Starting a Website for Beginners
Starting a website can be very simple. There are essentially just three main components to every website.
A domain name is an address that visitors use to view your website on the web. When starting a website, it's important to find a good domain name representing your brand or business. Domain names are typically sold annually and can be renewed before expiration.
For help choosing, registering, and managing a domain name, please see the following articles:
After you have a domain name registered, the next step is to get a web hosting package. At HostGator, we recommend starting with a Shared hosting plan and upgrading later if you find it necessary. Of course, if you need custom software or packages that aren't offered in a Shared hosting environment (such as live video streaming), a VPS or Dedicated Server might be a better option.
If you're still not sure which web hosting plan to choose, the following articles may help:
Once your hosting plan is purchased, your domain should be pointed to your web hosting account by changing the name servers for that domain name, and any visitors to your domain will be able to view the website hosted at your web hosting provider.
A website is usually a file that is coded with HTML to display text, images, videos, and other multimedia elements. There are many ways to build a website. While it is possible to create a website using a text editor like Notepad, it's usually best for beginners to use software geared for web development. You can download free software for creating a website such as KompoZer or use HostGator's free Site Builder.
Programming languages like PHP, Ruby, Python, Perl, and ASP.net can also be used to create dynamic websites. Fortunately, there are many different open-source, web-based applications that use these languages and don't require much programming experience, such as:
Tips in starting a website
Once you register a domain name and purchase a hosting package, the next step is to get you started building your website. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Plan - Visualize how you'd like your website to look, feel, and the number of pages to be added. Make sure that the site is structured so that it is easy to navigate. It may also be useful to think not only about what you wish to tell your visitors but also evaluate what they want to know or anticipate what they are looking for as they can be your potential customers.
- Prepare your content - Think about what your site visitors can see and do on your website. Consider the transactions or information they can find. Make sure that your site contents are relevant to the products and services that you offer. You may also want to consider using the right imagery, avoiding ambiguous terminology, and a straightforward layout.
- Build your website - There are so many different Content Management Systems or CMS, a software used to create websites, like HostGator's Website Builder, Weebly, WordPress, and Drupal can be used for your website. You can either build the site on your own or hire a webmaster. Consider providing your customers with a platform where they can trust you with their personal information and eventually become your loyal customers.
Do you need to learn web design or coding before building a website?
You do not necessarily need to be a web designer or a programmer to build your website. There are many tools or software you can use nowadays to help you with that. HostGator offers the Website Builder, which is a drag-and-drop tool you can use to build your website. Other platforms are WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla, some of which you can choose from and install directly from the cPanel. You can also do custom design or scripting to perform specific tasks on your website using CMS like WordPress or other open-source applications.
What kind of website suits your needs?
You can customize your website, depending on its purpose. You first need to evaluate why you need to create a website and what its purpose may be so you can identify your target customers or visitors. There are different kinds of sites that you can create using HostGator's hosting plans. Here are some of them.
- e-commerce or business website
- Portfolio website
- Personal website or blogs
- Educational website
- Entertainment or Media website
Once you identify the kind of website you wish to create, it's time to choose your hosting plan. Here are some articles that will help you select the correct hosting package.
Can I host my website?
While several hosting plans are now available, some individuals and businesses have opted to host their own websites. There are a few things that need to be considered, though.
- The internet connection - It is vital to ensure your website is always up online. Is it reliable enough to always stay accessible?
- The server - This is where the technical part comes in, where you need to consider the storage space for your website. Do you have a high-quality computer with software that can keep your site running all the time?
- Technical skills and knowledge - Both are needed to handle and maintain your servers, fix them if hardware failure arises, and update their software regularly. Aside from the hardware and software requirements, the costs of maintaining them and the right people to keep your servers running smoothly must also be considered.
- Time - Keeping everything running around the clock is time-consuming and may take too much time from you instead of focusing more on the products and services you offer as the business owner.
These are just among the things that are needed to host a website. HostGator can handle all of these for you so you can focus more on your business. Besides that, you get to have fantastic Support from the HostGator team so you can be sure that you are not alone when it comes to setting up your website.
- How to Create a Website, Step-by-Step (Blog)
- Website Building for Beginners (Blog)
- Video Tutorial Library - We've grouped our tutorial videos into categories that will surely fit your website and hosting needs.
- HostGator Youtube Channel - Yup! We are on Youtube! Feel free to browse through our channel and find lots of exciting and helpful video tutorials. Watch more, learn more! Go and expand your horizons!