How To Learn To Build A Website For Free
Recently, a work colleague asked me a question while we were chatting during a lunch break. His question was about how he can learn to build a website by himself. He also wanted to know how much it will cost him.
I quickly answered his questions and then I wondered that there might be other individuals, business owners, and bloggers out there, who are searching for answers for that same question.
The simple answer to this question is that you can learn for free everything about how to build a website by yourself by going online to access other websites and resources which teach the topic.
In this post, I want to share with you my own insights on how to learn to build a website for free.
If you have been thinking or scratching your head for a long time about how to create your own website from scratch but you just didn’t have a clue where to start from, then you have landed in the right place to learn how to do it.
It’s all about learning. You and I know that learning a new thing is a big part of life. We have always known that we need to strive to learn and grow daily. But learning how to create websites takes quite a bit of time and we rarely have time, or as they say, “time is precious”. I have to tell you right now that learning the art of creating websites will be one of the greatest things you have ever invested in.
Now let’s dive in. Here is my answer to the question and its in three phases.
Firstly, I will explain to you the four vital components of a website that you must have to acquire before you can say that your website project is completed. They are:
Secondly, I will expose the facts about building a website by writing your own code and then the popular method of building a website without coding. So the two options are:
- Build a website by coding
- Build a website without coding
Finally, I will highlight “how to learn” aspects by explaining the five pathways that you can follow to acquire the knowledge that will help you build websites. They are:
- Learn from google: website texts and images
- Learn from YouTube videos
- Learn from your local training groups
- Learn from free online courses
- Learn from online community groups
Now, that I have shown you all that I plan to discuss here, let’s get the details.
VITAL COMPONENTS OF A WEBSITE
- Domain name (name of your site)
- Hosting (Home of your site)
- Platform (site base or foundation)
- Contents (texts, images, videos)
Once you have decided to create your website, you need to get a name for it. The name of your website is known as your domain name. The name of your website will be unique. It is the identification address that people will use to visit your website.
This means that no else will have that name in the whole world. It is also possible to get a free website name but that free website name will come with a tag that shows everyone where it comes from. For instance, if you choose “xyz” as your domain name at WordPress platform, your domain name will be xyz.wordpress.com. If you actually paid for a domain name, then it would have been xyz.com.
I need to inform you that your website name is a vital part in defining you and your brand online, if you have a business, so it’s very important to pick a domain that represents you or your business proudly in the cyberspace.
There are advantages of paying for a domain name if you plan to run a business as I have informed you now but you are free to choose a free domain name if that suits your purpose in building your own website.
Web hosting for your website means the storage of all the files that make up your site. It is not a good idea to store or “host” your website on your laptop at your home because your laptop may be switched off when someone from the other end of the world tries to access your website.
There are website hosting companies that have large data centers filled with servers. You will need to purchase a hosting plan with one of those companies so that a tiny part of one of those servers is dedicated to your site. That server storage space is where you will be putting on your files, copy, images, and everything else that has to do with your web creation. There are also free web hosting plans available.
There are many reputable web hosting companies available including Bluehost.com (price starts from $2.43 per month). Wealthyaffiliate.com is also a hosting company and they even offer free training on how to build websites.
The next thing is that you will need to choose a website platform to build upon. There are many free website building platforms available these days. These platforms are also known as Content Management Systems (CMS). These include WordPress, Joomla and Drupal.
I recommend WordPress, because it is the most widely used around the world. There are many reasons why web building experts recommend it. These include the fact that more than 30 percent of the website now are built on WordPress as it is very powerful, user-friendly, responsive and it is open source. And it’s free.
WordPress is also fantastic because it doesn’t require you to know any bit of coding in order to use it. So anyone can learn to create pages on their website just as they create documents in any word processor software like Microsoft Word.
WordPress is chosen by most professionals because it is an open-source software which means that thousands of expert developers around the globe are continuously working on improving the software functionality. So I recommend WordPress as a platform to be used once you are interested in website building.
Once you have chosen domain name, hosting and platform, then it’s time to start creating your content.
If the domain name, hosting and platform represent the shell or a house, then the “content” is the wall and ceiling furnishings, chairs, table, bed, kitchen, bathroom, etc, and the electrical equipments inside the house that makes it a proper home for the family to enjoy. Essentially you have to write articles, add images or videos to make your website valuable to your visitors so that they can keep coming back and recommending it to others.
If your website is just to advertise your company and provide information so people can learn more about what your company is doing, then you have to create webpages and upload your company logo, motto, contact information, mission statement, news update, etc.
If your website is a blog focused on a niche, then you have to write articles about that niche. For instance, if your site is focused a niche like skydiving, then your articles will have topics that will answer common questions that people ask when they want to go for skydiving.
Images and videos are also very useful on websites as they help your visitors to understand your posts better.
Building a website with/without coding
In this section, I want to highlight the fact that you can build your website by writing the codes that will run the site and also to let you know that it is possible to build your website with zero knowledge of coding.
