Introduction: Make a Website

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Learn the basics to getting your own website online.

Step 1: What You Will Need

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A powerful yet lightweight notepad application.

This is the browser for web designers.

While you don't need to get CS4, this is definitely the best software for the job. Other software just
doesn't cut it, and are generally much less functional. If you're starting off, I'd suggest Photoshop Album, which has all of the most commonly used tools at only a fraction of the price

Professional grade web design software. It's a bit expensive, and there are other free
If you're a student, you can get Microsoft Expression Studio, Microsoft's multimedia software bundle, for free through DreamSpark! Awesome, I know! That's basically Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Illustrator all for free.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) application for uploading files to the server.

(Preferably an HP TouchSmart)

Lots of drinks (Coca-Cola?


Awesome ergo keyboard and optical mouse

You can either learn the code online or simply purchase some books. Books are a bit handier since it's much easier to look things up, but all the information is available online at

I first learned HTML with the help of Elizabeth Castro's fantastic HTML for the World Wide Web 4th edition. The latest edition now includes XHTML and CSS, and I highly recommend it.

Step 2: Learn the Code

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As you are learning the code, a good place to get support along the way is

Required Languages
XHTML (eXtensible Hypertext Markup Language) - This is basic formatting code such as content boxes, bolding text, paragraphs, etc. It's not programming, just formatting.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) - This is styling the formatting (you'll see later) - where the content box goes, which kind of text should be bold, line spacing in paragraphs, etc.

Useful Languages
PHP (Personal Home Page) and MySQL - These are a must if you want to create advanced sites such as Instructables. These are used for more advanced functions as well as data management.
JavaScript - This simple client side script allows for dynamic effects.

While books are more useful, all the information is available online at

Step 3: Practice Good Design

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You also need a good design sense for what looks good and what doesn't. The best code in the world won't matter if your website looks bad!

To get inspiration, browse web design galleries and keep up to date with the latest trends.

Step 4: Choosing a Hosting Package

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There are three main types of hosting packages - shared, virtual private servers (VPS) also known as Virtual Dedicated Servers (VDS), and dedicated servers.

Basically shared hosting means multiple sites are hosted on one server, so the server's resources are shared. This is sufficient for most websites. If your website uses more bandwidth or CPU cycles, you might want to consider a VPS or a Dedicated Server.

Step 5: Choosing a Host

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I would recommend HostGator as a decent starter web host. FatCow is great as well, although they use a custom control panel software. Looks a lot nicer than cPanel though.

Step 6: Choosing a Domain Name

After you sign up, you will be asked to choose a domain name, which is your web address, like or There are also other extensions such as .net, .biz, .org, or .info.

Step 7: Cpanel and Software

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Cpanel is essentially the administration panel for your website. You can access it at From there, you can setup email accounts at your domain, install applications like PHPBB, and change settings. Webmail can usually be accessed at

To upload your files, open up FileZilla and enter your FTP account information. Files are always uploaded to the public_html folder. The www folder is simply a mirror of the public_html folder.

In addition, you can use the application Fantastico de Luxe in CPanel to install scripts such as forums such as PHPBB and blog scripts such as Wordpress.

Step 8: Share Your Site!

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If you've made a website with this Instructable, it'd be great if you could post a link!


jesssmart877 made it! (author)2017-04-28

When I launched my small real estate agency, I managed to build a website for it under my own steam! I picked of these news wordpress themes and added my own content and that was it! Here is how my theme initially looked like:

sandy0052 (author)2016-01-06

add how to actually make the site? i want to redesign my website

aeromancy (author)2009-10-20

What are some free alternatives to Dreamweaver? (And any ideas on how to promote the site?)

crestind (author)aeromancy2009-10-21

I use Notepad++. Depends on the type of website.

kbowen99 (author)crestind2014-06-23

I know this is a Late Reply but, a great alternative to Dreamweaver is Microsoft Expression Web. To advertise I recommend Google Adwords (If you sign up but wait you will get several $100 credits in the email)

TheGeniusCreates (author)2013-01-10

Thank you for your suggestions.
I took the "welcome to fitnesspatterns" out and made the "fitness blog tips" just blog! :)
I am in the process of making a downloadable ebook format. I need more workouts and professional pictures before I go that route.
I will check out new themes too!

Thank you for your suggestions and feedback!

TheGeniusCreates (author)2013-01-04

I need help with my website. I know you will laugh by my saying but I am a rogue personal trainer attempting to take fitness to the internet. (I want to make personal training affordable to all by cutting out the corporate middle man and $60-120/hour price tag)
I started my website 4 months ago and am learning as I go.
My goal is to offer personal training instruction in photo and video format.
My website layout SUCKS because it is WordPress hosted.
Can anybody offer me suggestions????
Thanks bunches,

Wow... totally forgot about this Instructable.
- The WordPress theme you are using is not so good. There's a WordPress theme for pretty much any topic.
- Turn your "How to Workout" thing into a downloadable eBook or something available through email signup maybe.
- "Fitness Blog Tips" should just be "Blog"
Just a few things.

dsman195276 (author)2008-08-13

cool, but i have one question, how much does a website cost to set up?

