You have a lot of options when it comes to building a new website yourself, even if you don’t know how to code.
- Choose a popular CMS like WordPress or Drupal – This is my top recommendation
- Install a pre-built website from Softaculous – These apps are great for very specific website needs, like building a Q&A website like Quora, for example
- Find a website template on a site like CodeCanyon – Independent programmers sell fully-built website templates and website enhancements, called widgets
If you’ve chosen your new domain name, the next step should be to find the right host for your website. A lot of factors go into choosing the right host but this page will focus on a provider that can actually host the type of website you want.
Easy websites come in all shapes and sizes, but most have a lot in common. Most websites run on either a Windows server or a Linux server. While many of the computers we use today run on Windows or MacOS, Linux has gained wide popularity for hosting websites. And it’s less about the operating system (OS) of a server and more about the needs of whatever easy website builder or app you want to use.
For example, if you want to create a website with WordPress, your hosting company should offer servers that meet the requirements shown below. You don’t need to be an expert on these requirements, but it helps to know what to look for when sizing up hosting companies.
What is PHP?
While the end result you see in your browser is generally HTML, programming languages and frameworks like PHP are actually working behind the scenes to create the websites you visit. In this case, WordPress is built using PHP. You will not need to know PHP or any other programming language in order to get the most out of WordPress.
What are MySQL and MariaDB?
Content Manage Systems (CMS) like WordPress are powered by databases. MySQL is a very common database type provided by most hosting companies. Like PHP, you will not need to know how to work in a database in order to get great results for your website. Platforms like WordPress will actually create the database for you while others require you create one using tools you can find in the cPanel. Both options are easy to use and require filling out a few fields like you might when signing up for a new email account or social media site.
Content Management System is just a fancy way of describing a website that lets you customize and update it with a user-friendly interface. CMSs are broken into 2 main pieces: the frontend, which is what your visitors will see, and the backend, which is how you’ll control your website and add new content.
For example, here are the two views of my post SEO Hero.
The first is what visitors see when they visit my website.
The second view is how I see the page in the WordPress dashboard and how I update it.
Non-Programmer Website Examples
Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for! Here are some samples of websites built using WordPress, Softaculous and other apps.
WordPress is a chameleon. With the right plugins and themes, WordPress can become almost anything you need it to be.
MyArcadePlugin is just one example of WordPress plugins that can help you build an awesome website without knowing how to program. This plugin works by connecting your website to a network of online arcade game distributors. You can easily customize your arcade with over 70,000 free arcade games using a simple interface.
Tap into YouTube and Vimeo content with WordPress plugins and themes. In this example, I created a video game trailer website that automates much of the work. It searches YouTube for game trailer videos that match my rules and creates new posts automatically. You can select individual videos as well to create a truly unique and curated video website without code.
I see the Envato website as an alternative to Google when it comes to searching for scripts, website templates, and plugins.
“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” says every person who clones a website. Hopefully, your intention is to take something great, like IMDb, and make it your own. My IMDb clone was built using MTDb, software sold on CodeCanyon. Aside from some quick database creation using a wizard in my cPanel, this site required zero programming knowledge to create. Customizing it is easy, too, allowing you to create a movie website that’s unique.
For example, MTDb lets you source movies based on keyword, actor, genre and more – giving you the option to create an epic fan site based on what you or your audience loves.
Bookmark this page and check back frequently for new examples every week.