Planning to build a website, but not sure how to get started? And does the thought of dealing with lines of code dread you? Well, not anymore.
There was a time when you could not think of creating a website without using code. But it’s possible now. Thanks to CMS or Content Management System.
You don’t need to have the basic knowledge of coding to use CMS. It’s the need of the hour as the world is becoming more digital by the day. A website is crucial for commercial success in modern times. It would be challenging for any company to survive without an online presence.
Coding is not everyone’s cup of tea. We get that. Plus, it is not suitable to depend on coders all the time. So CMS websites are the way forward.
Here, you’ll learn how to create a website from scratch without having to code. Read on to find out the step-by-step procedure to build your website.
Know these Technical Terms before Getting Started
You cannot jump into creating a website straightaway. You need to know and understand certain terms about website building before creating one. The terms you must know are:
- Internet hosting
- Web hosting
- Domain name
- Content Management System (CMS)
Let us take a look at each term here:
What is internet hosting?
Internet hosting is a service used by individuals and organizations to host services on the internet. The service runs servers that internet content providers use to put their content on the internet for the world to see.
What is web hosting?
Web hosting is a type of internet hosting where a hosting provider allocates space for a website’s content on a web server. The website’s files like images, text, codes and so on are stored on the webserver, and the hosting provider enables that to be viewed by online users.
What is a domain name?
The domain name is the address of a website that appears in a web browser’s URL bar. It looks like this – www.websitename.com.
The domain name is a crucial aspect of your website. It is more important than your website’s content as without a domain name, no one can access your website’s content.
The internet is a massive network consisting of thousands of websites. Your website is one among them. The domain name distinguishes your website from other websites to be easily found in that gigantic network.
What is CMS?
CMS or Content Management System is software that helps you to create, manage and modify content on a website. You don’t have to learn to code or have any in-depth technical knowledge regarding website building. CMS will do that for you.
The Content Management System will create web pages, store images and perform other functions necessary for a functioning website. This software will handle all the basic infrastructure, so you don’t have to do them from scratch.
Steps to create a Website
You have learned about the three most important aspects of a website. The first is web hosting, the second is the domain name, and the third is CMS. Now, it’s time to design your own website. Follow these steps, and you will have your website running in no time.
Step 1: Choose a web hosting service.
The first thing is to choose an appropriate web hosting service. There are six main types of web hosting services, and they are as follows:
This is the most basic and the most cost-effective type of hosting. Here, multiple websites are hosted by a single server. The websites share the web server’s resources, and each website will get resources according to their chosen pricing plans.
Shared hosting is cheap and is best for individuals and organizations with limited budgets. It is ideal for bloggers, small business owners and websites that have a simple layout.
The downsides of shared hosting are your website will face issues if there is a traffic spike on the server’s other websites. This is because all the websites are sharing the resources provided by a singular server. So, the other websites suffer when one website pulls most of the resources to handle the traffic spike.
Shared hosting is inexpensive, but it won’t provide a high-quality website experience for you and your website’s visitors.
This type of hosting is the exact opposite of shared hosting. A single server hosts a single website instead of one web server hosting multiple websites. All the resources of the server cater to hosting that one particular website. You will get more benefits, and your website will be faster and smoother.
Your website will perform well without disturbance as other websites are not sharing the resources. Plus, you will have complete technical control over the website’s software, configurations and other features. This sounds great, but you need to have considerable technical knowledge of web hosting, servers, the internet and websites to pull it off.
It is the best type of hosting available but it’s also the most expensive type of web hosting. You have to shell out a lot of cash if you want to get such a dedicated service.
Dedicated hosting services are ideal for large enterprises that clock over 100,000 visits a month on their websites. So, don’t even consider dedicated hosting if you have a few thousand visits a month. Also, this type of hosting is only for those who have large budgets.
VPS stands for “Virtual Private Server.” This type of web hosting falls between shared hosting and dedicated hosting. It is a step above shared hosting but is not up to the level of dedicated hosting.
In this type of hosting, the shared web server is divided into multiple virtual dedicated servers. Each virtual server hosts one website. Even though the main server is being shared yet the number of websites sharing that server is lowered. You can customize your virtual server, and you will get dedicated resources from your VPS.
Your website’s quality will be better than the websites on a shared hosting server, and you will get some dedicated resources at a fraction of the cost of a dedicated hosting server. You don’t have to worry about your website crashing if there is more traffic than usual on another website.
