So you’ve decided to go into business for yourself. Congratulations ! You are among the millions of people looking to ditch their 9-5 and generate wealth on their own. The first thing you’re going to need is a website. Think of a website as your digital business card. It is how most of your customers are going to find you and it’s going to give you credibility. Creating your own site seems like a daunting task but if you know how to use Facebook or Instagram you can make a website. Once you understand what each of the different elements that make up a website are, and how to set them up, you will be on your way to building your own website fast and cheap. Now, i feel this is a good time to tell you that throughout this post i will refer you to links to vendors that I recommend. I use them extensively for my clients, and I do get paid a small commission for referrals, but you can use any vendor you’d like. I just prefer these because they’re reasonably priced, reliable and easy to use. Let’s get started !
How websites are built
The best way I have found to explain how websites are built is to compare them to real estate. In order to build a house you need a street address, a plot of land, the actual house or building, an interior designer to make it look nice and your own personal belongings to fill it with and make it a home. How does this relate to the elements needed to build a website ? Let’s take a look at each one
Element 1: Domain Name
Think of your domain name as your street address. In order for your customers to find your website they need to know your “street address”. A good example of this is google.com which is the domain name for the world’s most popular search engine. You can buy your domain name at many domain name registrars but the easiest one i have found is GoDaddy.
Element 2: Hosting
Next you will need to purchase hosting. You can think of hosting as the plot of land upon which you will build your house, or website. In my 15+ years of making professional websites I have used many, many different services providers and I have found what I like to think is the holy grail of hosting companies. This company uses Amazon servers so your website will load quickly. They give you a FREE SSL certificate to protect your website, they make WordPress installation super easy with a one-click install process and they’re crazy cheap. This company is called Wordify and I highly suggest you buy a hosting plan with them.
Element 3: Content Management System
Ok. So by now you have your very own domain name, you have your hosting and you’re ready to start building your website and you need a content management system to build it with. You’re probably asking yourself what is a content management system ? Think of this as the house you build on your plot of land. It’s the foundation, the walls, the floors, the plumbing, the electricity, the roof that makes up your house and contains all your personal belongings. Now, which is the best content management system / website builder on the planet ? The answer is WORDPRESS. This content management system or website software owns 60% of the CMS market online. More than 30% of all active websites are built with WordPress. It is, to me, the most useful and easy to use tool to build websites and it is 100% FREE. I could write a whole other blog post on how to download WordPress and manually configure your web hosting to install this software but you can do all that with one click on your Wordify account.
Element 4: Themes and Design
Now that your house is built you’re going to need an interior designer to help you pick wall colors, hardwood floors, crown moulding etc. This is where your theme builder comes in. My builder of choice is DIVI by Elegant Themes. Not only does it makes customizing every single aspect of your site incredibly easy, your yearly subscription also gives you unlimited access to a ton of powerful tools like Monarch Social icons and Bloom e-mail opt-in that help you market your site and post it on all the major social media platforms.
Element 5: Content
Your house is built, you picked the perfect colors for the walls, you went with marble tiles throughout and your house is ready to be moved into. Now it’s time to fill your new home with all your belongings, your content. These are your logos, text, pictures, files and everything else that goes into making your home your own. WordPress makes adding all these elements and styling them to your liking incredibly easy. There are tons of tutorials online that explain where to go from here but I find that the best teacher is experience. Just go in, explore, and let your imagination go wild.
I hope this brief post was helpful and you are able to get your website up and running all on your own. Please follow me on all social media platforms above, feel free to share using the buttons on the left, join my newsletter and if you need help feel free to contact me for a professional consultation.