Web Developer Newbies: The 3 Essential Things You Need to Get a Website Online
Getting a website online for the first time is a daunting process. Not only are there many ways of achieving it but there are also many tools you can use to make it easier. Although most people without any prior web development experience opt for a web builder to ease the pain, many others dive right into the deep end in the hope they can get a website online without the use of any online tools, purely for their own learning experience. However, whichever way you choose to get a website online, you need to ensure you have the following things before it’s possible.
You can’t get a website online without web hosting, whichever way you choose to go. Web hosting is used to store website files so your visitors have something to interact with. If you don’t house any files, visitors are going to end up with a blank page with nowhere to navigate. Web hosting is likely the first thing you’ll purchase before you buy a domain and your website files. Without web hosting, you won’t be able to store the important files and a domain would be pointless (unless you’re earning money through parked domain advertising – click here for more information). Look at some of the best hosting providers at Hosting Kingdom.
The domain is the brand of your business, so it’s important you have a domain that represents your business name. Although these three things are essential, buying a domain is not, as you’ll more than likely be provided with a free sub-domain with the web hosting provider you’ve partnered with (e.g. www.yoursitename.webhostname.com). However, if you’re looking to take your business seriously, you’ll need to purchase a .com domain separately (e.g. www.yoursitename.com). Once you have a domain and web hosting, you’ll then need to point the domain to your web hosting provider, usually by using a system called nameservers.
Once you’ve pointed the nameservers to your web hosting, you’ll usually need to wait 24-48 hours before you can access it (this is called the propagation process). You’ll now need to upload your website files to get your site online. A website needs at least a .html file or equivalent to display information to the end user. Of course, with the help of your web host, you can instantly install a script like Magento, and that will give you a fully working website within seconds – all you need to do is change the theme to something that suits your tastes.
The three things above are essential to get a website in good working order. Even if you take advantage of one of the many website builders out there, you’ll need to pick a domain name and you’ll still be using web hosting and many files, even if you don’t actually see them. Of course, the above things are also just the very basics you’ll need to get a site online and running securely. You may also want to get an SSL certificate, multiple domain purchases and redirects, and security software in place to ensure your website is also accessible.