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When I used to work at a graphic design and website building company long time ago, we built a website with a software called Dreamweaver. It wasn’t a difficult or complicated software, actually for the most part, it was easy once you learned how the software worked. However, you still needed to have knowledge in HTML and CSS (markup languages for creating Web pages) to use the software fully. Also, we used graphic design software such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to make a nice graphic design to be used in dreamweaver. Designing graphics and website took some time depending on the number of images and graphics you had to create in Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop and how detailed template you were building in Dreamweaver. Dreamweaver is still a great software to build a nice website these days. However, you still have to buy the software, learn how to use it, design graphics and templates. There is other alternative. You can actually build a website in one day using a ready-made website template. You can even get a website template for free. Once you set up a template, all you have to do is put your contents in the template. In this post I share with you how to make a website in one day without knowing any software or code.
Before Making A Website
You need three components when you make a website: Website Building Platform, Domain Name and Hosting Service. You need to decide which website platform you will use, also what your domain name will be for your website and which hosting company you will go with. Therefore, research and visit each website builders to figure out which website platform will be best for your website. Also, so many domain names are already taken these days, especially with a popular .com extension. You will have to run many domain names to get a domain name that is available. You will also need a hosting service that will host your domain name and website on the world wide web.
The reason we need to do this before making a website is that some hosting company include free website builder, Zoomla or WordPress as a part of their service. Some website builders include free domain name or hosting with their paid website builders. Therefore, you can take an advantage of this and sign up with a company that offers the most for you. Once you make a decision on web platform, domain name and hosting service, actual setting up of a website can be done fast. Let’s take a look where we can get a web platform, a domain name and a hosting service.
1. You Need A Website Platform
When you make a website, you need a website platform to build a website from. There are several web designing platforms that you can build a website from without knowing any software or code. Anyone, even people without any website building experience can make a website from these web designing tools. Many web designing platforms are also free to use. However, these website builders have limited features if you sign up for a free account. Therefore, if you are serious about your business, you may want to upgrade to a paid service. Let’s take a look!
WordPress – Worldpress is the most widely used website designing platform. It is a software content management system (CMS) specifically for web content. It is an open source web designing tool and it is free. For a free account, WordPress places an ad on your site. Therefore, if you don’t want the ad to appear on your site, you may want to upgrade to a paid account. For their paid service, Domain name is included for free.
Joomla –Joomla is another content management system for web content. It is also an open source platform and it is free.
Wix – Wix is a free website builder. You can build a website easily with drag and drop tools. However, they show their ad on your website if you have a free account. If you don’t want their ads showing on your website, you have to subscribe to a paid service. Wix offers free hosting for a free or a paid website builder plans, also when you buy a domain name through them. Most of their paid website builder plans also include free domain name. Wix offers a free assigned domain URL for a free account.
WebsiteBuilder.com – WebsiteBuilder offers free hosting and free drag and drop website builder. However, they will show their ads on your website if your account is a free account. For a paid account, domain name is also included for free.
Weebly – Weebly is a free platform for e-commerce and website. They also show their ads on your website if you sign up for a free account. Paid website builder plans include a free domain name.
Godaddy Website Builder – Godaddy Website Builder has a free trial of 1 month. Their paid website builder services include a free hosting.
Things To Consider When Deciding A Website Builder
Your Comfort Level In Building A Website
Although WordPress, Zoomla, Weebly, Wix, Websitebuilder, Godaddy Website Builder are all fairly easy to use, some website builders are easier to use. If you absolutely do not have any coding or web platform knowledge and want a very simple, super easy website builder, consider going with a drag and drop website builder such as Wix,or Weebly, websitebuilder.com or godaddy website builder. These drag and drop website builders provide what you see is what you get type of website building experience. WordPress or Zoomla are a web content management system rather than a website builder and they are not as easy as drag and drop website builders. You can still build a website with WordPress or Zoomla with no knowledge of the web platform or coding at all. They are still easy to use. However, if you want to customize a website with more features, there is a little bit of learning curve. On the other hand, WordPress has the most flexibility with a range of features that are available. It has a lot of free or paid plugins or themes available for you to install since it is an open source platform. Therefore, think about what you prefer when building a website.
Ads Showing on Your Website
Many website builder companies show their ads on your website if you choose a free website builder account. Do you want their ads on every page of your website? If not, it is better to subscribe to a paid service. Many of these companies offer an affordable, low monthly fee for a paid service.
What the Website Builder Plan Includes
Each company has several website builder plans to choose from. Often, services you get from a website builder company is limited for a free account. The more money you pay, the more service you will get. This is something to consider if you are serious about your website. Do you need e-commerce function? Do you need social media integration? Do you need search engine optimization (SEO)? Do you need security (SSL)? What is your monthly or yearly budget to pay for a paid service? If you are just starting out and just need a simple website to start with, you can try a free service or basic service first then upgrade later as needed. If you don’t want a website builder or hosting companies’ ads showing on your site, a paid basic plan will be a good start.
