Instead, using a CMS (content management system) is a good way to quickly create a professional-looking website without needing advanced coding knowledge. One popular example is WordPress, a free CMS. There are thousands of free and premium themes available for WordPress, or you could hire a designer and developer to customize or create a unique theme from scratch for you.
Thanks for the article Jermey. I was looking into making a site that serves dual functions. I wanted to create an entertainment news site that also functions as an online business. I purchased a subscription with godaddy for an online shop, but the templates are pretty bland and the customization is dreadful. Is there a site you could recommend for something like that?
For more than a decade, Jeffrey L. Wilson has penned gadget- and video game-related nerd-copy for a variety of publications, including 1UP, 2D-X, The Cask, Laptop, LifeStyler, Parenting, Sync, Wise Bread, and WWE. He now brings his knowledge and skillset to PCMag as Senior Analyst. When he isn't staring at a monitor (or two) and churning out web... See Full Bio

Hi Jeremy. Superb article, which I would also use to describe the other articles and reviews you have created for building a web site. I've understand that Shopify is your primary recommendation for an ECommerce site. I'd like to see the capability of various vendors availing of our site's services to post and sell their products. Can Shopify handle this as well? Thanks for helping a lot of people! Wishing you more success. JP


Top tip: Don’t just test your website yourself. You will be blind to some of its faults. Plus, you know how your site is supposed to work, so while you might find navigating it easy that’s not to say a stranger will. Get a fresh perspective. Ask family members and friends to test your site and give feedback. If they’re anything like our family and friends they won’t be afraid of offering criticism.
Use a content management system (CMS). This is the second option. WordPress is an example of a great option for building websites. It helps you create web pages and blog posts quickly and easily, set up the menus, allow and manage user comments, and has thousands of themes and plugins that you can choose from and use for free. Drupal and Joomla are other great CMS options. Once the CMS is hosted, you can manage your site from anywhere (in the world) that has an Internet connection.
Great article! Having trawled the internet and read quite a few websites on how to build a website, I can honestly say this is the most comprehensive and easy to understand - to a complete novice! Your step-by-step guide is thorough and very informative and has given me the confidence to go ahead and try to set up my own business website ... A big THANK YOU!
If you're ready to get going, this guide will introduce you to the services and software that can get you started building your own website, even if you have no experience. Keep in mind, none of these tools will give you an idea for a winning website—that's on you. They also won't make you a web designer, a job that's distinct from building a site. Still, these services and software will ease some of the headaches that come from a lack of extensive expertise in CSS, FTP, HTML, and PHP.

Choose a topic and purpose. If you already have a fairly good idea about what your website will focus on, skip this step. If not, here are some things to help you figure that out. First, understand that there are billions of people on the Internet, and a large percentage have websites. If you limit yourself to something that hasn't been done, you'll never get started.
Great article! Having trawled the internet and read quite a few websites on how to build a website, I can honestly say this is the most comprehensive and easy to understand - to a complete novice! Your step-by-step guide is thorough and very informative and has given me the confidence to go ahead and try to set up my own business website ... A big THANK YOU!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this guide to creating a website. Remember that nothing you do in website creation is permanent. Many websites evolve as time goes by. The key is to do the best you can in the beginning with your website and to always look for opportunities to improve it. There are always more things to learn, so feel free to visit our Resources page to improve your webmaster skills.
Test your website. When you finish your website, do usability testing. You can do this by asking a few friends or family members to try it out. Give them a specific task like "edit your profile" or "buy an alpaca sweater from the bargains page." Sit behind them and watch them navigate—do not help them. You will likely find areas where you need to improve navigation or clarify some instructions. Alternately use something like zurb.com to user test on specific demographics for different types of engagement. When testing a website in 2014 it's becoming important to keep the platform in mind and make sure the website is usable from smartphones and tablets as well as desktops.
The back end, also known as the WordPress dashboard, allows you to fully manage your site’s content, community, functionality, and design. It’s accessible only by users who have an account on your site. To access your WordPress dashboard, you need to type yourwebsite.com/wp-admin in the address bar of your browser and login using your WordPress username and password.

First things first, you’ll want to check and see if your business name is available. To find out, enter it into the domain search tool below, powered by Bluehost. If you are taken straight to the registration page, it means your name is available, if you see a message that the domain is not available for registration, then you will have to adjust your business name.
No matter who you are—photographer, restaurant owner, musician, hotelier and more, you can manage your website and business all in one place. With Wix, the possibilities are really endless! We offer 200 Apps and services to make it easier for you to grow your business or brand online. Easily send beautiful emails, start your own blog, get booked online, open your own online store and more.
When you install WordPress, a default theme is installed. Of course, you can stick with that one if you want, but that’s no fun. You want to install a theme that reflects who you are and what you do. If you’re an elegant person, your theme should be elegant. If you’re a punk rocker, choose a punk rock theme. You’ve got thousands of options on WordPress.
A website like YouTube is hard to create, especially if you haven't learned any programming languages. You need a very large amount of server space, depending on your user flow, and a generous knowledge of HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, and maybe SQL. But if you have the knowledge, time, money and a couple of buddies to help, learn some of the above languages and start on a website. Note that I have heard making user accounts is a harder thing to do, and most other forum answers direct you to third-party hosting services.
Français: faire héberger son site web gratuitement, Deutsch: Eine kostenlose Webseite erstellen, Español: crear una página web gratis, 中文: 创建免费网站, Русский: бесплатно создать сайт, Italiano: Creare un Sito Web Gratuito, Nederlands: Een gratis website maken, Português: Criar um Site Gratuito, Čeština: Jak vytvořit webovou stránku zdarma, العربية: إنشاء موقع إلكتروني مجاني, हिन्दी: एक फ्री वेबसाइट बनाएँ, Tiếng Việt: Tạo website miễn phí, ไทย: สร้างเว็บไซต์ฟรี

