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How to get started building your own website or blog

At some point in life, you might or will, need a website. This could be a personal blog, a website for your business or side hustle, an online e commerce platform for your shop, or just a fun website dedicated to puppies and other hobbies. Whatever the cause, there is good news for you, because it has never been easier to build your online presence than it is right now. Here we explain how you go about it.

Once you decide to start building your website, you might be overwhelmed by the many options available. You know of several people or companies who design websites, you have heard of domain names, or you could also be confused by SSL certificates and other complicated terms. Do not freak out! Here are a few practical steps to take.

  1. Consider seeking help from a friend. You may have that friend who fixes all your tech problems. Possibly, they know more about websites and they can help. This could also be somebody you know who already has their own website or blog, or that guy who has been telling you that they can make a website for you. This way, you will save yourself from having to reinvent the wheel, or being conned big.

  2. You need to what you want, which you can know through simple research on google. You can identify a blog or website that looks very similar to yours, then start making your mind on what you want. This will also help you know the market rates for the services you need.

  3. Once you have the resource persons and know what you possible need, get started with building the services. Here is a summary of what you will need.

    1. A domain name.

This is the www.blahblabla stuff. This could be a .com, .org, .co.ke, or other hundreds of domain names. These vary in intended use, advantages, as well as the price. The domain names are renewed annually, and the cost should be about KES 1000 (10 USD) on average. A detailed price list can be found HERE.

    1. Web hosting service.

This involves leasing a space in a server that will keep your file. This service is renewed annually, and would cost anything from KES 1000 (10 USD) per year.

    1. Web design service.

Once you have the domain name and hosting, you need to have the website designed. This could involve someone custom designing a website for you, and things that will be involved include WordPress, Joomla, Laravel, website builders or plain code.

The design can be simple or complicated depending on specific requirements. For example, an ecommerce website is more complicated than a simple blog. When getting someone to do the design, the most important thing is to ensure that you set in writing all the features you need, and the deliverables.

    1. Once the website is done, you will need one more thing; an SSL certificate. This is simply a security feature that protects your website and data from unauthorized access. These can range from free certificates, to paid SSL certificates. A list of available SSL certificates can be found here.

A few things to put in mind

  1. Once you have a domain name and hosting, you are entitled to your own custom email addresses. This is good for you, and can help build credibility.

  2. Get a web hosting service provider who gives 24/7/365 support. This will help you in case you are stuck, or you need help any time.

  3. If you anticipate getting very many visitors to your website, go for bigger hosting packages.

I hope you are now prepared.

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