Today it’s much easier to get your name out there. While before you had to put an ad in the newspaper or in yellow pages if you wanted people to find you, the internet has changed all of that.
It seems as though everyday that a new social media platform is born. Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter are just a few names nobody even dreamed of 15 years ago.
The one thing that’s remained constant since the beginning of the internet is the website. If you want to be found online, you need one.
Luckily there are tools today that make it easy to get your own website. It’s much easier than you think. Here are 5 building blocks you need when you are starting a website.
The domain name is what people type into the address bar on your browser when they want to go directly to your website.
So for example, the domain name for facebook is www.facebook.com. For google is www.google.com.
Whenever you’re choosing a domain name, you want something that people can remember and easily associate with your business or with you.
This is easier if you have a business name that’s unique.
Sometimes you will run into issues where your domain name is taken. Luckily, there are so many possible combinations that there’s always a way to find an alternative name.
It’s usually best to go with a .com. For whatever reason most people feel more comfortable with that.
A domain can usually run you anywhere from $3 to $10. That’s the price for a whole year.
Once you’ve bought your domain, that’s all you have at the moment. If you type into the browser, you’ll have what’s called a parked page.
All that means is that the website you purchased your domain from, i.e. Godaddy, Namecheap, is holding a place for your site address.
However, if you want to build a website, you’re going to have to get hosting.
Hosting is where all of the files from your website are going to be saved. Without getting too technical, what’s happening is the files from your website are being saved on another computer(s).
There are many types of hosting. The more traffic your website receives, the more expensive your hosting beocomes because so many people are accessing the site.
If you’re starting out, you can get away with starting on the lower end. Usually, Hosting will be anywhere from $5 to $15 per month.
Content Management System
Ok, so now you’re setup. You have your domain and you have your hosting. Now the next thing to do is to start building your site.
Whenever you start building your site, you have to take into account you’re going to need a few basic pages. Remember, your site is your way of creating a first impression on the internet.
It’s basically your virtual business card, but much more powerful.
Building a website can get technical. This is usually the part where most people freak out.
If you’ve bought the domain and the hosting, you’ll probably get some login credentials to something called a cpanel. Cpanel is an interface that allows you to add domains, upload files, create email addresses; basically everything that has to do with your website.
If you have cpanel then you most likely have the ability to install WordPress.
WordPress is a content management system. It allows you to build your site by simply typing in text or adding images . You don’t have to know how to code with WordPress. If you do, then you can add more functionality to your site, but 80% of people would be fine with a simple WordPress installation.
Cpanel usually uses a program called Softalicious or Fantastico to install WordPress. The installation is easy to perform and takes less than a minute.
Adding this is usually free at no additional cost to you.
Depending on your site it may be a good idea to also have a blog page. That’s the page where you’ll add articles that people want to read about.
While the WordPress default theme is organized, it isn’t the most elegant. If you want a more professional looking design, you’re going to have to buy it. Places like Themeforest and Elegantthemes have great templates.
They usually have templates based on industries, so whatever template you’re looking for they’ll have.
Template prices can range anywhere from $39 to $299. The good thing is that this is a one time fee.
How we use the internet is constantly changing. One such proof of that is your mobile phone. People are browsing more and more no their mobile phones and tablets than their desktops.
As such you have to have a website that can adapt. One that you can integrate with social networks. One that is mobile optimized. One that allows you to either sell products or get capture information from people that could be potential customers.
WordPress sites have different plugins that range between free and paid that can help you further optimize your site for these types of things.
Putting It All Together
If you have these 5 building blocks you will have a website in place. It may seem difficult but it really isn’t.
What if I told you there is yet an easier way to build a website?
Well, there is. There are programs that allow you to pay for a small monthly fee (usually between $1.99 – $14.99/per month) that will give you access to all of the building blocks in one place.
These programs are called website builders.
They allow you to easily create beautiful websites with just a few clicks of the mouse. No need for installing anything. All of your domains, hosting, templates, and add-ons are in one place.
We personally recommend Wix.com
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