So you want to make a website?
Great! Follow this step-by-step guide, and you’ll have your first website up and running today.
Here’s why you made the right decision to go with WordPress:
- WordPress is the easiest way to build a real website in 2017.
- It’s 100% free and backed by a huge community of designers and developers, with many free themes and plugins you can start using with just a couple clicks.
- WordPress is beginner-friendly. Want drag-and-drop? Got it. Want things to just work without having to learn any code? Got it.
- Great for both small and large sites. Wordpress can do everything, whether it’s a beautiful one-page site, a blog, a professional business site to generate leads, or even a large ecommerce site selling thousands of products.
- Your site will be responsive so it looks great on desktops, tablets and mobile phones.
- It’s SO easy to get free help. WordPress is the most popular way to build a site, it’s super-easy to find quick help whenever you need – whether it’s beginner level or advanced, your answers are a Google search away.
Step 1: Get Your Domain name and Hosting
All websites you visit are loaded from computers called servers. This is called hosting because these servers are hosting the website and serving it to the world.
To get your new website online, you need…
- domain name – for example, yoursite.com
- hosting – this allows your website to be seen by the world
WordPress itself is free. Your domain name and hosting will cost around $3 to $5 per month.
There are still some free web hosting services out there. But your address would be like, yoursite.free-websites-for-everyone.com -not very professional, right? Even worse, free hosts typically put ads on all your pages and you have no control over them. Worst of all is when your site goes down for hours at a time. You won’t have any of these issues when you get your own hosting account.
Using your own hosting makes sure your site loads fast and will stay online 24/7. You are also in 100% control over everything on your site, and you get email accounts like email@example.com -definitely more professional than using a Gmail or Yahoo email like firstname.lastname@example.org…
Where To Get Your Domain And Hosting
I’ve tried many hosts since I started making websites in 2004. At this point, I mostly use www.BlueHost.com for web hosting and domain names for my sites and my clients’ sites. BlueHost is also the official #1 recommended host by WordPress.org.
Disclosure: I use BlueHost and love their hosting service. So all my links to BlueHost are referral links. This means I’ll earn a commission and you’ll get a discounted price if you buy from BlueHost.
You only need their most basic hosting plan (just $3.95/mo). That’s less than a decent fidget spinner, and I’m pretty sure a website is worth more than a fidget spinner.
Here’s why you only need the basic plan: I’ll be helping you do some special optimization steps in this guide to make your site very fast while putting less load on your hosting.
If you already own your domain name and hosting, just skip to step 3 where I will show you how to set up your website.
How To Choose A Great Domain Name
Everyone gets stuck here for a bit, trying to think of the best domain name.
I prefer to keep things simple. First, let’s talk extensions…
- Stick with .com, .org and other familiar domain extensions.
- Be open to other extensions that can be used creatively, such as .ly and .io (
- Avoid weird new extensions like .network, .pizza, etc
- Avoid spammy looking extensions like .info, .ws and .cc
As far as the name itself, it’s very likely that the first few names you try will already be taken. Don’t be discouraged by this. Just get creative and have fun with it. Here are my tips to help you choose a great domain name:
- Avoid hyphens/dashes in the name like my-website.com if possible. It just looks unprofessional and if you get creative, you can find a name without them.
- If your desired name is taken, try adding a short word at the beginning or the end. For example, if your desired name was something.com but it was taken, you could try getsomething.com or somethingnow.com, etc.
To sum it all up, just try to find a name that is brandable, memorable and catchy somehow.
Most importantly, uncertainty leads to inaction, and the only way to get the results you desire is to take action! Do not allow yourself to get stuck picking your domain name. You got this! If you like a name, go for it.
Here’s What To Do Now [Checklist]
- Come up with one or more ideas for your domain name
- Get your domain name and web hosting. As you know, I recommend BlueHost for this. However, you can choose any other web host you want, as long as it’s fast, reliable and easy to use.
Next, you may like to follow this guide showing you how to get set up on BlueHost. I’ll show you which hosting package to choose, how to set up WordPress, and more.