Back in the day.. about 15 years ago, building a website meant mastering several phases of ‘geekdom’. First you had to become familiar with formatting the layout in a web-editing program such as ‘Sausage’ or years later, FrontPage. Prior to that people like me were writing web-pages in raw HTML (hyper-text markup language) via a standard Notepad document. After creating it, you then had to master the FTP (File-Transfer-Protocol) process to store your files online to a server. Then you had to re-tweak it repeatedly to get the effect on a browser you had in mind when building it in the editor.
But times have changed and the whole web-authoring process has gone the way of ‘cloud’ technology. No longer do you even need the software, you simply build it online.. a few mouse-clicks and BAMM.. you have a custom website. It’s so easy that when people call me in my PC business for a website I encourage them to learn the process themselves. Often they are too busy or impatient to get past the learning curve and only then will I charge them for my time and services. Another alternative is I will tutor them for a few hours so they then know how to build it themselves. It’s gotten that easy. 🙂
So if you’ve been thinking about having a website, today we’ll go over one of the easiest ways to go about it. There are other sites (many of them) but we’ll look today at GoDaddy.com .
The first step is simply choosing your ‘URL’ (Uniform Resource Locator).. a geek-speak way of saying, “how people find your online files”. Your website is simply a compilation of Text, Images, Sounds and some Programming packaged up for presentation when someone types in your URL (your website name). So first, pick something that isn’t already claimed. Just like a local phone number, only one person at a time can have it. So let’s say you want to build, MonkeyPizza.com .
You go to GoDaddy.com and first check to see if it’s available to purchase. If it is, for about $10.50 you can buy the right to solely use MonkeyPizza.com (or whatever you choose). With that taken care of, you set up your GoDaddy account in the process. They will offer you other add-ons, but if this is your first web-site, ignore those and stick with just the basic site for now. You can always add items later.
Now, using their Website Tonight feature.. you begin creating your website. They have hundreds of pre-formatted ‘templates’ so most of the work is already done. You find a pizza-oriented theme, choose it as your Template and simply start changing the Text and Images the same way you would when creating a Word document. With their on-line software (nothing to download or extra cost) you can add a photo-album, online calendar, background music, contact form and much more. With a bit more creativity you can download and upload your own custom graphics to replace their stock photos. Once you have it the way you want it, click the ‘Publish’ button in the upper-right corner and your website is now ‘online’ and available for the entire planet to see.
With the free Website Tonight account you get a 5-Page website with a GoDaddy banner along the top. For under $11 a year to have a website, this is a real steal. If you want to get rid of the banner by getting a hosting plan, that will cost about $85 for the year. If you need more pages, you can buy those too. If you plan on selling things from your site, GoDaddy’s Website Tonight already has a built-in feature to incorporate your PayPal account for online payment. Couldn’t get easier than that. I suggest using PayPal since it’s much cheaper and definitely easier than going with a POS (Point-of-Service) credit card processor.
And that is it! Thanks to better technology and online programming, building your own website requires much less geek-knowledge than years before. If you have questions about Website Tonight you can always call their Tech Support line as well.
Have fun with it and know that there are many, many other such online web-authoring sites out there. Another one that I would highly recommend is Homestead.com . Very easy, very affordable.
Author: Henry The PC Guy
Since 1983, Henry The PC Guy has been working with the most basic of computers and continued to today’s Win10 operating system. From 2007 until 2012 was the owner/operator of ‘Up&Running PC Repair’ in Southern California until moving to a life in the Philippines in 2012. He has been building websites since 1993 and is well versed in various aspects of blogging, vlogging and podcasting.