Over the years I’ve heard so many beginners say that they can’t make their own website because it’s too difficult, too technical, too expensive. If you’ve seen any of my video tutorials, you’ll know I’m kind of a stickler when it comes to keeping things simple. This is no exception – I’m giving you stupid-simple step-by-step instructions on how to make your own website. So let’s jump right in!
In the same way that a street address points to the location of a home, a Domain Name points to the location of your website. It’s the address they are going to type into their internet browser to find you. An example of a domain name is.. www.YourBusiness.com.
Web Hosting is the second, and final, essential part of any website. It’s the plot of “land” where your website is built. It’s what actually holds your website. Simply put.. your address (domain) points to your home (hosting), and BOOM you have a website. Pretty easy to understand, right?
You’ve probably heard of the top four: GoDaddy, HostGator, iPage, and BlueHost.
I recommend HostGator, for two main reasons:
Now that you have the essential information for starting a website, we are going to start the process. In the next step, we will be getting our domain and hosting from hostgator, and then setting up our site.
Stroll on over to www.HostGator.com, and we’ll get started.
Once you’re there, click on “Web Hosting” in the navigation bar.
1) First, you will choose which plan is right for you. I recommend starting with the cheapest, most basic plan, called “Hatchling”. It has everything you will need for your site – and it’s cheap!
2) Second, choose a period of time you want register your website for (remember you can always renew it later). The longer you register your website, the cheaper it will be. I recommend the 1 year option. It’s the perfect middle-ground for both price and commitment (And you will get a good bang for your buck with the coupons below).
This is quite possibly the most important part of your web presence, because it’s going to be how people find you. Like we discussed above, your domain is the “address” to your website (like.. www.YourBusiness.com).
After scrolling down, you should see what is pictured above. We already selected our package type and billing cycle, so now you simply have to choose a Username and PIN.
Take a few minutes to enter your billing information, including whether you want to pay with a credit card or Paypal, and while you do that, I’m going to make some pancakes or something. If you take a really long time, I might even fry up some bacon.
Actually, now I’m craving bacon. Please take your time.
What are add-ons?
Add-ons are additional services provided by web hosting companies like privacy, acceleration, site backup, etc.
The honest truth..
Most people with personal websites simply don’t need them. It’s easy to get caught up in buying when it’s “highly recommended” by the hosting company. But take my word for it.. it’s not needed.
The ONLY ONE I recommend..
The only one I use for my all of my websites is Domain Privacy. Just as it sounds, it keeps your information private. It’s more or less the equivalent of keeping you out of the internet phone book.
Here’s why that’s important:
If someone does a WhoIs search, simply by typing in “WhoIs” and then your domain name into Google or any other search engine, it’ll pull up your name, home or business address (whichever you’ve associated your website with), phone number, etc., (all the things you don’t necessarily want strangers to know). But if you add Domain Privacy Protection, HostGator will put in their information instead of yours.
Before you check out, there’s a little box where you can type in a coupon code to bring your cost down even lower.
So now, being the careful consumer that you are, review the breakdown of charges and make sure everything is right. Then simply..
After completing the purchase you’ll receive a lovely email from HostGator, thanking you for your order and giving you some important information that you’ll need to move on to the next step. Save this email, because it has everything you’ll ever need to log in to your website. Please, don’t rely on memory. Even after reading this article your brain is so full of information that it can’t help but leak a little. Trust me.
Click on the link for your Control Panel in the email from HostGator, and sign in using the username and password that they provided.
Once logged into your cPanel (as they so succinctly nicknamed it) you’ll see sections like Preferences, Mail, and so on, all things that you will want to spend some time on to customize your site. But for now let’s just install your site, and you can do all of that fun stuff later, without me looking over your shoulder.
Yes, even if you’re not creating a blog. Trust me on this one. WordPress is so crazy-versatile for any kind of website that you want, and it’s used by something like 60% of sites on the internet now.
Prepare to be amazed. Seriously. This process can be very technical and usually takes a really long time, but with QuickInstall, if you blink, you might miss it.
So scroll down a little, and you’ll see yet another username and password, which you’ll use to to log in to your WordPress dashboard.
This is where you’ll go to add content, make changes, and all that good stuff that will make your website unique, so don’t lose it.
I know what you’re thinking – that’s it? This is what I’m paying for? It’s so blah, so bland, so boring. Well, have no fear, my creative friend. WordPress has thousands upon thousands of themes that you can use for free, because it’s an open source platform. That means that anyone can create a template, and you can take their inspiration and then draw from there. You can easily make any changes you want to make on your own. Be creative, and remember that this site is how you’re showing yourself to the world. First impressions are especially important on the internet, so make it pop!
Now go back and refresh your page, and there you go, your site with a fancy new theme! Well, not exactly. There’s a whole lot more customizing you can (should) do to dress up your site, and under Appearances you can do just that. But I’m on the clock here, so I’ll let you explore and finagle those on your own.
So if you were to go live right now, your website’s first post would be “Hello world!” Cheesy, right? If you’re making a website at all, I’m guessing you have something better to say than a generic greeting.
Now when you refresh your site, your blog will have been updated.
Now when you refresh your site, the “About Us” page will have been added to the navigation bar!
Then when you refresh your page, your new Title and Tagline will appear!
So there you go, a quick overview of the easiest, most dummy-proof process of creating your own personal or business website. Let the awesomeness commence!
"I just created my first website with this tutorial. Super simple to do."
"Wow man, you inspire me. This is great! I watched a few of your videos and your so smooth and to the point."
"I wish .. oh man I wish I would have looked this video up before I went down the drama i just and still am going through! Long story short.. I got over whelmed and over charged through GoDaddy and it was crappy.. I have cancelled but kept my domain (it's mine) but, moved everything over, after a few short stalls.. Im going strong, thank you so so much for this VIDEO!! "