If you want to grow a successful business, you need a website.
Whether you sell a service, a physical product, a digital product, or need a platform to get your message out, a website is one of the best ways to reach a large amount of people.
One of the first steps of setting up the foundation for your new business is to get yourself a website.
A website works for you even when you’re not. Your website can sell for you 24/7. That means while you sleep, while you’re eating dinner with your family, and while you’re on vacation you’re still getting customers, clients, and building an audience.
So why wait? Now is the time!
There have been a lot of people lately asking me for assistance on how to build their first website. And my simple answer is that there are 2 ways to do it:
- Hire a professional to do it for you.
- Do it yourself.
Option 1 is great if you have the cash and the resources to hand it off to someone else to get done for you.
Option 2 is the more budget conscious way that most people who are starting out like to take. I don’t blame them – that’s exactly what I did.
I find it enjoyable to build websites because not only do you get to choose how to set it up and what it looks like, but you get to learn the process yourself and have more control over your website. If you need a small change done, you can do it on your own instead of waiting for a designer to do it.
You may eventually want to hand over that control to someone else once your business takes off but for now, it’s a great way to learn how it all works so you can understand for yourself.
Plus, if you use my recommendations it will only cost you $47.40 for the whole first year!
That’s less than a typical night out for most people or a nice dinner for you and your family.
Trust me, it’s worth it.
Once your business becomes more established and you are making money with your site, you may want to get it professionally designed. But for now, do it yourself so you can get it done and out there for the world to see.
Please know that your website does NOT have to be perfect. It’s always better to get something done and out there instead of waiting until it’s perfect…which it never will be…before you showcase your talents to the world.
If everyone waited to launch their websites until they were perfect, there wouldn’t be many sites out there at all.
You may be asking, but how in the world do I do this? I have no idea how to create a website!
I never had any formal tech or design training either. I learned this all on my own, through research, trial and error, and have built many sites for myself and others over the years. So now I’m happy to be able to share what I’ve learned to help guide you through the process so you can get your website up and running today.
So let’s get started…
Step 1: Pick a platform for your site.
A platform is where your site will actually live. I use WordPress, a content management system (CMS), for all my sites. Just a few of the main perks are that it’s:
- Quick to learn and easy to use
- Search friendly
- Fully customizable
- Mobile and tablet optimized
Plus, WordPress itself is completely FREE.
You can have a blog, add a shopping cart to sell your products, collect email addresses from your audience, add social media share buttons, the list goes on and on.
There are other DIY website services out there like Wix and Squarespace, but I’ve found that although they are also very simple to use, they are not as customizable and do not allow for a lot of the functions WordPress allows you to do.
For these reasons, everything you see me doing from here on out will be on the WordPress platform.
Step 2: Pick a domain name and hosting.
Choose a domain name that is a) relevant to your company or brand and b) that is available.
If you’re selling services, you may want to choose something like www.yourname.com so you can build your branding around yourself. Other examples are yournameconsulting.com for a consulting firm or yournamelaw.com for your law firm. If you’re selling a product, choose the brand of the product as your domain name or a more general company name to start building your website.
A word of advice, don’t limit yourself or your company with the domain you choose. You wouldn’t want to choose a domain name with only the product you’re selling in the title if you plan to expand the product line in the future. You can, but why send your customers to different sites if they want to purchase more than one item from you.
Make it easy for them!
For hosting, I recommend a paid hosting service, as these give you the freedom you’ll need in order to grow your business.
Some people choose to start with a free domain and hosting service like Weebly, Blogspot, or WordPress.org. But these do not offer you much flexibility, plus you pay for what you get. Your site is more likely to go offline for who knows how long and having a reliable web hosting service is key to building your business online.
Plus it looks way more professional to have your own hosted domain name than to show your audience you use a free service. (Your domain name will look like www.JuliesLaw.com instead of www.julieslaw.wordpress.com.)
For hosting, I recommend Siteground as it has been the most recommended and reliable hosting company I’ve come across. I’ve used Hostgator, GoDaddy, and Bluehost and Siteground has by far the best speed, security, and support than the other 3 companies I’ve named. Not to mention they guarantee a 99.9% uptime for your site, meaning that your website will almost never be offline.
Other benefits include:
- Hosting packages starting at $3.95/month (that’s less than a cup of coffee….not per day but per month!) That’s only $47.40 for the entire year!
- Free setup and transfer if you already have a hosted site but want to change to Siteground
- 3 ways to get in touch with them – phone, ticket, and live chat support
- Easy WordPress installation
- Free daily backup of your site (this is soooo important!!!)
- Free domain name and email accounts when you sign up (we’re still under $50 total!)
Click here to sign up for your free domain name with SiteGround hosting.
I’ll walk you through the process step-by-step in less than 5 minutes in this short video below:
Step 3: Install WordPress.
Siteground takes you through installing WordPress to your domain name as soon as you create a hosting account with them.
They make it incredibly easy to set up, but I’ve also created a quick video to walk you through it.
Now wasn’t that easy?
This is just a short tutorial to get you started. But there is still a lot left to do to get your website and blog fully functional to launch to the world.
If you’d like to learn more about what to do after you get your domain, hosting, and WordPress installation complete, please join me in my complete “Create Your Own Business Website and Blog” training where I teach you EVERYTHING you need to know to get your first website up and running how you want it.
I’ll show you how to:
- Choose your WordPress theme and discuss the various free and paid options I recommend
- Determine what layout and settings work best for you and your business site or blog
- Navigate through the widget areas and all the different options you have to customize the look and feel of your website
- The essential plugins every site and blog needs to be successful
- Figure out what pages are necessary to set up and where to find copy for things like privacy policies and disclosure statements (boring, I know, but you want to cover yourself legally)
- Set up your blog page, categories, and how to organize it all
- Create an opt in form on your site so you can start building an email list of your audience
- Connect your social media links so your readers can friend you, follow you, and pin you
And that’s just SOME of the things I’ll take you through step by step to ensure you have built yourself a beautiful website that is easy to maintain and that your audience will love.