What Do You Need in Order to Set Up Your Own Website?

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Q. Why would I need my own website when there are platforms like Facebook, Amazon and eBay where I can run a business?

A. Because with those platforms you’re basically renting space from them, and you’re subject to their terms and conditions. Your own website is your own bit of online real estate and you’re free to publish what you like.

If you’re serious about running an online business, you need to have your own website.

As I said, when you use any of those platforms, you’re basically renting space from them – and you’re subject to their terms and conditions.

If you infringe any of those terms they can (and will) take your page down overnight, killing your business.

You can still use Facebook, Amazon and the rest, of course – but use them to drive visitors to your own website, where you are in total control.

So how do you set up a website? What do you need?

What you need in order to have your own website

1. A domain

Your website domain is your online address – e.g. wealthydragon.com.

It comes in two parts:

  1. The name (e.g. wealthydragon)
  2. The Top Level Domain (e.g. .com, .co.uk, .com.au, etc)

Here’s an article that gives some more detail on domains.

You register a domain, but it needs to be re-registered at least annually. You can register it for longer periods – e.g. for 2, 5 or even 10 years. But the registration does need to be renewed periodically.

Where can I register a domain?

You register domains at a domain registrar, and there are literally thousands of those online.

Most often, though, domains can be registered with the provider of the second thing you need for a website: a website host.

2. A website host

Your website needs to sit on a computer somewhere so that it can be displayed on a visitor’s browser when they type in your domain.

This computer is called a server, because it serves your website to the browser that’s requesting it.

And, as you’ve probably guessed, there are literally thousands of website hosting companies.

So, in addition to getting yourself a domain, you need to find yourself a website hosting service – and the good news is that you will usually get both from the same company.

Something to keep in mind: although you will likely get both your domain and your web hosting from the same company, they are different services and you may well be billed separately for them.

3. A website

Finally, you will obviously need a website. A website is basically a collection of files that sit on the server your website hosting service provides.

But, of course, it’s the content of these files that makes your website unique.

There are two ways you can get a website:

  1. Have a website designer build one for you
  2. Use one of the hosted, all-in-one services

A hand-built website from a designer

This approach is the best option for a couple of reasons, but it’s also the most expensive.

Here’s why it’s the best approach:

  1. It is entirely unique to you and you can design it (or have your designer design it) exactly as you want it
  2. You’re not subject to any terms or conditions, so you can publish whatever you like on it – it is your wholly owned bit of online real estate

You will be responsible for the maintenance of your website. There will be periodic software updates and security patches that need to be implemented but, in most cases, this is simply the click of a button.

And your website designer may very well offer a technical support and maintenance service, which means they will take care of all that.

My company is a website design company, so if you want to explore this option by all means get in touch.

You can also see some more information here.

Use one of the all-in-one hosted services

This option is cheaper up front, but you pay a monthly fee. It is a one-stop-shop, which may suit you if this is your first time to set up a website.

You sign up with one of the hosted website providers and they provide everything: the domain name, the hosting and the website.

They also take care of all the technical support and software updates.

All you have to do is add your content.

However, as with Facebook and the rest, you are only renting space in this case, and you are subject to the provider’s terms and conditions.

That means that you can only publish content that they approve of (or that does not infringe their terms) and, if you do infringe their terms, they can (and will) take your website down overnight.

You will also find that their monthly charges start mounting up pretty quickly. You will pay extra for your own domain, for different services (e.g. an online shop), for the amount of disk space you use, and so on.

You’re also limited in the design of your website by the range of templates that they offer.

That’s why the hand-built website from an agency is the better approach.

Recommended resources

As I said, there are thousands of providers of hosting and domain services, some of which are great and some of which are not!

Therefore, if you’re interested in going with a hand-built website I recommend Siteground for both domain names and hosting.

They provide an excellent service and I have used them for 5 years now to host not only my own websites, but the websites that I build and host for my clients.

Click here for Siteground.

And if you prefer to use an all-in-one hosted service I recommend Weebly.

Although there is a free option with Weebly, if you want a website that includes the functionality you will need for a business the prices start at US$12/month.

Click here for Weebly.

If you have anything you’d like me to clarify please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Martin Malden

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