So…if I can create my own website…honestly anyone can do it! I promise you! It really is quite easy to create and involves little effort to maintain and is really cool! You publish your own work, interests, and ideas out there on the world wide web for everybody to see! That to me seems pretty special! There are people out there on hand to help you and sort out any problems you have…it is really very easy.
If you can use the internet (clearly you can!) and have a little bit of experience using some kind of word processor then it really is straightforward. No knowledge of coding is needed or any special technical know how…you can do it!
If after reading this guide you still don’t feel confident about creating your own website or don’t think you have the time, but are still passionate about starting a site or blog of your own and would like someone to create your website for you please drop me an email at email@example.com and we’ll have a chat about how I can help out!
What Can I Create A Website About?
ANYTHING!!! You can create a website about absolutely anything you want…what are you passionate about? I wanted to share my travel stories and try to encourage other people to travel and show them that it can be done and barriers can be broken down allowing you to have your own adventures and stories to tell.
But your website really can be about anything you are passionate about…anything…whats your hobby? If you find it interesting you can guarantee that there are thousands if not millions of other people out there who share your interest and would like to check out someone else’s thoughts on it…travel, photography, sports, community groups, news, your business, board games, stamp collecting…anything…a website is a brilliant way to share your interest with others. Plus lets face it…we would all like to earn some money from doing something we are passionate about and enjoy right? Well this is also possible with a bit of extra work and also possible without any technical skills.
Creating Your Own Website Takes as Little as 30 minutes!
Here I am going to walk you through how I created my first website, maybe the best way to use this is to leave this page open whilst opening another tab or window on your web browser to create your site.
- Before pressing a key on a keyboard you need to come up with a name for your website…this is something you should take some time over and there are a few considerations you should take into account. If you only ever want this site to be shared amongst friends and family or your website is a profile for you, Eg. you are an aspiring author, then yeah maybe www.YOURNAMEHERE.com or similar is fine. BUT if you want your website to spread around the WWW and be enjoyed by thousands and have ambitions of taking it further and potentially earning an income then these are things you should think about…
- The name of your website is also referred to as your domain name….every page or post you ever create and share will have this name in the address bar…this is important…so try to be professional
- Make your domain name relevant…there is no point creating a brilliant travel blog and then naming your website something like www.ilovebieber.com….(yeah you’re out there…i know!) At some point google will crawl through your website and you want people to be able to find it who are interested in your subject area.
- Think of your domain name as a brand rather than just a name… This is really important… there is an idea behind My Travel Mission… plus one of the most important ways of attracting people to your site is through social media and creating pages/accounts with the same brand name is a massive benefit.
- Think of the long game…say in a perfect world your website took off and you wanted to expand and create other sites…being able to mould the name into something else would be really great wouldn’t it?
- Keep it simple – don’t over complicate it with punctuation, numbers or anything that you are going to have to explain every time you try and tell somebody about your website!
Getting your website onto the internet!
To do this you need to set up hosting for your website…all this means is paying for your little corner of the world wide web for your website, you also need to register your domain name…with some companies, and there are loads out there, you will have to pay separately for this. I use bluehost who are widely recommended plus if you use them to host your website your domain name registration is free! Result! I have never had a problem, my website has never gone down and if I have ever been confused by anything they have a 24/7 chat service to help you out.
So go to bluehost and you should see a screen like this…
As you’ll see their web hosting costs start from just $3.45 a month and as I said your domain name registration is free with them and you have a 30 day money back guarantee!
- Now click on Get Started Now and choose your plan…
Choose which ever plan appeals to you here by clicking on select, I have only ever used the basic package and it has been fine for me!
- Once you have chosen your package you will be met with this screen…
So unless you have already registered a domain name type in what you want your web address to be in the box on the left and then select what you want the ending to be in the drop down box on the right .com .co.uk whatever you think works best.
Now when you click next…this is where it will check if your domain name is free…meaning that nobody else has registered it! If they have…well that really sucks and it’s back to step 1 I guess!!! Don’t rush t though and choose something that is right for you and is not in use.
Once you have done this then decide whether to sign up for 1-3 years…this is a measure of dedication right here! When you have made your selection it will ask you if you want to add some extra options…I don’t think any of it is needed to be honest and have always unchecked all of it.
You will then be asked to confirm all of your details in the account setup, name, address telephone number etc, once you have confirmed this then you will be asked to setup a password.
Once this is done…you’re there! You are ready to start designing your website, deciding on how it looks and ready to start adding content!
How to start designing your site!
So there is loads of software out there that you can install onto your site to enable you to design your website. The one I use and the one that is most widely used…especially by bloggers…is WordPress, plus it’s free! There are options to pay for premium services within it, but essentially it has everything you need for free!
It is full of features, which in time you will find are really useful. You can add plug ins that will help you in all sorts of ways, including monitoring the traffic hitting your site…this is the exciting part, actually seeing how many people are viewing your posts!