This is ideal for those who have intermediate budget levels and want to make the most of it. Some websites cannot afford to have crashes and downtimes because they cater to emergency service (let’s say, a website where you can book doctor’s appointments). The best hosting type for this website is dedicated hosting, but if the company cannot afford it, then VPS is the only option.
Remember that you are still sharing the main web server with other websites even though you are getting dedicated resources. So, the resources will be limited.
In this type of hosting, a single website uses the services of multiple virtual or cloud web servers. Each server looks after a specific set of responsibilities. The best part of cloud hosting is if one server fails, the other server steps in to manage its responsibilities.
Your website will also run smoothly without any downtime as the responsibilities are divided among the virtual servers.
There is one more unique feature of cloud hosting, and that is scalability. There is constant conflict between pricing plans and features in other web hosting types. Each pricing plan comes with a set of features and services. You will use some of these features, and the rest will remain unused.
Similarly, your pricing plan might not have all the web hosting features and services your website needs.
You are overpaying in the first scenario and underpaying in the second. You can choose the correct pricing plan only if you can count the website visits per month to the exact number. It is impossible to do that as you will not get the same number of visitors per month.
This problem is solved in cloud hosting. According to your website’s traffic movement, cloud hosting’s top pricing plans allow you to be upscale or downscale the servers’ features and services. This way, you will end up paying for what you are using.
You can adjust the resources in the admin dashboard.
This type of hosting is best for businesses that are growing at a rapid rate. If your website traffic is inconsistent, then a cloud hosting plan will be ideal for you.
In this type of hosting, you buy a web hosting service from a web hosting company and resell it to other clients. You act as a middleman between the web hosting company and the clients.
You will buy the web hosting service from the company at wholesale rates. Then you set your own pricing plans and resell the service to clients. This will enable you to earn substantial profits per sale.
You should consider this type of hosting if you plan to open a web development and web designing agency. These agencies create and provide ready-made websites to clients. Don’t go for this type of hosting if you want to build a website for your company that is not related to web development.
WordPress is an open-source Content Management system. WordPress hosting is a type of hosting provided by WordPress. There are two main types of WordPress hosting. The first is shared WordPress hosting, and the second is managed WP hosting.
Shared WP hosting works the same way as shared web hosting service. Managed WordPress hosting provides more features like server caching, enhanced security, quick loading speeds and staging.
WordPress hosting has designed special security features for websites running on WordPress CMS. Most websites run on WordPress CMS as it is the most popular Content Management System on the planet. This means cyberattacks always threaten WordPress websites, and this extra security feature is an added benefit.
Needless to say that this type of hosting is best for websites that are using WordPress CMS.
Which type of web hosting is best for my website?
There are two things to consider before choosing a web hosting service:
- Your financial position.
- The potential number of website visitors per month.
If you are the owner of a large enterprise whose services are popular and used by many, you should definitely go for the dedicated hosting service. Your website will attract many visitors per month since your enterprise and its services are highly popular.
A dedicated hosting service will have the resources to manage traffic, and your website will not face downtime. It will run smoothly. You can afford the pricing plans of dedicated hosting service if you own a large enterprise. When you have the money, you should get the best that money can buy.
If you own a small to medium-scale enterprise and have a limited budget, you should opt for VPS hosting or cloud hosting. There won’t be much traffic on your website, and even if there is a traffic spike, it will be well within the control of the VPS and cloud web servers.
Cloud hosting is better in this scenario as your company will grow, and with growth will come more visitors. Your hosting service should have the capability to handle this surge of visitors as your company journeys from small-scale to large-scale. You can upscale your hosting server according to the growth rate of your company.
Shared hosting is best for you if you own a start-up that hasn’t brought substantial revenue yet. It is also great for an individual who wants to start a professional website to offer freelance service.
If you intend to use WordPress CMS to create and manage your website, go for WordPress hosting. The added security will come in handy.
Reseller hosting is the option for you to start a web development and designing agency. You do not need to consider the number of website visitors and finances in this case. You need a reseller hosting service even if you serve just one client a month.
When you have zeroed in on the type of web hosting, it is time to avail of its services. Following are some of the best web hosting providers in Canada:
Step 2: Choose a domain name
The domain name is important for your website. Ideally, a domain name should be easy to remember. Consider the below points to choose a domain name for your website:
Should be Easy to type
Choose a domain name that is easy to type for internet users. Avoid using text language like “u,” “c,” and “Xpress” for “you,” “see,” and “express” in your domain name. We are naturally conditioned to think and write words in real spellings.
