Creating a fully functional website with a custom domain name

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Creating a full website with a custom domain name and taking it online is not a simple task but today I’m going to show you 2 different ways of creating a website which are quite simple. For starters, some words that are going to be mentioned in this article might be new to you or might be confusing but I assure you that after you’ve finished the process, you’ll understandthe jargon. First of all, there are 2 methods as I mentioned earlier are:

  • Blogger
  • WordPress

My personal favourite is WordPress and if you have guessed it right, it’s the CMS (Content Management System) I use for blog. Now before we talk about the CMS first we need to talk about the domain name.

Acquiring a domain name

This is the first step of the process and I’m going to walk you through it all. Since it’s about creating a website for free we’re going to be working with free domain names ( .tk .ga .gq .ml .cf ) but for those who are serious you can consider buying yourself a domain ( .co.zw .com .org .net .xyz .org.zw .ac.zw) and if you want to buy any one of these, I recommend Webzim and NivaCity for their cheap services.

Creating a Freenom account

The only free TLD (Top Level Domain) provider so far is Freenom. With Freenom getting a domain name is very easy but the hardest part is your account being able to get a domain. Now, I’ve seen some articles and YouTube videos that claim that if you use a United States address and zip code when registering your account it will work (haven’t tested it though). To create a Freenom account, follow this link to go to a US address generator and use the provided details to register your account on Freenom.

Acquiring a free TLD

Now that you have your Freenom account, go to this page to create your custom domain name. The trick there now is that if you want to use a .gq domain name, in the text box enter your desired custom domain name with it’s extension e.g sqeel.gq and it will automatically have a .gq domain placed in your cart cart. Continue with the checkout till you reach the point where you have finished making your domain name. And now that you now have your domain name, let’s get to the next step, choosing a hosting provider.

Choosing a hosting provider

There are tons of free hosting providers but I recommend InfinityFree and Freehosting. You might be wondering why I chose these two out of many hosting providers across the web. The two are some of the best free hosting providers on the market since they have flexible specs. They offer a reasonable amount of bandwidth and disk space and also have a softalicious app installer. Now you get it. Right?

Freehosting.com

I’m not going to talk about the plan’s overall specs, I’m just going to get straight to the point. Freehosting.com offers you 1GB of storage space and 10GB of bandwidth. The biggest disadvantage of using free hosting providers is that they don’t give you full DNS settings, and so does Freehosting.com. Freehosting.com also gives you the softalicious app installer which is used to install apps like WordPress. However freehosting.com doesn’t let you use a free domain with their service hence the only choice is InfinityFree.

InfinityFree

InfinityFree has a much more flexible UI compared to Freehosting.com and it also has better specs than Freehosting.com. InfinityFree gives you unlimited storage and bandwidth, however they have a few terms and conditions. They also have the softalicious app installer and a few DNS zones just like Freehosting.com. The best part about InfinityFree is that you can create an SSL certificate for your site which makes your site more secure and reliable by your audience (the one which shows a secure icon before the domain name in the address bar).

Had your choice?

If you’ve made up your mind, and you’ve made a choice on which hosting provider to choose, create an account for that provider (click here for InfinityFree and click here for Freehosting.com). To add your domain in either one of the providers, select the custom domain option during registration instead of the sub-domain option. Now to add your domain name to the hosting provider you’re going to receive 2 nameservers which are going to look like this (only for InfinityFree):
ns1.epizy.com
ns2.epizy.com

Now to insert these nameservers, login to your Freenom account and click ‘My domains’ and then ‘Manage domain’ for your custom domain name. Click ‘edit nameservers’ and click on ‘use custom nameservers’ and add the two nameservers with the first one on top and the second one at the bottom and click Save. You’re now done with adding the nameservers so go back to the registration page for your hosting provider and now add your domain. It might take up to 20 minutes for your domain name to be online and functioning. Hooray, your site is now online and running. Now to add the content we need the CMS I once mentioned earlier.

Blogger CMS

Being the simplest of all, blogger doesn’t have much settings and customisations to do like other Content Management Systems. To create a blogger account, go to blogger.com and create your blog. At this point you’ll have to use a subdomain that ends with .blogspot.com, which you will later change to your custom domain name. To add your custom domain name go to settings in your blogger dashboard and go to ‘custom domain’ now add your custom domain with the www prefix and you’ll get 2 CNAME records which consist of a name and a description. The first CNAME record always has the name www and the destination ghs.google.com but the second one is unique for your domain name. Copy these two CNAME records and login to your hosting account and navigate to the CNAME section and add these two CNAME records. This change can take up to 72 hours so please be patient. After you’ve added your domain, you’ve now successfully integrated your domain with blogger CMS. After integrating your domain name you now have to add a theme to your blog and there are dozens of them acrossthe internet. Now if you’ve chosen your desired template, go to the themes section and click on edit template and then restore and select your theme then it will be automatically uploaded. If the theme fails to install, open the theme in your notepad and copy the whole template by clicking CTRL + C and then click edit HTML in the blogger page and clear the HTML there by clicking CTRL + A then backspace then CTRL + V to paste. And you’re done, your site is now online with a beautiful theme and you can now start writing articles on your blog. Happy Blogging!

WordPress CMS

As I mentioned earlier, WordPress is my favourite CMS and also the one I use for this blog. Now to setup your WordPress account login to your CPanel and go to softalicious app installer. WordPress is always at the top of the list so click on install and select your desired installation parameters and then install your app. When your installation is done, you can go to your website admin dashboard by using the link yourdomainname.domain/wp-admin. Login with your admin details. Now to add a theme to your site go to the themes section then select your desired theme and activate it. You can also customize it depending on your preferences. And you’re done, your site is now online with a beautiful theme and you can now start writing articles on your blog. Happy Blogging!


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