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Set up your first site

Today I am going to talk about how to create your first site, set up your hosting and your domain. 

In this guide, we will need to work with a CMS, a hosting and a domain, which means that we have to pay for that. In a preview blog I talked about different types of servers and what characteristics do you need to be a good developer. 

So let’s take a summary:

 

  • CMS: Content Management System. The most typically are Wordpress, Drupal and in the last years Wix. There are more, but the basic here is to use them according to your skills and the things that you want to do. 
  • Database: Your website will have data, and the database will be how do you manage that data. 
  • A hosting is where your website lives. Imagine a computer in the cloud, and like a computer, it has different types of hardware. So it will depend on what do you want to build. 
  • Domain. Is the name that your hosting will use for access into your website. Your hosting like any other computer has an IP, and you can access to into with that, but the domain uses a more readable interface. 

So, where do to start?

The good practice talk about to create a localhost and upload your changes to git, but for that, I will do another guide, this one is basic so let’s work on our hosting. 

So the first step is to buy a hosting, for my example, I will use Webfaction. This hosting is really easy to use and in a couple clicks do you have a website. After logging, you will see a lot of configuration in the dashboard, but our main place is to develop a website so let’s go to DOMAIN/WEBSITES    and then to ‘Websites’. 


It will ask for a name, a domain, and an application. The application is the folder inside your hosting where you save all the configuration files of your website. In webfaction there are different options to set your application folder, for example, you have a lot of CMS, as I mentioned above, select one and go on. 
In the domain section, you can add the name of your website, at this point is very useful to buy one, I recommend you to use Godaddy, there are cheaper options, so don’t marry with any of my recommendations. 

Now is time to connect our Hosting with our Domain. It is very easy and the key is on the DNS. Your hosting has a DNS on the dashboard, so copy them. Then go to your Domain provider, and in the configuration of your domain paste the DNS from your hosting. This process will take some time, maybe hours. 

Now the step 3, configure your Website. If everything goes well, in this point you can access to your website if there is a problem I recommend you to contact your hosting provider and open a ticket to solve the problem, which could be really easy, I'm sure. 
If your website was made with a CMS, it will need a basic configuration, this means tell to your website where is the database for storing all the information.

Some CMS do this in an automatic way, so you never have to access your database to manage that information, just by setting up your CMS it will configure automatically your database. 


So, that is all, this was a very basic guide, to have a clear knowledge of how to create your first website, a lot of work will be made by your support, so I recommend you pay for a good hosting provider. On my Blog, I will talk more about how to build your first Drupal 8 site, how to manage a Linux server by ssh, how to setup git on your server and more extra stuff like configure google analytics or the HTTPS certificate. Good luck and keep researching.