Is it hard to set up your own website? No, not very!
We have previously discussed ways that you can earn extra income online and the potential that buying a website as an investment may provide. However, we have yet to discuss setting up your own website from scratch.
You might want to set up a personal blog to document your daily movements, or you might be setting up the next amazon! Whichever path you decide to tread, you will probably be going through the same process when you are setting up your own website.
And the good news….setting up your own website is a lot easier than you think!
Things that you need
To start your own website, you only need 3 things:
- Domain Name
- Domain Hosting
- Website manager tool
For beginners, these three terms can seem very daunting. However, in reality, things aren’t so rough! Technology terminology is always quite bizarre, so hopefully we can break these terms down for people who aren’t familiar with them.
To ease you guys in, I will work through how I approached these three steps for my new website InitiallyApps, which I set up in July as a way to promote and advertise my free football app.
Finding a domain name
This is the easiest, but probably the most important of the three steps. Do not rush into this.
Your “domain name” is just the address of your website. You should consider at least the following when selecting your domain name:
- Can your domain name help you with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? For example, you could name your website in line with what your targeted customers will be searching on google. Therefore, for my app, a suitable website name might have been freefootballapp.com. By doing this, customers who are searching google for that phrase are much more likely to stumble upon our site.
- Should your domain name be aligned with your company name? Rather than the SEO route, we decided to find a domain name that included the company brand “INITIALLY” and an explanation of what we do “apps”. Whilst we will lose some google traffic, the primary reason for the site is to create the “INITIALLY” brand and make people familiar with this. Therefore, we decided to trade off the SEO for additional brand impact.
- Is your desired domain name already being used? Unfortunately, there are a lot of websites already out there and therefore a large number of domain names have already been taken. For example, my first idea was simply initially.com, but this was already taken by a jewellery company in Australia!
- Do I need different domains? My app is based on the English Premier League, and hence my target market is in the UK. Therefore, I decided to register a domain name under the suffix .com and also .co.uk.
Once you have decided upon a domain name, you need to purchase your domain. For InitiallyApps, I bought the domain from 1and1.co.uk, as they provide domain names for only £0.99 for the first year. A quick search today shows that this hasn’t changed since I purchases initiallyapps.com:
Great, so you now have your web address sorted. The next step in setting up your own website is to decide how you will “host” your website. This is simply how (and who) will deliver you with the service of providing and supporting your actual website. For this, I would recommend that you shop around to see what is out there.
Again, for initiallyapps.com, I also used 1&1 with their “basic” program which costs £0.99 per month, which includes one free domain name, 100GB webspace and 100 email accounts. For most beginners, this will suffice.
The domain hosting company is your go-to resource when you have issues with the running of your website. If the site goes down, then your users and customers will clearly be affected. Therefore, being confident that your provider will be able to get things quickly back on track is crucial.
I am personally happy with the support provided by 1&1, but I would encourage you to do some research in online forums and opinion sites as peoples’ experiences vary widely between different hosts.
Website manager tool
The final piece of the puzzle is to decide how you are going to physically edit and maintain your website. The majority of people (including myself for both moneystepper and initiallyapps) use WordPress to do this.
WordPress is remarkably easy to set up and very intuitive to use. Its free (which is always nice) and it comes with a wealth of free “plugins” which are created by individuals to solve certain problems. Effectively, if you ever need to add some functionality, you can simply download one of these plugins and there will be one which meets your needs.
You do not need any coding experience at all to use WordPress. It is simply a series of options and checkboxes, and when it comes to writing your content, it is as easy a MS Word to use.
Your domain host will often have a link on their site (in your account section) where you can easily set up a WordPress site. If not, just visit wordpress.org and you can set it up from there.
You will need to select a theme and design your header and format of the site, but all of this is easily achievable without any effort or prior experience.
For initiallyapps.com, I set up a WordPress site. From purchasing the domain to having my website live took me about 60 minutes (no cruel comments about how this was obvious when you look at the site, please).
For whatever reason you are setting up your own website, don’t be put off if you think it is too complex. It is remarkably easy, very affordable and will give you the freedom to share whatever content you wish with your target audience.
With just these three steps (domain name, domain host, website manager tool) you will be off and running in no time at all.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to add them in the comments below.
Otherwise, I wish you all the best for your new site!!