How to Create and Manage Your Own Websiteby David Koenig
Building and maintaining a website is not just for professionals. You can create and manage a website to promote an interest, sell a product or share something you think the world needs to hear. Ultimately, the task of making a site can be as simple or as complicated as you like, and you can accomplish the task with free online tools or with more advanced purchased software.
Register a domain name through a website such as Domain.com, Register.com or GoDaddy.com. This is your site's Web address, which is a unique name preceded by "www." and followed by a domain, such as ".com," ".org" or ".net." You usually pay an annual fee of between $5 and $20 to retain a domain name.
Purchase the services of a Web host, such as GoDaddy.com, Hostgator.com or Asmallorange.com. This gives you the storage space and bandwidth to put your site on the Web and receive visitors. Your provider will give you instructions for attaching your domain name to your hosting account.
Design your website with paid software such as Microsoft Expression Web, Adobe Dreamweaver or Web Studio. You may also use a free site-building program that comes with your hosting service. You may also build your site with a free program, such as Yahoo! SiteBuilder, WordPress or Google Sites. Most programs have a built-in wizard that takes you step-by-step through the design process. Several online programs also offer free (but limited) hosting and a Web address.
Add content. Base each page around a handful of relevant keywords, mentioning them a few times on each page. Keywords help search engines recognize your site's relevance to a given topic and direct readers to your site.
Upload your site to the Web. Your hosting provider will offer specific instructions for uploading your design files through a control panel. For online programs such as WordPress.com and Google Sites, click "Save" or "Publish."
Log in to your hosting account or to the dashboard of your online site-building program to manage and update files, pages and posts.
Promote your site using free social media and networking tools, such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg.
Build incoming links