Creating a Website
I have always wanted to build my own website, who hasn’t wanted to have a website with their name on it? I don’t have a business or anything but that doesn’t stop me – or anyone – running a website. Now I am no expert, but this is my experience with building up this website.
What were the first steps? Firstly I looked into domain names and extensions. what domains were available and what extensions I can and can’t use. So domain names are the websites name that you see in the URL bar of your browser, (ie. example.com or in this case AndrewWilkie.me), and the extension is the few letters at the end of the domain name, (ie the .com, .me, .gov ,etc.). I ended up trawling through heaps of domain registrars to find out what they had available and ended up settling on my current domain (AndrewWilkie.me). When choosing your domain name, it’s always best to make it reflect what your website is going to be about. Since mine is about me i named it after myself. Another thing to consider is the memorability of your site. So keep your name short and use keywords, this will allow your name to be remembered when someone tries to search for your site again. There are many other factors to consider when choosing your domain name and you can find plenty of resources by looking up something like “Choosing a Domain Name”.
After you have got yourself a domain name, you need to get your domain name to link to your website. There are a few options on how to do this, self-hosting, or a web hosting service(like Digital Ocean and Blue Host). I went with a web hosting service as they are able to implement a lot more features and control the security and other features on my website without me having to worry about it, but all of these features come at an additional cost. If you just want to test your website without putting it on the internet you can host it yourself through a local hosting program on your PC.
You will want your website secure, even if you never plan on having a massive audience (like myself). If you are using a hosting service this shouldn’t be too much of a worry for you, as the hosting service should have their own protocols in place. You can still do little things to secure your website, including SSL Certificates and HTTPS.
One big thing that matters if you want your website to become big is it’s appearance and usability. You can skip a lot of the hard steps of creating a pretty website by using pre-built templates. Lots of these can be accessed through WordPress if you decide to use that. It’s always easier seeing what other people have done and using that for inspiration and looking at what they did wrong so you can avoid it. When designing you website’s appearance, the overall look depends on your target audience and of course your personal preferences.
You will need content, whether it’s blog posts like I have or products you’re selling or whatever. This is the main reason why people visit your website, so making quality content will be essential to creating an awesome website. So when creating your awesome content and posting it, make sure your content is free of major spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.
The best way i found out how to do this was exploring. I went around looking at websites I enjoyed visiting and looking at to see what they had that I could incorporate into my website. Just remember that your first website might not be great, but it is an awesome learning experience – and you can update your website as you get better at using the software and learning more about the audience you’re targeting.
Building a website is a great way to learn about what is happening behind the scenes when you are on the internet. It is also an awesome why to promote your brand and get a lot of content to a lot of people simultaneously. Plus its fun, well for me at least – being the nerd I am.