Do you want to create your own website? Thanks to the CMS (Content Management System) and a lot of good will to learn and understand how it works, you will undoubtedly be able to create appealing projects like a fantastic blog that tells about your passions, an E-commerce that allows you to start your first business online or maybe you already have an activity and you want to get in touch with new customers avoiding to weigh down your bank account further. All good reasons to commit to building your first website!
I created this blog together with a Dear friend more than a year ago, and even if in "those times" our knowledge of WordPress was the same as that which Salvatore Aranzulla has of computer science, we have nevertheless been able to complete our project, thanks to so much passion, time and study! Because you can also make the most beautiful site in the world (it takes just a few weeks to become familiar with the CMS and 50 $ to buy a nice catchy theme) but it will be completely useless if you don't know how to create quality content, respect SEO rules, ignoring everything you need to position yourself on the first pages of Google!
Know that creating and managing a website, even if it is a small blog, requires constant time, passion, and a lot of curiosity to keep up with the ever-changing web rules, that's why if you don't have one of these 3 elements you should no doubt rely on a professional who will be able to make the most of your idea in the best way by creating a functional website, optimized in performance and that reflects all the SEO directives like Google wants!
Oh yeah! I wrote "Google god", because as soon as you become interested in this world you will really understand what Google is, if until now it has been your faithful search engine from now on it will become a sort of employer: if you do not respect its rules (which are often not even officially released by the company but announced at random by some employees) you will certainly not be fired, but you will be sawed the food within a few days, because Google is the only company capable of dictate law on the web, it will be your main source of traffic, capable of bringing you thousands and thousands of visitors every day.
In this article you will find the various steps to follow to put your project online, the various CMSs (wordpress, joomla, prestashop, open cart etc etc) will not be specifically covered, of which you can read the exhaustive documentation that you will find for each single CMS directly on the web.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE DOMAIN
The choice of your own domain, which is nothing more than the web address of your site, is very important and must be thoroughly evaluated, it could be the key to getting a good ranking in a short time or the reason why your site will be relegated to the intricacies of the web.
"On paper" there are no better domains than others, but there are domains that will identify and position your Brand better than others, which will improve the perception and thus also the loyalty of visitors.
So what are the best practices in choosing the domain?
- Identify your target audience, if your target will be Italians, a domain with extension . It could be the best choice, this type of extension is in fact very well known in our country and people will have no trouble remembering it. If, on the other hand, you want to create a website that targets a foreign audience, it would be more appropriate to choose the .com because abroad the .it is little known as the .de (Germany) or the .co.uk (England) is little known to us.
- Create your Brand, associates your contents to a name easily identifiable and not very generic, the web is now chock-full of sites of every kind, your goal will be to distinguish you from the crowd and carve out your niche. For example, if you plan to create a travel blog avoid choosing the domain blogdiviaggi.it because Google does not look favorably on a domain composed exactly of the keywords (key words) inherent to its activity, as this article explains in detail HostingTalk.
- Choose a simple domain name, avoiding hyphens, accented letters and other "grammatical extravagances", this will facilitate your audience to remember the domain more easily.
An additional help to affirm your online identity could be to opt for the new domains that theICANN recently made available to the public, I'll give you some examples:
- . Xxx
these new extensions allow the visitor to immediately identify your type of activity and have the advantage of being valid both in Italy and abroad as words are now standardized worldwide.
The new web domains are interested, in this period, by massive marketing campaigns in their favor, to make the normal initial mistrust of the new product disappear, so it will not be difficult to find interesting offers that will do just for you.
The cost of the domain is ridiculously low, and normally does not exceed a few tens of euros a year, for example this offer of 1 & 1 which allows you to purchase web domains.it is .com only 1 € / year.
WHAT HOSTING TO CHOOSE?
Now you will need a server that will contain your website, and to which you will link the chosen domain (often this operation is done automatically by the hosting provider if a bid including domain + hosting is purchased at the same time).
