If you have a service providing business, retail shop or just have something to say, you probably considered getting a website. Your website is like a digital portfolio and should be neat, up to date and stylish. It is a representation of your personal or business’ image to the world.
There are thousands of web developers and designers at your disposal, but they come at a cost. Save some money and do it yourself, especially if you have just started up your own business. With modern websites you won’t need to know how to write code. It’s easy and unintimidating if you know where to start.
By using a “Content Management System” or (CMS) it can be as easy as creating a new page on Facebook. A CMS is an organization, designed by its worldwide community, making it a free open source software package to install. Including in the most popular CMSs are WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. Arguably, all of them are equally good with WordPress being the most popular. There are literally millions of customizable templates to add on to these CMSs to create a unique look for your site, eliminating the cookie-cutter effect.
1 – Find a server to host your site. Hosting companies offer packages as cheap as chips and they all do the same thing – renting out a pc and some hard drive space for your site. Some of these packages also offer you email accounts, ftp access and a Cpanel to assist you in setting up your CMS easily. This is also where you will choose your URL. The top hosting companies in South Africa include Afrihost, Hetzner, Axxess and Gridhost.
2- Choose a template first, before choosing a CMS… Even though you need to install your CMS first and then your template, some templates are only compatible with certain CMSs and connot be transferred to a different CMS. It could be frustrating finding the perfect template after you already installed a different CMS. Search for templates on https://themeforest.net/ or do a Google search: “cms templates”, “free cms template”, etc… Note that some free templates offer “PRO-version” upgrades which enables more features. Once you found your template, download it and keep the page open for installation instructions.
3- Now, download and install the compatible CMS. Some hosts offer a cpanel with a feature called Softaculous to help you easily setup the CMS. If not, an easy FTP installation guide will be available on the CMS site.
4- Install the previously downloaded template. After a successful CMS installation, you’ll be given an admin URL to give you access to your backend (usually www.yoursite.co.za/admin, /wp-admin or /administrator). Follow the installation instructions from your downloaded template’s website. For example on WordPress, go to the admin site, select “Appearance” > “Themes”. Then, click on “Add new”. Upload the .zip template file as instructed by its website.
5- Customize your template. This can be as uncomplicated as you want it to be. Upload your logo, choose your colours and fonts and create your pages and menus – the stage is yours. Explore your CMS’s modules and add-ons to create unique features for your visitors to use.
After you are satisfied with the way you want to present yourself to the world through your website, you’d obviously want visitors to use your site. Google offer many tools to boost your site’s rating to make it easier for internet browsers to find you. The easiest way is to inform your social media friends and ask them to share. Create a page on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even on YouTube. Facebook takes you step by step on how to create the perfect page for your website’s promotional needs.
More on SEO and how to expose your website on Google Search to follow soon on Tech-F.
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