How to Make Your Own Website

by James Wright ; Updated September 28, 2017

Modern business operations are now so integrated with the Internet that a website is important for any business's success. In addition to displaying pertinent information about your company's products and services, a website can include a blog and a list of links to other products. By making your company's site search engine-friendly, you will ensure that the site is the first thing potential customers see when looking on the Web for the products and services you offer. To make your own website you need a template or content management system to get started, as well as a host and domain to put your files online.

Website Templates

If you can't build a website from scratch or don't want to hire someone to make one for you, you can start with a pre-made site template. Sites such as Free Web Templates, Free Website Templates, and OSWD provide templates for free; if you pay a small fee you can remove the template creator's information and make it all your own. You can also use a content management system (CMS) such as Joomla, Drupal, or SilverStripe, which is like a template but is based online and can be easier to modify since you don't need any separate software to make changes to your site.

HTML Editor

If you opt to use a template or want to edit your website's files offline, you'll need to download an HTML editor such as Aptana Studio, CoffeeCup, or PageBreeze. This software is designed to modify most types of files you'll need, such as HTML, PHP, and CSS; it presents the coding in formats that are easy to view, such as using different colors and indentations. The programs also include tools that make it easy to spot and correct code errors, and that help you preview your site before you put it online.

Domain and Web Hosting

Your website will need both a domain host and a Web host; while these services are often offered by the same companies, they are two distinctly different services, so you could purchase a domain and a Web host from two different companies. A domain host claims the URL for your business, such as yourbusinessname.com. A Web host is the server the URL directs to and where you upload all your files and data. Domain services typically charge an annual fee, while web hosting is charged per month. Many hosts have a number of different "plans" with varying amounts of bandwidth and server space, so if you expect your website to get a lot of traffic, you'll need to opt for some extra bandwidth. Compare services to see what's available in your price range; compare the prices the services offer, but also their quality of service and uptime guarantees.

Testing

While you can test individual pages on your computer by double-clicking the HTML files to view them in your browser, it's helpful to give the entire site a second test after it has been uploaded. Upload all your website's files, and then open your website in a new tab by going to the URL you purchased; by testing the website as visitors will see it, you can check for things you couldn't see on your computer, such as broken links on any page. Also check your website in a few different browsers and on both PCs and Macs to make sure the pages display correctly on all types of systems.

Search Engines and Traffic

Your website will automatically get picked up by search engines, but you can enhance its placement in search results by adding meta tags and a site description. Appropriate keywords will help your website show up in search results when people search for those words. You can add both by pasting the following information within the tags of every page of your site:

Also include links to your site on any social networks you use, and if you have any other websites, link to your site from there as well. A number of links directed at your site will help improve search results and draw in new viewers.

About the Author

Based in California, James Wright has been writing since 1998. Wright's articles have been published on various websites with a focus on technical fields such as computers and the Internet, and were also featured in a now-retired publication for an online artistic community. Wright studied English, journalism, politics and psychology at Riverside Community College.

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