Free Domain Name and Hosting Service
Some website builders offer a free domain name or a hosting service as part of their website builder plan. If you can get a free domain name or a hosting service, this is a way to save you some money. However, some hosting companies also offer a free website builder, WordPress or Zoomla if you sign up with their paid hosting. Therefore, decide which one is better for you between signing up for a paid website builder or a paid hosting service.
2. You Need A Domain Name
You need both a domain name and a hosting service to put your website on the world wide web. According to the Netcraft January 2018 Survey, their survey received responses from 1,805,260,010 sites across 213,053,157 unique domain names. That is a lot of websites and domain names! As you start trying to get a domain name for your website, you will see that almost any domain name you can think of has already been taken. Therefore, you would have to decide a domain name that is available for you to take now. Many website builders will ask you for a domain name when you sign up with them. If you don’t have one, you would have to pick one while signing up. You can research domain name’s availability below at Blue Host .
Things To Consider When Deciding A Domain Name
When deciding a domain name, there are several factors to be considered. First, a domain name should be short, easy to type and easy to remember. It is also best to contain keyword that describes your business or service you offer. You should also consider using an appropriate extension depending on your business or area. When you start researching for keyword, you will find that any easy, short domain name you can think of is already taken. (especially with a .com extension) Therefore, you may have to come up with a domain name using three words instead of one or two. .com is the most popular extension but at the same time it is the most unavailable extension.
You may wonder if you can use different extensions such as .biz, .info and so on so you don’t have to come up with a long domain name. However, .com extension should be considered for most websites. except for .org for non profit organizations, .edu for educational institutions, .gov for government and also for specific areas. For example, if you are located in Canada and cater your business to Canadian market, you can consider using .ca which gives you more availability of keywords. However, for most sites, .com should be considered. According to an article by Forbe, .com extension is the most memorable, and the most recognized by the general public. Because it’s established and has a distinct reputation, search engines tend to trust it more. This means .com websites are found easier on Google. (although .com extension is not the only reason you can rank high and be recognized by Google search engine. It is just one small factor but it helps!)
A recent study by Searchmetrics found most of websites are not visible on the web and only 11% of the web is actually visible. Therefore, being ranked high by Google to be listed on the first page of Google search engine is very important. Searchmetrics also found that 75% of all websites in US have .com extension. This suggest that people strongly prefer the .com extension even though they can find name easier with extensions such as .info or .biz. People will also generally assume your website will end with .com.
3. You Need A Hosting Service
Hosting company also offer several hosting service depending on how many website you are hosting, how much web space you need and how many visitors you get monthly. If you are just starting out, you will need a basic service which often is very affordable. Does your web hosting company support WordPress or Zoomla? Some hosting companies offer a free WordPress or Zoomla platform included with their hosting plans which you can install and use to build a website. Let’s take a look at some well-known hosting companies.
Site Ground – If you use SiteGround hosting, they will install WordPress for free. They also have free WordPress themes to help your site stand out. In addition, they offer free Weebly website builder and Zoomla. Free daily back up, free email and free SSL certificate are also included.
Blue Host – Blue host include 1 free domain, free SSL certificate, free email, SSD storage and 1 -click WordPress install to their hosting plan.
iPage – If you subscribe to their hosting service, you can access their free drag and drop iPage website builder. Their hosting service also includes free SSL ceritifcate, free email, 1000s of free templates and free domain registration. They also support WordPress websites.
HostGator Cloud – Their hosting service include free SSL, free website builder, free email, free $100 credit of google adwords and Bing ads credit. They also host WordPress and Zoomla websites.
InMotion Hosting -Their hosting service comes with a free domain name, free SSL, free email, free SSD drives, free data backups, free website builder, WordPress and Zoomla.
A2 Hosting – A2 Hosting includes free SSL, free email, 1 click install for WordPress and Zoomla, Bing & Yahoo ad credits
Things To Consider When Deciding A Hosting Service
Site Uptime, Loading Speed, Customer Support, Security
According to the article by CNET, a great hosting service has a great speed, a great support and a great security. A web hosting companies such as Siteground, Bluehost, InMotion, iPage, Hostgator and A2 Hosting have very fast speed, high site uptime, 24/7 support and great security. Optimal server response time is lower than 200. The lower the number, the faster the server is. All of the web hosting companies I listed above have super fast speed between 144~189 ms. They all also have 99.8~ 99.9 % site uptime, perpetual security and 24/7 customer support.
I like Siteground the most and it has been my choice of web hosting service. Siteground has fast speed due to faster hardware, SSD, faster web server, NGINX, faster CMS, SuperCatcher, faster website, CDN, faster load, HTTP/2, faster PHP, PHP7. It has 99.9% site uptime, 24/7 support and great security (latest PHP 7 version with the latest security fixes, IDS/IPS systems which block malicious bots and attackers, ModSecurity to protect customers from the most common attacks.) Siteground offers one click install of WordPress platform and it can be done for free if you sign up with their hosting service.
