Do you need a website or blog for your small business,club or hobby? and are looking at making it yourself?
If you are then the good news is that over the last few years it has become much easier to build your own.
When I first built this website over ten years ago there was only one way to build it- Using an HTML template and a Web Editor.
A good knowledge of HTML, basic web design, and a web page editor like Dreamweaver or FrontPage were essential.
Today the changing technology there is no need to:
- Become a web designer
- Purchase expensive software
- Become an HTML or PHP guru
However you still need to be be prepared to learn, and making a website or blog isn’t for everyone!
Why Build Your Own Site/Blog?
Building your own site isn’t for everyone. However building it yourself has several advantages:
- DIY (doing it yourself) is cheaper.
- You can make changes whenever you want.
- You have complete control
- It’s a useful skill to learn
Website or Blog?
Many people get confused between websites and blogs.
A blog is simply a type of Website with the content arranged by date, and is the online equivalent of a newspaper. It is used for presenting time sensitive information.
So when you create a blog you are creating a website and if you create a website you can make it a blog by simply arranging the content in blog style order i.e date/time.
The distinction arose due to the introduction of blogging platforms like blogger and WordPress.
About This Site
The purpose of this site is not only to help you build your website or blog, but also to help you:
- Maintain and update your site.
- Add new features to your site
- Optimise your site and get listed in the search engines.
- Understand the important website technologies like HTML, CSS and web scripting.
Getting Started – 3 Steps
What makes Self built or DIY websites possible today is the availability of content management systems like WordPress.
Whether you’re building a business, personal, or hobby website there are 3 main steps involved. They are:
- Decide on the site building technology
- Decide on the Domain Name and hosting provider.
- Build and publish the site
In my opinion this is the most important step, as choosing the wrong option could cause you to spend a lot of time, effort and money without a result.
Over 50% of the new websites being built today will use WordPress .
Over 76 Million websites run on WordPress.
Well known brands like CNN and UPS use it as well as over 50% of the top 100 blogs on the web are built on WordPress.
Building your site with WordPress isn’t the only option but it is the one I would recommend you follow, and it the one covered in detail on this website.
You can find an overview of the other options with their pros and cons here.
Domain Name and Host
Once you have decided on the technology you will need a domain name and hosting account to host the website.
Generally you will use the same company for your hosting and domain name registration as it makes it easier to manage.
Build Your Website
Although WordPress was originally designed for building web blogs it can be used to:,
- Create a standard blog
- Create a standard website
- Create a website plus blog combination
simply by making some control panel changes.
WordPress can also be used for creating ecommerce sites (shops), membership sites, social networking sites and much more.
Building a WordPress Website or Blog – Starting Guide
To help you easily build you own website from scratch I’ve created a free three step beginners guide to take you through the process step by step.
At the end you will have all the information you need to build and set up your own WordPress website.
- installing WordPress manually on 1and1UK
- Basic WordPress Set up and Configuration.
- Basic WordPress Administration and Management.
How Much does a Website Cost? – There are two main costs involved.
1. A domain name which costs around £8/year for a .com domain name. This is often included with the hosting cost.
2. Hosting costs which are approximately £50/year.
Can I use a Free Host and Domain Name? – Yes for a personal/hobby websites. WordPress.com and blogger.com are popular choices. Business sites should always use their own domain name and hosting.
Do I need to Learn HTML? – Yes and No. Having a basic understanding is necessary regardless of what most other sites would like you to believe.
However you don’t need to be an expert. My starting HTML course covers all you really need to get started.
Do I need to Learn Web Design?– No -There many professional designs available in the form or themes( WordPress) and templates (HTML/PHP).
Providing you don’t want a completely bespoke design, then It is simply a question of choosing a design for the site rather than creating a new design from scratch.
I’m Not very Technical Can I still do it? – If you can use a modern Word processor like Microsoft Word then you should be OK. Technical aspects like installing,backups etc have become much easier but you don’t have to do it all yourself if you don’t want to. You can always outsource more technical tasks if you need to.
Can I really Create a Professional Looking Website myself? -Yes because you will be using a theme from a professional web designer.
What about building a shopping Website ?– Shopping websites are more complicated than standard content based sites. You can find an introduction here.