Welcome to the first post of this baldercash.com blog series. In this post, I will go into some of the things required to set up your first website. The first decision you’re going to have to make is to decide on the topic of your website. In the online world, this is referred to as a niche. I could go on for a long time about how to choose your niche, but there is an excellent video with all the information you need here.
For many years I had ideas for websites that I wanted to create, but kept not making them. If you’re in a similar situation I hope this article will give you a little motivation to get started on your first website. If I’m being honest, a lot of the reasons I didn’t start were different forms of laziness. However, there were other factors too. First, when I searched Google for “how to set up your first website”, “how to create a website”, “website design”, “best way to create a website” and even “how to create a website for free” many times. I always found the results to be written for people with more knowledge that I had at the time. Well, I hope you find this article to be written in Goldilocks English – just right. If there’s anything that’s not clear, please leave a comment below.
So, down to business – once you have chosen your niche, you will need to choose your website address. The correct term for a website address is the domain name – something like “examplewebsite.com”. This allows anybody who wants to read your website to find it. It’s similar to how your address tells the postman where to deliver your postcard. You will need to register your domain name with a specialist company – called a domain registrar. There are many domain registrars out there, such as GoDaddy, Name and 1&1, however from my experience, one of the best companies is Namecheap. I have used Namecheap’s services many times over the past few years. They have the cheap prices and great customer service. You will register a domain name for a specific period of time – a year or several years. Once you register the domain name, you have sole rights to use it for the time registered. Nobody else can have access to modify your website whilst you own it, unless you allow them. If you would like to receive tips on how to choose a catchy and relevant domain name, click here.
Top Level Domain
The domain name generally contains two parts – the domain – in the example above it’s “examplewebsite”. This is followed by something called the top level domain or TLD. The TLD is the bit after the “.” – in the example above it’s “com”. There are many TLDs to choose from, such as .com, .net, .org, .co.uk and the one that always brings a smile to my face .ninja. When you use Namecheap, they will show you several available TLDs for your chosen domain – examplewebsite.com, examplewebsite.co.uk, examplewebsite.org, examplewebsite.ninja etc. You only need to register one domain name to get online.
It is possible to separate your website into several smaller pieces called subdomains. Subdomains can be used to keep different functions of your website separate. For example, some company websites have a separate subdomain to access the emails on – mail.examplewebsite.com. If you want an English and Spanish version of your website. you could have two different subdomains – en.examplewebsite.com and es.examplewebsite.com. A subdomain acts independently from the parent website, but you only need to buy one domain name.
The cost of domain registration depends on three things – the domain registrar, the TLD and the registration period. As mentioned above, from my experience, Namecheap are one of the cheapest registrars I’ve found. Right now you can register some domains for as little as $0.88 for the first year. In general .com domains will cost between $10 and $15 per year.
As I said in earlier, a domain name is like your address on the internet, however you will also need a house to store your stuff – i.e. your website. This is where web hosting comes in. Web hosting is a storage place online to put the files that will eventually make up your website. Most domain registrars also offer web hosting services and many offer good discounts on the first year of hosting. Make sure you pay attention to the regular price when you sign up as many hosting companies offer significant discounts on the first year of web hosting. Often the price of hosting the second year is a lot more higher than the first year. If you choose a good host, the second year should still be quite reasonable. Decent web hosting from a good provider will usually cost around $5 per month for one website.
Content Management System
A content management system or CMS is an application that helps you to create and manage your website. It’s basically quite similar to a word processing app like Microsoft Word, but used to create websites, instead of printed pages. The days of having to create a website by typing our hundreds or thousands of lines of complicated code like below are long gone.
Instead, nowadays you can use an application like WordPress to help create your website for you. WordPress is, in my opinion, by far the best CMS – it powers almost 30% of the internet. In fact, I use it to power this very website. WordPress is very powerful, letting you create many different kinds of beautiful websites. Many large companies use WordPress to power their website, such as Disney, Mercedes Benz and even Katy Perry’s official website runs on WordPress. Best of all? Unline domain names, hosting etc, WordPress is free!
Your First Website
So, hopefully now you have a better idea of what is necessary to set up your first website – you’ll need to know your website topic or niche, you’ll need to set up a domain name as your website address and you’ll also need web hosting. You can set these up at any good domain registrar, all you will need is your personal information and a credit card. However there is an alternative below – that is completely FREE. SiteRubix offers two subdomains, with included web hosting completely free. Sign up and start building your first website within 5 minutes today!
Give it a try and then post your work in the comments below. I’d love to see your website too!