An Overview of Website Creation for Beginners
OK, this page has a lot of "meat", but it's important for you to take it all in so you make the right choices for your website. You may even want to bookmark this page because there are a lot of different links and info here.
My hope is that it will take the fear and uncertainty out of what you need to begin. I will cover the basics so you know exactly what you need to get going.
Step 1: Register a Domain Name
A domain is your website home. So yoursitename.com is an example. Registering a name is the first step to getting your site online. This only takes a few minutes and you own the name as long as you pay the yearly fee.
I'll show you how to save a bit of money on the first year of registration below.
Let me prevent you from making a common mistake often made when building websites.
No one will take your website seriously hosted on some free host (where your address is freesite.yoursite.com instead of yoursite.com) so that's not a route I recommend based on some frustrating past experiences with free hosting.
I don't want you to join the hundreds of people who've emailed me over the years expressing their regrets because they had to move their entire site upon realizing the limitations of free hosting.
Save yourself the headaches and create your site correctly the first time. Trust me. You won't regret the decision. Plus, you'll have the comfort of knowing you actually own your site instead of renting it from another company.
I lost 6 websites at one time some years ago because I used a free host. All the money those sites were making went out the window just like that. So I had to start over.
Domains are incredibly affordable compared to what they used to cost ($35/yr). That's what I love about the Internet. You'll never find a more economical place to start a business (if that's your goal.)
Click here to learn how to pick the right domain name and save money.
What kind of site do you want to create? Learn what you need to do based on the type of website you desire.
Website Palace Freebies
If you do decide to buy a domain from Website Palace you will receive a free, 27-minute video to help you setup your site in WordPress.
The video link is located at the bottom of the confirmation page after you order, so don't miss it!
Step 2: Sign Up With a Web Host
The web host houses your website files, videos, images, provides branded email addreses, etc. Most companies have many of the same features these days, it just comes down to cost and who you're comfortable with.
WebsitePalace.com is who I recommend and there is 24/7 phone support should you have any questions about setting up your site.
Simply register a domain, choose a hosting package (you can upgrade anytime) and you're on your way.
Now It's Time to Create Your Site
WordPress is the most popular website building option today. It comes free with any paid hosting package at Website Palace. After you sign up with hosting, simply navigate to your control panel and install WordPress.
After that, just go to yourdomain.com/wp-admin to login and begin creating your site.
Don't forget! You'll get my WordPress Starter Guide and video for free if you choose Website Palace. The download is on the order confirmation/thank you page.
With WordPress, you can create a blog where the content is ordered newest to oldest and by category, or you can create a more traditional/static site like this.
NOTE: As mentioned, you can use WordPress to create a static website if you wish. You'll just have to disable the comments and configure the menus, etc.
Most people prefer to use WordPress these days because of the convenience and also because you need no additional software to build your site.
Check the video below to see how easy it is to get started...
Don't Rush The Topic Choice Step!
Topic choice is a step where people make big mistakes. If you're going to choose a competitive topic, you need to have an angle. Otherwise it will be hard to stand out.
Also, if you want any traffic from Google in the beginning, you must target phrases that are less competitive to give yourself a chance to rank.
Create a Google Webmaster Tools Account (GWT)
After your site is live, it's time to create a GWT account to ensure Google knows about your website and all its pages. Once you've done that, follow the instructions for setting up a sitemap.
A sitemap is simply an XML file that lists all of your web pages. But don't let the acronymn scare you. It's really easy to create.
If you use WordPress, there's a plugin you can install by Yoast that will ensure all your pages listed and it will create a sitemap for you. (Plugin installation help is located in the WordPress video above.)
Having a GWT is very important because you can keep track of your site's health as it pertains to Google finding/accessing your pages, etc.
Want to Build an Online Store?
If you are considering building an online store where you will sell products from your website, there are a few ways you can go about it.
2. Go with a service like Shopify. They also have a WordPress plugin and are one of the more popular online ecommerce solutions.
Watch the demo below...
If you don't want to apply for a merchant account to accept credit card orders, you can always use PayPal. The above three options will get your shopping cart going, but you still need a merchant service to collect the money. That's where PayPal can come in.
Outsource The Programming
If you can't seem to find a script or you don't want to learn how to install the kind of functionality you need for your site, go to Elance and have a programmer do the work for you. I love this site.
All you do is sign up for an account and post a job. In a matter of minutes, programmers will begin bidding on your job with a price. You take the bid you want.
It's very safe because you pay the programmers by using PayPal.com and you don't release the money to them until you are satisfied with their work. You can also check a coder's feedback/history before you select them. I use them all the time!
You can even have them design your site if you wish. Just purchase your domain and web hosting and then have one of the coders create a template for you. They'll even install it for you.
So that's website creation in a nutshell. Also, check out this article where I discuss the common mistakes people make when creating websites.
Here's another article that talks about what it takes to really get a website off the ground.
Are you ready to begin? Start by registering your domain name.
Still have questions? Check out my FAQ's on creating a website.
More Articles About Building a Website
Costs Associated With Creating a Website
Important Facts About Registering a Domain Name
How to Setup and Create a WordPress Blog
Don't Make These Mistakes With Your Website!
Do I Need to Learn Web Design?
Download Artisteer - A Web Design Tool
Learn How to Create a Basic HTML Web Page From Scratch
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