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:
- Become a web designer
- Purchase expensive software
- Become an HTML or PHP guru
Why Build Your Own Site?
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
What makes Self built or DIY websites possible today is the availability of content management systems like WordPress.
WordPress comes with a vast choice of professionally designed templates or Themes. These themes can be used to build your own simple website.
They can also be modified by a web designer or knowledgeable web site owner if desired
By using an existing professionally designed theme/template you don’t need to learn about web design, and don’t really need a designer.
- 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.
WordPress isn’t the only option but it is the one I would recommend you follow.
You can find an overview of the other options with their pros and cons here.
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.
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.
See the WordPress Install and SetUp Guide for details
How Much does a Website Cost? – Around £8/year for a .com domain name and approximately £50/year for hosting. However most hosting providers provide a free domain name with the hosting package.
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 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.
Why Do I recommend different hosting providers for the UK and USA? – Because search engines appear to take the host location into account.
If you like this site then please share it or tweet it,and please rate the articles on the site as it will help me improve their quality.
Test Your Knowledge take the Website Basics Quiz
Need Help ?
Just because you’re building the site yourself doesn’t mean that you need to do it all by yourself I offer affordable WordPress install and setup services ,help and advise to make building your own site that much easier!
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Uploading web pages to the Internet makes them accessible to Internet users.
Uploading or Publishing a web page/pages simply copies the page from your local computer to your hosting space on the Internet.
Understanding hosting space on 1and1
Before you can install and set up your website you will need to organise your web space.
How hosting providers structure their hosting accounts varies, but what is important to remember is that your Web space is simply a folder on a web server, and like any folder it can contain files and other folders.
Understanding Domain Names and Naming Structure
Before you can start choosing and using domain names it is useful to have an idea of how domains are structured, and what parts of the name are fixed and what parts you can choose yourself.
As an aid to explaining domain names and to help you to understand them we will compare them to something everyone is already familiar with.. your house address.
URLs (Uniform resource locators) are everywhere today.
On business cards, in newspapers, emails and of course on websites. But what exactly is a URL?