It’s easy to work when you are inspired.
When the divine spark hits you, it doesn’t take a lot of energy to follow it. It doesn’t take energy at all.
You can just sit back and watch how all the dots of your project are connecting, and how your past daydreams link to new ones. Creativity is one hell of a drug.
If you are planning to start a web page, thinking about all the web-design options, plenty of users, and unbelievable revenue can make your mouth water. Like a kid in a candy store.
No doubt, the idea stage of anything can sometimes seem, well, ideal.
And practice doesn’t have to be any less fun or engaging, though we often forget about a few “small” things.
When I was making my first website, I had the “small” problem of forgetting that:
1. I need website hosting
2. Website hosting costs money.
Sure enough, without web hosting, there is no web site. You can’t build a house without a foundation. But researching different types of foundation just isn’t as pleasing as choosing the wallpaper.
Web hosting – the road crew of the Internet
Any spectacle has a road crew behind it. The guys that carry all the equipment set up the stage and rig up the lights.
A good road crew has its execution down to a tee, and their show is running smoothly.
This is what a web host does for you. A web host is a business that provides the technologies and services needed for your website to be shown to the people that are searching for it.
Today we are no strangers to the internet technology, and we all count on our websites to be where we can find them. But where are they really? Does the website wait for us to come back when we leave it?
How hosting works
When you enter your search words into your browser, your computer sends a request to your website server, depending on what you are looking for.
When you click on a link for a homepage of whatever website, the browser requests the website server for that page.
The website server receives the request and then gathers everything that is needed for running the homepage.
Then it sends it to your browser, and your browser shows the homepage to you.
A server is a storage space for all the files of the site. It’s basically a computer that runs 0-24 that keeps all your files and has the software to deliver it to web browsers.
This is why you buy a server. They are computers optimized for storing website files and running websites.
So, essentially web hosting services are businesses that have acquired and set up the computers that make up the server or servers.
Types of web hosting
There are three basic types of web hosting services – shared hosting, dedicated hosting, and VPS hosting.
Shared hosting means you share a server with other customers. Each one of you “buys” a part of the computer, or rather some of its power and storage capacity.
This is the cheapest type of web hosting, and you can see why. The business is giving the least amount of its resources, and it is managing them most economically.
It is also easy to see what are the setbacks of this type of web hosting. As with sharing in general, you only get a share of the whole cake, and you have to wait for your turn.
Another setback is the fact that you can’t tweak the hosting environment because you are not the only one, and you are at a certain amount of security risk. Since multiple customers are using the same server, you can’t be sure of what the others are doing and if they are taking all the precautions regarding cyber-attacks and whatnot.
Depending on how many clients are using the server and for what kind of purpose, you will get a different result from your website host.
But this is a great option for those of you who are starting out, or who don’t have a need for a big or complicated website to run your project.
Now, if your project or business is growing, you will need your web host to be there for you. This is the right time to seek dedicated hosting.
Dedicated hosting means that the hosting service is providing you with the service to use all by yourself. That way, you can make any changes to the hosting options that you want. This means that you can tweak the settings for a certain kind of custom software, or an enterprise management system.
The “dedicated” in the name means that you have all the resources of the server dedicated to you. This is the reason why dedicated hosting is expensive. There is no sharing of the bill.
This also means that you are responsible for all the tweaks you make to the hosting settings.
There is a middle ground between the two, which is a Virtual Private Server. It’s a dedicated server, but it’s not a real computer machine-like in shared hosting, it’s a virtual one.
You have the freedom of the dedicated server with more resources than the shared hosting type.
So this might be a good option too if you aren’t running a big business website.
Once you have decided what type of hosting you want to use and have set it up, you don’t need to hide your work in progress.
You can have a beautiful and functional website active while you are preparing the real deal. This is where a plugin called Coming Soon WP that is made exactly for this purpose.
It allows you to quickly and with little fuss design a cover page for your website that your users can interact with while you are building your website.
You have more than 120 themes to choose from for your front page, and it also allows your visitors to subscribe to your e-mail list.
That way you aren’t losing a beat.
You can even allow those who subscribe to have a sneak peek at what you are doing, that way you can send out entrées while you are cooking the main course.
Designing your website
And NOW, we’re back to where we started. By that, I mean the fun part – only it’s not in a daydream, it’s on your screen.
Now you can dive into the bottomless ocean that is website design.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the options, especially if it’s your first time creating a website, so resorting to the pros and hiring a UX consulting company might be the right move for you. If you decide to do it for yourself, there are a few life-vests you can use, so you don’t drown.
WordPress has a directory full of themes, both free and premium that you can use. This is certainly a must if you are just starting out.
And even if you are a developer who is aiming to build a new theme, we suggest you use a WordPress Starter Theme.
A starter theme is the skeleton of a theme that you can build on. That way, you don’t have to get hung up on the complexities of coding a theme from scratch.
2. See how others did it
You don’t have to search only for inspirations; sometimes, searching other websites will help you find some of the simple solutions for your design.
Use other sites for reference and for guidance when you are starting out. It will help you get out of your head for a while and allow you to see how things work and what the possibilities are.
3. Put some content on just to get the picture
It is a good idea to upload some content onto your site just so you have some meat on the bones. The only way you will find the right place for something if you have something to move around.
Start arranging your pictures, texts, and videos, and see what kind of setup works for you. There are a lot of options for making different pages and menus.
A big part of the design is just a good organization. Just a few rearrangements can help everything sit into its place. No complication needed.
4. Plugins and widgets
It’s a good idea to first upload your content before you start downloading plugins and widgets.
However, some plugins you might need from the start, like the Coming Soon WP plugin we mentioned earlier.
Currently, there are more than 49,000 plugins that are available for free on WordPress.
This is more than enough.
However, you do have to keep an eye on the reviews and the quality of plugins. Even though they are a big help, and most of them are great tools, some of them are just an obstacle.
Enjoy the process!
It might be a lot to take in when you are just starting out, but making websites is something you learn with time and experience.
Even though making a website today is a simple task compared to what it was 15 years ago, it’s not exactly a skill you learn overnight.
Good advice here would be to keep reading our blog!