When you first start out online the idea of creating your first website can seem very confusing and knowing what steps you need to take in order to get your website from your thoughts to the internet may feel like it requires a lot of work.
In reality setting up a website is fairly easy and can be done in less than 10 minutes if you know what you’re doing.
By following these 8 simple steps you’ll be able to easily start your first website and begin your journey into the world of the internet.
Lets get started!
Step 1. Choose a domain name
Before creating a website you have to decide on what the name of your website and URL (domain name) will be.
This is one of the most important steps you will make because as you begin to build content on your website everything you create will be linked to your websites domain name (URL) and your visitors will also know you by the domain name you choose.
Some people choose a domain name that relates closely to the main topic of their website and is likely to be searched for under a specific keyword.
Others choose a URL that helps people identify what their brand is about and what it stands for.
In the end you’ll have to choose a name that you’ll be happy with as this will determine what the search engines and your visitors think about your website.
Take your time and think about what you are trying to do with your website and what it will be about to help you decide on choosing the right domain name for your website.
Step 2. Register your domain name
There are a number of registering services that will allow you to register your chosen domain name often for very little cost $10 – $20 per year.
Finding a registering service is extremely easy and can be done simply by doing a search for the best domain registrars.
Tip: Some hosting services such as BlueHost give you a free domain name with your hosting account which can make setting up your website easier and save you a few dollars.
Step 3. Choose a hosting service
After deciding on your domain name and getting it registered the next step you’ll need to take is finding a hosting service that will host your website.
One of the best hosting services I have found and use for my websites is BlueHost which offers unlimited hosting space, a free domain name for your first site, good customer service and a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
If you decide to go with another hosting service here are some useful tips to help you choose a good service.
1. Make sure the hosting service offers good reliability and speed.
2. Find out how you can contact them if you need help and make sure they offer excellent customer service.
3. Check to see if the hosting service allows you to access your website through a control panel so you can manage the back-end of your website.
4. Make sure the hosting service gives you lots of storage space.
Step 4. Connect your domain name to your web host
If you have chosen a web host that offers a domain name with their hosting service than you can skip this step.
If you have chosen a registrar that is different from your web hosting service you’ll need to connect your domain name with your web host.
In order to connect your domain name with your web host all you have to do is ask your web host for your server name or DNS and plug your DNS into your domain name registrar account.
You can also contact your domain name registrar and have them walk you through it.
Step 5. Install WordPress
Not only is WordPress free, it’s also one of the best all around software platforms available for creating websites on.
Whether you want to create a blog or build an e-commerce website WordPress is a great choice.
There are thousands of themes and plugins available t help you get your site looking and running just the way you want.
Depending on your hosting service they may offer a simple one click set up for installing WordPress on your site right from their dashboard.
If this is not an option you can visit WordPress.org and download their software for free.
Step 6. Choose a theme for your website
There are a ton of both free and premium (paid) themes available for WordPress that allow you to choose a design that suits the look and functionality of your website.
While many of the free themes available offer you a degree of design and functionality the premium themes are often more professional looking and give you much more flexibility in customizing your website and can often be purchased for less than $100.
In fact StudioPress offers some of the best premium themes available for WordPress.
You can also read this post on choosing a premium theme: Designing a website on the cheap and why WordPress premium themes rock
Step 7. Configure your website
Now that your website is up and running and you’ve chosen your theme you’ll want to configure your website so that you provide the best experience for your visitors.
Set up your navigation and make it easy for your visitors to know what your website is about and give them easy access to the most important parts of your website.
Choose two or three primary colors to represent your site but don’t go overboard as too many colors can turn off your visitors or detract them from what is important.
Organize, separate and highlight the important areas of your site to provide additional clarity.
Install any plugins that you may need to get your website functioning just the way you want an add any final touches that you may want on your website.
Step 8. Add content
If you’ve made it to this part congratulations you’re all set.
Now you get to have fun and start adding content to your website!
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