With a brief search you will find a vast offer of servers / hosting, and initially you might find it difficult to understand which one is best suited to your needs, below you will find a summary of the various types of services offered and their meaning:
- Shared Hosting: it is the cheapest solution to put your website online, with the aim of keeping costs down, hosting providers will host your site on a shared server with dozens and dozens of other websites, reserving you some space on the hard server disk. The advantages of this solution are the really low costs of the offer, with around 50 € a year you will have your site online. Among the disadvantages: the fairly limited services available that will result in poor performance as soon as the website receives constant daily traffic, especially if you use a CMS like WordPress and a premium theme that includes many scripts. Among the disadvantages it is also worth noting the poor reliability that this solution entails, if one of your neighbors executes malicious scripts this could affect the performance and security of your website.
- Semi-dedicated hosting: very similar to shared hosting, with the difference that you will share the same server with a few other sites, so there will be more resources at your disposal, all for the benefit of performance.
- Dedicated Server: as it can be guessed from the name, with this type of offer you will be granted an entire physical server. The advantage of this solution is precisely in the high performance granted, among the disadvantages instead there will be a fairly high cost (generally higher than 70 € / month), you will also have to deal with the management of the server in person unless you are offered the Managed service that indicates the commitment of the hosting provider in managing the server.
- VPS (Virtual Provate Server): it is a virtualization of a dedicated server, therefore from a physical server various virtual servers will be created, completely independent of each other. With this solution each customer is guaranteed dedicated resources and high performance, the website will also not be hosted together with those of other customers, but will reside in a completely isolated space, greatly increasing security with respect to shared and semi-dedicated hosting, an excellent compromise between shared hosting and dedicated server. The advantages of VPS are high performance, server control (choice of operating system, firewall management and installation of third party scripts), scalability of resources and finally reduced costs compared to a dedicated server (starting soon more than 100 € / year).
After this brief overview of the most popular hosting services which one will be the most suitable for your needs?
If you are creating a new website, and you have no experience in server management you could opt for a shared hosting, initially in fact you will have a derisory traffic that will not require who knows what hardware resources, besides you will not have to worry about anything as it will be the hosting provider to take care of the management of the server.
When your site receives enough traffic to saturate the resources at your disposal, it will be sufficient to buy a semi-dedicated hosting and so "scalare" your offer, even in this case will think of all the hosting provider and you will not have service interruptions.
If instead you want to manage the server part yourself, you could opt for a VPS, you will guarantee your website better performance and greater security with costs almost similar to a good semi-dedicated hosting.
The dedicated server is to be discarded a priori if you do not have the slightest experience in its management and if you are creating a completely new project, in fact you will hardly need many resources, at least initially.
Whatever service you choose, make sure it has a Linux operating system, a fundamental requirement for the proper functioning of almost all CMS.
THE CHOICE OF THE CMS
Now all you have to do is choose the best CMS to make your website, you are spoiled for choice, below I'll show you the most popular:
- WordPress: born mainly as a blogging software, now it is quite another thing, over the years it has had the ability to adapt to new communication needs and the great work done by the developers and by the immense community of support have led to the creation of a magnificent software, with which you can create: Blogs, small E-commerce, portfolios, corporate sites, youtube-like sites and much more. The great availability of plugins, themes and online tutorials allow anyone, with a bit of good will, to create an attractive and easy-to-index project.
- Joomla: another well-known opensource CMS, with an excellent support community and an infinite number of plugins and themes that extend its functions. Although its operation is completely different from WordPress these 2 CMS allow to obtain the same results, even with Joomla it is possible to create websites of various kinds: blogs, corporate sites, portfolios, small E-commerce etc etc.
- Drupal: Fully opensource CMS, maintained by thousands of developers worldwide. More advanced than the previous ones, the best choice for the creation of complex websites that require high reliability and security. Thanks to its great flexibility and scalability it is possible to create any kind of website, from a simple personal blog to a complex institutional or e-commerce site. Much more difficult to learn than WordPress and Joomla.
- Prestashop: the youngest of all the CMSs in this list, born in the 2007 as a CMS purely oriented to e-commerce, is experiencing remarkable success for the realization of E-commerce sites thanks to some of its peculiarities: ease of use, possibility to manage every aspect of the sales (shipping, invoicing, warehouse management), great possibility of graphic customization and an excellent support community.
It only remains for me to wish you a big "joke" for your next website, I hope this reading has been useful, and has clarified as many doubts as possible. Do you have other useful information to add to this article? tell us in the comments, other readers will appreciate it!