How to create your first online resource yourself and for free? Is it possible to create your website from scratch without any technical knowledge? What are “domain” and “hosting,” and why are they needed? What are “CMS-system” and “website builder”? What are their key differences from each other?
If you are close to these questions, we will try to answer them in detail in this guide. We understand the importance of the topic because having learned to create modern and functional websites. You make an online office not only for yourself or your company but also to offer similar services to other interested people. Today it is one of the most promising and stable types of online earnings.
Where does any website start?
Any website, and ideally, the very idea of creating a website, should begin with a clear understanding of the purpose of creating and further developing a new Internet resource.
For what purpose can a website be created?
All the goals of creating a new website can divide into two main categories:
Admittedly, in most cases, online resources are created for commercial purposes. Let’s look at specific examples of such goals to make everything clear.
Therefore, the commercial purpose of creating a website can be:
- sale of goods and services;
- personal or political PR;
- transfer of valuable information to the target audience for further profit;
- creating a positive image for a commercial company;
- building websites for customers.
As for the non-commercial purposes of creating a website, among them are the creation of Internet resources for charities and the creation of Internet platforms designed for communication and exchange of various content and information between certain groups of users.
Defining the tasks facing the created website
First of all, it should note that any competently created website can solve the broadest range of tasks. example:
- creating a flow of targeted visitors for your business;
- organization of effective processing of applications received from potential customers;
- increasing the visibility of the company or personal brand of the website creator;
- building trust on the part of potential clients;
- providing up-to-date information in the most popular formats, such as text, images, as well as video and audio materials;
- allowing website visitors to download a file, such as a price list or presentation of the proposed product;
- automation of your business;
- and much, much more.
Do you already know what tasks your website will solve? It is vital because only based on the functions can you choose the type of website best suited to create your online resource.
Technical aspects of website creation
The technical aspects of creating your website largely depend on the correct choice of the necessary tools. First of all, it should understand that today there are three main ways to create a website yourself:
- with the help of website designers;
- using CMS-systems;
- by writing the source code of the website yourself.
Let’s look at each of these methods in more detail. Let’s start with what, in our opinion, is better than others for beginners.
We convince you that if you have limited time or no desire to understand, the best way is to create a website with the designer. We have selected the most efficient and easy to use that do not require any layout, programming, and web design.
Thus, the website designer is a specialized online service that includes ready-made graphic design options for the created websites and a convenient and intuitive interface. Ideally, a modern website designer should allow anyone to create their online resource without gaining knowledge in web programming and design.
The most popular website designers
- Wix is one of the most popular website builders, allowing you to quickly and easily create reasonably high-quality online resources. We recommend!
- UKit is a builder that allows you to create modern websites. It has an easy-to-learn and intuitive interface and also contains an advanced analytics system. It is quite simple in the initial development and subsequent use.
- UMI – another easy-to-learn and use website builder.
CMS comes from the English expression Content Management System and is used to denote the so-called “content management systems” (website). These same systems are often called “engines” for websites. Today, any CMS system allows you to manage all the website’s content through a simple and intuitive interface.
Naturally, the choice of CMS system depends on the purpose of creating a particular website. Each engine for the website has its features, advantages, and disadvantages. In addition, it should born in mind that all CMS systems divide into two major groups: free and paid.
Top free CMS systems
- WordPress – great CMS for creating blogs, business card websites, corporate websites.
- Joomla is another multifunctional CMS system that allows you to create a simple business card website or corporate website, as well as a full-fledged online store.
- Drupal – another popular CMS system that is suitable for creating corporate websites, business card websites, as well as portfolio websites, social networks, and online stores;
- OpenCart – this CMS system designs primarily to create online stores. However, it should be borne in mind that it is easy to use but quite complex in development. As practice shows, developing a full-fledged online store based on it requires an experienced PHP programmer.
- phpBB – CMS-system designed to create forums.
Top paid CMS systems
- 1C-Bitrix is a powerful and multifunctional website management system. It allows you to create and maintain online resources of almost any type. It is necessary to allocate simplicity in managing the designed website, high productivity, integration with 1C, and big mobile administration opportunities as crucial features.
- Image CMS is another worthy representative of paid CMS systems. The motto of its developers is “convenience for people”. Several hundred unique templates have been created especially for him, which will be suitable for almost any website and at the same time will provide an opportunity to refine each project.
