Back in the first days of the internet, webservers were relatively small. Webpages wouldn’t pass a few kilobytes in size. Everything was pretty straight forward: Learn HTML, then make a website. The area of web development was so relaxed. Now things are a bit different, the internet has become a place for both the non-technical and the technical alike. Now I’m not sure what category you, the reader, would fall under. But I can say this firmly: Anyone can make a website.
In today’s world anyone, with or without knowledge of website design, can go ahead and get a chunk of web space for personal use. What most people don’t know is that they are probably doing that everyday. Whether you are a user of MySpace/Facebook/Friendster you are essentially handed a piece of web space to use how you wish! Think about it, you post content to your wall/profile and your friends halfway across the world can see it. Of course this is just a small example of what I mean when I say web space. This type of small web space obviously isn’t suitable for website development, but just a reference of the leap that technology has taken in order to allow those without technical skills to post content that is viewable by other people. Well in this simple guide I am going to outline a free way for anyone to own a piece of the internet.
STEP #1: WEBSITE HOSTING
A website host is a company that leases out web space to people who want to make websites. When you sign up for a Facebook profile you are essentially signing up for free website space. But with that kind of web space you can’t be very creative. Essentially the professionals lease web space that they can be a bit more creative with. Choosing the right website host is very important. There are both free and paid website hosts, but for this guide I am going to recommend a free website host: x10hosting.com.
So go on over there and sign up. Remember this is just for practice; it is not advisable to use a free webhost for a professional website.
STEP #2: DOMAIN HOSTING
Essentially every website needs a domain, but for the practice just6 use a free subdomain from x10hosting. For professional websites it’s advisable to use a .com domain.
STEP #3: THE ACTUAL WEBSITE DESIGN
Now the magic happens! Firstly log into your x10hosting account then click the button to log into the CPanel of your account. The CPanel is the control panel of your webserver; it’s very similar to the control panel of your pc. It holds all the useful utilities that are needed to manage your website.
You now have the option of taking a quick tour of your CPanel, go ahead and take it. You need to get as familiar as possible with these tools.
No after you’ve gotten up close and personal with those utilities. Its time to start your website design experience; the simple way!
Go ahead and click on the button for Softaculous. Softaculous is an auto installer that has a very large collection of website scripts. The scripts fall into many categories; forum software such as phbb, blogging software such as WordPress, or even social networking software like dolphin. Let’s start with a favorite of mine, WordPress. Wordpress is preferred by millions of bloggers out there, it is so easy to use and it has thousands of themes and plugins which make it so flexible. So click on blogs. Wordpress à install and follow the onscreen prompts. Make sure to clear the box that say “installation directory” that way Wordpress would be in the root of your site.
Now go to http://yourdomain/wp-admin/ [replacing ‘yourdomain’ with the website address of your site] and log in with your account, play around with the features on your new website’s dashboard. Then just visit your blog to see it for yourself. Congrats! You have just created a blog the way seasoned website designers create them. Of course customization is a topic for another day. You can go back to Softaculous and play around with some other scripts, just make sure to uninstall Wordpress before installing any others.
Put this new knowledge to the test, I made the two sites in my signature the exact same way.