If you are thinking about creating your first website, but are afraid, don’t worry this article will show you how.
With all the tools available today, you will gain the necessary knowledge on how to create your first website pretty easily and you don’t have to go broke doing so.
There are only five steps you need to do and you will be up and running in no time.
So if you are ready to start creating a website, let’s get started!
5 Steps Required to Build Your Website
1. Get Your Domain Name
2. Get Hosting for Your Website
3. Decide Which Platform to Setup Your Website
4. Create Your Content
5. Test and Track
Before you even jump into the steps on my list, you must first have some idea about what you want to present to the online world.
In my humble opinion, this is the most essential thing you need to work out in your mind before doing anything else presented in this article.
Sure, you could jump into getting your site online, but if you have no idea of what you want your site is going to be about then you are setting yourself up for failure.
To aid you with this, there are five questions you ought to ask yourself before going any further. They are:
- What problem could you solve?
- Can the information you provide lessen a reader’s stress or fear about something?
- Do you want to help people learn something new?
- Do you want to help readers obtain a goal?
- Do you want to captivate or inspire others?
Answering these questions will help you focus on the type of niche you want to develop your website around.
What’s a niche you ask? It’s simply a segment of a larger market that can be divided into smaller specialized segments of that market.
For example, I like road cycling. I started back in 2014 and since that time, I have learned a lot. The larger market is road cycling, but when I break down the various aspects of road cycling, I can split this topic into specific areas such as riding technique, bike accessories, and bike maintenance.
Since I have developed a significant amount of understanding in this particular area, I could write a decent number of articles that might benefit readers who visit my site because it is something, I am passionate about.
I’ll close with that last sentence…write about things you are passionate about and you will no doubt generate unique and interesting articles for your website.
Step 1. Register a Domain Name
After you decide on the type of website you are going to design, you need to come up with a unique name. Let’s take my topic of road cycling, I am going to call my site RoadCyclingJunkie.com.
To see if that name is available, I am going to go to Namecheap and do a quick search. As you can see, the name is available to me.
As a rule of thumb, you want to select a domain name that has the top-level domain (TLD) extension of either .com, .org, or .net. The reason for this is that these are the most commonly used TLDs online and lend to the credibility of your website.
Now that I have the name of my site all I have to do is purchase it and as you can see, it only cost me $8.88 for a year. Not bad!
Step 2. Find a Web Host
Now that you have your domain name you need to get hosting for your site. People often get confused about buying a domain name with web hosting. The analogy I like to use is when you purchase your domain name, it is the same as locking in the location where you are going to set up your business.
Web hosting is similar except you are using a service that allows you to rent space on the Internet, fill it with all of your media, and go live with your website.
So, when you start a website, all of your text and pictures and videos and buttons, have to be stored on a physical server somewhere that’s connected to the Internet.
For this guide, I will be using HostGator for my website host, because they’re one of the cheapest, and I know a lot of you guys want to save money.
And since this may be your first website, I would recommend going with the Hatchling plan as it only costs $2.75 a month or $33 for the year.
Step 3. Decide Which Platform to Setup Your Website
Now, this is where the fun begins. That’s because this is where you will be building your website.
But before you begin, you have to decide which platform you will use to set up your website, there are three to choose from.
I have divided it into three groups: webpage builders, content management systems (CMS), and professionally developed.
Online Website Creation Tools
Website builders are cheap and extremely user-friendly with drag-and-drop features. You don’t need a Ph.D. in coding or databases for creating a usable website.
There are, however, shortcomings such as slow site speed, lack of customization, and restricted SEO options.
Among the commonly used online website builders are Wix, Weebly, Square Space, Jimdo, Duda, and Webnode.
Content Management System
Content Management Systems (CMS) enable users to create professional websites with no technical background, but without the constraints, one might have if they went with a website builder as a solution.
Also, using a CMS allows users to get started quickly on their website with very low costs on the top-of-the-line design on professional functionality. Among the common use of CMS are WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Shopify, and WooCommerce.
Unfortunately, this requires a solid understanding of the coding language and many hours of work.
Out of the three web-making platforms presented, this is the most expensive solution, however, it is the best solution if you have the time and money.
I am going to safely assume you don’t have lots of time and money, so I am going to recommend you use a CMS, Specifically WordPress.
There are several reasons I recommend you use WordPress for your site.
First, WordPress is a free product. You do have to pay if you’re hosting on WordPress.com, but usually, people are up for the self-hosted version, and because of that, you’re not paying for the software.
