It's rare to find people these days who don't use the internet in some capacity, email, watching online videos or doing online banking. Most people can get around Facebook without even blinking an eyelid, but if I mention that I build websites to most people I meet, they look at me like I am some kind of rocket scientist.
The reality is however, it has never been easier to get your own website set up. Some people will be interested in trying to make money online, while others will be just interested in building their own web presence, perhaps just making a site about their favorite hobby.
A good way to get a feel for making your own website, is to install the free software Xampp on your computer. You will have folder called htdocs and whatever you put in that folder it will appear when you type in http://localhost
Of course, many people will skip this step, but if you a little bit technically inclined, getting a feel for how websites and web hosting works, before you sign up for an account, will make it much easier. By setting up a local server on your own computer, you can play around with files on your own computer without them appearing in public.
When you want to set up your own server, most people will choose shared hosting for their website. This is where you share a server with other people, although to everyone viewing your website, it won't make any difference. If your site eventually does get a lot of traffic, you can easily switch to running your own server. The main advantage of using a shared server is that it is cheap, and you don't have to actually manage the server because that is done by the hosting company.
There are thousands of hosting companies available and while many people have their favorites, I use and recommend Hostgator. They offer inexpensive and reliable hosting plans and have fantastic support.
Along with hosting companies, there are hundreds of companies that offer domain registration services. They are also referred to as registrars. Choosing a good name, is not easy as most of the good one and two word domain names are already taken. Avoid have more than one hyphen in the name. Moniker is a good company to use to register your domains.
To get files you create from your computer to your web server, you need to use an FTP program to transfer the files. Filezilla is a great free program and does the job well.
It is a good idea to at least learn some of the basic HTML tags to make a web page. HTML is the language which enables you to change the appearance of your webpages. Many people use ready built templates for their websites, so they never have to code the HTML, but it can sometimes come in handy to have some basic knowledge.
Here is something like what a html page looks like. If you use a text editor like notepad, save the file with a .htm or .html extension, you will be able to see it on your web site.
<title>This is where you put your title</title>
<h1>This is your main heading for a page</h1>
<p>This is a paragraph of text. Use the tags to make text <b>bold</b> and <i>italics</i>.<p>
LinksIf you are going to learn only one piece of HTML code, it should be how to construct links. Links are what the internet is all about - links to pages within your own website and links to other websites. More importantly, if you are looking to make money from your website, you will need to learn how to put the affiliate links into your pages.
Here is an example of a link to the home page of Infobarrel:
<a href="">Barrels of information</a>
It is important to test all of the links you create. You also need to keep them updated as web page addresses or URLs change very often.
In this article I have tried to cover some of the basics of setting up your own website. There is obviously a lot more to it, but the information here should be enough to get you started. If you liked this article you might also be interested in reading my thoughts on why Wordpress is great to use to set up your own website.