Launching a Personal Website
Having looked around my personal website, you may be wondering how you can start your own? You may be asking yourself why you even want a personal website, but the question is, why not? I use mine to share information about my hobbies and have it because the website is a hobby in itself. I love nothing more than working on my website and better still, seeing members of the public come on and use my site. As an example, one of my hobbies is radio I have compiled some radio frequency guides which can be found on the extras page, this draws in visitors searching for frequency guides.
Similarly I also enjoy writing spoof pages, such as the Jury Service Advice and Science Lab Rules, these tend to bring in more visitors as well. So, having your own personal website means you can share your content with the world and write about something that you are interested in. An even more useful purpose a personal website serves, is that you can use it to showcase work you have done and it makes it an easy platform to show employers, for example if you are a graphics designer. The main problem is, many people don’t know how to actually set up a personal website. That’s why I have put together this article, to help those who want to start a website like mine.
First things first, you will need your own domain name. The domain name is what will show in the web browser of anyone visiting your site. My domain is jack-bromby.com and you can choose whichever one you want, as long as somebody else has not already registered it. My personal recommendation for a domain name, is to register with UK-Cheapest.co.uk, this is where my domain was bought from. It cost me just £23 (inc. VAT) to renew for 2 years. You can also get .co.uk. or just .uk, whichever domain you prefer. Just type in your desired domain name and press “Search”. Once you have found the domain you want, simply pay and it’s yours!
The next thing you need is hosting, this is basically a server which will run your website. Once again, my personal recommendation is Names.co.uk (Namesco), I have the Windows Starter Hosting pack which is perfect for personal websites. This package costs just £4.99 a month but it can work out cheaper to buy for the entire year.
Once you have signed up for your hosting, you need to point the domain name to the host’s servers. To do this, go to the site where you signed up for your domain and login to the client area. In this example I am using UK-Cheapest as that is where my domain is registered. If you choose another site to register your domain with then it will look different. Go to the “Domains” tab and click “My Domains”, next click “Manage Domain” and “Nameservers”.
Now you need to find the correct details to enter, I find the easiest way to do this is to Google the site you signed up for hosting with, followed by “nameservers”, so in this case, I Google “Names.co.uk nameservers”, and by doing so I found the nameservers were:
Of course if you have signed up for hosting elsewhere then these will be different, if you have difficulty finding the nameservers then feel free to contact me and I will help you. Once you find the nameservers, go back to the tab or window where you have the domain site open and enter them in the nameservers fields and press “save” or “change nameservers”, whatever button you have. Please note that it can take up to 48 hours to propagate across the entire Internet, but you will usually see updates instantly.
Setting Up Your Website
Now you are ready to go, you will be wondering how to set up your website? First of all, you need to download an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client to upload your website files, I recommend FileZilla, which is a free client. Once you’ve downloaded it, you will need to find the correct details to enter to access your website server. You can find them usually under the FTP settings of your web host control panel. You may need to set up an account on your domain. To test that it is working, open Notepad and write something in it, save it as “index.html” and upload it into the server via FTP. Go to your domain and you should see the piece of text you typed in the Notepad file.
You will want more than just a single piece of text for a website, so my recommendation is to use WordPress, as that is what I used to build and edit this website, it is extremely easy to use and set up, even if you have no experience with web design. You will need to set up an SQL database for WordPress to run, and this can easily be done in your web host control panel.
Enjoy your website and if you have any problems setting it up, please feel free to contact me and I will do my best to help you.