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"I want to build a website how do I start?"

On the internet, there are millions of websites that people can visit to find all sorts of information, entertainment and links to other pages. Building a website is simple - but making it stand out from the rest takes time, dedication and knowledge.

To get started you need to choose what kind of website you want to build. There are basically three types of websites, and one major factor affects them all:

Type 1: Personal site - like an online journal or diary where you can include your thoughts and links to other sites. These are often aesthetically pleasing and easy to maintain; but because you will be the only person adding information, it could get boring after a while.

Type 2: Information site - like This Web Page! Where anyone can use an account to add content. These tend to have stricter guidelines on layout as they have more user-generated content so there is boundless potential for growth depending on how much work goes into creating a website.

Type 3: Shopping/Storefront Sites - these allow people to go straight from your page/s into the shop/store itself. As these sites are highly commercial, there are lots of things to consider including security, speed and future proofing (eg. adding SSL/https )

The website you want to build depends on what your purpose is. Once you know the type of site you're building, it's time to work out how many pages will be needed. Many people make the mistake of not planning their site properly which leads to problems later down the line. Namely: making content harder for others to maintain or change now AND in the future. For instance, if you plan an information website with eight pages but forget about page five - when enough time has passed for someone else to take over maintenance they may find that one particular page needs changing but can't because it doesn't exist.

For any new website I always recommend using Bootstrap to set up the framework of your website. It's easy, comes with lots of nice widgets and, most importantly, is mobile responsive - which you should have in mind if you want anyone on a small screen device to use your site.

Once you have Bootstrap up and running on your page(s) it's time to add some content. For more complex websites this can be hard work - it might be worth getting an expert to do SEO for you or look at how sites are built so they are search engine friendly (SEO). Otherwise it's just a case of planning what you want people to read and making sure it looks good. Finally don't forget to upload your content and tell people about it! After all, the best website is useless if no-one knows about it.

Where should I host my pages once they're ready?

There are many places to host your pages and many different options available. A popular choice is WordPress with their own server provided by, but it is only one of many quality choices out there. You can also choose to host your pages on a website like which has a build-in editor with unlimited free Disk Space and Bandwidth (along with other features such as the ability to put in HTML5 videos).

Another option is Google Sites which can be used for all sorts - from personal blogs or sites for work or clubs, company profiles - the list goes on! It's free to use and can be edited no matter what level you are at when it comes to web design, while it doesn't have any of the complexity that other site builders can be associated with it also has many benefits. For example, if you edit the HTML/CSS then it uses Google's cache so whenever someone goes to your page it will be served quickly and efficiently because there is no need to download fresh content each time. Google Sites also encrypts all information sent between the user and Google for maximum security - even if you choose to not enable HTTPS on your website.

As well as these options you could use GitHub Pages which is what I personally use instead of a 'normal' hosting service for my pages (if I am putting code onto them). If you are just starting out then one of these would be over an un-moderated free hosting service from a non-trusted company so it might be good to stick with one of the three sites I mentioned at first.

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