Where can I learn how to build websites

How to Build Your Own Website in 2021: The Ultimate Beginner's Guide

Would you like to create your own website or a simple homepage? And you don't know where to start

Then you are right here!

In this article you will learn all you need to knowto set up a website.

Whether for you privately, for your company, your organization or your club. And regardless of your budget:

I'll show you both free and paid methods of building a website or homepage. And the paid methods won't tear a deep hole in your budget either (and cost you far less per month than a gym membership).

Promised.

And don't worry:

I'll take you by the hand and guide you through the entire process in 5 easy steps. From the selection of the right provider to the registration of a domain to the design!

This is the guide I would have liked to have had 8 years ago when I started my online business (and was completely haphazard about how it all works with a website).

Ready?

Let's start with what you actually want for a website:

Step # 1: Pick the type of website you want

It is important that you first have a clear understanding of what type of website you are trying to create.

Because that determines the selection of the right website system in step # 2.

A general distinction is made between 4 different website types:

The simple homepage

A simple homepage (also called a one-page website) consists of only one single page (the homepage or homepage) on which all information is bundled. In addition, there may be pages with mandatory legal information, such as B. Data protection declaration and imprint.

Due to its simple structure, it is particularly suitable for private individuals who only want to present themselves in short form (e.g. as a digital business card).

Can't you imagine anything by that?

No problem!

Numerous examples of one-page sites can be found at e.g. B. at One Page Love.

The simple website

A simple website includes not only the home page, but also a few other sub-pages. These are used to introduce your company, yourself as a person or your organization on the Internet, such as B .:

  • Customer testimonials and references
  • Picture gallery
  • offered services
  • contact form
  • Directions
  • Company history, philosophy or values
  • Job offers

A simple website is particularly suitable for you if you want to win customers online but offer products or services offline. So z. B. for local companies, associations or non-profit organizations:

The complex website

A complex website differs from a simple website in three ways:

It is usually larger, more sophisticated, and offers visitors more technically advanced features that often require a database, such as: B .:

  • A comment system
  • Forum
  • A classifieds or job portal
  • A member or customer area
  • An online shop with a payment function
  • Newsletter functions (possibly with interfaces to newsletter tools)
  • Integrations and interfaces to other services or apps
  • Advanced SEO functions
  • Multilingualism

Such a website is particularly suitable for you if you want to win customers online or if you want to earn money with your website yourself. So if you z. B. Agency owner, freelancer, coach or consultant are:

The blog

In the past, blogs (also known as weblogs) were only used as online diaries. Many blogs have become more complex websites (such as this one).

Blogs can be powerful marketing tools that can help you attract attention to your products or services.

Keyword: content marketing!

The specialty of a blog is that posts are mostly displayed in chronological order on the homepage. Here is an example from our family blog Faminino:

A blog doesn't just have to stand on its own, it can also be part of a larger website. In my case, I have outsourced the blog to a subpage.

You can read about how to set up your own blog in my tutorial: Creating Your Own Blog in 2021: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

Small website multiplication table

Terms like website, homepage and website mean the same thing? Not even close!

Here's a little excursion into the big wide world of website terminology:

  • Website: Totality of all content on a domain
  • Website: Subpage of a website
  • Homepage: Homepage of a website
  • Blog: Website with (mostly) chronological display of articles, often also part of a website
  • Url: Complete internet address that appears in the browser (e.g. https://jimdo.com)
  • Domain: https: //jimdo.com/ bottom / (purple part of the url)
  • Subdomain: https: //yourhomepage.jimdo.com/ bottom / (blue part of the url)

Step # 2: decide how you want to create them

Mainly these 3 methods are used to create websites these days:

  1. With a website builder (such as Wix)
  2. With WordPress (or another content management system)
  3. Programming a website yourself

Since the 3rd method is not suitable for beginners, it is not part of this article.

Programming a website yourself requires in-depth knowledge of HTML and CSS, possibly even in complex programming languages ​​such as JavaScript or PHP.

Methods 1 and 2 are also suitable for beginners, but they differ in a few key points:

2.1 Homepage builder

Setting up your own website is by far the easiest and fastest way to use a website builder.

You have everything there from a single source, and thanks to the modular principle you need little training time and no programming knowledge whatsoever.

The website itself is created directly in the browser. You can easily add or remove elements to the individual pages using drag & drop (i.e. dragging with the mouse):

There are various templates (including Templates or Themes called), which simplifies the design process enormously:

In addition, many construction kit providers such as Wix offer an assistant that introduces you to the creation of a website:

It's that easy!

I recommend that you take Wix as a construction kit provider.

And yes, I know the name sounds a bit strange in German ...

But Wix offers significantly more design options and is easier to use than many other modular systems. In addition, you can add useful functions to your own website with many apps.

The best thing about it:

The basic version of Wix is ​​free. That means you can try Wix in peace and put your website online without having to take out an annual subscription (the free version is permanently free).

Sounds good, doesn't it?

Get started with Wix for free now

Steps Required to Launch a Builder Website:

  1. Sign in to Wix
  2. Book a premium plan (optional)
  3. Activate a domain (optional, not available in the free version)
  4. Plan your website (see step # 4)
  5. Create pages (see step # 4)
  6. Design your website (see step # 5)

advantages

  • free version with a wide range of functions
  • All from a single source
  • Ready-made templates as a design template
  • Change the individual website elements using drag & drag
  • easy to handle
  • short training period
  • does not require any programming knowledge
  • comprehensive support for your website (in the premium version)

disadvantage

  • unsightly URL in the free version (https://yourwebsite.wixsite.com/yourwebsite)
  • Not suitable for more complex websites
  • Dependency on a provider
  • lack of portability (you can't just export your website and then import it into another system, such as WordPress)

2.2 Create a WordPress website

WordPress (.org) is free, open source software that you can use to create a blog or website.

