Digging through the maze of options for hosting can be an exhausting challenge. I have been blessed to have close friends that have a hosting company. They have provided me with the tools I need to grow and develop my website and they have also been ready, willing (and sometimes even able) to help when I managed to click the wrong button at the wrong time.
Add to that challenge the almost incomprehensible task of building a website, and it is no wonder that most people back away even before they begin. I am no master when it comes to computers. If I had a dollar for every time a computer tech said “your computer is NOT supposed to do that” then I would be a wealthy woman. I have been blessed to have people in my life that would help me manage through the very basics and readily answer all of my questions with patience and understanding.
Things to Learn for Building Your Website
Html – this is computer language. I when out and purchased “HTML Quick Steps” and will refer to it when I need to get my content to do something other than the blog tools allow. The internet also makes it pretty easy to search for HTML.
WordPress or Blogger – take an online course that will teach you the basics about posting and using the websites. Even if your hosting company loads your programs into your website, you will still need to know how to update your content.
Cpanel – this is the hub of your website and the place where you will be able to add elements (including your blog). Not all hosting companies will want you running amuck through your Cpanel, but I like being able to control what goes on my website, how it goes up and even when it goes up.
Paying for Your Website Design
The company that I use, R&D Computer Solutions, offers a tool that lets me build my website from scratch. I started doing it all myself because of finances, but I find that enjoy playing around with the graphics and colors of my websites.
There may come a time in the near future where I will be ready to fork out some money for a professional design. I know that someone with the education and experience will be able to do a more finished job and do it much faster than I could with my DIY techniques. If you are unsure about what path to take then find some websites you really like and ask them if they did it on their own or had professional assistance.
Website Lessons Learned the Hard Way
1. You may not be able to bring over everything you have on one website to a new website. Talk to your host about the compatibility of programs and be sure that you keep the information for your website backed up somewhere other than your website. It will make it MUCH easier to repost any information that might be lost if you do end up having to make a move that does not come with easy transfer.
2. Be aware of HTML from programs. Publisher is probably one of the most famous. It adds LOTS of extra coding to your content and can make it tough to edit for your website host and tough for other computers to read as well. Make sure that any program you use is specifically designed for building websites.
3. Remember what you post is PERMENANT. Even if you take the information down later it will still be available to people who know how to search for OLD internet pages. Only put up things that you will be proud to stand behind years down the road.
4. Pay as you go and build up as you need it. Paying along the way keeps me from jumping in too deep. There are so many bells and whistles available for websites. Make sure that what you put into your website will be something that you will use regularly.
Build a blog or website takes an investment. You can invest the time to learn the tools or you can invest the money to get someone else to do the work for you. The amount of control that you want, combined with the amount of time that you have, divided by the amount of finances you have available will help you come up with the right equation for you.