If you have a dating website and the domain name is www.da14u.com, people will find it complicated and difficult to type. We are naturally conditioned to type “The one for you” when we hear those words.
Also, avoid using special characters in your domain name.
Keep it short
A short domain name is easy to remember. Make sure that your domain name does not contain more than three words. A perfect domain name should only contain one word.
If you do not own a popular business, then use keywords instead of your brand name in the domain name.
For example, you started a construction business named “Supreme Builders.” You decide to have a company website to further your business. Don’t use a domain name as www.supremebuilders.com.
Use a catchy name
You have the resources for extensive marketing and brand name promotion. You have the luxury to use your brand name in your domain name. Use a catchy name in this case. Start by giving your business a catchy name and use it in the domain name. A catchy name is crucial to proper branding.
Suppose you own a restaurant specializing in grilled meat. Name your restaurant “Chill ‘N’ Grill,” and the domain name could be www.chillandgrill.com.
Utilize your Location
If you own a local business, consider using your locality’s name in the domain name to attract local customers—for example, www.vancouverconstructions.com.
Research your domain name
Other websites can share the domain name you choose for your website. The chosen domain name might be copyrighted, trademarked and being used by another website. You will land into legal trouble if you use a domain name that other company has copyrighted. So, research your selected domain name before using it.
Use the right extension.
A domain name extension is that what comes after the “dot.” The extension tells us about the type of website. Websites have used many forms of extensions so far. Some of the top and often used extensions are as follows:
- .info – Informational websites.
- .co- Company, commercial or community websites.
- .net- Technical websites.
- .biz- Business or commercial websites.
- .org- Non-profits websites.
- .me- Blogs or personal websites.
Extensions can also be like .photography or .app and so on. Your website’s extension must tell about the nature of your website and so choose the extension accordingly.
Note: If your website doesn’t fall in any of the above categories, use a .com as an extension. It is the most recognizable extension so far, and people unconsciously associate it with a website.
Step 3: Choose a CMS
The Content Management System is crucial when creating a website without coding. You have to use the CMS to build the website, and the quality and aesthetics of the website will depend on the features of the CMS. Following are the characteristics of a good CMS:
- It is user-friendly
Since CMS is the website-building tool for people who do not know to code, it must have a user-friendly interface. People without the technical knowledge of website building should be able to use it with ease.
- It allows integration across platforms
You must be able to optimize a CMS so that your website is available across many devices.
- It must be stable, secure and scalable
A CMS must provide security to your website from cyber-attacks. It should also be scalable, meaning it can upscale to meet the demands of your website.
- The CMS platform should have various templates and formats to help you create a quality website. Besides, it must have a comprehensive list of downloadable plugins and themes to customize your website’s appearance.
- It must allow content customization from a dashboard. The workflow becomes smoother if there is a dashboard from where you can execute all content customization.
- It supports multiple programming languages.
- It offers some of the best software upgrades.
- It uses sophisticated workflows.
- It conducts regular checks to fix bugs and glitches.
- It must have good developer support for when you are having problems setting up your website.
- It is a trustworthy platform with many satisfied users. Go through the reviews and ratings of the CMS to assess this point.
Look for these features while you are choosing a CMS for your website.
Some of the top CMS platforms in Canada are as follows:
Step 4: Set up your website
Once you’ve chosen the web hosting service, the domain name and the CMS platform. All that remains is creating the website and giving your company an online presence (or yourself).
Start by choosing a theme for your website. The theme will determine your website’s appearance, so choose a theme that best matches the website’s mood and nature. You can choose themes from among the free themes that come with the CMS or download premium themes.
Next is to add pages to the website. Pages are used to organize your website’s content so that visitors can easily find what they are looking for. Add as many pages as required to give your website an uncluttered look. The average website has at least 10 pages. The pages that your website must contain are:
- Home page
- About page
- Services or Products page
- Contact page
- News page or Blog page
- Gallery page
- Testimonials page
- FAQs page
- Sitemap page
- Terms and conditions page
Make sure that your website has all the above pages and more if required.
The third step is to add a menu. The menu will allow visitors to navigate to the various pages on your website.
There is an optional step after this where you add plugins to make your website more dynamic. Two of the most common plugins are the contact form plugin and Google Map plugin.
These were the main steps involved in creating a website. Follow them precisely and get your website functioning in no time. Currently, building a website is not a strenuous task. You just need to spend some time and be curious about how it all works.
Designing a website is a lot more easier with the tools available online. All you need to do is subscribe to a hosting provider, come up with a catchy domain name, and build a personalized theme before it goes live on the internet.