A website is basically a place for accessing compilation of information and data on the web. This digital era has enabled every person to build a website based on practically anything. Business websites, portfolio websites, blog websites, etc. The process involved in building a website has simplified manifold over the time and may still become simpler in the coming future. Online retailers like Amazon and Alibaba have built business websites for the sale of products online. Building a website with that level of security is an advanced level task. However, creating blog websites and building websites, especially using CMS has made it much simpler for unexperienced users to create a website.
The structure of a website includes concepts like URL patterns, template/layout for the webpages that are generally coded with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and linking structure. While working with these functions, you need advanced knowledge. However, if you are using a Content Management System (CMS), the task is much more simplified and requires only common sense. CMSs such as WordPress include these options in the settings menu where you can select a layout or even download a website layout that is designed for WordPress and use it on the website just by clicking a few times. Link structure as well can be modified from the settings menu.
Websites can be used for several purposes. Websites have been created to receive donations for various causes, then there are social networking websites such as Facebook, then there are online shopping websites such as Amazon and eBay, personal portfolios, blogs, video streaming websites, forums, and the list goes on.
The benefits of a website are pretty obvious. A website is created for enabling interaction to a global audience, or a wider range of audience. The benefit of worldwide accessibility tops the list of benefits that a website has. Moreover, it provides all the required information to the person who visits the website and gives communication details in case of any enquiries. Blogs are generally more descriptive since a blog covers a particular field, theme, concept, etc. Easy access to the profile of the creator is the key.
Creating a website is both simple and hard depending on the type of website a person wants to put up. There is a lot of information out there on how to setup a website. Steps for creating a website includes these things:
- Identify the type of website: Decide what your website will be about. The nature of the information that is to be put up.
- Look for a host: A host is an online storage for your website files. The webpages, layouts, and all other files will be stored here. Some free hosts are – Byethost and hostgator.
- Start gathering the files: If you are a coder and well versed with php, html, css, etc. you can code a website for yourself. If not, download a CMS. The popular ones are – WordPress and Joomla.
- Upload the files: The next step towards your website setup is uploading your coded files on the host server. If you’re using a CMS, upload the zip file directly. All hosts have an option to extract the zipped files so you don’t have to upload them individually.
- Get yourself a domain: The next step is purchasing a domain. The free web hosts generally provide free domains but those are not SEO-friendly. Get a .com or .org, whatever suits the theme of your website. Commercial website can go for .com, .org stands for organization. There are a lot of other options like .biz, .net, etc.
- Point your domain to your host: There are different methods to do this. The simplest one is redirecting. But this is not a very popular method. Adding Nameservers is a much more effective method. The website from where you purchase the domain will provide a page where all the settings can be tweaked. Look for nameservers and copy the nameservers that your host provides to the domain settings page. Simultaneously, make a folder named after your domain at the root of your host, for example “xyz.com”. This will complete the loop. DNS Propagation may take up to 72 hours.
- Make final edits: Take a visit on your domain and see if all the pages are working as they should and that the layout is not messed up.
How do You Set up a Web Page and Create the Website Layouts
Setting up a web page requires php and html knowledge. The structure of the website has to be maintained evenly. Not everybody who creates a website is a coder. However, there are various tools that can help with designing a webpage. W3Schools is a website where all the information and tutorials are available for free on html, php, css, etc. There are a number of website tools which provide guidance while designing a webpage. Dreamweaver is one of the most popular tools. Most web page builders use these tools to make the work easy.
For a blog, a vertical layout that sorts out the information properly in a particular order, for example date wise, is preferable. On the other hand, for a website that requires more of a gallery type layout for images (perhaps a flash website), should have horizontal website layouts which are more effective.
Generally when the website is not used for commercial purposes, the layout depends on personal choice of the creator. Not being able to code reduces the options significantly since ready-made layouts have to be used. Website designers can build layouts according to what the client describes which can be done with very nominal charges for simple layouts.
