What Are the Steps to Build a Website?

By Ann Johnson

  • Overview

    Websites are used by businesses, schools, organizations and for personal purposes. They may be used as a calling card or an online gathering place for family and friends. Websites can be used as stand alone businesses or as a venue to showcase a business. When the time comes to build a website, the following steps will help achieve that goal.
    Community website
    • Step 1

      Identify the type of website you will be building. For example, building a website for a real estate company, which needs access to the multiple listing service or virtual tours, is different than designing a retail website which needs a shopping cart. Make a list of the features you would like to include on your website.
    • Step 2

      Purchase a unique domain name for your website. Domain names can be purchased for under $10, and will need to be renewed each year. If you are having a webmaster build your website, purchase your own domain name, and register it in your name or company name. If the webmaster purchases your domain name for you, and you later switch webmasters, you may discover you do not own your domain name. Links to websites that sell domain names are included in the Resources section.

    • Step 3

      Shop for the website builder that best suit your needs. If you are a novice and have no experience building websites, try one of the simple online template sites which allow you to create a website using their wizard. Links are included in the Resources section. For a more sophisticated website, take classes to learn a website creation software program that is compliant to today's standards, such as Adobe Dreamweaver or Microsoft Expression Web. Or, look for a company that specializes in fulfilling the specific web needs you are looking for. For example, there are webmasters that specialize in real estate websites and others that specialize in restaurant websites.
    • Step 4

      Educate yourself on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques. These are methods used to give your website a better rating in the search engines. Your website may look beautiful, but if it is lost amongst the millions of other websites, it will be useless. These techniques can be used when constructing your website and writing your content. They include key word density, properly naming files and designing pages so they download quickly.
    • Step 5

      Communicate your needs to the webmaster you hire. If hiring a webmaster to do the work, be certain he is qualified to deliver the features you request, such as flash animation, shopping cart features or forms. Have a discussion on SEO with the webmaster, to verify that he will be implementing appropriate SEO techniques when constructing the website.
    • Step 6

      Sign up for a hosting company. After your website is constructed you will need to upload it to a hosting site. The hosting company will save your pages on its server, and when someone searches for your domain name, the hostng company will direct that search to your website. Typically companies that sell domain names will also offer hosting packages. To upload to the server, you will be given a user name and password.
    • Step 7

      Upload your completed website. After your website has been completed you will upload it to the server of your hosting company. Some programs, such as Expression Web, makes this process simple by including a "Publish Site" command. After logging into your web creation software and opening the website you created, you will use the "Publish Site" command. A window will appear asking for your username and password. After you insert that information the program will upload your website to the hosting server.
    • Skill: Moderate

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