Meanwhile, 33% of all websites worldwide are operated with WordPress, which makes it by far the most widely used platform.

Note: The service WordPress.com is also based on WordPress, with the difference that you cannot intervene in the source code and it offers fewer functions, which is why I advise against it.

The big advantage of this:

With a WordPress website you are much more flexible than with a website builder. First, you have a huge selection of different themes (i.e. design templates) available:

There are currently over 7,200 free themes in the WordPress theme directory alone. There are also thousands of premium themes for a fee.

Second, WordPress offers the option of adding various functions to your website using plugins. There are now over 58,000 of these in the WordPress plugin directory:

Third, you have complete access to the code of your WordPress installation including all plugins and themes and your database. That means, provided you have the appropriate programming knowledge, you have (almost) unlimited design options for your website.

The only drawback:

Learning WordPress and administering it yourself requires time and the willingness to deal with technical issues. If that is not a problem for you, the first step is to find a suitable WordPress hoster for you:

Find a WordPress host now

Steps Required to Launch a WordPress Website:

  1. Find the right WordPress hosting
  2. Choose a domain (see step # 3)
  3. Install WordPress
  4. Plan your website (see step # 4)
  5. Find a good WordPress theme
  6. Install WordPress plugins
  7. Create pages
  8. Design your website (see step # 5)

advantages

  • High flexibility and range of functions
  • Full control over your own data
  • Many available themes (design templates) and plugins (extensions)
  • Very large community
  • WordPress problems can be googled very well, as there are numerous tutorials on various topics

disadvantage

  • possible additional costs for premium plugins or themes
  • No modular system by default, additional plugins are required for this
  • more training time than with website builders
  • Greater effort for administration (plugins, themes and WordPress itself, for example, always have to be kept up to date)

2.3 WordPress or website builder?

I tell you very honestly:

I am an absolute WordPress fan (Blogmojo is also based on it) and have not believed in website builders for a long time.

In the past two years, however, my stance on this has changed.

Firstly, because website builders have gotten better and better over the years (Wix websites used to be based on Flash, which was really scary). And secondly, because I keep getting feedback from readers and customers that WordPress is too complicated for beginners.

The fact is:

With a website builder you can build a website faster and easier than with WordPress.

I would you though always We advise against using Wix and Co. for more complex web projects or if you plan to expand your website at some point.

You are also better advised with WordPress if you want to earn money with your website, e.g. B. if you want to build a niche site, a commercial blog or an online magazine.

However, setting up a simple homepage or website with WordPress would be like shooting at sparrows with cannons:

Simple
Homepage
Simple
Website
Complexes
Website
Blog
Homepage builderYesYesNoYes, if purely private
WordPressNoMaybe (if expansion is planned)YesYes, if commercial

Step # 3: Find a suitable domain

The domain is the address at which your website can be reached on the Internet.

The part of the URL that represents the domain is in the following example highlighted in bold:

https: //yourhomepage.de

Incidentally, with a free website kit tariff, you only have one subdomain available that runs under the provider's domain. At Jimdo this sees z. B. looks like this:

https: //yourhomepage.jimdo.com

And with Wix a little worse, because your chosen website name is repeated at the end:

https: //yourhomepage.wixsite.com/yourhomepage

And don't get me wrong:

This is perfectly fine for a private homepage.

However, if you want to use your website professionally (e.g. as a company website), you should go with website builders always take a paid tariff with a domain that can be activated.

Everything else seems unprofessional.

3.1 What should be considered when choosing a domain?

You can go wrong when choosing the right domain.

So that you choose a domain that you will still be happy with years later, here is a short checklist of important things to look out for:

  1. The shorter the name the better (preferably under 16 characters)
  2. It is best to avoid umlauts (ä, ü, ö) or eszett (ß), because the rendering in the domain name is unsightly (e.g. unsoen.de or heiss.de)
  3. The spelling of the name should be clear to most people
  4. Your domain name should tell what your site is about.
  5. You shouldn't infringe any trademark rights with your domain name.

Indeed:

Don't worry about the domain selection either!

You can use your domain at any time change afterwards (which can, however, involve a bit of effort and entail additional costs of 5-15 € for a new order).

3.2 Which domain ending? (.com, .de, .net etc.)

If you are addressing German visitors, I would always recommend one .de-Domain to take.

.deDomains enjoy the highest level of trust in Germany.

In second place .comDomains. You should definitely opt for such a domain if you do not want to exclusively address German visitors, but want to set up a multilingual website.

If .com and .de are not available, you could also get one .net- or, if you're a non-profit organization, a .org-Domain decide. But that should always be the second choice.

You should rather keep your hands off the new top-level domains (New gTLDs) introduced in 2014, such as B. .web, .blog, .Berlin, .discount, .GmbH, .insurance and so on. Although these have been on the market for 5 years, they are not yet very widespread.

3.3 Your own name as a domain?

In some cases it can make sense to choose your own name as the domain.

Especially if you yourself are in the foreground as an expert or person, e.g. B. as a coach, consultant, freelancer, artist, model or author.

Choosing your own name as a domain can help you build a personality brand. In addition, this has the advantage that you do not restrict yourself thematically.

Even if you want to create a private homepage, using your own name makes sense, of course.

However, you should not choose your own name as a domain name if ...

  • You don't want your website to be found under your name
  • You operate as a team, e.g. B. the site should be for a company, organization or association (should be clear, right?)
  • You plan to sell your domain (and possibly the associated website) sometime later

3.4 Is your domain still available?

You can check very well at Markenchk.de whether domains are still free for a name or whether you are possibly infringing trademark rights: