Building and Hosting Your Own Website

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 has made building your own website much easier. There is no need to:Build-website-help

  • Become a web designer
  • Purchase expensive software
  • Become an HTML or PHP guru

Getting Started

Websites consist of web pages that are linked together. To create a website you need to understand how to create web pages and link them together.

All web pages are coded in HTML (hypertext Markup language). What does that mean?

It simply means what you actually see when you are reading a web page isn’t all that there is to see.

For example if you look at the HTML code for the paragraph above you would see:

html-base-tag HTML-tags

It looks almost identical, except for the two paragraph tags (highlighted in yellow), which tell the web browser that the text is a new paragraph.

Although you don’t need to be an HTML expert to create web pages you should have a basic understanding of how it works.

My starting HTML course covers all you really need to get started.

Creating Web Pages

In the early days of the Internet web pages were created using a simple text or HTML editors.

This was very time consuming and required a detailed knowledge of HTML, and so it was only really done by very technical people.

WYSIWYG editors (like Dreamweaver and FrontPage) changed all that, and made creating web pages almost as easy as creating a Word Document, opening up the web for the less technical web authors.

HTML alone was not sufficient to do all of the things that website builders wanted to do, and so other web technologies were adopted, specifically scripting like JavaScript and PHP.

These scripting languages were combined with HTML to make web Pages dynamic, and made it possible to provide feedback forms, guest books, calendars etc.

From about 2005 Cascading style sheets became widely used for both page formatting and page layout and today all new websites will use HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

In 2003 WordPress was released as a blogging platform, and today is used on more than 20% of all websites on the Internet

WordPress is a content management system (CMS) written in PHP and uses a MYSQL database to store web pages.

These web pages are a mixture of HTML,CSS and Javascript.

To create web pages/websites using WordPress you don’t need a web editor like DreamWeaver as all page creation and site management is done using a web browser.

You also don’t need a detailed knowledge of any of the core technologies, but having a general understanding of how they work and fit together will make building your site much easier.

Hosting Your Website

Although you can build a website on your PC at home it needs to be accessible on the Internet to be of any use, and for that you need a Domain Name and Website Host.

I use a UK host ( 1&1-UK) for my UK sites, and Blue Host for all other sites.

About This Site

The aim of this site is to introduce you to the basic website building technologies, and teach you how they work and how to use them to build your own website.

Common Questions

How Much does it Cost? – Around £8/year for a .com domain name and approx £50/year for 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.

What About Building a blog? – Many people get confused between websites and blogs.

A blog is a Website with the content arranged by date, and is the online equivalent of a newspaper. It is used for presenting time sensitive information.

See a beginners guide to blogging for more details

Getting Help or Questions

Have a question? Want to request a tutorial ! Then just ask and I will do my best to answer as quickly and accurately as possible.

Regards
Steve

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