Free Website Builder
Check if the hosting company of your interest has a free website builder. Siteground offers Weebly website builder for free as well as WordPress and Zoomla with their hosting account. Then all you have to pay for is a hosting account every month. What kind of a free website builder does the hosting company have? Are you going to use WordPress or Zoomla rather than other website builders? Do they also offer many free themes for a website builder so you can choose a look that you like? It is better to use a web content management system or website builder that is transferable. Then if you don’t like the hosting service for any reason in the future, you can move your hosting service to other company and bring your website content with it. A web content management system such as WordPress is so widely used and most hosting companies support it. Therefore, you can back up your WordPress files and migrate your website to new web host if you want.
What the Hosting Service Includes
Most hosting service companies have several hosting plans to choose from. Usually, the more services are included with a hosting plan, the more a hosting plan costs. Does the hosting plan include domain name, SSL certificate, Search Engine Optimization, 24/7 support, website templates, WordPress building tools, etc. for free? Many basic plans include them. If you are building your website with WordPress, you should see if the hosting company support WordPress.
After Deciding Web Platform, Domain Name and
Once you decide a web platform, a domain name and a hosting service, you can register and set up your website quickly. It is the research and decision process that may take some time. However, if you are diligent, you should be able to visit all three areas in one day. After visiting all three areas, you will make a decision if you will sign up with a hosting company that offers a free web building platform, or you will sign up with a website builder company that offers a free hosting.
If You Are Signing Up With A Hosting Company – Senario 1
You simply go to the hosting company of your choice and sign up. When you choose a hosing plan, they will ask you to enter a domain name during signing up process. You can register a new domain name there. They will also ask you if you want domain name privacy. By registering a domain name, your personal information becomes publicly available through the whois services. To protect it, you can use Domain Privacy. After signing up, you can install WordPress in your hosting account or access a website builder. WordPress and website builders have templates that are built already. You will just have to edit the template so that it is more suitable for your company.
If You Are Signing Up With A Website Platform Company – Senario 2
If you have decided that signing up with a website builder or web platform is better for your needs, simply go to the website platform or website builder company and sign up. If you sign up with Wix, you have a choice to have your website made in minutes automatically after answering a few questions or choose a template and use drag and drop tool to build your own website. If you sign up with WordPress, once you sign up, a simple web site is already created for you. You just have to input some information. You can go to customize themes in the tool bar and choose a different theme for your website look. Some themes are free, some are paid themes. Custom domain name is included with their paid service. When you sign up with Wix or WordPress, you do not have to get a hosting service. They include hosting with their website builder plans.
If you want premium themes for WordPress site, you can also purchase themes through premium theme shop, Mythemeshop.com. You want to build a fast loading site to provide great user experience. A fast loading website with a fast hosting can help the website rank higher in search engines which is very important. No matter how great your website is, if no none can find your website, your website will be useless.
Many of mythemeshop.com‘s themes are responsive, speed optimized and SEO ready. One of their most popular themes is Schema theme which I am also using right now for my blog. Schema theme is the fastest loading, 100% responsive, ultra-SEO friendly WordPress theme. It has built in ad management and review system. It also includes custom options panel, a pixel perfect design, shortcodes, widgets, and rich snippets in order to help your site rank higher in search engines. It is light-weight, well coded and very quick. It also comes with social media sharing functionality. Although you can get many WordPress themes for free, getting a well coded, fast loading theme may be a good idea for your website to rank higher on search engines. Yes, fast loading website is not the only reason you can rank higher on google, but it still helps with your user experience and contributes to your website’s ranking. You can easily install the theme by uploading .zip file you purchase to your WordPress.
You can make a website easily and very fast without having coding or software knowledge. First, you will have to research and find out which web platform you will use for your website. Figure out if you are more comfortable with super easy drag and drop website builders such as Wix or Weebly. You may want to go with the most popular WordPress web content management system which has tons of plugins and features available. However, it does have a bit of learning curve if you want to use the web content management system fully. I have experiences of making websites with Wix, Weebly, Godaddy Website builder and WordPress. I don’t have any coding knowlege and they are all easy to use. I do feel that drag and drop website builder is a little bit easier since I have to learn how to use short code or css edit in WordPress for more complicated features. Secondly, you will also have to come up with a domain name that is easy and memorable. It should also represent your product or service. Although it is not easy to find simple domain name with .com extension, .com extension is still most popular and best. Lastly, you will also have to decide on a hosting service. Fast loading speed, high site uptime, great security and 24/7 customer support should be considered when choosing a hosting service. I use Site Ground and they have been great. They have an exceptional customer service, fast, reliable hosting and great reputation as well.
After the research, you can decide whether to sign up with a web building platform or a hosting company. Since web building platform companies usually include a free domain or a hosting service and web hosting companies include free website builder or WordPress/ Joomla, you can decide which company to sign up with. Once you sign up, the website building process is fairly simple. You just have to put information necessary to set up a layout, fonts, a company logo, etc. on an already-built template. The website is ready for you to fill the contents with. Now that your website is built, you can start writing!
If you are interested in starting a business without any money, please read my post, ‘How To Start A Business With No Money.‘