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Work From Home: Starting a Website

 · 11 min · Nasir

Do you want to have the freedom to work where ever and whenever you like... forever?

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A Misconception

There is a common perception that you need an extensive knowledge of computer science and coding to start creating a website. That is not true at all. Nowadays, you can begin a live site with many free tools such as WordPress; 39.7% of all the websites globally are run on this robust Content Management System (CMS).

Why create a website? 🤔

Generally, whatever we put on the internet is for sharing purposes. The sharing could be in the form of:

ReasonDescription
BloggingWhere you share something that you like: A topic. A tutorial. Or just a simple hobby.
E-CommerceYou could be selling certain products or services online.
Showcasing portfolio or resumeA website can be a creative medium to showcase your portfolio or resume for future clients or employers.
Public servicesOther than that, there are plethoras of public services websites that share information and activities done by Governments or Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).
Communication or SocialThere are also numerous websites for communication or social purposes, such as social media websites or chatting applications.
Othersand many other creative usages for websites (Ie. web app, directory).

Choosing what type of website to build
What kind of website would you want to build?

Share your exciting projects, or your dream website by commenting here.

Entrepreneurs always look for the best opportunities and innovative ways to expand their businesses. The best way to do that is by creating a website where the organization can be distinctly recognized and easily accessible.

Smart-phones or mobile devices brought an increased level of connectivity, being able to access the web anywhere around the world and at any time.

Imagine earning money while you’re asleep!

By utilizing the power of websites, business transactions could also be conducted more professionally, the modern manner.

Read more about Overcoming the Dark Side of Entrepreneurship.


Is Website Building Expensive?

Creating your personalized website can be a fun experience. But how much does it costs? That is determined by how you wish to build it.

It can be economical if you have the time and expertise to build it yourself. There is also the choice of outsourcing website development to freelancers or programmers; which saves time and with experienced hands; you will get solid functionalities and a great design, but at a price.

Therefore, to save costs, more people choose to build it themselves and maybe invest a bit on slightly premium functions.

As you might have guessed, if this is your first time creating a website, there will be a learning slope to overcome. Though once your first website is complete, things will be more doable as you learn more tricks of the trade.

How to build a website?

The following is a beginner’s check-list to get you inspired on your journey to creating your website and potential income stream.

Choose the most dependable web hosting service

A website is typically a collection of files, such as:

  • codes,
  • folders,
  • images,
  • databases
  • and other contents to make it function and look wondrous.

For a website to be accessible in the World Wide Web, it is necessary to upload this collection of resources into a server. Hosting companies provide this service, amongst others, such as:

  • a free domain name,
  • security certificates (Secure Sockets Layer, SSL, or the lock icon at the address bar, that when you clicked on will show that your ‘Connection is Secure’),
  • email hosting (you can have custom email addresses),
  • and a dependable support system.

A server needs to run for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year; so long as you want your website to be publicly available.

Best Web Hosting Services
A good hosting provider will have minimum downtime and a good support system when you need any technical assistance.

You would not need extensive programming knowledge to start hosting your website as these hosting providers will maintain it for you.

There’s also the different payment choices amongst web hosting providers:

Pay for a certain period of time:

Typically, the shortest period for this type of payment is an annual one and if you pay for a longer period of time, you will get a lower price.

Pay per usage:

For some hosting services such as Firebase from Google or Netlify, you only pay after you reach a certain threshold. This means you can host for free if you’re just having a few static HTML pages or low amounts of bandwidth per month.

However, you would still need to purchase your domain name if you’re looking for Top Level Domains like a .com, .net, .org etc. Keep an eye out as some of the hosting providers may have a package with a free domain name which can save you on costs.


Chooose a domain name

At this stage, you would need to choose any creative domain name to represent your website; make it memorable and easily pronounced! Some hosting companies provide a complimentary domain name of your choice (based on availability) for 1 year. If you’d like to maintain it, then you would need to pay a renewal fee for years to come.


For the advanced programmers, you might want to take a look into building your own server; this could be the better choice for more storage privacy or more value based on what you pay. However, maintenance of the server would be the burden to bear.

Whether or not you choose amongst the variety of web hosting options, it remains entirely up to your budget and website performance needs.

But don’t worry, choose one and you can always upgrade or transfer your domain later on. Here are a few web hosting companies that you can check out which offers quality service, great support system and variety of packages at a wonderful rate:

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Choose a website builder

Once you have successfully uploaded your website on a server and decide what type of content to share, you would need to choose how would you like to build it.

WordPress

WordPress is a free CMS tool which can be easily customized in terms of its content and style and requires little to no programming knowledge. You would only need to:

  1. Choose your WordPress theme
  2. Install or upload plugins
  3. Start designing and creating content

Wordpress is easy to use
WordPress admin dashboard is simple and user-friendly.

There are built-in themes and plugins at no cost. But there are also their premium alternatives which give better functionality and performance.

Static HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) Website

The next method for website building is by using static HTML. This approach requires some basic knowledge in programming of the following languages:

  • HTML,
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS),
  • and Javascript (JS)

or you would need a team of developers who does.

