Tutorial

How to build your first website

Getting Started

Welcome

You've decided to build your first website: Congratulations! A website is your identity and brand on the Internet, so it's important to make it just the way you want it.

If you're worried about where to begin or intimidated by the complexities of web building, don't be. We'll walk you through the process of building your website in the clear and easy steps outlined below. You'll learn the basic elements of a unique and impactful site for business or personal use.

Let's Get Started


Building a Site

Necessary Steps

All websites begin with three basic elements: a domain name, hosting, and a platform.

1

Domain name

Your address on the web. It's the part that comes between "http://www." and ".com".

2

Hosting

Where all the data and information about your site is kept. If the domain is your street address, hosting is your house.

3

Platform

The tools with which you make your website and the space in which it's created.

Continue


Step 1: Domain Name

Short Introduction

Every website needs a domain name. Your domain is like the street address for your house. It will allow people to find your website and link to you.

But what should your domain name be? If you have a business, that should be an easy question to answer, since your website should match your business name. If you're creating a personal site or blog, though, you can get a little more creative with your name.

How to choose a domain name

A domain name will look something like http://www.yoursite.com. It's common to use your organization or business name here. For example, if you own a bookstore, you might choose thebookstorename.com. The same format would work for pretty much any other business name.

If you don't already have a business name, it's good idea to choose one based on what might be available as a domain. This is a great opportunity to match up your business and online identities from the start.

Curious if your ideal domain is available? Go ahead and type it in here:

TIP: There's a huge selection of great domain extensions besides .com. Why not get creative with something like .club, .life, or even .pizza?

For more help on choosing domain name, check out our articles on Why Your Domain Name is Your Business and the Right and Wrong Ways to Register your domain.

Next: Hosting


Step 2: Hosting

Hosting Explained

Now that your site has a name, you'll need a place to keep all the stuff that's going to go on it–some "real estate" upon which you can build that beautiful virtual house with all of your photos and stories and products. We call that real estate web hosting.

All web hosting happens on a server, which, in the simplest terms, is a remote hard drive connected to your computer by (you guessed it) the Internet. This server stores all of the documents, images, data, and files associated with your website.

Since the server holds all your important stuff, it's important to choose a reliable provider that ensures your content will stay live and protected. When you bought your domain name, the registrar (the company that sells domains) may have offered to include a web builder plan which included hosting. Alternately, you can install software, such as WordPress, to help you create your site.

Next: Platforms


Step 3: Platform

Site Builders and WordPress

If you're building your first website, you may not have the time or expertise to create it completely from scratch. That's okay—we all need a little guidance and inspiration to help us along.

That's where site building platforms come in. They provide the practical tools and resources used to build and design your site, from layout templates to text editors to design elements. This is a great option if you have limited or no experience with web building and design, or if you just want a quick, no-nonsense setup process.

However, if you want more control over the customization, functionality, and personalization of your site, and you've got a little more technical know-how (or even just the time and desire to learn!), we recommend installing WordPress. An entire ecosystem, complete with plugins and add-ons, WordPress offers an all-in-one site creation option. Learn more about why WordPress is a great option and how to get started.

What's next?


What's next?

Next Steps

Now that you've got a domain name, a solid hosting plan, and a platform that works for you, you're well on your way to becoming a successful, first-time web builder. But the fun doesn't end there! Once you've understood and mastered the basics, you'll want to learn how to enhance and customize your site to make it uniquely yours.

We hope this info helps dispel some of the fear and mystery around creating your own website. And who knows? It might even give you the confidence to start planning your next one!


Link Your Domain To Your Hosting

If you purchase your domain and hosting from different companies, you'll need to link them together. Learn how to connect your domain name to just about any hosting provider.

Security Matters

Discover why having SSL protection on your website is essential for you and your customers.

Get People Looking At Your Site

Learn more about the importance of your website's visual impact, the benefits of search engine optimization (SEO), and how to attract visitors using social media.

Still have questions? That's what our Customer Support team is here for. Feel free to ask us anything, they're available 24/7 to help you.