I Recently Published My First Website

About 2 weeks ago I published my very first website. It was a lot of fun, I learned a bunch of new things, and I want to share my experience with you.

And no, I’m not referring to this blog. This blog is, for the moment, still on a free plan with WordPress. I’m talking about an actual site, for an actual client. Yay me!

There are a few things you need to know about the route I took when creating and publishing the website for my client.

I built it from scratch

I put in about 10 hours of hard work and built the website from scratch. That means layout, design, structure, everything. It has a PHP backend that is currently only used for templating (although I’m adding a PHP-driven contact form soon), and is constructed from 100% HTML and CSS. It was a simple website, so there was no need to use JavaScript.

I published it myself

I followed a lot of tutorials, since this was my first time, but I did in fact publish it myself. I’m talking about server setup, DNS links, mail hosting, the works. On the cheapest hosting plan, of course. It is a website that will probably get 200 pageviews per month, at most. No need to pay for the highest amount of RAM, hard drive, or bandwidth available.

Within the next week, I’m going to start releasing tutorials on how I set up the server, linked the DNS, and set up mail on the server. So stay tuned for that!

I used a free mail service

Zoho Logo

Zoho Mail is excellent. It is free for up to 25 users on a single domain, and I think its interface may be better than Gmail’s (Yes, I said it!).

That being said, it is a little more difficult to manage user accounts and such. When I set up my client’s user account, I accidentally linked it to my account such that when I had them change their password, I got locked out. That was a humbling experience.

I followed tutorials

I didn’t know how to do everything that was needed. Heck, I didn’t know how to do most of what needed to be done. But I found some really good tutorials from DigitalOcean (the server provider I used) on how to do everything from setting up the OS to linking the domain name.

And I think this highlights an important point for developers – or for that matter, most professionals. You don’t have to know everything. It is okay to consult the knowledge of reputable sources and trust their direction. Now, if I were doing the web thing full-time, I would want to know how to do all the setup myself. But that knowledge would come after practice building many websites.

Happy Programming!


2 thoughts on “I Recently Published My First Website

  1. Hey Nathan. You are doing exactly what I want to do. This morning I built a Web page for me and some friends who are going on a diet. It will surprise them to see the Web page with charts and links… and it will give them some incentive.

    Congratulations on your first website. I predict that you will make many more.


    • Thanks! In the next couple days I will post 2-3 articles on how to set up all the files on a shared hosting server with DigitalOcean. I’m hoping to have an affiliate link, which will give you $5 of credit that you can use towards hosting your own website. DigitalOcean is great because you don’t have to pay for 2 or 3 years of hosting up front, you’ll just pay at the end of each month for the time you used. I think the cheapest is like $0.07 per hour of uptime.
      So, as I do these articles, you guys can follow along with your own websites! I’ll even provide a simple page or two that can be used on your test website, if you don’t have your own content. The only cost will be for the domain name you choose! It’s easy enough to get one from Google Domains for $12/year.
      Anyway, I hope the next few posts are helpful!


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