Those codes are just the front-end of the website. In the back-end, maybe you would even need to have a database or PHP files depending on how your website functions, whether it is static or dynamic. A standard HTML Website typically loads faster than a WordPress site due to Wordpress’s inherent PHP and database structure.

Working late to code
However, customizing a static HTML theme, style, content, the overall front-end and back-end may require a more technical approach and thus, a heavier, more time-consuming workload.

Other resources

There are other various libraries or frameworks to building a site such as:

  • Bootstrap,
  • Bulma,
  • Anime,
  • Bideo,
  • React,
  • Hugo,
  • Django,
  • Laravel,
  • React,
  • Angular
  • and many more.

These will make the look and feel of your website other than its functionalities more customizable. You can even use them to speed up the editing of your static HTML sites. If you want to progress to building a powerful website that can accommodate a high volume of visitors or more dynamic content building, definitely take a look at those programming bits of knowledge.


How you choose to build your website is, in the end, up to your resources and your end goal; what type of website you want to produce? For example, a website built on WordPress is easily more manageable, updated and customized even if you are busy with your daily routine. For example, it is suitable for someone who has a full-time job and wants to blog for a hobby or a side hustle. You can even load a WordPress site faster with several optimization techniques to match HTML websites. Some of the famous blogs utilizing the power of WordPress include:

For someone who has slightly more time and programming knowledge, you can opt for a Static HTML website while applying a basic grasp of the libraries and framework to speed up your production process. Programming your very own customizable features can reduce the production cost significantly. Premium WordPress themes and plugins can put a hole in your pocket if you are not careful. Nonetheless, the choice is entirely dependant on how much you can invest in your website in terms of time and finances.

Designing the website (the general template)

Web design is fun
When you have decided on the tools that you will use to build your website, now comes the fun part; designing it!

There is an infinite approach to web design. Therefore, explore your creativity, and master the tool that you chose. The general advice is by having a fixed theme and navigation, so website visitors have a particular feel or flow (as to know where to go next) such as having these key pages:

PageDescription
Home or landingThe Home/Landing Page is the first page that your web visitors arrive, and the first impression counts! You’d want them to continue browsing the content of your website. Hopefully, increasing your conversion rate: they might purchase something from your website, or share it with someone who will.
Products or ServicesThis page is the list of products or services that you have to offer in monetizing your website.
Blog or Announcement or NewsOne of the many ways to increase Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is by having a well-thought-out blog. Even if you’re just a business with some products or services, it is generally a good idea so that it may increase your website visitors by having that knowledge base where people can read or interact. More visitors, after all, translates to a higher potential income. If you choose not to have a blog, the section here is replaceable with announcements or a news page. Or you can have all three; it’s your website after all!
LegalHaving a page for legal documents or statements such as a Privacy Policy or Terms and Conditions are common in the World Wide Web. Some countries even made it lawfully required, as with third-party services, that you might use with your website. We would want to visit a website that is transparent about what they do with our information. A similar sentiment would apply to others visiting our website. The increased confidence, comfort and assurance in your website security will make for a higher conversion rate. Even if you’re not collecting any information, it is best of practice to mention it in those Legal Pages.
ContactWhether you are selling something or, just posting a blogging site, your visitors would want to get in touch with you. This interaction can improve the number of website visitors and conversion rate. So, have a contact page. It could be as a contact form or you could just state your email so that your website visitors can interact with you. However, it is, generally better to have a contact form as your visitor’s responses are more focused on the fields provided. This form will also protect, by using anti-fraud systems such as reCaptcha or Akismet, from spam mail or junk mail bursting up your email storage rather than if you choose to disclose your email to the public.

Brainstrom on web structure
Designing the website visitor's user experience may require some time if your website has a complex structure.

Market your website

The next step is to market it. How do you want people to find your well-designed and content-filled website? As mentioned earlier, blogging can improve SEO so that when people are searching for specific topics, your website will appear in the search result. Or you can choose to invest by promoting your website using:

  • Email Marketing,
  • Google Ads,
  • Facebook Ads or
  • Influencer Marketing.

Monetize your website

When you have a website with decent traffic, how do you grab the opportunity to monetize it? The traditional e-commerce offers certain products or services. With time and technology, these products and services also evolve to meet the current market’s demand. Various things are available for sale on websites;

  • WordPress plugins/themes,
  • HTML templates,
  • subscription models for tutorials,
  • freelancing services,
  • marketing services, or
  • news channel subscriptions.

For niche blogs and other types, you can also earn an income by:

  • displaying ads (from affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, premier ad network), or
  • accepting donations

Update & upgrade (stay relevant)

When your website is up and running and generating a healthy income, you might wonder, “what comes next?” By always generating new content and updating your website, it will increase the number of loyal followers, while not getting left behind from new and upcoming sites with the latest templates and functions. The web development environment is also perpetually growing, which you will need to keep up to maintain your website as responsive, relevant, and secure.

Conclusion

Starting to build a website can be a daunting task. But once you surpass the first challenge, you’d gain the experience to overcome the next one and the ones after.

Let’s create a website
How will you start your journey?

Thankfully, there are numerous resources which are either free and paid available for us to choose from. Therefore, if you have a strong intent to make a career out of blogging or website building, hopefully, those steps mentioned may help you to get the kick-start for your journey!

Happy website building!

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