn’t be too difficult, and each individual host will have a complete installation guide that will outline the guidelines of how to go about uploading files, creating a database and playing around with page features and design elements.

You can experiment with different themes and plug-ins for the overall look of your website. Unfortunately, if a theme is poorly coded, it will completely slow down how your website functions. Do your research and bear this in mind before settling on something concrete based on looks alone. Further, the theme you decide on up should reflect the type of website you are looking to create: is this a personal blog, a store or a forum? Find a theme that fits in with your needs while running smoothly.

Some basic things to consider when choosing a theme are elements such as: resilient design, easy navigation, secure code, compatibility with your platform and plugins, active development, support and documentation. Free themes may run slower than others, but there are plenty out there that will get the job done without forcing you to risk quality.

Remember, these are only the initial steps to creating a website. With time, patience and dedication, you should have something up and running in no time!

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