How to build a website for beginners and choosing a hosting company.
Have you thought about building a website but don’t know the first thing about it? In this post I will walk you through the basics on how to build a website for beginners and choosing a hosting company for your website.
There are many options when looking for how to build a website for beginners. Maybe you want to start a business or just setup a blog to write about your hobby or make some extra money from blog writing.
Building a website is easy when you get the hang of how everything works in the website construction world.
I’ve been creating websites for 25 years. In this post I will give you some general info on how to build a website for beginners.
If you’re a beginner at website building, don’t let it scare you. There is a lot of overwhelming info out there on how to build a website with many options to choose from.
I will walk you through through the basics of what a website is, how it works and how to go about building your first website.
What is a website?
A website, as you know, has information on what you are interested in learning more about. But what is it really?
A website is a location on the internet that resides on a web server (computer), that stores all the files, photos, video and code that makes the website work.
All files that make your website work is stored on a server (computer) at the hosting company you pay a monthly fee to in order to have your website online.
When you create a website, be it on wix or squarespace or wordpress, you will be uploading images, text or videos to your web server.
Your website lives on a server (computer) at a hosting company. A server is a fancy name for computer.
Just like your family photos are stored on your iPad or home computer, your website files are stored at a hosting company’s computer that you rent monthly to have your website online to the world.
You pay a monthly fee to the hosting company to host all these files per month so anyone from around the world can access your data and website.
I’m not going to get into which web hosting provider is better or worse right now, as that will depend on what you want to accomplish, how much you want to spend monthly, and what feels most comfortable to you financially.
Each website hosting company has different options and features. I’ve found bluehost and A2hosting to be the best in price, customer server and support.
How much does a website cost?
If you’re building a website for your small business, hobby or blog, you can go with most hosting companies. Prices for website hosting can be anywhere from $5 – $150 or more a month in hosting fees for your website. I will break these down below.
Most websites around the world cost around $20 a month or less.
Hosting fees will include your domain name (website name / URL), the hard drive space to store all your website’s files and any maintenance needed on the computer / web server.
Just like your monthly cable bill or cell phone bill, you will pay monthly to keep your website online with your website hosting provider.
If the computer that stores all your data has issues at the hosting company, you don’t need to worry about it. The hosting company takes care of any repairs or issues; this is called managed hosting. All you need to be concerned with is building and updating your website.
Types of Website Hosting
When looking for a place to hosting company for your website, you will see Shared hosting, VPS or Dedicated server hosting.
Shared hosting is the cheapest because you are sharing the same computer and hard drive space with other websites.
Think of shared hosting as driving on the highway with other cars. Since you’re all using the same road, there may be times when traffic is slower.
Since you’re sharing hard drive space with other websites on one computer, there may be times when your website seems slower.
Not only are people from around the world viewing your website (traffic) on that shared computer with shared hosting, but other visitors are viewing other websites that are hosted on that same computer / web server as yours.
For smaller websites or even large blogs, the speed with shared hosting is not much of an issue. Shared hosting is fine and I have used it for my blogs.
Price for shared hosting monthly can range from $5-$20
Dedicated hosting is when you lease an entire computer for your website and only your website. No other website owner will be on your dedicated server. It’s a dedicated server…dedicated just for you.
With a Dedicated server, your website is the only website on this one computer. You can of course have multiple websites on your Dedicated server.
A Dedicated server is more expensive because it’s much faster than shared hosting, can handle much more viewer traffic and you’re the only one on it.
A Dedicated server is more secure than shared hosting.
Dedicated servers, depending on the options you select (computer speed such as RAM, processor and hard drive space) can be very expensive and start at $150 a month.
Most large companies or professional bloggers making money from their site will use a Dedicated server for their website.
There is a 3rd hosting option, called VPS. VPS stands for Virtual Private Server.
A VPS is between shared hosting and Dedicated server hosting, in both speed and price.
A VPS for your website is hosted on a very fast dedicated server with other websites (much less websites than with shared hosting.)
Security and speed is very good with VPS Hosting and price starts out in the $50 range per month.
If you are getting more traffic on your website or just want more speed so your website loads faster, a VPS is the way to go.
