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Create Your Own Website

Assuming you know nothing about websites other than you view them and you know how to navigate (surf) them etc.

What are the steps involved in going from no website to a fully functioning website that you have made yourself?

Step 1

The first thing you'll need to do is purchase a domain name - there are lots of things to consider before you do this so don't rush into it.

Are you going to be providing products and services locally or is it your intention to sell internationally?

If locally then you need to buy a domain name that is related to your country. The exception to the rule is if you are from the USA then we would suggest that you don't bother yourself with a .us domain name - instead you should go for the .com domain name extension.

There are other specific domain name extensions such as .co, .me, .gov, .asia, .edu, .org, .net, .eu, .biz, .info and also combinations such as .org.uk.

Some of these are used for specific types of website like .gov for government pages, .edu for education establistments. Check out the original Top Level Domains or TLD's.

.co used to be for the country Colombia - it's now .com.co for them - they were not to happy about the changes!

In short you won't to decide between a .com and a country related domain extension.

Godaddy is a good place to buy .com domain names from (use code "fan3" for a big discount on your order) - but they aren't as cheap when it comes to buying country specific domain names in our experience.

Step 2

You need to decide if you are going to have static content or dynamic content. Dynamic pages are created from databases - so if you have a large site that is continually changing and being added to then you are likely to need a dynamic site. If you have just a few pages which don't change much then it is better to have a static page. It is better to have a static site if you can as it doesn't stress the server as much - pages will load quicker which is always an advantage when people are so impatient this day and age. Assuming you don't have any web design skills at present you will probably want a content managed system (CMS). There are different ones, some are free and some others cost money. I would suggest the best ones are actually free as these are used more frequently than others.

The most common CMS we can recommend is Wordpress - this will actually create a dynamic website as it uses a database to store all your information in. Before you go any further we can highly recommend you reading the article: how to choose a wordpress theme.

If you want to create your own site then I would recommend for you to learn how to use Dreamweaver to create your site - you can purchase a very cheap video tutorial on how to learn dreamweaver here. We've also started to upload video tutorials on how to use dreamweaver for free and Photoshop tutorials.

Step 3

You need to purchase web hosting - you may need specialist hosting if you are creating adult content sites for instance. Also you may need specialist hosting to use certain CMS so check first before you buy. When choosing your hosting - try to work out what kind of disk storage you will need as well as how much bandwidth you are allowed each month. Quite often you can get unlimited bandwidth and unlimited disk space as well as unlimited domains being hosted and at a very cheap price.

Step 4

Create your site! If you aren't happy about doing this yourself then you can hire your own web designer, there are also lots of places on the web that are only to happy to help you make your own website - just make sure you are crystal clear in what you require - it maybe that you just need help with certain aspects of your website - like the initial set up of Wordpress for example or creating some bespoke imagery or banners to use on your website. There are lots of places where you can get cheap deals for only a few dollars - NOT hundreds to help you out with these things. Don't forget as you create your site to make sure the content that you create is original and fresh. Try to create pages with good strong titles that people are actually searching for - this is effectively "search engine optimisation" (SEO), where you create pages that people are looking for as well as giving you the best opportunity to get that page into the top 10 positions when they are searched for in the main search engine (Google).

Step 5

Submit your site to google webmaster tools - this is a quick way of making sure your site gets indexed in Google which is pretty much the only search engine that matters. You will need to have a sitemap for this - which is basically an .xml file which lists all your pages of your site. Once you've done that within a few days your site will be indexed by Google.

Step 6

Once you've created your website it's important to keep on top of it - keep the content up to date as well as keep on adding to it. This will result in more visitors to your website. As well as your content it's important to get the word out about your site by using other web services such as twitter, youtube, facebook, pinterest and numerous other services. All of these services should increase your traffic to your website which will hopefully mean you sell more products and services.

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