Second, you don’t need any coding skills to get started with WordPress. It has an admin interface that is super easy to use and very intuitive, making it very user-friendly for beginners.
And if you ever find yourself stuck, there is a huge community of users that are always happy to give a helping hand to anyone who needs it.
Plus, because WordPress is so popular, there are tons of online resources is available for free so anyone can understand how to use the software.
Third, is the infinite ability to customize your site to your liking. You can change the look of your website with themes.
For example, Theme Forest, which is one of the biggest marketplaces for digital goods, has over 12,000 WordPress themes for sale.
So, no matter what your website is about, it’s impossible not to find a suitable theme.
Additionally, you can customize your site using plugins. Plugins are a great way to add additional functionality to your side. To recommend one over another would be pretty difficult because the list is quite enormous.
One tip I could give you is to find a website you like and then go to WPThemeDetector and type in the address of that website. You will get the theme that was used along with any plugins that were detected.
Lastly, SEO tools are built into the platform. Meaning, it’s very easy to change metadata like title descriptions, and URLs for your posts and pages.
Once you make any changes to your site, Google is automatically alerted by WordPress to crawl your site. Doing so can help your website rank on the first pages of any search engine.
Another benefit of using WordPress is that it is a very secure platform so you can arrest assured that your website files are safe as long as you follow some basic security guidelines.
Of course, nothing is 100% safe on the Web, but it is certainly much safer to use WordPress instead of static files for your website.
Step 4. Create Your Content
Content is king! This is a mantra that you hear over and over again because the information you provide will be the heart of your website.
There are five types of content that you should be thinking about to help you promote your product or service online.
The first type is posts for your website. Having a blog on your site is useful for SEO or search engine optimization. Search engine optimization is the art of, optimizing your website in such a way that search engines such as Google are more likely to rank your website for keywords and phrases that are relevant to your particular business.
Google loves websites that are constantly being updated. Routinely updating your posts and pages shows that you care about your website and that the information on your site is more likely to be relevant and up to date.
The second type of content that you need to create is your lead magnet. your lead magnet is what’s going to attract people, not just to your website, but to your mailing list. Typically, you will want to be offering something for free such as an eBook, video course, or a free guide.
In return for this, you’re going to ask them for their name and their email address so you could touch base with them, send them more useful content, and also refer them to your product or your service that’s hopefully going to help them further their endeavors even more.
This leads me to number three, which is email content. Once you have people in your database, what types of emails are you going to send them? What are you going to put in your subject?
What is going to be in the content of your email and also keep them clicking the links, replying to some of your emails on really being an active part of your community?
In essence, you want to periodically communicate with those who have signed up to your email list so that in the future, you may offer them other products or services.
The fourth type of content is reviews. Reviews are where you look at products or your services and offer recommendations as to whether they are good or bad.
If you opted for affiliate marketing on your website, then there’s no doubt in my mind that a majority of your posts will consist of reviews.
The only thing I would caution you on is being familiar with the product you are reviewing. If you do not, it will become very apparent to visitors to your site and they will probably leave your site.
The fifth and final type of content is social media content. Social media has fast become the way people connect and engage with others online.
A great percentage of this engagement is through video. As a rule, you want to make sure you have a video embedded in your post or article that will stay on your site longer.
This is great for Google Analytics, or you can redirect them to your various social media platforms where they can see more content.
Step 5. Test and Monitor
This is the last step, but you will quickly find that you will be continuously doing the previous step and this one for the duration of your website.
Just as with writing unique and relevant content for your site, you’ll also want to test and track your site regularly to ensure it is fully optimized for SEO and that your content is converting.
One tool that can help you do this is Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a must-have tool for anyone interested in growing their website with digital marketing.
Once you have set up Google Analytics you will able to see all sorts of important data for your website.
The data will be obtained through a tracking code you install on your website, and with it, you will see information such as, where are visitors coming from Google, YouTube, and Facebook.
How long are they spending on your website? Which pages are they clicking on?
Additionally, you can get demographic info like their age, whether they are a man or woman, or what’s their city or country.
With this statistical information, you can target your content to a specific group of visitors coming to your website and hopefully grow it with the valuable information GA provides you.
By following the steps in this guide, you will be able to create a website that can become your virtual home on the internet.
From writing compelling content and optimizing it for SEO to producing videos and reviews, you’ll want to make sure your content is objective and relevant to what people are searching for online.
Finally, you’ll also want to track and monitor your website using tools such as Google Analytics so you can determine what is working and not working with your site so that you can continuously improve it over time. Good luck!