It also is really easy to create web pages and posts and feels like a word processor, there are more advanced options, and a lot I still don’t understand…but the main parts…what you need to get up and running is really pretty simple!
So log into your bluehost account and you should see a screen with a section like this…
Click on install WordPress and click on the “Start” button. Then choose your domain name you have just created which you want to install WordPress onto and click “Check Domain”. You will then be met with a screen asking you to accept some terms and conditions and whether you want to show advanced options…leave the advanced otions box clear…it’s not needed.
You will then be passed onto a window conforming that your install is complete! Woooo Hoooo! If you click on the view under the actions sub heading it will show you your details and show you your website address! Your website is now up and running!!! If you visit the address of your website you will see that it exists but will be met with a generic page till you start publishing stuff!
Now…if you go to your website but add /wp-admin at the end…E.g www.yournewwebsite.com/wp-admin you will be met by a log in page…log in with your WordPress details you created and you will be taken to your websites dashboard. This is like your control centre and is the place where you will spend most of your time (honestly it’s pretty addictive!) creating your posts and designing your site.
Now Choose a theme and start publishing!
So on the left of your screen you will see a menu as shown below…click on appearance and then themes…
You will then see a whole bunch of different themes…there are so so many free themes…again there are some premium ones you can pay for but there is a lot out there for no cost that are really great. You will see example lay outs for each theme…have a browse and then choose one. You will also see a section WordPress.org themes…these are themes created by individuals or creators, third parties…loads of which again are free…I guess that some of them may be a bit glitchy but I’ve used some and they have been brilliant. Don’t worry as well… you can change your chosen theme at any time…so if the one you have chosen doesn’t work for you it’s fine…just go back and activate another theme instead. Plus this means that if you feel your website needs a wardrobe change it can be done really simply!
Create your first post!
So now all you need to do is return to that menu on the left on the dashboard and click on or hover over “Posts” then click “Add new”. This will take you to a word processor type layout (below) where you can start your website creating world!!
So there are a few things that are really helpful to point out here.
- When you add a title to your post…WordPress after a short time will auto generate a web address for your post, usually the title you have created with – hyphens in between each word. Sometimes this is fine, for example I have an about me page and when I put the title as about me…it auto created the web address http://www.mytravelmission.com/about-me. This is fine…but if you want your title to be a few words long then you might want to shorten the address. You can edit this underneath the post title at any time once it is auto created.
- The Add Media button is something I’m always hitting…this is your way of adding photographs, videos, music, whatever you want in your post.
- Next to the align right button….to the right of it you will see a button which looks like a chain link…this is your way of adding links into your website. This is important if you want to insert links to other sites in your posts..it becomes especially important if you begin to look at monetising your site…but that’s further down the road. Once you click on it an option box will appear…type the web address you want to link to in the URL box, and then type the text as you want it to appear in your text…in the text box. If the options box only appears with the option to insert the URL then click on the settings cog and you will then be able to insert text as well. One more thing with this…once you have created your link and it is inserted in your post, it will appear to you underlined and look like a link, however once you have published the post it may not. I always change the font colour, underline it and make it bold once it is created so it stands out.
Again in the menu on the left you will find this. If you click on add new you will be able to search a cool market place for tools to help you with your website. These are things which will really help you.
I use Jetpack to help monitor activity and boost search rankings and also has other benefits like social media settings.
All in one SEO (search engine optimisation) this is something you will have to play about with – but again it will help you with search rankings and also gives you options with your social media publishing.
There are Facebook and twitter plug ins as well…so when you create a post it will automatically be posted to you Facebook or Twitter page.
Pretty link – You can create web addresses here which look cool instead of full of funny characters 1000 letters long!
SumoMe – Something I recently discovered which you can create pop ups with ….yeah you know that annoying thing that comes up asking you to sign up to my website? That was created with this! It really will help you build an email address database, which can be useful later!
Askismet – This is a MUST You wont believe it but people will use any kind of way possible to promote stuff and the last thing you want is adverts for porn in your comments section!!! This will prevent this!
Contact Form is another cool one – you will find this at the bottom of my about me page and it is a cool way of letting people get in touch with you…this creates a button at the top of your post/page creator next to the add media button and when you click it, it will insert a clever bit of code to make the contact form appear…anyone getting in touch with you…their messages will appear in a feedback tab on in the menu…really cool…I’ve even had job offers through this!!
So that’s the basics! Now get creating! Just one thing…you can have your homepage as static or not, this is one of the options…so if you homepage is not static…like mine…your latest blog post will appear at the top of a list of your posts in chronological order. If you want to create something which does not appear here…you want to create just a separate page then instead of clicking on add new post, click on “Pages” then “Add new” then you will create a page with its own address which you can link to!
So there you have it…it really is very easy to get your own website up and running…and remember…I am not massively technically gifted…and if I can do it…anybody can!
Good Luck…and if you have any questions…or think I might be able to help you out somehow…then please either drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or get in contact using the form below.