How to create your own blog or website

Now that I’m experimenting with Google AdWords I should get some traffic directed to this page. You will find all the basic information to build your own website or blog, like this one, in a few easy steps. Please leave some comments below if you have any questions or need more detail and I will reply as soon as I can with some answers.

I have been creating all sorts of personal websites over the last 10 or more years of my life. To me it is more about knowing and understanding all the aspects of how to create a website, although I have made some good money with some of the websites. Its only a hobby and helps me understand the OS and systems side of IT web development and design.

If you think it difficult to start your own blog or create a personal website (like mine), you might be surprised how easy it actually is and you don’t even have to know HTML. I know all the basics to get started and I would like to share this with you. If you are looking for a easy way to get started you are on the correct webpage. More advance topics, and believe me you can go into a lot of detail and customization of your website, I might cover in a later posts. This post will give you a good idea what is required and how much it will cost you to setup a basic and affordable website.

The first thing you will need is a place to keep your website, which is call your hosting provider. This is where you will upload your files and webpages so everyone on the internet can access the files at any time of the day. You could technically host your files on your home PC, but very complicated and not always available or reliable when you decide to reboot your home PC or if the power goes out, so we’ll skip this option. Hosting your content (files and webpages) with a hosting service provider is the only time you will pay a small fee per month to get your site up and running.

A few things you’ll need to think about before you signup to a hosting service provider:

  • Setup cost and cost per month
  • Total Disk space allocated that you can use for all your files
  • Total internet traffic that you can transfer each month for uploading your files, managing and changing your website, and for users to access your content
  • If you get a free domain name for your website
  • Is the hosting local to your country or hosted on server located in an international data centre.
  • Total email accounts that you can create
  • Total websites you can host on one account (if you would like to create more than one website)
  • Easy management console GUI (Control Panel) to manage your website information, account, domain, email, files, logs, bandwidth, security, and other software
  • Content Management System (CMS) you are going to use to manage and update your website
  • Back-end features and technology required to host your CMS

This is just a few of the most important points to check before you sign-up with a hosting provider, but if you need something specific (that is out of scope of this tutorial) then you’ll need to do more research.

Firstly, I would focus on the CMS that we’ll use for managing the content on your website. WordPress is a very popular CMS and I have tried multiple CMS and this is the most flexible and easiest to use. Remember, a blog and a website is technically the same thing, you have webpages that are viewed by internet user. a “Blog” is just a website that looks and feels different, with new posts on the main page.

Since I have started hosting websites online I have used LunarPages. I truly believe that they have everything I need to make anything work on my website, from the basics to more advance website and even e-commerce sites. I also believe their are many other hosting providers that can provide the same hosting services, maybe for less, but I can’t comment if they have everything that you might need to get your site running. Use Google and look around for other option and compare the features offered and price per month. If you find anything that you think might be more worth while, please leave comments below.

So you need to signup for a basic package which has everything you’ll need and potentially will only cost you USD 4.95 per month with no setup cost. This is very cheap and for +- R40 (South Africa Rand) per month you will have your blog up and running. Please remember:

  • You don’t need any additional feature to get going, and you can always enable a feature at a later stage, so keep to the basic plan only.
  • You’ll get a free domain name, so take some time to pick an interesting one that with your main website topic. You will get a “.com” domain for free, but work just as well as any other “.co.za” domain name, and you can later get a “.co.za” domain if you like.
  • You will need a credit card to complete the registration process and start using your hosting services.

After you have registered you will be able to log-in and access your control panel. The control panel will give you access to all the back-end admin configuration.

Now you’ll need to install WordPress on your main website folder called “www” (or domain root folder). This is the basic steps :

  1. Goto the Control Panel
  2. Launch the “File Manager” web app
  3. Navigate to the “www” folder
  4. Upload the latest WordPress ZIP file
  5. Uncompress the ZIP file to the “www” folder. You might need to move all the files and folders to the “www” folder because all the file are extracted to a single sub-folder “www/wordpress”
  6.  Using the Control Panel, create a new database, user, and give the database user full access to the new database.
  7. Goto you domain.com/ and it will show you the installation wizard. Follow the instructions and use the new username and database information to finish the installation.

After your installation is finish you will have a fully working website using WordPress as your CMS. You can now access the WordPress backend system to start adding posts to your blog, create new pages for your website and customize your website theme with just a few click. Please post comments below if you have problems or if you need help and more detailed explanation on a specific topic or a step in getting your site working.

Now you are ready to make some money online using Google adsense, or any other Affiliate Program that you link to and support. For example, if you have signed up with LunarPages, I would have received some commission from them. There are many ways to make money online and I will list some in a future post.

Happy blogging~!!

 

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