The beautiful thing about the Internet is that in order to start a website you don’t need to have anything – basically, all you need is an idea, a very modest amount of money and a will to turn the idea into reality. However, one thing you cannot do without is knowledge – and we are going to help you here.
So, what do you need to start a website?
1. Domain Name
Many first-timers get confused at this point, so listen carefully: domain name and actual website are two entirely different things. When you register a domain name, you basically register an address in the World Wide Web, but it doesn’t automatically provide you with a place to locate your website. It is nothing but an address, a name used to distinguish your website from all other locations in the Internet. Therefore, you should try and make this name as memorable as possible – just be sure it isn’t occupied yet.
2. Web Host
While domain name serves as a road sign pointing at your website, web host is its actual location. Back in the nineties only those who could afford their own server were able to support a website; today it is much cheaper and easier. The so-called shared hosting allows one server to contain dozens if not hundreds of websites, safely tuck in their respective partitions and not affecting each other in the slightest.
There are many criteria according to which one may choose web host, but one thing should be noted in particular – there are no good reasons ever to use free hosting. If the hosting is free, it simply means that you will have to pay in some other way (via advertising, for example) without enjoying the benefits provided by most paid hosts.
3. Website Proper
It depends on your needs and means, but basically there are two ways to create a website: either hire a specialist or do it yourself. Hired web designers are a good decision if you have money and believe in your ability to find the right people.
Not so long ago one had to learn quite a bit before attempting to create one’s own site: HTML, CSS, SSI and so on. Today it is the matter of mastering one or several CMS’s, like WordPress – there is nothing overly complicated about it.
Planning and building a website is all good and dandy, but without promotion your venture isn’t going to get far. So, you should either learn the basics of search engine optimization or hire someone who already is in the know.
5. Maintenance and Testing
When the site is complete and launched, the real work only begins. You have to test its performance, check how it works, change some things and look if it improves the visitor behavior. Again, you may do it yourself – and it may be great fun after you get the hang of things – or hire a specialist.
As you may see, there is nothing especially difficult about starting a website. All you need is a good idea, a little bit of money and enough enthusiasm to make yourself move.