How to build a website for beginners
When asked, how to build a website for beginners, there is a lot of things to talk about, but I’ll go over the basics.
The main things you need to think about when building a website are cost, what type of site you want and the name of your site.
You will need to think of a name for your website. This is called your domain name.
Some people try to add words that include what their website is about, while others just pick something at random. When I was photographing weddings I had a website called SAR studios.
Choose a name for your website that is catchy and easy for people to remember.
You must think about the keywords (words people type to find info on the web) people will search for as you work on your website. If you choose the wrong keywords, your website may never be found. This is something even pro bloggers wrestle with.
Website hosting companies will have info on their site for price and all the details you could want. Signing up is easy and they walk you through every step of the way.
When choosing a hosting company for your website, make sure they have phone support or online chat support. Bluehost is a good company to go with. I have used Bluehost and was very happy.
For a simple blog you can use Bluehost or even wordpress.com, which I have also used. Bluehost will be less expensive and they include many options you would have to pay for at wordpress.com
WordPress gives you the option to update your plan if you decide to either grow your site or add more features such as the layout / look of your website.
WordPress gives you templates prebuilt, so all you need to do is add your photos and text. You have the option of adding or removing pages of your website. It’s all very easy once you see how it’s setup and their support is available via chat 24/7.
Bluehost also have 24/7 support and offer the same as wordpress.com and they cost less.
I have tried wix and sqarespace and both are pricey and hard to navigate at times. Most websites use wordpress. WordPress is the leader of website design and is what most websites are built with.
WordPress has themes and templates, which are pre-built websites. All you need to do is search for the them you like best and add your text and images and you’re done. You don’t have to be a programmer to build a website when using wordpress.
What you need to build your website
A website address is called a domain name. You will need to purchase a domain name. No one will have the same domain name as you. It has to be one that isn’t already taken.
A domain name is the address of where your website will reside on the web / internet. It is your website address. Similar to when you buy a home, it comes with an address.
There cannot be 2 of the same addresses on the same street, in the same city, just like there cannot be 2 of the same domain names in the world.
There are many companies that offer domain names for purchase. One of the most popular is godaddy.com.
Most hosting companies offer the option to purchase a domain name (name of your website) through them, which is convenient.
When purchasing a domain name, you choose how long you want to rent it for, as you will not have your website name forever unless you keep renewing it. You can purchase 1 year at a time for anywhere between $5 – $20 a year with the option to renew.
If you want to see if a website name is available, you can visit WHOIS.COM and enter website names you’re interested in using.
If you forget to renew your domain name or choose not to, that domain name will be up for grabs and anyone can buy it.
Some people think of website names (domain names) that may be important to others, then buy them, and resell them for higher cash.
Let’s say Brad Pitt wants to start a website but you purchased the name www.bradpitt.com. You can sell it to him, or anyone else inquiring on the domain name, for any price you want.
Your website name (Domain Name)
You simply type in the name you want to have as your website name at the time of purchasing your hosting plan and they let you know if it’s available. Remember that wording is important to consider when choosing a domain name.
Now that you have a domain name you need to think of hosting your website. This sounds scary but it’s not. Most companies have tech support who can help you out.
Website hosting, as I said earlier, is simply where your website is going to live. All the files, photos, videos, text and anything else on your website will be stored here.
Companies of all shapes and sizes have servers in temperature-controlled rooms where client data is stored and that is all they do at hosting companies…store data.
Once you have your domain name and hosting company you can start creating your website. Of course you hire someone to design your website but that will cost a lot of money.
When you setup your website with a hosting company, make sure to tell them to install wordpress for you. They will then give you the username and password to login to your website and you’re all set to go.
With the wordpress templates available, it’s easy to create a website that looks pro.
Website templates are graphical creations by web designers that you purchase (a lot of templates are free with your monthly web hosting account.)
Website templates are easy to use and fun to work with. If you don’t like the wordpress website templates that are free, you can buy templates from $15-$200 or more. Purchasing a wordpress template is done right through wordpress. If you need help, your hosting company will assist.
A lot of website templates come included with your monthly hosting fee.
I hope this post on how to build a website for beginners has helped to shed some light on website design. If you have any questions, let me know. I blog on technology, photography, video production and editing and YouTube marketing.
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