Creating your own website can seem like an intimidating project, but it is surprisingly easy. Anyone can build their own website with the help of a few powerful tools. You don’t need any experience, or any ability to code or anything like that.
In fact, if you can write and email or a word document, then you already posses the skills to build your own website, all you need now is a little bit of guidance.
You can build a basic website in less than an hour by following these five simple steps:
- Step 1: Register A Domain Name
- Step 2: Set Up A Web Host
- Step 3: Configure Your Web Host
- Step 4: Install WordPress Software
- Step 5: Setup Your Site
It really is a lot easier than most people think, so let’s get started…
Step 1: Register Your Domain Name
The domain name of your website is important for the success of your site because it provides visitors with their first impression of your website. A good domain name should meet one or more of the following criteria:
a) Short but descriptive
b) Easy to remember (should be a catchy phrase)
c) Relevant to your website content
d) Correct extension (.com, .net or .org)
1) The first step in registering your domain name is to select the domain registrar you will use. GoDaddy.com is currently the most popular domain registrar in the world. Go to www.GoDaddy.com to see the landing page for this registrar. This page provides users with the ability to search for the domain names that are currently available, and it will also allow you to purchase them. The search box for the domain name will look like this:
2) Enter the domain name that you want in the search box and click on the Go button. Godaddy will tell you if your desired name is available or if it is taken by someone else. If you find the domain you wanted is already taken, you will be shown a list of alternatives, or you can simply try a few different domains until you find one that you like.
You should select a domain name with an extension of .com, .net or .org, since these extensions achieve the best rankings with search engines.
3) Check the box next to the domain name you want and click on the Continue button to continue with the registration process. The registration application will ask you if you want to buy additional extensions for your domain name. You will typically click the No, Thanks! button since most website owners don’t require more than one extension.
4) The registration application will ask you to select a payment option and the length of time for which you wish to register your domain name. You should typically select a registration period of one year, so you can renew the registration on an annual basis. You will also have the option to select a web hosting service and a range of privacy protection services. You should decline all of these options and obtain these services from a company that specializes in web hosting. GoDaddy is an excellent domain registrar, but it does not have as much experience as a web host. The registration application will then send you a receipt for your purchases via email. Save this receipt for later use. Your domain should be ready for you within 24 hours, although this process usually requires much less time.
5) You now own the domain name at this point.
Step 2: Set Up Your Web Host Account
Choose a web host service once you have a domain name. The most important factors to consider when you make this decision are to select an established service and to avoid cheap offers. Many hosting services that offer extremely low pricing have a large amount of downtime.
Hostgator is a user-friendly hosting service that is reasonably priced and has been in business for a long time. It has a high data transfer rate and provides reliable service. Hostgator offers unlimited bandwidth, allowing it to support a website with a large number of users. Hostgator also provides unlimited disk space, allowing you to put as much content on your website as you wish.
Click this button to display Hostgator’s hosting plans, which currently include a Hatchling Plan, Baby Plan and Business Plan. Select “Hatchling Plan” if you have only one domain, since the primary benefit of the more expensive plans is an unlimited number of domains. Select the length of time for which you want the plan and click the Order Now! button.
2) The next page will prompt you to use an existing domain name or register a new domain name. You already have a domain name at this point, so you should choose the option for the existing domain name. Enter your domain name in the appropriate text field and press the button below this field marked “Continue to Step 2”.
3) Complete the billing and account information on the next page. Click the button labeled “Create Account!” Hostgator will process and configure your hosting plan, which will typically become active within one hour. You will receive information about your account in an email message, including your name servers and login data. Save this information, since you will need it when you configure your domain. The setup for your web host account requires only five minutes to complete.
You have now registered your domain name and obtained a web hosting service. The next step will link these two items together.
Configure Your Domain
The configuration of your domain involves changing parameters such as the domain name system and name servers. A DNS is a distributed naming system for a computer resource that is connected to a network such as the Internet. A name server is a computer that maps the domain name to the Internet Protocol address of your website. This process is quite easy, as you’ll see.
1) Access your domain registrar, which is http://www.GoDaddy.com in your case. Log in to GoDaddy by entering the userid and password that you received from GoDaddy when you registered your domain name. The login fields are located at the top of the page.
2) Click on the Domains tab, and then click on the GO TO button. Select My Account, and then select Domain Management:
3) Select your domain name to go to the configuration page for your domain. This page contains all of the parameters for your domain that you can configure. The configuration page will look like this:
4) Click the link marked “Set Nameservers” to display the following window:
Select the radio button labeled “I have specific name servers for my domains”. Enter the names of the two nameservers you received from the web hosting service into the first two nameserver fields. The field labeled “Nameserver 3” may remain blank. The nameserver information is in the email message that you got from Hostgator when you received the hosting plan.
Click the OK button to enter your nameserver information. This information usually takes effect within two hours.
5) This completes the domain configuration phase of setting up your website. You have now linked a domain name from GoDaddy with a hosting account from Hostgator. This step requires only a few minutes to complete, although it requires additional time to take effect.
Contact GoDaddy about any difficulty you have with your hosting account recognizing your nameservers.
