If you are starting a business or have an existing business then having a website is a must. You could be loosing out on tons of potential customers who are seeking your products or services. If you have little to no experience in creating a website then this can be challenging and leave seeking out a web designer to do the work for you. This step by step guide on creating a website for beginners can help.
Before you pay someone else to do the work its worth looking into doing it your self and saving some money. You may also be tempted to buy a cheap template site. There are many easy web builder sites out there which can be purchased for very little money however be advised these sites rarely perform well and in my opinion should be avoided.
My recommendation for any new business would be to use WordPress. WordPress was originally a blog platform however over the years has become a diverse platform able to be used for pretty much most website designs. If you are looking to sell products then you can plug in Woocommerce into WordPress to create an ecommerce webstore. The beauty of WordPress is that the platform is FREE! Whilst some of the plugins may cost the majority are also FREE!
What you need to get started
Before you build your website you will need to obtain a few things:
- Domain Name. You will need to decide on a domain name e.g myfunkywebsite.co.uk or ideally the name of your business. In my experience the best place for domain names is Godaddy. If you are in the UK then ideally you want a domain extention .co.uk however you could always opt for a .com. There is also now available a .uk which you will see this site uses. Costs can very and Godaddy do often run deals but as a rule of thumb you are looking at about £10 / year.
- Hosting. You will need somewhere to host your website files. Once your domain is linked to your hosting (Click here for Hosting) it will direct people to the files where they will be able to view your website. This will become clearer later on when you upload your files. For a WordPress site your looking at about £5 / month. Go to cheap and you could run into problems.
- FTP Software. File Transfer Protocol Software allows you to upload your files to your hosting account. There are other software and other methods but this is pretty much the easiest way. You can use FileZilla which is FREE! (Click on Download FileZilla Client)
- WordPress. You will need to Download the latest WordPress Files from their website to your PC.
- Coffee. Grab your self a nice cup of coffee. If this is the first website you have built then take your time and don’t rush things and all should go smoothly.
Setting up your Domain and Hosting
First of all you will need to change the nameservers in Godaddy. This will point your chosen domain name to your Host Account Servers.You will need the nameserver details which should of been provided by the hosting company when you purchased hosting and should look something like ns1.thehostcompany.com and ns2.thehostcompany.com. If not contact your host company and ask for the nameservers. Once you have these head on over to Godaddy and sign into your account. You should see your chosen domain name. To the right of the domain name should be a button labelled DNS, click on this. Now under nameservers click the Change button. Enter the custom nameservers your hosting provider gave you and click Save. It can take up to 24 hours to update. You can check this by typing your web address directly into a web browser. If it does not load then may not have resolved yet.
Set up FTP Access to upload files
Depending on your Hosting you are either likely to have cPanel access or Plesk. Your hosting provider should provide you with log on details to your host account admin panel. Once logged in you will need to navigate to FTP and create an FTP account. It should be fairly intuiative however you can always get your hosting provider to assist with this. You will need the FTP address (Host), User name and Password. These can then be used with Filezilla to upload the WordPress files.
When you open up FileZilla the key areas to note are where you enter your details to connect to you hosting account, the left hand pane which is your local PC side (where your source files are located) and the right hand side which is the server side (where you will be uploading too).
One connected to your hosting the right hand window will display current contents. Navigate to the root directory /.
In left hand window navigate to where you downloaded your WordPress files. WordPress can be uploaded a couple of ways. Either complete as a compressed file or unzipped locally and each file individually uploaded. Which ever you decide simply drag and drop from left window to right.
Once all the files have uploaded you will need to setup your database and configure wordpress which we will cover in How to create a website for beginners Part 2. Feel free to comment below if you have an questions or subscribe to our newsletter.