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A Beginner's Guide to Setting Up and Hosting Your Own Website

Websites are vital in today's world, especially for businesses. They are a digital business card and a unique chance for a business or person to tell their own story in their own way, free from editorial interference from other groups or people. However, setting up a website can feel like a daunting task, which may explain why some businesses and brands still don't have websites. But it doesn't have to be intimidating. There are many tools and templates available to help people with very little coding or Internet knowledge to make a great website.

Why Do You Need a Website?

Many people think they only need a website if they will be selling services or products directly on the Internet. But the truth is that every brand needs an online presence that the business directly controls, no matter what industry the brand is in. Everything from local used bookstores to landscapers to breweries can benefit from a well-designed, informative website. Lots of customers visit a business's website before ever visiting the business in person or buying anything. A website offering helpful, correct information helps build the credibility of the brand with current and prospective customers. Businesses need to establish their brand, and a website helps them do that in a way that allows them to tell their brand's story directly to customers. Websites can also generate leads for businesses when interested potential clients or customers sign up for mailing lists or complete contact forms.

Coming Up With a Domain Name and Hosting

When you're looking for a company to host your website, you have many options to choose from. It's important to choose one that offers high-quality service at an affordable price. One thing to look for is a company with easily accessible customer service. When a website has an issue, the host's support team must be knowledgeable and quick to respond. Integrated security certificates are another important thing to look for when choosing a hosting company. The host should also offer free and highly functional backups of the website.

Once the host is sorted out, it's time to choose a domain name. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is one vital element in picking a domain name, but branding and simplicity are also important. Your domain name should say something about your brand, and it should also be easy to remember and type. Of course, you'll also need to find a domain name that's available to purchase and use. Once you choose and register your domain, you'll be able to link it to your hosting service and get started building your website.

Coding and Programming

Many people are intimidated by coding and programming. However, almost everyone is capable of building a simple, attractive website. Website templates can help beginners to create a look that fits their brand without having to do a lot of coding. But if you want to try a more hands-on approach, there are many tutorials available to help you learn the fundamentals of coding, making it easy for people to learn enough HTML or CSS to code and maintain their websites.

Design Elements

It's crucial to remember that it must be easy for visitors to use the website. Navigation is key when designing a website. It must be easy for visitors to find the content they need and move seamlessly from page to page. Not only must a site be easy to navigate, but it must also be attractive. Internet users, like all humans, are visual creatures. Appealing visual design can also help users navigate the website; a good website shouldn't distract users with flashing images, jarring color schemes, or anything else that can make it harder for people to use your site. All websites must also have high-quality content that gives visitors the information they were seeking when they sought out the website.

Putting it All Together

Once a website is published, it still requires work from its webmaster. Content, especially regarding events or other time-sensitive information, should be updated regularly. Similarly, it's important to keep an eye on Web design trends and make sure the site isn't looking dated. Sometimes, it's as easy as switching out background images and fonts to give a website a whole new look. It's also a good idea to go through and regularly optimize all content for SEO purposes.