Having a personal website is like owning digital real estate. It is the modern-day equivalent of networking in a global virtual community square and one of the best ways to exhibit your talents globally.
Creating a website can come off as a tad challenging, especially when you haven’t done it before, but it is much easier these days than people make it out to be.
This article will walk you through five simple steps you can follow to start up your website once you’ve decided on the type of website you want to build:
Hosting is basically a place where your website will live. It doesn’t matter how fancy or attractive your website looks; it is still just a text file, and that text file needs to live somewhere, and that place is your hosting. Web hosting is the service that keeps your website live and online.
Whatever kind of website you are running, be it a personal blog or a commercial website, it’s crucial to find the right host for you. Finding the right web hosting solutions in a matrix of hundreds of options can be particularly frustrating because there are many options, each offering something slightly different. You can choose between shared hosting, which is great for beginners, or dedicated hosting if you’re hoping to have a higher-traffic website.
Your domain name is a unique address that identifies and directs users to your website. Registering a domain will cost you some money, but not so much that it will hurt your wallet. You might face challenges if you hope to secure a domain without cost implications. Generally, acquiring a domain for free is not the norm, and many free domains online will lead to time-wasting, a flood of spam emails, and less-than-appealing domain names.
If you’re a student, you can take advantage of Namecheap to acquire a free dotME domain. DotME domains may not carry the same professional gravitas as dotcom domains, but they are quite suitable for personal websites.
If you’re willing to accept a less visually appealing domain name, you can obtain a free subdomain from providers like Wix or WordPress. However, there are drawbacks to using these subdomains. You’ll be restricted to using their platforms, and your subdomain will typically consist of random numbers and letters. Consequently, your domain name may not have the polished appearance you desire.
On the other hand, if you’re searching for a more sophisticated domain name, complete with the coveted .com ending, you may need to consider an alternative route. In this case, your next best option is to opt for budget-friendly domain registrars like Hostinger or DreamHost. These services give you greater control over your domain name and website, offering a more professional and customisable solution.
After getting your hosting and domain name sorted, it’s time to design your website. You can easily set up a design with a few clicks from various available website builders like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace.
Most web hosting offers WordPress-specific hosting that will provide you with pre-designed templates and functionality that will allow you to design any type of website, be it a portfolio site or e-commerce site, without coding skills. You can also add new features as your website grows and changes.
Now that you have a website, the main objective is consistently producing high-quality content. Whether crafting informative articles, showcasing products, or sharing your artistic endeavours, your focus should revolve around delivering value to your audience.
An essential step of content creation is defining your website purpose: Are you launching a personal blog, venturing into e-commerce, or establishing a professional business site?
This clarity in your objectives and audience identification forms the bedrock of your content strategy. Understanding your audience’s needs is vital to curating content. Also, maintaining a consistent posting schedule is pivotal in ensuring visitors return for more, fostering a loyal and growing audience base.
There is little to no point in creating a website and populating it with great content if nobody gets to view it. After creating content for your website, the next question is, “How can I get people to view and appreciate my content?”
Crucially, you will want to take advantage of Search Engine Optimization. While it might take some getting used to initially, consistent practice will almost guarantee results in no time.
While you’re waiting for SEO to bring in results, you can take advantage of your personal relationships and social media. Someone from your social circle could resonate with your content and share it with their audience. Finally you can put social media to good use; it can really serve as an incredible tool that massively expands the reach of your website.