Creating a personal website, either to share pictures, videos, stories or anything else you want the world to see is a lot easier than you may think. You do not need to know HTML or have special design skills. In most cases, you don’t even have to spend any money! All you need is some spare time and a little patience.
Step 1: Choose a Website Builder and Host
Before you begin building your site, you will have to decide on what tool you will use and where you will host is. For personal sites, free hosting services are usually enough. Good examples of free hosts are WordPress.com and Wix. They will not only host your site for free, but also provide you with all the tools you need to create a great site quickly and easily.
Out of these two, Wix is the easiest to use and WordPress.com is the most powerful. Which one you choose will depend on how much time you want to spend on your site. If you need to get up and running quickly and only want to create a simple site, Wix is the best option. If you would like to spend some more time learning how to use a powerful site builder like WordPress and want to build a large site, or one that you want to update frequently (like a blog), WordPress.com is better.
Alternatively, you can also choose a paid host. This has several advantages. First, unlike a free host, a paid one will not put ads on your pages. Also, you have will have full control over your site and a lot more freedom to do whatever you want. Free hosts usually have a lot of restrictions. Paying for hosting does not have to be expensive. You can find packages that only cost about $40-$50 a year and come with everything you need to build a great personal site.
The downside to using a paid host is that it is usually a bit more complicated to get started. You will have to use an FTP client like FileZilla to upload files to the host’s server and learn how to use a site building platform like WordPress or an HTML editor.
Step 2: Get a domain name (optional)
While commercial websites need a domain name, for personal ones they are optional. Still, having your own name like www.yourname.com is always better than using a subdomain such as yourname.freehost.com. It makes your site’s address a lot easier to remember and just looks nicer.
Step 3: Write your content
Before you begin creating your site, it is a good idea to have a few articles ready. Just use a word processing program like Microsoft Word or Open Office and write whatever you want to share with the world. Just write in a natural way and check for grammar and spelling errors. Of course, if you want to create a site to share pictures or videos, then you won’t really have to write much.
Step 4: Create your pages
After writing a few articles, you are ready to begin building your site. If you chose an online site builder, like Wix or WordPress.com, you will have to log in to your account and use the site building tools provided by them. Using Wix’s site builder is very straightforward and intuitive, so it won’t take you long to get started. WordPress.com has a slightly steeper learning curve, so you will have to read the tutorials before you can get started.
If you chose to host your site at a paid web host, you will have to create your site using an HTML editor or with a tool like WordPress. Both of these options will take you a few hours to learn, however once you know the basics, creating a website is very easy.
Step 5: Publish your site
If you used an offline HTML editor to build your site, like Froala, you will have to upload your web pages to your host’s server. This is done using FTP (File Transfer Protocol), which is basically a way to transfer files between computers. Many HTML editors come with FTP features, so you won’t need a separate program. If the one you’re using doesn’t have an FTP feature, you will have to use an FTP client like FileZilla.
Step 6: Promote your site
Ok, you now have a brand new site, with lots of great content. The only problem is nobody knows it exists! That’s why you should start spreading the word yourself. Here are some of the most effective ways to promote your personal site:
- Share your site on Facebook and Twitter. This is absolutely the best way to get started. If you have a lot of friends or followers, you will instantly get lots of visitors to your site.
- Share your images on Pinterest.
- Contact sites that are related to yours and ask the owner to exchange links. This will not only help you get visitors from the other sites, it will also help improve your ranking in Google and other search engines.
- Post in forums or on Reddit and include a link to your site in your signature. Only post in forums that are related to your site’s topic and don’t spam.
As you can see, building a personal website is not that complicated. By signing up with one of the free online site building services you can have your own site up and running in as little as a few hours or even less.