Build Your Own Website – Tips and Resources

If you want to build your own website, there is a lot to learn, but it can be done! WordPress is probably the best platform, as it is free, although you will have to pay for a domain name, hosting and possibly a theme. However, it’s relatively inexpensive and there are plenty of resources online to help you. I’ll give you some tips to help you get set up as quickly  as possible.

The Basics – what you need to get started

As a minimum, you’ll need a Domain Name, Hosting and a Theme

(Some of the links are affiliate links, which means I get a commission if you buy using them.)

First of all you’ll need a domain and hosting. The domain name is the address eg coolercareers.com, and the hosting is the space your website occupies on the internet. Domain names are payable annually (you can buy for several years upfront) and hosting is monthly – most companies will give you a reduction for your first payment and that can be for differing periods, such as one year or 3 years.

It’s a good idea to buy domain and hosting separately and to avoid free domain names provided with hosting – you want to be sure the domain name belongs to you and you want to be able to change hosting easily in future if you aren’t happy. I’ve changed a couple of times – companies can be taken over by others and their service might not be as good as it was when you signed up. Or you learn about a better, faster service that has recently started up.

Domain

Shop around for the cheapest domain name offers. Most providers will give you a discount the first time you buy.

Be careful to check the full price – you’ll be charged that in future.

Some extensions, such as .london, are much more expensive than .com.  so you could find you pay .99cents this time and it rockets up to $30 per year. You should expect to pay around 10 – 15 dollars, euros or pounds per year after the first year.

Go for .com if you can get it, or if your business is local, a local extension. If you have a business name, use that. Otherwise, you can use your own name, adding an initial or a descriptive word if your name is taken. Eg janegsmith.com or janesmithconsulting.com. You can also go for a catchy name that is easy to remember.

I’ve used godaddy.com and domainspricedright.com. I’ve noticed recently that domainspricedright is a bit cheaper.

Namecheap.com is also recommended by many people.

All of these sites will try and sell you all sorts of addons. You don’t need them. You only need one domain name – not any of the other extensions offered, and you’ll get your hosting elsewhere.

Hosting

Shared hosting is a good place to start – you can go for the cheapest option and you can upgrade in future if you need to.  You don’t need to buy any extras – unless you want https  -usually if you are selling directly from your own site.

Security and backup can all be achieved using free plugins.

Recommended hostingA2hosting

The guy I buy my software from has tested a range of hosts and says A2 is the faster and has great service. I’m moving my own sites there when my present contract runs out.

Themes

There are thousands of WordPress themes out there and they are getting more complicated, because they are able to provide more and more functions.

You can start out with a free theme if you like, until you’ve mastered the basics.

But you will eventually want to upgrade if you are in business.

Here are a few tips to help you choose the best theme for your business or blog.

Check out other people with similar businesses. What do you think works about their site? And what doesn’t work?

If you were a potential customer, would you buy from them or sign up for their newsletter?

Is it easy to navigate the site to find exactly what you are looking for?

How is the site set out? Is it visually appealing or too crowded?

Is the text easy to read?

How does it look on your phone?  Most themes these days are responsive,which means they adjust in size to fit different screens.

If a site is built on WordPress, you can sometimes find out which theme a site is using by going to whatwpthemeisthat.com and entering the url.  However quite a few of the bigger sites have custom-made themes.

When choosing a theme, have a look at the demo and see if it will do everything you want it to. Is it updated regularly? Sometimes you’ll have to pay annually for updates.

Check to see if there is training provided and a users’ forum. Make sure the forum has been used frequently and recently – today or yesterday.

 

Some Themes You Might Like

Package of Elegant themes and plugins, including Divi, one of the most popular and versatile themes available:  Divi

In order to get updates, it does have an annual price tag of $89 or $249 for lifetime membership.

Less Expensive Options

This is great for a blog and has tons of features:

Buzzblog

Themeforest has a huge selection – just use the search box to find a responsive wordpress theme:

 Themeforest

If you decide you’d rather have someone build your site for you, you might like to check out my offer. I use software which can create a custom-made site for you and my basic prices for a one page or 6 page site are very affordable. More details here:  http://wallerjamison.com/wjwebsites

Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about creating a WordPress site.

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