Do keyword research. This is necessary to determine whether people are searching for topics that are relevant to your site and can be useful for learning more about your potential clients. Making a conscious effort to incorporate in-demand keywords into the site can also help you get a better search engine ranking. There are tools available from Google (ex. google.com/trends/ and google.com/insights/search/#), Overture, and third-party software developers that can make the keyword research process easier.


Hi Jeremy, Thanks for your article. I have a question I am hoping you can help me with. The original site I started was a free blog through wordpress website. I then decided to go towards an actual site with a blog attached, I made the switch to Hostgator. During this switch Hostgator took our domain name and is requesting $700 to get it back even though we paid the yearly fee. They are now saying they will not release our domain name until May. Does this seem correct? Thanks Kate
Now that you have a template you'd like to start with, it's time to make it your own. The text, photos, slideshows, headings, and more that you add to your website are called your website's content. With Jimdo, you add different blocks of content using Elements. For example, there is a Text Element, a Photo Element, a Maps Element, a Video Element, etc.

Eric narrowly averted a career in food service when he began in tech publishing at Ziff-Davis over 25 years ago. He was on the founding staff of Windows Sources, FamilyPC, and Access Internet Magazine (all defunct, and it's not his fault). He's the author of two novels, BETA TEST ("an unusually lighthearted apocalyptic tale"--Publishers' Weekly) an... See Full Bio
Get inspired. Look at websites with great designs and think about why they're great designs. It usually comes down to the information, resources, links, and pages being laid out in a way that is easy to see and use. To get ideas about how to design your own site, look at sites which do similar things to get ideas about where you should put different types of content.
It's simple. With Wix, you get the freedom to create a free website that looks exactly the way you want. It doesn't matter how experienced you are. Prefer to have a website built for you? Try Wix ADI. Need advanced code capabilities? You've got that too. With Wix, you get the whole package, including a website builder, reliable web hosting, top security, and the best SEO for your website. And that's not all, our dedicated Support Team is always here for you.
After all the work you put into it, I feel not a little stupid, in needing to ask you anything else. The truth is I am a slightly long in the tooth septuagenarian with about as much nous as someone dropping in on a day trip from the fourteenth century. I want to promote (tell as many people as possible) about my new book, and hopefully sell one or two.
PHP is its own programming language that generates HTML pages. The benefit of "pre-processing" HTML pages is that different pages of your website can be customized based on user input (like forms and comments). This is a really cool benefit, but it comes with a learning curve. Most hosting companies already have PHP built in. That means you can upload a PHP page to your website and it will just work. You can find online tutorials if you want to learn PHP, but if you'd rather not learn, you can stick regular HTML into a .php file and it will still work exactly as you'd expect.

Also, Siteground offers a special WordPress hosting plan for bloggers with a lot of useful features, like WordPress auto-updater, free SSL, free daily backups, and more. Plus, they also have a 3-level WordPress SuperCacher option (available with GrowBig and GoGeek plans) for giving your website a speed boost. Which is exactly why we chose Siteground for this demonstration.
While the the best of them offer surprising amounts of flexibility, they also impose stringent enough restrictions to page design that you shouldn't be able to create a really bad looking site using one of these services. Typically you can get a Mysite.servicename.com style-url with no commerce abilities for free from one of these services; you have to pay extra for a better URL and the ability to sell. One issue to consider is that if you eventually outgrow one of these services, it can be hard to export your site to a full scale advanced web hosting like Dreamhost or Hostgator. If you know that's where you are eventually going, it may be better to skip the sitebuilder step.
Use 99Designs.com: 99Designs.com runs contests where multiple designers compete for your logo and other design business. This is a great option because you get to see many different professional and creative designs (It’s how we found our logo at Fit Small Business!), yet only pay for the one you wind up choosing. The price on 99designs ranges from $299 to $799 depending on how many designers you want competing and the quality of those designers.
I personally don’t think site builders will ever replace web designers/developers completely. Most site builders are targeted at small businesses and could never meet the demands required for larger businesses with all their complex requirements. I think Shopify plus is the only product trying to take on the larger CMS platforms right now (e.g. Magenta, Demandware) in the eCommerce space

