Hi there. Today I want to show you how to easily setup a website to share whatever you want with the world. It can be educational or just fun, that’s up to you. Since you’re on Devblast, some of the options offered in this article are a bit technical. Don’t worry though, you can also jump directly to the second option which does not require any technical knowledge.
If you already know how to setup websites using things like Jekyll or Wordpress, you won’t learn anything new in this article ;)
Why you should have a website/blog
I wrote an article about why everyone should have a (programming) website/blog and the benefits it provides. You can read it here.
Let’s get started!
Pick your favorite solution!
I want to give you a few different options before showing you how to set them up. If you’re not a tech person, just go with option 2, Wordpress <3 Arvixe. It’s the easiest one to setup and will just require moving your mouse around.
Here are the 3 options with their prices and their difficulties. I’ve personally used them all but I’ve settled on using Wordpress for most of my websites with both Arvixe and Digital Ocean.
- Static Website with Jekyll and Github Pages (Difficulty: Medium, Price: Free)
- Wordpress + Arvixe (Difficulty: Easy, Price: $4-$7/mo)
- Wordpress + Digital Ocean (Difficulty: Hard, Price: $5-$10/mo)
The given difficulty is for a person without any technical knowledge.
Pick your option and start setting up your website right now!
1. Static website with Jekyll and Github Pages
- Price: FREE
- Difficulty: Medium
- Knowledge: Git, Markdown, GitHub
- Required Tools: GitHub account, Internet Browser, Text Editor
With this solution, everything is free. You will be relying on GitHub entirely to have your website available on the web. This is a great solution for tech blogs and is usually picked by software engineers because of the minimalist design and the familiar tools used (Git, Github & Markdown).
Your website will just be a folder on your computer with all the articles inside as text files (or markdown files). The whole folder needs to be versioned using Git and pushed to GitHub to be made available online.
Here is a quick summary about each tool:
Jekyll: “Jekyll is a simple, blog-aware, static site generator.” From plain text files written with markdown (or other markup languages), it will generate a static website for you.
Git: Git is a Version Control System widely used in the software engineering world to allow teams to work on the same source code. It is not limited to code however and can be used for anything requiring version control, articles for a blog for example.
GitHub: GitHub is one of the most famous Git repository hosting service. It can be used for free as long as the projects are public. For a blog, people can read online freely anyway so it doesn’t need to be private.
Markdown: Markdown is a simple markup language that let people focus on writing and not formatting. Formatting is done using pre-defined symbols easily inserted while focusing on typing, and not clicking around.
You can read more about Markdown here.
- Totally Free
- Super fast to load (only static files)
- Easy to make changes (edit, commit & push)
- Tech knowledge required
- No custom domain name (YOUR_NAME.github.io) (A custom domain name can be purchased for 10$/year)
- Disqus required for comments
Ready to get started? If you picked this option, follow this link to learn how to setup a blog with Jekyll and Github Pages.
2. Wordpress <3 Arvixe
- Price: $4-$7/mo
- Difficulty: Easy
- Knowledge: Wordpress, CPanel
- Required Tools: Arvixe account, Internet Browser, Text Editor
This option is widely used by non-technical people because of its simplicity. I have to admit that I also use it for some websites because it’s just super easy to use. This option uses the overused Wordpress to quickly setup a website.
In 5 minutes, you can get a functional website with a custom domain name (which is free!).
The main tool you will need for this is actually Wordpress. Lucky you it’s very easy to use. If you don’t know yet (have you been leaving under a rock?), Wordpress is a CMS created with PHP that lets you setup a website and manage its content without any technical skill. By using themes and plugins, you can truly create the website you want. All is left once setup is actually writing stuff!
Arvixe is one of the many web hosting companies that exist and the one I personally recommend because of its reliability and affordable price. I personally use it for some of my websites but not for Devblast (I actually use the third option to host Devblast).
- Super Easy to use
- No maintenance or headache
- Free domain name!
- Huge number of plugins and themes to customize your website
- Monthly payment
- No SSH access
- No control over the server resources
Tutorial coming soon. If you already know how do it, head over to Arvixe.
3. Wordpress <3 Digital Ocean
- Price: $5-$10/mo
- Difficulty: Hard
- Knowledge: Git, Command line, SSH, server administration, Apache/Nginx
- Required Tools: Digital Ocean account, Internet Browser, Terminal, Text Editor, VIM/Nano
The most complicated solution which requires a good knowledge of Git, SSH, server administration and more. You should have some experience as a developer to be able to set this up without issues. If you’re not a tech person, go back to the previous solution. ;)
- Total control
- Faster website (Even if it’s a VPS, you’re sharing less than with shared hosting)
- Can setup more than one website
- Everything depends on you, no support or maintainer
- Complicated setup
- Requires technical knowledge
Tutorial coming soon. If you already know enough, go to Digital Ocean to get started.
If you end up reading this, I didn’t do my job properly with this article. Go back and pick the right solution for your needs. ;)
Go build your website NOW and don’t procrastinate!