How to Create Your Own Website from Scratch

by Edmund Celis, May 7, 2016.
Whiteboard brainstorm
Photo by Edmund Celis. Put your thoughts out and create.

Although not free, making your own website and putting it onto the internet can help you

understand the world wide web a little better and also lead into more complex development of programs that you can create to help the world.

There are a lot of free website builders on the web but to see how some code that you write can turn into a web page is more fun and informational in my opinion. It also gives you more room for innovative thinking and applications.

For me, it is very liberating to express myself through writing. Sometimes, speaking with others at the wrong time about something you really want to express can be limiting and disheartening, so being able to have an online blog enables you to release the energy you’ve built up inside you. Furthermore, it

allows you to connect with others across the world who may be experiencing the same struggles that you have gone through and allows you to possibly help them through their hardship.

By expressing ourselves through writing, we can help calm the mind and ground ourselves within the peace that emanates from within us.

A blog is not the only thing you can make however. You can make an online resume or site for your business ventures. There are myriads of possibilities...and beyond website building, there’s the exciting field of app development and technological applications in general, such as a program to help administer a drug to a cancer patient in a dose-dependent manner or perhaps some code to aid in recycling plastics and other harmful materials into a safe and usable material.

There are mind-boggling applications that can be made by simply learning the languages of computers.

I am no expert and I am just learning but I hope I can share some knowledge that has helped me create this website, which is still a work in progress. Like almost anything, technology can be used for positive or negative uses, but I hope it can be used for mainly helping life and environmental preservation.

There are three things that helped me:

  1. Motivation
  2. The Internet
  3. Codecademy

Build on these three things and you will get a website up on the internet in no time. If you have an idea about something you want to share on the web, use that enthusiasm to help you.

Secondly, use the internet for all your questions--the answers are there, or at least, guides to help you get to your answers. Lastly,

Codecademy, a free website that teaches you how to code, was my main source for learning.

It’s a great website that is both fun and easy to understand. My advice for this site though is to not get so focused on their lessons but to think about how you can use it to apply it to your own ideas. For a basic blog or website in general,

try to learn HTML, CSS and Javascript first.

You can do the Language skills first in their catalog section and then try their lessons on how to make a website and then an interactive one. This, along with internet sources like W3Schools, will be a solid foundation for you.

Next, the main steps of getting a website up on the web are as follows:

  1. Buy a domain name
  2. Buy a hosting service
  3. Download a text editor
  4. Download a File Transfer Protocol

I used Dreamhost for both domain registration and hosting, but I’ve read online that you may want to use different companies for each. The

domain will cost about $12 per year and the hosting will be about $10 per month.

Some other companies for domains are GoDaddy, NameCheap and even Google Domain. As for hosting, there are tons of companies, like even Amazon AWS. Just search google and read the reviews for the best services. As you look at the prices, you might wonder, why not just go with the free website packages? Well, you can, but there are limitations. You can google this, like keyword search, “why not free website" and you’ll see many articles describing the limits, such as ownership of website, vulnerability issues and restricted functions. Just do some research and choose what is best for your needs.

Knowing that you are paying for your website may motivate you to work on it everyday and create a very useful service for others.

As for the text editor, I’m using Bare Bone's TextWrangler on a Macbook, but there are other great editors out there, like Sublime, but I think Sublime is on a limited-free basis. The text editor is where you will write your code. Again, just do some research to fit your needs and then download it. Finally, the

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) will help you transfer your files onto the server

(basically a big computer that stores large amounts of data) of the web hosting company you choose to rent from (step 2 from above). I’m using FileZilla, but there are others. Just download one and connect it to the server. And that is basically it! Again, it's domain, host, editor, and FTP. There are many little details between the steps but these 4 main steps are the most important. For the other details, you can go onto Youtube or do some google searches if you ever have any questions. Doing this process helps you discover more things you can add to your site to enhance it. Also, these four steps are what I have found after reading many articles on the web and also from my experience when I worked as a web developer a while back for a couple of weeks in 2014; however, this is not the only method. I am sure if you are more tech-savvy, you can probably find a cheaper option.

Your first website can be a grueling process but you will learn a lot and it will help you improve your presence on the internet. Most importantly, just return back to your motivation.

Often times, it is the observance of suffering in the world that leads to a selfless desire to help others and the world.

From this, we can create something beautiful that can reach millions of people across the globe. No matter how small, every single event has a contribution to the greater whole. So, breathe, put some music on, create something and inspire!

Tree
Photo by Edmund Celis. As every leaf collects energy from the sun, it supports the growth of the whole tree. As the internet connects us all, we can help each other grow.


Here is an audio of the article as well.

Please check out my other how-to video "How to Repair a Slab Leak" to help you with your plumbing problems!

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