Many people struggle with how to start a website. To the average person, the whole process might seem a bit intimidating. Sometimes it can be downright scary. They often wonder if they have the technical expertise to do it.
The good news is not that hard to get a website up and running. In fact, it can be done in less than 10 minutes. Even better – Do it a few times and the process will be come brain-dead simple!
This tutorial is specifically designed as step-by-step overview of how to build your 1st website.
In fact, I’ll walk you through the exact process I use to create a website.
So let’s get started…
You’ll notice this tutorial specifically talks about installing a Word Press blog. Don’t let the word blog scare you. Installing Word Press doesn’t mean you have to become a blogger.
Simply put, Word Press is the perfect platform for creating any website. What’s great is this platform they make it easy to tweak and customize your website. This is a vast improvement over the static HTML websites that once populated the Internet.
(In the past, I’ve had to change hundreds of pages on my static websites. Trust me, this is NOT a fun experience.)
My point is Word Press is a great tool for ANY website you hope to create. Not just a blog. So follow along the rest of this tutorial to learn how to get one up and running…
The first thing you need to do is register a domain name. Basically this is the online address people will use to locate your first website. Like my blog: SteveScottSite.com.
Now…a lot has been written on the subject of picking domain names. My suggestion is to pick what’s called a “brandable domain name.” This is an address that’s short and to the point.
Think of sites like Facebook, Google, and Twitter. At one point, all were nonsense words that nobody ever used. Now they’re the most popular sites on the Internet. They are BRANDED because people attribute a certain experience with each site.
Here are a few reasons why I suggest a brandable address:
#1. It’s easy to remember: Some people might not initially be interested in your email newsletter. But they might come back if your content is good enough. A brandable web address is easy to remember which helps with repeat traffic.
#2. It’s great for audio and video content: A great way to drive traffic to a website is using audio and video content. The problem is people have to type the URL into a search engine. Use a simple address and people will find your website.
Okay I’ve given my opinion on why you should pick a brandable domain name. At the end of the day it’s YOUR choice. This is a site you’ll have for years. So select something that you like.
Now, there are hundreds of places to register a domain name. Some even spend millions on Super Bowl advertisements. The really isn’t any difference between the domain sites. Most of it comes down to personal preference.
I suggest Name.com simply because it’s the same service I’ve used six years. On this site, you can literally register a domain and have it live in a few minutes. It’s easy to understand and I know what I’m getting with Name.com.
Get started on Name.com by typing in your potential web address:
If it’s available, you can immediately register it:
Simply open an account and making a payment. The process takes less than five minutes.
Once you have a domain name, you’ll set up your web site…
You’ll need to purchase web hosting for your website. This means there is a monetary investment. Now you might be wondering:
“Why can’t I use a freebie service to host my site?”
To be brutally honest, using a free hosting package is the worst mistake you can make online. There are countless reasons for this. I’ll give you one. With a free site you have zero control over this property. That means they can take it down without any reason. This can be a horrible experience – Especially if your web property is earning income.
My advice? Pay a little money to get a quality web hosting service.
There are literally thousands of options when it comes to web hosting. Finding the right one is like buying a new car. You’ll be hit with a bunch of fancy sounding features and tools. But it’s hard to know what you actually need.
To be honest, most sites don’t need a lot of extras. Nowadays the majority of hosting sites provide quality service. That means it’s not necessary to purchase a hosting package with all the bells-and-whistles. Just go for something simple and reliable.
The only requirement is to pick a hosting service that offers the cPanel feature. cPanel is a browser based control panel that provides automation tools. These are designed to simplify the process of hosting a web site. cPanel does many things like: Tracking, setting up a blog, and manage email.
Without going into a long-winded explanation of its features and benefits, I recommend one site for your hosting needs: Host Gator.
- It’s affordable, has CPanel, and includes the tools you need for a small website.
- All of my money sites use Host Gator. In my 6 years of doing business with this company, I’ve never had a problem. Also, they’ve always helped out whenever I had a technical question.
- They have an excellent support section that’s filled with video tutorials. These are great for figuring out those weird things that happen when you run an online business.
Full Disclosure: IF you decide to buy Host Gator, I earn money from this purchase. But that doesn’t affect my recommendation. Like I said, this is the same service I’ve used for the last six years. So I’d make the same recommendation – Even if I wasn’t receiving monetary compensation.
Like I said, picking a hosting service doesn’t have to be a big deal. Just go with one that’s both affordable and reliable.
After purchasing hosting you’ll edit the name servers.
A name server is how your domain registrar knows where the website is hosted. Don’t worry if this sounds confusing.
I’ve created a simple video that walks you through the process of updating name servers in Name.com:
That wasn’t so hard, was it? Editing a name server becomes second nature once you’ve done it a few bazillion times!
Next, you’ll get crackin’ on starting your first site…
The major reason, I love, love, LOVE Word Press is it’s super easy to install a website.
Within the Cpanel area, there is a tool called Fantasico Deluxe. Basically this provides a simple way to install a website:
Installing a Word Press blog is easy to do with Fantastico Deluxe.
Here’s a video where I show how to do this in less than 3 minutes:
Doesn’t look to hard, does it?
Believe me, do this a few times and you’ll see it’s easy to do!
Sometimes you’ll need to transfer files from your computer to your website.
How do you do this?
You use what’s known as a FTP program. To explain, here’s the official Wikipedia definition of FTP:
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard network protocol used to copy a file from one host to another over a TCP/IP-based network, such as the Internet. FTP is a built on a client-server architecture and utilizes separate control and data connections between the client and server applications, which solves the problem of different end host configurations (i.e., Operating System, file names). FTP is used with user-based password authentication or with anonymous user access.
Basically a FTP program is a piece of software that connects a website to the Internet.
There are lots of options for FTP. Some are free and some cost money. The one I recommend is the free program called FileZilla. I like this software because it’s easy to use and understand. In a few minutes anyone can figure it out.
Here’s a video that walks you through the process of setting up the FileZilla:
Pretty simple, right?
After syncing a FTP program, your website is ready for the world to see.
Now the question is what do you put on your site? That’s what we’ll answer in the next section…
A Word Press blog looks pretty ugly when it’s first installed. That’s why you need to install what’s known as a Theme. This gives your site a certain look and style.
For this blog, I use the Thesis Theme. It’s one of the best solutions around for creating a clean, customizable website.
Full Disclosure: If you buy through this link I will make money. But, it’s another tool that I recommend because it’s what I personally use.
Now, you don’t necessarily have to use a Thesis theme. There are many other themes that don’t cost money.
It’s not that hard to install a theme. I found a great video that walks you through the process:
Like you just saw, it’s not hard to find and install Word Press themes. My advice is to play around and see which one you like.
Finally, this tutorial just scratches the surface of this technology. So go check out the Word Press Codex for more information.
At this point, you’ve learned how to start your first website.
So what’s next?
I recommend focusing on creating your first stream of Internet income. The best place to start is with affiliate marketing. This is what I use to generating the majority of my online earnings.
For more on this, go check out my six-figure affiliate marketing strategies web page.