Written by Becca Edwards

NightBridgeLast week we talked about the difference between primary and secondary sites for your online brand. Now that we’ve laid the foundation, let’s work on the primary site: your personal website.

We’re going a bit more technical now. Some people and brands will build their entire site from scratch, either with their own programming expertise or thousands of dollars. Let’s assume that neither are currently available, so let’s start at the very beginning.

Now that you’ve secured your domain (if not, go do this now), you need three things to get your site up and running: hosting, a content management system, and a website theme.

1) Hosting

Though the internet feels like everything’s in “the cloud” and magically appears out of nowhere, the truth is that data has to be stored somewhere. The entire internet is located on servers, or tech storehouses that hold an enormous amount of information. If a card as small as your thumb can hold thousands of songs and photos in your phone, think about how much rooms and rooms of servers could hold. That’s why when you see Google’s servers, and know how much they could store, it will blow your mind.

2) Content Management System (CMS) 

What is a content management system? A CMS organizes your content. Just like your book could be held in a physical printed book or a digital file, a CMS organizes your website, your design, your colors, your images, your blog posts, your writing samples, and so on. It also enables you to interact with your site more easily. Hosting is storage, and a CMS is how the user can change the site.

CMS

The Dashboard of the WordPress CMS

 3) CMS Themes

After you choose a CMS, you have to pick a theme that works well with it.  The theme is the site layout and the cool ways your site works. It includes the design, the banner, the page functionality, the plugins, the font, and all the fun things.

Okay, so now you know a few key points about hosting, a CMS, and a CMS theme. Now all we’ve have to do is get them. In “Hosting and CMS Recommendations” we’ll look at where to purchase hosting, what CMS’s will work best for you, and how to select a good theme for your site. For now, start listing what you want for your site so that when we dive into CMS options and themes, you’ll already be ahead of the game!