From my other blog post Why Do You Need To Build Your Own Website and Blog, I discussed “why” build a website or blog, let’s now discuss “what” we need to create your own website or blog.
It’s important to know that you can do it. You can build a successful, great-looking website relatively cheaply even with little or no technical knowledge.
Although you can create a free website using Blogger.com or WordPress.com, if you really want to have control, it would be better to have your own domain, a web host and a content management system. And that is what we will discuss.
The domain name is the ‘something’ in the ‘www.something.com’ of your website’s address.
If you already have a company or business, you can choose your domain name from the name of your company. For example, the company YAHOO, they got the domain name as www.yahoo.com. The company that I am working with has may business units, the domain names were according to the business unit such as www.redachem.com for Chemicals units, www.redafood.com for Food and Ingredients business units. Buying such kind of domain, this will become your brand.
You can also buy a domain adding “keywords” to the domain name itself. For example, you have a web design business and you are based in Paris, you can try www.webdesignparis.com. However, if you put keywords into the domain of your website, it may be difficult to change or “pivot” your business’s direction later on as your business grow or expand to other services.
Your name can be another option in choosing your domain. It’s you. People like doing business with people not companies.In my case, I used www.junpasion.com for my domain. It’s my first and last name. I decided to use it is because it’s easy to brand, I will be myself. Also, unlike domains using keywords, you can create content about different things and it’s easier to change the content as your business evolve.
Whatever way you choose your domain, it should be short. It should contain only letters and avoid using hyphens, underscores, numbers and other special characters or symbols.
The dot com extension is still the best and easiest to remember, but it should not stop you to consider others possibilities. There are domain extensions that show the country code like www.junpasion.fr for France, junpasion.com.ph for Philippines.
Most importantly, pick a domain that can be easily understood and people know what to type in their web browser if they will go to your website. Your domain should be easier to remember than your phone number.
Registering your domain name should cost around $12 a year. But before you go on shopping for domain, wait until you read the next section.
In addition to registering a domain name, you need to have a web hosting service to host your website.
Most domain name registrars like GoDaddy offer hosting as well. But it’s more advisable to have your hosting with a different company. You simply forward the DNS of your domain name to your web hosting.
Although you can rent or own a server to run your website, but getting a web hosting service is more practical since you are just starting out. Most of the time, a web hosting account includes one domain name in their package. So it would be good that you will get your domain name from your webhosting. It will also simplify your task as you will maintain from only one location.
There are tons of affordable webhosts out there. You get what you pay for. Very cheap web hosting is probably sufficient when you’re starting out, but you may want to upgrade as your business grows.
I am using Bluehost for my domain and web hosting. It cost me around $100 a year.
Once you have a domain name and a web host, you are then ready for the next step of installing your Content Management System.
WordPress is very popular CMS for bloggers because of it’s simplicity to manage. It is free with open source platform that powers a great number of websites around the world. Most web hosting even provide an easy “one-click” service to installation of WordPress.
WordPress is also very easy to install. You don’t need any technical background to create a good website. It’s perfectly possible to set up WordPress by your own with zero technical knowledge. This is the CMS I chose to for my blog site.
There you go! Now you have the idea on what you need to get started in building your own website or blog.