You will learn how to make a website and save yourself possibly thousands of dollars in web developer fees. Don’t pay thousands of dollars for something you can do yourself, with zero experience and no coding knowledge. I’ve created dozens of websites for myself and others, and I know no programming or coding. See, it just isn’t necessary nowadays.
A while ago, in order to make a website, you needed to know a bunch of technical stuff or hire someone who knew all of that… But not anymore. Seriously.
The first website I used using this method was an online store that made thousands of dollars in its first months of being online. It was awesome! And this website is built just like this as well.
That being said, I’m going to show you how to make a website, right now.
- Before You Create Your Website
- How It All Works (An Overview)
- What You Need To Get Started
- Video #1: Getting Started: Purchasing domain, choosing a hosting provider, and installing WordPress
- Plugins And What They Can Do For You
- Installing a WordPress Theme
- Basic WordPress Features
- Video #2: Getting Started With WordPress and Installing a Theme
Before You Create Your Own Website
Making your own website is extremely exciting. You will go from a blank page, to creating your own place on the internet. People will look at you as if you were a genius for being able to do this completely on your own.
Given that, you will get confused at times. There are a lot of new words you may have never heard before, or have heard them and will finally know what they mean.
You may not be able to find a link, and in the worst case scenario you may have to call up customer service a couple of times. But trust me, a couple of hours invested in creating your website is worth thousands of dollars if you consider how much you would have to pay a web developer.
When it gets difficult, remember… you can always start over, and there is no way of messing up, really. Your computer won’t explode, you won’t crash the internet. If your website busts for some unknown error, you can always start over with a quick phone call or email.
How It All Works (An Overview)
We can get into a bunch of technical terms to describe what a website is, how it works, and what they can do. But we’ll do it the easy way instead.
You know how you type in google.com on a browser? The “google.com” part is a domain name. It is the name that your website is given, and has to be registered with a registrar who can prove that it is yours. You can buy one for around $12 for one year on namecheap.com, or through another registrar.
All websites are stored on something called a server, which you can think of as a huge USB flash drive somewhere in some other state or country. It has all of your website’s information on it, and you have to pay in order to keep your stuff on it. You can pay as little as $5.99 per month to get started.
Pheew, those are all the costs involved. Thank god.
$12 + $5.99 = $17.99 to get started on your first month, and around $5.99 per month for hosting. There are plans out there through Bluehost that offer prices like $3.49 per month, but you have to pay for at least a year in advanced, which are straight up awesome deals if you ask me.
Note: Remember, those costs do NOT go to me, I’m offering this tutorial for free.
Given that, a website with just hosting and a registered domain name is just… a blank page. So some awesome people over at WordPress.org (a large community of web developers), have a platform available for free that lets you add pages and content. It makes it very easy for you to make your own website.
You can also add free templates (layouts) that can make your website look like the homepage of Apple.
You can add free code that can turn your website into an online store, into a forum, a blog, a portfolio, a photo album, a video website… and it won’t look like crap.
You can make money from it by placing ads on your website, offering your services, and even accept payments via PayPal.
What You Need To Get Started
- Think of your domain name.
- Recommendations: Try to select a .COM website, do not go for a .NET or a .CO, unless you are convinced that you want that. .COM’s are more common and do not confuse people.
- Stay away from hyphens on your name. THIS-IS-AN-EXAMPLE.COM.
- Create something easy to remember
- Watch out for typos, unless it is intentional.
- Pick a hosting provider
- This is the huge flash drive remember? You want one that is reliable, provides great customer service, and has a great track record.
- This website is hosted on Bluehost.com at $3.95 per month, by paying upfront. You can get the same deal by going through my affiliate link JourneyFeed.com/Bluehost
- Other websites that I want to pay very little for are hosted on 1and1.com, get a great deal by going through JourneyFeed.com/hosting. At the time of this publication, they’re offering $12 for a year and a free domain!
- Have a credit card handy in order to pay for the previously mentioned services.
- If you really want to, you can spend less than $20 dollars to get started and still get a great service.