The common coding or programing language used in building websites is known as HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language). Everyone that wants to build a website by coding must learn HTML in the good old days, but thanks to lots of development in this sector, we can create our website now without any knowledge of codes.
Five pathways to learn how to build a website
Learn from Google: Website texts and images
You can learn how to build a website by browsing the Internet and reading up the texts and images in many websites available when you search using your favourite search engines. Please do select the sites with plenty of images showing you how to create your website. Images are very important because as they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words”.
When you search “how to build a website” in a search engine like google.com, a large number of search results will pop up. A few of them will be paid or sponsored advertisements. But there will also be other ones that are just normally free blog posts and websites or forums. You will then select the ones that are free.
These sites are normally full of texts and images that will explain how to build a website. I will suggest that you select the search results that gives you a “step-by-step guide” on how to build a website because it is easier to understand, especially if you are a beginner.
Please note that some of them may require you to input your name and email address or become a member of the website or forum. It is important to be sure that the one you select is free of charge.
Learn from YouTube videos
There are many free videos online where you can learn how to create your website but YouTube.com is the most popular video website. So I recommend browsing the YouTube to find videos that you really like. It may be better to search YouTube separately for each of the four components of the website: Domain name, Hosting, Site platform and Contents.
For instance, you can search for “how to choose a domain name for a new website” or “how to select best web hosting” or “how to create content for my website”.
I recommend video tutorials for learning. Videos are very useful because as they say, “if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video has to be worthat least 1.8 million words”.
Learn from your local training groups
There are many local organizations that teach various skills, if you live in a town or populated area. Some of them teach how to use a computer or the internet. Most of these groups were established to help the elderly catch up in the cyberspace. If you make enquiries at those places, you will find someone who can help teach how to make a website. You can get information about these groups from your local government or Council offices.
In the United Kingdom, for instance, there is a charity group called AgeUK. It caters for the interests of the elderly in our community. They have branches all over the country. They have all sorts of training programs to help the senior citizens learn skills that can keep them active and healthy.
Though they are primarily set up for the elderly, they accept anyone that needs their services. I have contacted them recently when someone needed some help in getting lessons in digital technology sector and I know they can organize a small class on website building if someone asks for it.
If they don’t have one, they will arrange a special class if you insist. This is because their tutors are mostly volunteers and all it requires is to ask the tutors to provide more free help in the direction of how to build a website.
Please note that you can also locate these local community groups if you search on google or any other search engine.
Learn from free online courses
On most search engines, like google, there is an abundance of online courses. Some are free and most of them are paid for. As long as you have the internet, you can search and choose one of the free courses and then start learning how to build your website.
If you can choose one of the online courses that is in the form of a blog post, it will have the added advantage of having “comments” at the bottom of the blog post. This is vital because you can see loads of questions and answers. It may also allow you to ask your own questions and get an answer from the publisher.
An example of this kind of blog post is www.makeawebsitehub.com. The online course is written by Jamie Spencer, a popular British WordPress developer and blogger. It is a simple, easy to follow tutorial. The writer claims that you can learn to build your own website in just 60 minutes if you follow his step by step training material.
Learn from online community groups
My best recommendation on learning to build your own website is to join a free online community group. There are plenty of them located around the world. They are very useful because you don’t need to travel to any location to attend lectures or meet anyone. You just log on and that is it.
Their training materials are usual online tutorial video sessions. You can watch the videos whenever you want and can repeat them as many times as you like until you capture the messages they are teaching. You are also able to chat with other members and get help.
When these online groups have seminars, they call it “webinars”, because you just log on to the website (or webpage) that is hosting the particular meeting from the comfort of your home. You can even log on from your mobile phone or tablet. You can join the meeting when you are multitasking (that is, while doing other things like cooking, driving, breastfeeding, etc). As long as you have an earphone with microphones, you can participate actively.
These webinars are also called conference calls or online meeting. It can be audio only or full video conferencing. There are various apps and websites used by the organizers in making the online connections.
I have been in a webinar when the lecturer asked participants to mention the city where they were located and what they were dong while listening to the lectures. I was surprised to learn that we had participants from 4 continents of the world and over 50 different countries. I was fascinated to learn that while some participants were cooking family dinner, another member was actually driving on a motorway while listening to the webinar.
Webinar presenters allow members to ask questions by typing it in the webinar chat boxes. Some presenters can also allow the participant’s microphone to be un-muted to allow the person to address the meeting.
Some examples of online community groups are IncomeSchool.com and WealthyAffiliate.com. The income School charges some fees to become a member. You can join Wealthy Affiliate for free and that’s why I recommend their Free Starter Program to anyone who want to learn how to build their own website for free.
Wealthy affiliate is headquartered in Canada but has membership from over 193 countries in the world. They have been over 10 Years in business of training people to build their own websites. They are also a leader in web hosting. They have a community of over 1.5 million members. They offer step by step guidance and 24/7 coaching and Support. Try Wealthy Affiliate Free, No Risk, and No Credit Card Required.
Thank you for reading my blog post.
Please ask me any questions by commenting below and I will answer it as soon as I can.
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Have a nice day.