Especially for those who want to learn to write the source code of the created website, we have prepared some practical examples. Let’s look at them in more detail.
Creating a simple HTML website
HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is a universal language for describing web pages. Each of its tags represents a snippet of the page.
Critical stages of self-creation of the website
Self-creation of a website from scratch consists of three main stages:
- You are creating a website template. At this stage, a clear visual idea of what the created Internet resource will look like appears.
- Site layout. At this stage, the website is filled with content and checks the created Internet resource for errors and performance.
- PHP implementation. At this stage, the website converts from static to dynamic.
Let’s look at all these steps in more detail.
Creating a website template
In this case, the template (in this case means the visual design) of the website creates in programs called graphic editors. The most popular is Adobe Photoshop and CorelDRAW. We recommend using Photoshop because it is a little easier to learn and at the same time has the most decadent features. In addition, it operates by all web designers.
You need to create a new text file and save it as index.html. The first line of this file, enclosed in tags, should look like this:
!! DOCTYPE HTML
A pair of HTML tags indicate that there is HTML inside.
Inside the head are tags that do not appear in the user’s browser window. Typically, they start with the word meta and are called meta tags, but the title tag is displayed as the title of the browser window and analyzed by search engines.
Next is a pair of body tags, which contain the content of the page. This part often called the body of the page, is displayed in the user’s browser. It is also essential to understand that there are several ways to organize content.
The primary documents that describe all the components of a language used in creating websites are specifications. As for the format of displaying elements can be specified either directly, using the appropriate tags, and using CSS style sheets.
Creating a website using PHP
The HTML pages are called static. There are enough tools provided in the hypertext language HTML.
You must use web programming languages to create such pages. Among them, the most common are PHP, Python, and Ruby on Rails for Unix systems, and for Windows is characterized by the development of dynamic content using .NET tools.
PHP is the most popular web programming language for creating dynamic web pages. The main difference between a dynamic web page and a static one is that it generates on the server, and the finished result transmits to the user’s browser.
For any PHP script to run successfully, it must process by a language interpreter. This interpreter must be present on all web servers and allows you to process PHP code.
The key difference between creating from scratch (whether using CMS systems or source code) from a website designer is that creating an Internet resource from scratch means creating a website that meets your needs and managing all opportunities that you have laid.
In turn, creating an Internet resource with the help of a website designer does not require you to have exceptional technical skills. Any of the above designers allows you to create a full-fledged website in just a few hours.
What is the best way to create a website?
There is no single answer to this question. It all depends on your goals and objectives. Maybe you want to explore the most popular CMS systems? Or maybe learn to generate the source code of the created website? Nothing is impossible!
Publication of the created website on the Internet
Let’s say you’ve already created your first website, but what do you need to do so that anyone on the World Wide Web can access it?
What is a “domain” and why do you need it?
Domain is the name of the website, the address of your website on the Internet. A great example of a domain is the name of the website you are currently on – pbb.lviv.ua.
As you can see from the above example, the domain name of the website consists of several parts:
- directly the name of the website – in our case, it is pbb;
- selected domain zone. In our case, the .lviv.ua domain zone was chosen. The domain zone indicate in the website address after its name.
It is also worth noting that there are domains of different levels. It is effortless to understand this – it is enough to look at the number between which the dot of parts of the website address example:
- website.com – second-level domain;
- website.com.ua is a third-level domain.
Domain zones can be different. Most often, the choice of domain zone depends on the country or destination of each website.
The following domain zones most commonly use:
- .com – this domain zone is most often used for commercial and corporate websites;
- .com.ua – domain zone is most often used for commercial websites in Ukraine;
- .biz – often the domain zone is used for business websites;
- .info – information websites are usually located in this domain zone;
- .net – another popular domain zone.
How to choose a domain
When choosing a domain for your website, we recommend following the following principles:
- originality and ease of memorization;
- maximum length – 12 characters;
- ease of typing in Latin;
- the absence of a dash in the domain name (preferably, but not necessarily);
- the purity of the domain history and the absence of any sanctions from search engines. It can check using the “whois history” service.
What is “hosting”
For the website, you created to be available to all users of the World Wide Web, in addition to the domain of your Internet resource will also need hosting.
The term “hosting” refers to the service of hosting your website on the Internet. Such services provide by a large number of companies, which are commonly called “hosters”.
You need to make it clear that all the websites available on the World Wide Web are somewhere. More specifically, they (their files) locate on servers’ hard drives (powerful computers) known to host companies.