- If you are truly committed, pay hosting in advance in order to really save in the long term.
- Set aside two hours to set up your website, and as much time as you want to add content, edit it, and make it look awesome.
- Don’t worry, by the end of this tutorial you will know how to add your own stuff and play around with your brand new website
Are you ready? Let’s go!
Video 1: Getting Started: Purchasing domain, choosing a hosting provider, and installing WordPress.
- A domain name is the name of your website (“example.com”)
- Hosting service provider is the service where your website is stored
- WordPress is a platform that lets you modify your website
- Some hosting providers like Bluehost, GoDaddy, and HostGator offer a 1-click installation for WordPress, which is awesome
- If you are committed and can afford to pay up front, I strongly recommend Bluehost, for as little as $3.95 per month. Check out my affiliate link at journeyfeed.com/bluehost for a FREE domain, a one-click install for WordPress, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- If you are looking for something much cheaper up front but quite reliable, I recommend 1and1.com (affiliate link) for a FREE domain, and 99 cents per month if you pay for a year up front. That’s LESS than $12!
- GoDaddy.com is what I am using right now, but I found a super coupon for 12 dollars of hosting for a year. The same as 1and1.
- Links mentioned:
If you purchased your domain name and hosting from two different places, you have to “link” them. Basically, you point your domain name to your server.
Instructions on how to do that can be found on this page by NameCheap.com. If you’re stuck, please call the registrar you used and they will help you out.
Plugins And What They Can Do For You
A plugin is an add-on or extension to an application that helps you add a specific function to your website. For example, if you want to add a form to accept email addresses on your website, search for a plugin, install it, activate it, and suddenly you’ll be able to do that.
You find these directly on your WordPress admin page, on the right side. Once you click “Add New” you’ll be sent to the search page with a list of recommended plugins.
I have my own list of essential plugins that I use on this very same website that lets me do a bunch of stuff. You can find the complete list by clicking here, but I’ll show you what I always install at first:
- Akismet by Automattic
- Helps prevent spam on your website
- Beaver Builder Plugin (Lite Version) by The Beaver Builder Team
- This lets me drag and drop stuff to design my own pages and have them look how I want them.
- Disqus Comment System by Disqus
- A comment system that replaces the WordPress comments.
- Google Analytics Dashboard for WP by Alin Marcu
- Let’s me see my traffic and other important analytics directly from my free Google Analytics account.
- Pretty Link Lite by Caseproof
- Can make super complicated links look nice.
- Title Remover by Brittany Internet Services
- Removes titles from pages. Sometimes they just don’t look right.
- Yoast SEO by Team Yoast
- Helps me with SEO keyword placement and makes sure everything is ready to go before I hit “publish.”
Play around with plugins and figure out how they work. A good tip to take into consideration is to be sure that the plugin has been updated recently by the plugin creators. As WordPress evolves, some plugins just stop working if they don’t get updated as well.
Installing a WordPress Theme
In this section, we go over installing a theme directly from WordPress (for free).
- In your WordPress admin page, head on over to the right side and to Appearance, then Themes.
- Search for a theme or click Add New to search for a new one.
- Click install and activate what you like.
- Go to Appearance, then Customize to make changes and view the theme options.
Basic WordPress Features
In the video, we go over how to add a new page, do basic changes to your WordPress theme, and install a couple of plugins to see their effects.
Video #2: Getting Started With WordPress and Installing a Theme
- Plugins are like apps for your website.
- A theme is a layout for your website, you can make it look as crappy or as professional as you want.
- When searching for themes, people use terms like these: One-page, full-width, parallax, business, portfolio, light, dark, etc.
- Log in, click on Appearance, click on Themes, Add New, and search for a theme.
- Search Google for “free wordpress themes” or “best wordpress themes”
- To create a page, go to Pages on the left side of your admin page, click Add New
- Free WordPress theme used: https://wordpress.org/themes/jax-lite/
- Canva.com to make your own graphics for free
- Fiverr.com for cheap design and other services
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