Step 3: Build Your Website
The next step in setting up a website is to install a CMS platform such as WordPress. This platform is free and bloggers have used it for many years. WordPress is also easy to install and has many options that allow you to customize its installation. This CMS is generally a very important tool for creating a website.
WordPress comes with a set of pre-designed themes, which allow you to give your website a professional appearance without hiring a web designer. It also has search engine optimization features that are easy to implement. Many third parties have developed plugins that improve the SEO value of WordPress. For example, the “All in one SEO” plugin makes your website more visible to search engines.
The installation of WordPress can be difficult and time-consuming, especially if you’re a novice. Fortunately, Hostgator has a built-in application that automatically installs WordPress with the click of a button. All hosting plans from Hostgator include this WordPress installer.
The steps needed to install WordPress with the auto-installer from Hostgator are as follows:
1) Access the control panel for your website by entering www.yourwebsite.com/cpanel into your web browser. This step requires your domain to be pointing to the name servers of your hosting service, which you did in step 2 of this tutorial.
2) Log on to your cpanel with the information in the email that you received from Hostgator when you bought their hosting plan. This action will display the Hostgator cpanel, which has a variety of features that will make WordPress more useful for your website.
3) Look in the Software/Services section of the cpanel for the Fantastico De Luxe icon and click this icon. It looks like a blue smiley face and appears as follows:
4) Look in the left sidebar of the Fantastico panel. The Blogs section of this sidebar will have a WordPress link.
5) Click on the WordPress link and follow the instructions to create a new installation of WordPress. The installer will ask you to provide some information needed to configure your WordPress installation, including your email address and WordPress logon information. Ensure you leave the Install in Directory field blank, since you will typically use the default installation directory.
Click the button marked “Install WordPress!”. This will take you to the next page in the installation process, which will provide you with your MySQL user name and the URL to access the MySQL database for your WordPress installation. Save this information for future reference. Click the button marked “Finish Installation”.
6) This completes your installation of WordPress on your website with the “twenty-ten” theme, which is the default theme for WordPress. You will be able to change this theme easily, once you gain access to the WordPress dashboard. This is part of your website configuration.
Your website should now look something like this:
Configure Your Website
You should be able to access your website, allowing you to see the default theme for WordPress. Enter the URL for your website and add the text “/wp-login” to the end of this URL. Press the Enter key to access your WordPress dashboard. You can also access this page by clicking on the login link in your home page’s right sidebar. The WordPress dashboard appears as follows:
Login to your WordPress Dashboard using the login information you provided when you installed WordPress. You will make all changes to your website through the WordPress dashboard, so it is important for you to become familiar with it.
The most obvious feature of the dashboard is the quick links to various features of your website such as category, comments, pages, posts and tags. The dashboard also has a link that allows you to change your WordPress theme.
The left side of the dashboard has sub-menus that provide a variety of functions. The following list describes some of the more important of these functions:
1) The Post submenu is especially important when you use your website as a blog. The dashboard allows you specify the page on which they will appear. You can also choose to display the name of the poster and the date the post was made. A configuration option in the dashboard also allows visitors to leave comments on posts. The dashboard also allows you to create different categories for posts.
2) The Media submenu allows you to manage media on your website such as video, pictures and sound files.
3) The Links submenu lets you create categories for links and individual links. This capability allows you to customize widgets that you can place in your website’s sidebar.
4) The Pages submenu allows you to add new pages to your website. It also provides options for page functions such as changing the page order, the page template, enabling comments and selecting the page slug.
5) The Appearance submenu configures options that control the appearance of your website, including the theme, menus and widgets. These functions provide great flexibility in customizing your website.
6) The Plugins submenu manages your WordPress plugins. These plugins perform a variety of functions for your website, including increased performance of your website, better visibility to search engines and improved appearance.
7) The Users submenu allows you to add or change user settings, including email, passwords and profiles.
8) The Settings submenu allows you to configure other settings on your website. These include the name of your blog, its description, the display for the front page and the date format. Additional features controlled by this submenu include media settings and comment monitoring. The Settings submenu also allows you to access and configure plugins.
Step 4: Get some business cards printed up
By now you should have everything set up and ready to go. Your website, powered by wordpress and hosted at Hostgator should be live. You should have some products to promote through your new partnership with Doba. If you need anything tweaked on the site or any extra work done, you have been introduced to Fiver, the $5 micro business community, where you can find almost any solution you need for your small business. Hopefully you have started to research SEO and have emailed us and taken advantage of getting the best SEO companies bidding for your business. And you have decided to use Yahoo! Merchant Solution for your small business credit card processing.
We are excited that you have taken this journey and have gotten to this point. Running an online business is fun, exciting, sometimes frustrating but in the end it is rewarding to start your own business and learn something new.
The last thing we recommend is old school, get out there and tell people about your new endeavor. Get some business cards printed up at a massive discount rate and start handing them out wherever you go. When someone asks you what you do, don’t hesitate to tell them about your website, what your offerings are, and hand them a business card to make sure they visit the site and have your contact information in case they have any questions. PsPrint is offering a great deal on all your printing needs but we recommend that you start by getting your business cards today.
We hope income.com has been a great resource for you in your desire to get an online business started. If you have any feedback for us. we’d love to hear it. Especially if your going to tell us about how successful the business you started is doing