Because almost any website consists of different types of files (databases, texts, pictures, videos), they accesse from different computers by processing a request addressed to the website, which locate on the host company’s server.
The cost of hosting can vary greatly depending on how large and visited the website. The good news is that most websites do not need costly hosting.
How to choose hosting
When choosing hosting for a new website, we recommend following the following criteria:
- Stable work. The hosting you choose should work stably 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Otherwise, you will suffer reputational losses in visitors’ eyes and lose the trust of search engines. In this regard, you should pay special attention to such a parameter as uptime hosting. Uptime is when the website usually works and visitors can open it in their browser without any problems. It should be as close as possible to 100%. In turn, website response time demonstrates how quickly your website responds to a request from a user’s browser — the shorter the response time, the better.
- Simplicity and user-friendliness of the interface. When entering the personal account, the entire control panel must be not only accessible but also intuitive. In particular, you need to see the current balance and have quick access to all the essential hosting features.
- Professional support service. Fast, qualified, and always in place! Technical support is critical in case of various failures in the website and the need for their prompt elimination.
- Cost of services. This aspect is essential both for novice web admins who have a limited budget and for owners of large-scale Internet projects requiring really expensive hosting.
Publishing the finished website on the server
Let’s say you have already created a website, bought a domain, and hosting. What to do next?
Now you need to place all the files of our website on the server of your chosen hosting provider. There are several ways to do this. Let’s talk about them.
- It is the downloading of the content of your website via HTTP protocol using the hosting control panel.
- According to the FTP protocol using the so-called FTP client.
The second method is the fastest. For this task, we recommend one of the best free FTP clients – FileZilla. The available disk space will display as a logical device. After that, it remains to start the copying process and wait for it to finish.
In this way, your website will be published on the Internet and available to all users of the World Wide Web. At this stage, you can already type in the address bar of the browser his domain name and admire the result of the work done.
Answers to common questions
How to start training a future webmaster (website creator)?
We recommend that you start learning website building in the following order:
- HTML basics;
- CSS basics;
- basics of PHP.
If you want to create multifunctional websites to order, be sure to take the time to learn CMS (for example, WordPress or Joomla), because it is now the most popular and widespread.
How to find and choose professionals to create a website?
Need a website, but don’t want to create one yourself? Then you will need to find perfect and competent professionals. Let’s figure out how to do it.
Several criteria should be relied on when choosing professionals to create a website. Let’s highlight the main:
- Availability of a portfolio of completed projects. If the developer or team you choose doesn’t have a portfolio, this raises questions.
- Ability to explain complex things in simple language. If you are “loaded” with complex terms from the very beginning of communication and not give any clear explanations, it is better to find another performer.
- Positive feedback from real customers. It is perfect if you can communicate with customers by asking for their contacts from the developer.
As practice shows, you can always find professionals ready to create a website for you on freelance exchanges.
Where can I get professional training in creating websites?
At the moment, this taught in specialized courses. It is essential to understand that the process of professional creation of websites always involves several diverse professionals:
In this regard, it is necessary to understand that specialized courses allow you to learn a specific profession and close a particular front of work related to creating the website.
Is it possible to learn the basics of website building for free?
So it is possible. To date, there are a many of quality and, at the same time, free video courses related to the topic of website building.
Is it possible to create your website?
Of course, you can! For this purpose, it is best to use website builders, because they are well suited for beginners and at the same time provide quite a lot of opportunities.
Is it possible to create a full-fledged website free of charge?
No, you can not. Even if you will develop everything yourself (from scratch or on a CMS), you will still need to buy hosting and a domain. It costs not a lot of money, but still money.
If you take website builders, you can create and test a website on them for free, but you can’t link your domain name to the created resource for free.
The option with free subdomains, which website designers often use, or free hosting should not be considered full-fledged.
Therefore, investments, albeit minimal, will be needed. But don’t worry – it usually costs like a couple of cups of coffee a month.
Is it possible to make money by creating websites?
Of course, you can! If you become a qualified professional and create websites for other people, you will make money on it.
As for the possible level of income, it will depend on several factors. Among them are the following:
- your work experience;
- solvency of your customers;
- ability to negotiate with potential customers and sell them their services;
- the niche in which you will work;
- the type of website create.
Yes, different types of websites (their creation) cost differently. In addition, do not forget that you can successfully monetize your website.