So, you think you want a website, but you don't know where to start?

Starting your own website can seem daunting, we know! That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you to have an idea of what you want before you begin.

Step 1.

I believe there was a Dilbert comic about coming up with a catchy name for your project first so that you know what your project is going to be about. That’s not how it works in the real world though. The first step is to think about what you want to say, promote, or sell with your site. Do you like to write and have an idea that other people might enjoy reading what you have to say? Do you want to bring awareness to a overlooked cause? Do you have a product or service to sell? These are all great reasons to create a website!

Step 2.

Now that you know what you want your site to be about, the next step is to get an idea of what you might want it to look like. A great way to do that is to look at other websites that might be similar to yours. For example, if you want to start a cooking blog, do a web search for “cooking blog” and look at some of the sites that come up. This will give you ideas for what you may want your site to look like and what features you might want to include. Pro Tip: Take notes, screenshots, save bookmarks of the sites you like.

Step 3.

This next step may lead to some disappointment (don’t worry, it’s nothing serious). The next thing you want to do is come up with a name that can also work as a domain name for your website. Unfortunately, common names, words, etc may already be taken. What you can do is come up with some ideas for names and try to make each one unique.

Let’s make up an example to see how this works. If your name is Meghan and your site is going to be a blog about makeup tips, you might come up with names like, meghansmakeuptips.com, makeupbymeghan.com, makeupdesignbymeghan.com, etc. Next, you’ll go to a domain search, type in one of these names, and click search. The page will show you whether or not the name is already taken and if it is, there might be a version of that name with a different extension available. meghansmakeuptips.com might be taken but meghansmakeuptips.blog might be available. You probably don’t want to proceed just yet with ordering the domain, you just want to make sure you have one in mind that is available.

Step 4.

Are you a born designer? No? Don’t worry, most people aren’t. That being said, you will need someone to design the site. Don’t worry though, you have a few options.

Site Designers – If you feel that you are up to the task of using a Site Designer, this might be a good way to go. Some hosting services include a site builder for free or provide one for an additional monthly cost. Site designer software allows you to create the layout and look of your site. They make it pretty easy for non-designers to create a functional website. The downside? They can sometimes be rigid in what you can do with them. All of our hosting plans include a built in Site Builder for no additional cost, so you are more than welcome to try it out. Don’t worry, you won’t break anything and it’s easy to start over if you need to.

WordPress – WordPress is a great way to create a website or blog that is easily updated by logging into a web interface (there’s even a mobile phone app) and creating new posts or pages right in your web browser! There are also thousands of templates for WordPress so you can search for one that looks the way you want without the need to design anything yourself. The downside to this one, similar to the first is that it can be a bit rigid in it’s design, even with all of the options out there. Also, some people get overwhelmed with all of the plugins that are available to add additional functionality to the site.

Professional Designer – If you have the money to hire a professional designer, you should be able to get exactly what you want either in a straight HTML/CSS designed and coded site or in a content management system, such as WordPress, that will allow you to login to a web interface to add and change content.

Step 5.

Find a web host that provides the services you need at a price you can afford. This is where we can help you make those dreams of being a website owner a reality! When you sign up for web hosting with Tip Top Tech Solutions, all of our hosting packages have a site builder included, an application installer that will allow you to quickly and easily install a CMS like WordPress, a free SSL certificate (important), free website backups (very important), and support every step of the way!

Step 6.

Get to work on your dream website!

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