I built this website myself and manage it all by myself.
Simple websites like mine is easy to build and maintain, thus suite most types of professional online presence. They do not require too much tech hack. You can update it yourself any time to reflect your latest development.
What does it involve in building and managing one’s own website?
From zero to how my site is now, I did:
- Register a domain name — I made up a name for my site and registered it.
- Find a host — I need somewhere in the cyberspace to store my digital content.
- Put together my content — I need some kind of content management software just so to sort and display information in some logical order.
- Dress it up — a no-frill site is a look. But I, like most owners, used some sort of theme to add personal touch.
- Regular back up — I don’t want to lose the data just because my host service got hit with some freak accident.
All of the above are simple and straight forward. They need no specialized knowledge or skills.
The biggest upshot of DIY website is that you build it gradually. You do not have to work out everything from the very beginning, as you would have to if you pay someone to build it for you. Having to work out everything from the word go is difficult. Your vision for your site evolves over time. What you thought was a good idea does not always turn out the way you like. If you are building it yourself, you have the freedom to get it up and running quickly, starting with a basic look, and then refine it bit by bit. Add whatever that takes your fancy later. Update it swiftly when things change.
Here are the five easy steps.
1. Register a domain name
Work out what you want to name your website. Then register it. Registering your website name (known as your ‘domain name’) prevents other people using the same name for their website. Google ‘domain name registration’ to find a service. GoDaddy is one such service. Some hosting services (see 2.) also have domain registration services.
2. Find an online host
You need somewhere in the digital world to place your website content. Your content are pages, posts, photos and so on. You need to rent a storage space from a digital warehouse, known as ‘servers’ or ‘hosting service’. Google ‘web hosting’ to find such a service. My site is currently hosted by SiteGround.
3. Organize your content
You need some kind of content management (CM) software to organize information in some logical order. Workpress is one such program. It’s free, powerful, and wildly popular. It also has a large contingent of plugin developers. Plugins are programs to expand your site’s function. Google ‘content management’ to shop around for commercial ones. A good CM software does all the hard work for you. Once installed, all that’s left for you to do is think, write and hit the ‘publish’ button.
4. Dress up your site
This is the part where most of the benefits associated with DIY website materialize. You have all the freedom to try out different information organization or various looks (themes). Changing themes is easy as switching a TV channel. If you use WordPress for content management, you’d have lots of choice for free themes, again because of the large contingent of WP developer.
5. Back up your site regularly
Your web hosting service may provide a basic cover for backup. Check it out first. More expensive hosting plans may come with more elaborate backup and restore service. If you are making changes all the time — you will for a DIY site, it is better to learn how to back up yourself. You’d always want to back up before making a major change. Again, like the above tasks, backing up is also a ‘follow the prompt’ process. Nothing too technical.