If you’ve never owned a website before, you may be asking yourself a few questions: What do I need to know before starting on a website? How do I create a website? What is it made up of? How much does it cost?
Not to worry! Here are the three major things you need to know about owning a website:
- You Need a Domain Name
Your domain name is what people type into the address bar of their browser in order to visit your website. For example, the domain name of Novage is www.novage.com.sg. It is your address on the Internet where all your related webpages reside. You can buy a domain name from businesses such as Namecheap.com and GoDaddy.com who charge roughly $10 to $11 a year for a .com suffix.
- You Need Web Hosting
Web hosting providers make your website appear live on the Internet. Without hosting, no one can see your website.
There are a great many web hosting providers available and prices and options vary widely. Some will allow your websites to load faster, some have better customer service, and some let you have your own email address. If you are just starting out, go for shared server hosting. You can always upgrade to dedicated server once your website becomes more popular. Doing so will increase your site’s loading time and allow it to withstand lots of visitors at once.
Two popular web hosting providers are Bluehost.com who have hosting packages starting at $3.49 a month and Hostgator.com with packages starting at $3.96 a month.
- You Need a Web Design
It should be pretty obvious, but you need an actual website too! You have three options:
- Hire a web design company to create your website for you,
- Build your website on a content management system, or
- Design your website yourself from scratch.
Hiring a professional web designer is a good option if you want a website that’s truly unique and accurate to your vision (no matter how vague or specific that may be). They will design something that is tailored to your purposes and goals and make sure it’s not filled up with unnecessary code that can slow your website down. This is a good option if you want them to take care of absolutely everything for you, including helping you with domain names, hosting, and search engine optimization for more traffic. This can cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
A content management system (CMS) like WordPress.com is good for someone who is comfortable with using computers. If you know your way around a word processor, can easily browse the web and do online shopping, you can probably handle a CMS just fine. There are heaps of free WordPress templates plus many premium $50 ones.
Designing a website yourself from scratch can take a lot of time because there is a lot to learn. If you are willing to take training to learn HTML and CSS and getting your site up quickly is not a priority, this may be for you. The cost of this depends on cost of training, any stock photos you use, etc.
You can also combine these options. You could have a web designer set up a custom website on WordPress and then leave you to make future posts and updates. Or you could learn basic CSS and use a WordPress template as a base to tweak on your own.
Hopefully you are now more knowledgeable on what’s required to own a website!