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How To Set Up A Website – The Basics

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Creative Commons License photo credit: علي – ali

With the internet being such a major factor in our lives, every business striving for success may want to consider getting an online presence.  But just what does that involve?  If you don’t know what you need to do to set a website up, then read on for some basic guidelines.

Domain name

Before you’ve even got your website together, you’ll need to think of a domain name, ie, the name of the website.  Important consideration should be given to deciding your domain name, because it should be one that is effective and memorable.  It can help with your marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO).  You’ll also need to decide on the suffix of the domain name. .com is the most popular.  Once you’ve found a name that doesn’t already exist, you’ll need to register it, with one of the many domain registers.  You’ll need to pay an annual fee for this.

Hosting

Once you’ve registered your domain name, you may then decide to look into web hosting.  A host is a company that has many computers linked to the internet, and will enable your website to be viewed by others when surfing online.  You’ll need to sign up for an account with your web host.  Choosing a web host can be a minefield, especially if you are new to setting up a website.  There are lots of factors and considerations worth bearing in mind.  Some web hosting is free, but they may not be able to offer all of the services you require.  Ask around for recommendations, do some research and pick what’s right for you.  Once you’ve got your web hosting sorted, you’ll need to point your domain to your web hosting account.

Designing the website

The next stage you’ll be looking at is the actual design of your website.  You have two options here.  Either you do it yourself, or you get someone else to do it for you.  There are a number of factors involved.

If your site is likely to be complex, and you require a content management system (CMS), and you have no prior experience, then you may call in the services of a professional website designer to assist you.  Ask around for recommendations.  Or, look at websites you particularly like and source the designer or agency.  Get a few quotes in, play around with ideas of what you want until you settle on the right person for the job.

However, many people with no design or web-building experience develop sites themselves, so there are lots of tools and resources available to guide you through the process.

Many people use WordPress to design their site, as it is a free CMS.  It is easy to use, allowing you to create a website even if you have no knowledge of HTML.  There is a lot of information on the internet how to use WordPress and install it.  You’ll also need to configure your site.

You can also select free themes, using tools such as Themes to make your site look professional.  This is also useful if you want to add plugins to your site, particularly those that can help with SEO. Getting your website indexed on search engines is important so that people can find your site.

Website testing

As you go along building your website, make sure that you test how it looks in all of the major browsers, so you can check that it works in the way that you want it to.

Crispin Jones is a self-confessed super geek and works for CWCS. He writes about all things that even remotely related to tech. CWCS offer managed hosting solutions with an emphasis on support.

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