Ranie-K (author)dsman1952762011-12-07

Could be free unless you need your own domain. There's several free webhosts -like

M4industries (author)dsman1952762009-12-03

anywhere from free to $900 per month. Free sites suck. $900 sites are for those who own their own servers and do their own thing. The ISP (comcast, cox, etc.) charges for a connection called a T1 line. But I pay $26 per month and my site is pretty cool. Its your choice.

Lance Mt. (author)M4industries2009-12-19
Very good. It allows you to do anything a paid domain can, as long as you keep the '' addition. I rate it very high as im a keep barstool

crestind (author)dsman1952762008-11-08

Hosting is per month, and then domains are paid per year. I suggest grabbing hosting at hostgator using the "wordpress" coupon code to get the first month free.

drmjj55 (author)2009-12-30

jediking100 (author)2009-11-27

hey i am a noob at this so please come to my site and leave some feed back on how to make it better

sh2902 (author)2009-06-22

add how to actually make the site

sh2902 (author)2009-06-22

man you know your tech talk. So do i. I know all the codes u mentioned in step 2

i can go supersonic (author)2009-06-01

dude I made a cool website. can you sign up for it? the site is if you sign up it is a drawing website. here is what you do: first type in the website. then go to members and press sign up. then do what it tells you. now you are signed up, you can post drawings for people. to do that you draw something, take a picture of it, upload it on your computer, put it on a file, then when you want to post a drawing, go to my website and go to your page and click edit and click blog and click post new entry. now click browse, open your file with pictures, find the drawing, click on it and press open, then type in the pictures name, then press post, then make the instructions on how to draw the drawing. oh, and nothing violent or inappropriate because my teacher wants to show my principal my website because she thinks it is cool. if you would like to sign up for it please tell me if you do or don't and if you want tell your friends.

rjrollins (author)2009-04-26

What? I am not understanding anything

spock155 (author)2009-03-22

Regular textsupersuper-superback to superback to regular
Regular textsupersuper-subback to superback to regular
Regular textsuper italicstrike super back to regular

spock155 (author)spock1552009-03-22

:O Coool instructable

fredandjoe213 (author)2009-03-13
fwjs28 (author)2009-02-24

i heard of a new kind of HTML that is like 3html or something that makes 3D web pages...pretty cool....

knexfan9182 (author)2009-01-24

how would I be able to set up my own server so I don't have to pay money to a host.

crestind (author)knexfan91822009-01-25

Most ISPs will not let you run your own server, so then you'd end up paying more for that. It's easier to pay for a host, unless you know what you are doing setting up your own servers.

knexfan9182 (author)crestind2009-01-26

knowing comcast I can't

knexfan9182 (author)knexfan91822009-01-24


DrWeird117 (author)2009-01-20

It's really not, but...typing all you did was.

DrWeird117 (author)2009-01-16

Holy hell.

btop (author)2008-11-14

Freehostia seems very reliable.

DJ Radio (author)2008-11-08

ok, i guess i can afford 2.20 per month, not to mention that penny......

DJ Radio (author)2008-11-08

cool instructable, but i was wondering if you could find a free host for your website, I dont want to have to pay for one

DJ Radio (author)DJ Radio2008-11-08

oh, i just saw your comment, but have you found any reliable free hosts that dont shut down?

xACIDITYx (author)2008-10-17

Nice Instructable! Just one question though; How can I get DreamSpark? If I try to do anything, I need to verify... with a college.

xACIDITYx (author)xACIDITYx2008-10-17

Whoops, nevermind, apparently I have to be a student. Either way, Awesome!

PetervG (author)2008-08-12

How did you make that first image?

ac1D (author)PetervG2008-08-13

vista or photoshop or both?

crestind (author)ac1D2008-08-13

Photoshop. Screenshotted the images, duplicated layer, flip vertical, applied layer mask vertical, transform vertical skew. :P Not Flip 3D, but kinda like it.

crestind (author)crestind2008-08-13

I could make an Instructable about it.

PetervG (author)crestind2008-08-13

That would be splendid!

crestind (author)PetervG2008-08-14

Here's a link.

Ferrite (author)2008-08-13

Nice, I have made sites using Google pages and yahoo geocities, but not anything that I actually programmed. I will probably learn HTML after I finish learning python.

killerjackalope (author)2008-08-13

Nice job, I made on about super simple visual designing of a website and someone made a pure code 'ible on sitemaking, I think this really compliments the two...

DIYDragon (author)2008-08-13

Another great way to learn code is the view source option of your browser. If you see something really cool on a website you can right click + view source to get the code for that object. So you can learn how it was made.

I'm not advising you to try to steal people's code, but it can be a good learning experience. By copy pasting it to your HTML editor, and altering lines you can see how it works.

My favorite HTML help website is Your HTML Source. Very useful even if you know nothing at all. : )


It's not a bad way if it's a common feature to lots of sites, since the code tends to be common and basic in some cases, also free source code is a great way to learn coding, by taking things and making them work the way you need them to... Fireworks codes are great for learning how to generate effects in a similar manner, granted they're tacky they're a bit of fun to play with...

Noodle93 (author)2008-08-12

W3Schools ftw.

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