How to Build a Website
Making a website can be an easy or a difficult process. It all depends on which route you choose to take when designing one, and what type of a site you build. In this article I will detail all the things you need to do in order to learn how to build websites. This is strictly a beginner's guide to building simple sites, and is not intended for those who already have web design experience.
HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language, is a coding most websites use. It's the back bone of the internet, kind of like the behind the scenes building blocks that make up most sites you visit. Learning HTML is not as intimidating as it may seem at first, I learned it in about 4 hours. HTML is the best method to use when designing basic sites because it's universal. I'll explain what I mean by this in the next step.
Buy a Domain
A domain name is the address you will use for your website. A domain name should only cost you somewhere between $7 and $11, depending on where you purchase it. It's best to choose short domain names, as they are catchier and more memorable. Godaddy is the most well known provider for domain names, so I recommend them. I usually search the internet for Godaddy coupons before I purchase a domain, because they can save you a few dollars on each one. Once you find a coupon code, you can use it at the checkout stand at Godaddy. There's a slot on the checkout page which allows you to enter the code in.
Find a Host
When you create a website, you will need a host to host it for you. There are many different website hosts on the internet. I personally recommend Hostgator, as they are reliable and usually have good uptime. They are one of the more well known ones. Another company is Godaddy, probably the most famous website host, in addition to being a domain name provider. It doesn't really matter which host you choose, as long as they are cheap and reliable. It's all a matter of preference. I've found that the customer service as HostGator is excellent, so I prefer to host with them and have stayed there. I've never personally tried Godaddy hosting, so I can't really knock them.
Most hosts nowadays offer features with their hosting packages. One of the most common features is a free Site Designer. With Site Designer programs, you don't need to know coding such as HTML. They are usually easy to follow programs that allow you to make websites with ease by walking you through a set of directions step by step. This makes designing a site very easy, the problem is, most website hosts have different types of Site Designing programs. So if you make your website at one host and they raise their rates on you or you want to transfer to a different hosting provider, you may have problems because the site you made may not be compatible with the website design program at the new host. This will make modifying and updating the website more difficult. This is why I recommend learning HTML. However, there are free programs that combine HTML and easy website design in one program, such as Pagebreeze. With Pagebreeze, you don't need to know HTML to build a site with it, but as you build it, you can learn HTML and your website can always be modified easily.
When I want to make a site, I usually don't start from scratch. I usually will start with a template first, which is a basic design. This way, all I have to do is modify the design or change it a little, while still keeping the original style of it. If you learn HTML, it's easy to modify a template and add them to existing websites. There are many templates available on the internet for free if you perform a search for them.
Once you learn HTML coding or create a website with Pagebreeze, you need to upload it to your host. There are a number of ways to do this, but FTP programs are the easiest. What I do usually is create my website on my computer using HTML, then I will upload it using programs such as Filezilla (which is a free program). To do this, I open Filezilla, then type in the domain name for my site, my username and password (which I setup when I joined my host). Then I click "Connect". Once connected, I locate the HTML folder for my site, and I transfer the files for my website from my computer to that folder. This uploads them to my website, and changes should take effect within 10 minutes. It's a fairly easy program to use, so if it seems intimidating at first, read the instructions.
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