Hosting is where you put your website and all the web pages. While it’s possible to build a website on your personal computer and never move it online, it’s pointless. No one but you will ever see it. So the first thing you’ll want to do is find a web hosting provider.
There are several types of web hosting options you can choose from:
Most people gravitate to free web hosting without too much thought, but there can be drawbacks to free hosting. You don’t always get as much space, you might be required to run their ads on your site, or there may be bandwidth limits. There are sometimes limitations on what can be put on a free hosting provider—for example, some don't allow ecommerce or gambling or other types of content. Some free hosting providers tack on charges like maintenance and renewal fees on their “free” accounts. Be sure to read all the fine print before you put your website on a free web host. I recommend using free hosting providers for testing web pages and for personal pages, but not for websites you hope to make money from.
A domain name is a friendly URL people can type into their browser to get to your website. Some examples of domain names include:
A domain name provides extra branding for your site and makes it easier for people to remember the URL. But domain names cost money, typically between $8 and $35 a year.
Once you’ve gotten a domain and decided on your URL, you can plan your site. You need to decide:
Building a website requires you to work on one page at a time. To build your site you should be familiar with:
Publishing your website is a matter of getting the pages you created in step 4 up to the hosting provider you set up in step 1. You can do this with either the tools that come with your hosting service or with FTP (File Transfer Protocol) clients. Knowing which you can use depends upon your hosting provider. Contact them if you are not sure.
The easiest way to promote your website is through search engine optimization or SEO. You build your web content so that it ranks well in search engines. This can be very difficult, but it is inexpensive and can have good results if you work at it.
Other ways to promote your site include: word of mouth, email, and advertising. You should include your URL on all professional correspondence and whenever it makes sense in personal messages. I put my URL in my email signature along with my email address.
Maintenance can be the most boring part of website design, but in order to keep your site going well and looking good, you need to do it. Testing your site as you’re building it and then after it’s been live for a while is important. New devices come on the market all the time, and the browser makers are always improving their browsers. You should also work on content development on a regular basis. The more content you create and add to your site the more visitors you will get.