Thinking about starting a website? It is important to be well-prepared and informed about everything involved in building a successful website. Here are eleven common questions people have when considering building their own website.
What is the purpose of my website?
Defining your website’s purpose and goals is crucial. Do you want to showcase your portfolio, sell a product, provide information, or do something else? Without answering this, you’ll struggle to build an effective site. It might also make answering some of the other questions harder.
How much will it cost to create and maintain my website?
It is important to understand the financial investment involved in building a website. Some costs you’ll need to consider are domain registration, hosting, design, development, and ongoing maintenance.
What is a domain name, and where do I get one?
A domain name is a unique address used to navigate to your website. Domain names typically end with .com, .org, or .gov. You are probably already familiar with several domain names such as google.com, wikipedia.org, or irs.gov. There is a wide array of companies that sell domain names, including GoDaddy, NameCheap, and Hostinger.
How do I host my website?
There are many services that offer website hosting. You’ll need to consider things like whether you’ll need database storage, and how much traffic you expect to get on your site. Many hosting providers offer simplified hosting for websites built with WordPress, and website builders such as Wix and Squarespace automatically handle hosting your site.
Do I need to have coding skills to build my own website?
Depending on what you want your website to do, you may be able to use a no-code website builder six as Wix, or a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress. Many websites are simple enough to be built using a website builder or CMS, but if you have more specific needs, you may need to dive into code.
What is a CMS, and should I use one to build my website?
A content management system (CMS) helps you create and manage digital content on your website. Using a CMS is good choice if you don’t have any programming knowledge, as you don’t need to write any code when using one. However, if you need functionality beyond common tasks like blogging or running an online store, a CMS may not be the best option for your website.
Which CMS should I use?
There is a vast number CMSs to choose from. You should first consider what the purpose of your website is. If you intend to do a lot of blogging, you might want to consider WordPress or Squarespace. Or maybe you want to build an e-commerce site, in which case you might consider Shopify. You may also want to examine forums to get a feel for how easy a CMS is. If you’re in a hurry, you may want to look in to something that offers a lower learning curve, such as Wix.
How can I make sure my website will show up in search results?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website to ensure that it shows up at or near the top of search results. It involves tasks such as researching and adding popular keywords relevant to your website, ensuring that your website loads quickly, and making your site accessible to people with disabilities.
What security measures do I need to implement for my website?
Protecting your website against security threats is essential, especially if your website is going to process payment information, or hold other sensitive information that you don’t want exposed to the world.
One of the simplest things you can do is to choose secure passwords for admin accounts, databases, and FTP servers, and be sure to regularly update passwords. Also be sure only to use trustworthy plugins and 3rd party software, and keep any plugins or libraries up to date, as updates to these often include security patches and improvements.
Finally, obtain an SSL certificate to enable HTTPS encryption for your website. This protects data transmitted between your site and users, and as a bonus, it’s also a ranking factor for search engines.
How do I ensure my website is mobile-friendly?
With the prevalence of smart phones and tablets, your website needs to look good and function properly on mobile devices. You’ll need to ensure that your site is responsive – the layout is adjusted based on the size and type of device it’s being accessed on.
How can I track and analyze my website’s performance?
Perhaps the most important analytics tool to be familiar with is Google Analytics. While there are many tools out there, Google is the by far the most used search engine in the world, and naturally, Google Analytics works very nicely with tracking your results on Google. Google Analytics allows you to do things such as monitor traffic, measure conversions, and understand the behavior of users of your site.
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