Since you’re reading this online, chances are you’re somewhat interested in starting your own website. But even if you have absolutely no interest in starting a business, you may still want to consider having a personal website.
I realize, that some OlderWiserWomen are just a bit afraid of all this “tech stuff” and therefore don’t even want to get started. If that’s you – don’t be afraid and don’t worry. Just take it one step at a time and I promise it will all come together (maybe not tomorrow, but it will).
For many however, the main question is not if, but one of how and what. How do you go about starting your own website and what should you use for your publishing platform?
One thing is for sure, there is no shortage of choices when it comes to starting your website.
You could pay someone to create a site for you, using any number of tools. Or you can learn some basic things about websites and just create one yourself. The platform I suggest you use to do that is called WordPress (WP). You may already be familiar with it or have heard about it.
WordPress is what I use to run my sites and it’s what you’re looking at right now.
WordPress is a “content management system” that’s relatively easy to use and easy to maintain. Getting your content onto a WordPress site is easy as well and you don’t have to hire a webmaster to get your blog/website updated on a regular basis (unless you want to).
Of course, just like with anything else worthwhile doing, there is a bit of a learning curve involved here. However, I think it is well worth your time.
Regardless if you want to update and maintain your own sites or hire it out, you still need to understand what it is someone else is supposed to do for you, at least at a basic level.
But for starters, there are 2 basic things you need before you can set up your own website:
- You need to pick a domain name and register it with a Domain Registrar. A domain name is what you will call your site. For example, this site is called OlderWiserWomen and hence the domain name registered is “OlderWiserWomen”.
- Next, you have to pick a place for your domain to live, which is called hosting. You will need to sign up for an account with a Hosting Provider to house your domain on one of their servers. Think of your domain as your house and think of the hosting as the address of your house. Just as your house has all your furnishings and all your “stuff”, your website will have all your content and all the “stuff” you want to publish on your site.
Your hosting provider “hosts” your domain and in essence provides an address for your domain so that it can be found on the World Wide Web.
Of course, there is a heck of a lot more going on than that. However, conceptually and as far as you and I are concerned, that’s what’s going on and that’s really all you need to understand at this point.
- Before I stop for today, here are a few pointers to consider when choosing a domain name:
- What is the purpose of the domain name: business or personal?
- Try to keep your domain name short and to the point
- Try to keep your domain name easy to remember
- Pick a name that is easy to spell and unlikely to be misspelled
- Avoid hyphens and numbers as part of the name
So get started with your website and think about a domain name (or 2 or 3).