Choosing a Domain Name is crucial in knowing how to build a website from scratch and is vital to your success online.
If you want to know how to build a website from scratch, then you probably don’t know much about how the internet works or the individual components that are required to perform this task. Firstly we will take a look at a few definitions of some of the more important aspects.
One of the first things you need to consider when you build a website from scratch is selecting a suitable domain name. A domain name is as important to the internet as your name is to you. A domain name is how people searching for information are able to locate you. When combined with a suffix like .net, .com, .org, .gov or other such suffix the domain forms an internet ‘address’.
There is one major distinction however between a domain name and a person’s name and that is all domain names need to be unique, similar to a person’s cell phone number or social security number. However, there can be thousands of Philip Jones in the world but there can only be one domain name philipjones.com!
A top level domain is the suffix of the address, the .com, .net part. If you intend to operate a business online you should look at getting several of the top level domain suffixes so that you can attract the maximum number of customers to your website. This means obtaining businessname.com, businessname.net, businessname.biz etc. conversely if the domain name you want in a .com is taken you might consider one of the other suffixes if available.
Domain name suffixes are being expanded on from time to time but there are some that are more popular than others:
- .com – the most common
- .biz – businesses or commercial sites
- .info – information websites, like news, blogs, etc.
- .org – non-profit sites and organizations
- .net – businesses like as hosting companies, domain name resellers and other online providers
- .name – personal websites for individuals
Most countries have their own top level domain name suffix, some examples include
- .uk for the United Kingdom
- .au for Australia
- .us for the United States
- .it for Italy
Web Hosting is another important aspect of knowing how to build a website from scratch and something you should be familiar with.
Web hosting is the service where your pages are located and made visible to other visitors on the Internet. Companies who provide web hosting do so by leasing or renting space on their servers to people like you and me for the purpose of making their content available. These companies normally also provide security for your website. Hosting providers can vary greatly in the scope of services they provide from single-page websites that don’t often change to full blown ecommerce websites dealing with millions of transactions per day. Most people already have access to a free form of web hosting provided by their Internet service provider. These services are usually free or have been paid for by your monthly subscription to the service provides, or they may have some form of advertising being displayed to cover costs. Most personal-based website hosting is low-cost or free while business website hosting tends to be more expensive.
Knowing how to choose a web hosting provider is a vital and necessary part of knowing how to build a website from scratch.
Web pages are becoming a must have these days for increasingly more people and the reasons for the web pages is just as varied whether it be for personal, business, community related or some other activity.
Finding the right web hosting provider to host your pages is important and does require a bit of research before you settle on one that suits your criteria, however it is not necessarily the end of the world if you choose one provider and sometime later you discover they are not as reliable as you first thought. Most web hosting providers are inexpensive for ordinary individuals and you can easily move to another if the need arises. Your commitment to the web host provider is usually from month to month. You can move from one provider to another quite easily and the new provider might even help in transferring your existing website. You can however eliminate the need to relocate if you do your initial research properly.
Creating a website doesn’t need to be difficult but is essential to learning how to build a website from scratch
There are many different methods that can be used to build a website from scratch, and they can vary in complexity from very easy to extremely difficult. Most web hosting providers will provide you with some form of website building software as part of your monthly fee, or, you can use other software you purchase yourself like Microsoft Front Page or Adobe Dreamweaver; there are many to choose from. Unfortunately these programs can be expensive and complicated to operate. For the every-day person who just wants to learn how to build a website from scratch for the purpose of putting up a website rather quickly it is recommended to use the website builder provided by the web hosting company.
A website is essentially a collection of pages of code called HTML or Hypertext Mark-up Language. What you see when looking at any webpage online is vastly different to how it appears below the surface. Now you can learn this HTML code and other associated codes when learning how to build a website from scratch but this is like learning a foreign language. Experts who already know how to build a website from scratch and have been doing so for some years would probably know all about HTML and might actually use it to create their sites. On the other hand an online website builder makes web pages easily and removed the need for you to know anything about HTML code. The online web page builder provides you with a graphical interface in which you construct your pages while taking care of all the code behind the scenes.
A very common form of online website builder is WordPress and if usually provided by your wen host provider as part of your subscription. WordPress is fairly easy to get to know and has thousands of free themes available for you to choose from and with some shall alterations you can make then suit your style.
So far we have introduced you to three important aspects in learning how to build a website from scratch, Domain Names, Web Hosting Providers and Website Builders. In a follow-up article we will look at WordPress in more detail.