It’s never been easier to set up your own website—and you’ve never had more options. Here’s what you need to know to get that website up and running.
Decide What You Need a Website For
Before starting, you need to consider the type of website you want. There are plenty of great options for getting started with a website, but they all have different advantages. What you need for an online business card or resume is very different from what you need if you’re planning an online store or news publication.
There are three rough kinds of websites you’re probably considering building.
- A Simple Personal Website: If you just want a simple online presence that has links to your contact details and social media accounts, then you really don’t need a lot of website features. Many tools will be way more powerful than you need—and probably more expensive. A single page site that has your bio, a photo, and links will probably suffice.
- A Full, Traditional Website or Blog: The next level up is what you most likely think of as a traditional website: Multiple pages for different things or a regularly updated blog. Small businesses or people trying to build their online reputation run these kinds of websites.
- An Online Store: If you want to sell things through a website, you need a whole host of extra features that people running a simpler website don’t. This includes a shopping cart, the ability to manage stock, a way to process payments, and something to track orders and handle notifications. There are services that manage everything, but they’re more expensive and require more effort to set up.
Once you’ve assessed your needs and decided what you’re going to build, you can then move on to looking at how you’re actually going to run your website.
Decide How You’re Going to Run It
The days of hand coding your website from scratch are pretty much done—unless you need some incredible custom solution, which is way beyond what this article is about. There are easy to use services for whatever kind of website you need.
Carrd: Simple One Page Websites
For simple, one-page websites, Carrd is incredible. It’s free to get started, and the good looking, responsive themes cover pretty much any use case. I use Carrd whenever I need to set up a basic site quickly.
For $9/year, you can use a custom domain, add contact or signup forms, take payments using PayPal or Stripe, and remove the “Made with Carrd” branding. If you want something professional, fast, it’s the way to go.