Français: faire héberger son site web gratuitement, Deutsch: Eine kostenlose Webseite erstellen, Español: crear una página web gratis, 中文: 创建免费网站, Русский: бесплатно создать сайт, Italiano: Creare un Sito Web Gratuito, Nederlands: Een gratis website maken, Português: Criar um Site Gratuito, Čeština: Jak vytvořit webovou stránku zdarma, العربية: إنشاء موقع إلكتروني مجاني, हिन्दी: एक फ्री वेबसाइट बनाएँ, Tiếng Việt: Tạo website miễn phí, ไทย: สร้างเว็บไซต์ฟรี

Be careful not to obsess too much about all the "latest advice" on marketing websites. While some of the advice is useful and sound, a lot of it is not. Marketing is not a science––it's an ongoing, ever-changing experiment. You are the best judge for how your own promotional strategies are working (or not). Listening to users and learning from their experience is the most valid approach of all.
Do it Yourself: There are a number of logo design software out there that will allow you to create your own logo. We recommend Tailor Brands if you want an easy way to create an appealing logo. Once you create your logo, you can subscribe and gain access to branding tools, including seasonal logos, branded social media posts, branding landing pages, and more. You can try it out for free, and if you find a design you like, you can download it for as little as $2.99. Click here to start designing your logo.
Start with a blank slate or choose from over 500 designer-made templates. With the world’s most innovative drag and drop website builder, you can customize anything you want. Create beautiful websites with video backgrounds, parallax, animation, and more—all without worrying about code. With the Wix Editor, you can design the most stunning websites, all on your own.
AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) is a technique of using a browser sided language and a server sided language to make the page get new information from the server without refreshing the page, often greatly reducing user wait time and vastly improving the user's experience but increasing bandwidth usage. For a website that will see a lot of traffic, or an eCommerce site, this is an excellent solution.
Hello Amanda, I'd suggest you take a look at Squarespace. With Squarespace, you can create blogs, sell services, upload images / videos, sell digital products (ebooks). They also allow you to export most of your content into WordPress (a very powerful and popular website builder) later if you want that option. The benefit of using Squarespace now is that you can build a website without knowing how to edit codes. You can literally have your site up in quite a short period of time. With WordPress, it's much more advanced and technical so it's not as user-friendly compared to Squarespace. You can see our comparison between them here. So Squarespace is much easier to get setup and will give you what you need. Once you're established and want a much more advanced platform down the road, WordPress is worth considering. Jeremy
I want to create a website where can I post the restaurant and retirement home business of my hubby. I would like to edit the website at least monthly depending on our promotional activities. No payment option needed yet but a simple information for local customers and travelers as well. We want our website displays when people searched from their phone while on their travel since our place is in between 2 big cities. I trust you, and since I described my main objective which one do you highly recommend?
If you're on a Mac however, there's another option: RapidWeaver. This WYSIWYG webpage editor has full code access and FTP support for uploading pages. There are plenty of built-in templates to get started, all for the one-time price of $99.99. On Windows there are numerous choices. Xara Web Designer 365, for example, starts at $49.99 and promises you don't need to know HTML or Javascript to create sites based on the company's templates.
Hello Jeremy and Connie, I really have to first say, Thank You for all of your time and energy that you put into providing us, with informative and helpful education! I am starting an online business in women's clothing, So I am extremely into design. Shopify seems to be a strong interest for me but, I do not know too much about codes. So does Shopify have alot of codes? and do you think this would be too much of a challenge for a beginner of codes?
One type of content is customer service information. What questions do people ask most often? If you don't have a list of frequently asked questions and answers, sit down alone or with your staff to write one. The more your customers can get answers from your site, the less time someone has to spend answering those same questions on the phone or in writing. Posting this information on your website helps customers to build trust in your business as they get to know about you through your content.
Very nice of you to give us this understandable and detailed description of how to make a website. To be honest I haven´t started yet but I do have one question before that: is there a time frame of how long the website (letś say build through wordpress) will exist? i have built some blogs previously which experied at one point, the domain simply did not exist anymore. I am looking to build a website which will develop throughout time, ideally lifetime. thanks!
Many people have asked me about using a website builder such as Squarespace, Wix or Weebly. The problem is that these services come at a price – you’ll generally have to pay between $10 and $40 a month for a single site. You’ll also be limited to basic customization of the template designs they offer, which means that there’s a good chance your site will look just like everyone else’s site.

Ah, now it makes sense. Totally understand how that doesn't fit now. I also like how you phrased "mental bandwidth". That definitely seems to be the case with most businesses that I work with, especially startups. The other thing you mentioned that I really like is "typical" businesses. I think that all too often when people think businesses corporate America comes to mind. Most businesses are normal people running shops and trying to stay afloat in a digital sea. So, I wrote something on a similar topic, and I don't want to spam you with a link or anything like that. I was actually looking for feedback on it. If you're interested at all, shoot me an email. GREAT job on this site. It's obvious that you all dropped a lot of time and effort into your site and articles. Bravo!

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