How to Easily Launch a Website after Building it
Okay so after it’s all said and done, it is time to go live. Generally webmasters hold on the launch until after the website is live. On the contrary, some webmasters advise on creating a buzz. Some websites, as you must have come across, use a page that reads “Site under construction” until it goes live. Some webmasters have set up a timer on the web page and make a countdown to the launch of website. This is popular with websites made for events since it requires a peak thrill. Once the DNS Propagation has been completed, the website can go live at any time. Before you launch a website though, there are several things to be checked. Check that the website works with all the major browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Explorer, Opera, Safari, etc.). Make sure the website has easy navigation and that the layout works it on all the browsers.
Putting it step by step:
- Collect files
- Upload on host
- Use DNA Propagation or any other suitable method
- Configure domain and host settings
- Run checks and analyse website content and layout
- All good to go!
After all the settings have been configured, on both the domain and host, there’s everything you need. Website launch is just one click away.
How to Manage a Website Once it goes live?
All web masters take a different approach to website management. Website maintenance can have a varying intensity depending on the nature of the website. A blog, for example, would require continuous updating. Every blog post will require proper content and SEO keywords which are important for a page to show up on a search engine query. The most basic and foremost thing one needs to do is take a backup of the files after every applied edit. You never know when things might go wrong; it is better to have a safety precaution ready in case something goes wrong.
Here are some points to generalize website management:
- Check domain expiration dates: This is very important. Many a times a domain name expires and the website shows up blank. The problem worsens when someone else is trying to get the same domain name and finds it vacant, this might result in loss of domain name. Also check for host expiration dates in case a paid hosting service is used.
- Run a check for outdated information: Sometimes a piece of information may be outdated. This happens frequently on blogging websites. Other websites face this issue as well. Outdated information must be updated.
- Perform SEO-check: It is not a necessity but highly recommended to perform an SEO check once in a while to keep the page on top of SERPs.
- Use tools: Use tools such as Google analytics to monitor traffic on the website and get all the data on how many visitors it is getting daily, monthly, yearly, etc.
Managing a website needs regularity. This is why CMSs like WordPress are getting popular on account of how easy it makes things. Website management becomes much simpler on these platforms and requires very basic knowledge for all operations that would otherwise be impossible for a layman to perform.
How Much Does a Website Setup Cost?
Website setup cost depends on the type of website you wish to create. For example, a flash website would cost a lot more than a simple website with static html and php pages. The cost also depends majorly on the layout and the design of the website. A complex and premium design will obviously cost more than a very simple template.
However, website setup cost also depends on other factors such as the domain name purchased, the hosting website, the cost that the website designer charges, etc.
A domain name is generally not that expensive. The process is pretty simple as well. Trusted domain name providers include BigRock and Godaddy.
Start by selecting a domain. Identify the nature of the website and choose accordingly. Then select a domain from the list and type the domain name in the blank. Click “Go”, this will check if or not the domain name is available or taken up by someone else. If it is available, the next step will take you to the cart and from there the payment can be processed. It is quite simple actually. Cost also depends on the name that you select. For a name that is very commonly used, for example “foodfantasy.com”, the charges will be quite high.
Similarly, for quality hosting try looking for a paid host like hostgator. Check hosting plans for hostgator here. Hostgator provides one of the cheapest and best quality services for website hosting.
These are the most basic costs that will be incurred while creating a website. The total amount spent on a website won’t be very high if a little compromise can be tolerated here and there. Also, the costs can be covered if some ads can be added on webpages. Google AdSense is something you might want to look into while building a website.
These costs can be reduced substantially if a Content Management System is used. CMS has countless advantages which is why this cannot be stressed enough, CMS especially helps people who want to create blogging website since that is the default format. However, other templates can be used for giving the website a more commercial feel. Even flash templates are available for free on websites like – Scriptmafia where templates for both WordPress as well Joomla are available.