What are the steps to building a website?
When I first became a health coach, I was happy to have someone else create my website for me. I had tried building a website before several years ago and it was a very difficult process. I ended up spending about $5,000 to have someone build a website for me for my e-commerce business. You probably think building a website is a job best left to professional web developers. While this used to be true, these days many people are using WordPress to build their own websites. With a small amount of training, anyone can build their own website today without the need of a graphic designer, web developer or any programming skills. It’s not hard to find someone who will build you a wordpress website for between $250 and $1000 if you don’t even want to bother.
There are many reasons for building a website of your own. If you are trying to market your business online you need to get your website seen by the major search engines. This is next to impossible to do when you have a cookie cutter website hosted by someone else. Having complete control over your website allows you to make changes whenever you want and control the look and feel of your site.
This is a broad overview of building a website.
Each of these topics are their own subject and I will be hosting a webinar on how to do this later this summer.
- Pick a domain name. You should spend some time on this. Simply choosing your business name is not always the best strategy. If you want to market yourself online you will want a domain name that has some good keywords for your target market. You should also always try to pick a .com name if possible. There are several popular domain registrars, with Go Daddy being one of the most well known providors. I have also used Host Gator, but I like the interface on Go Daddy more for domains.
- Get a hosting account. This is where your website will be hosted online. This is one of the few ongoing expenses to having a website online, and can run from $4 – $20 per month. The good news is that for that price, you can normally host multiple websites for the same cost. Host Gator is my favorite online web hosting service.
- Install WordPress on your domain. When you sign up for a hosting account, make sure that it is through a company that gives you your own cpanel. Once you log in to your cpanel, simply scroll down to the Fantastico button, click this and go to WordPress -> New Installation. It will ask you for your username and password. That’s it, you now have a website!
- Install a new theme on wordpress. The theme is what controls the look and feel of your website. The default theme in wordpress is pretty boring, so you will want to change that. There are lots of free and premium themes on the market. My two favorite premium theme providers are Studio Press and Woo Themes.
- Put an opt-in form on your website. You will want a way to collect email addresses from people, the easiest way to do this is to offer them some sort of incentive to sign up for your list either through a newsletter or some sort of free offer (e-books are popular). The opt-in form is created through your email management system, which is the other absolutely neccessary expense for taking your business online. There are several good providers, with Aweber, iContact and Mail Chimp being some of the most popular. You create a form in these platforms and simply past the code into a text box in your sidebar. Take a breath, this is much easier than it sounds, and takes about 5 minutes if you use one of their templates.
Building a website does not need to be difficult.
Of course all of these topics could be dealt with in more depth. I will be putting tutorials up over time explaining each step in building a website in much more detail. In the meantime, make sure to connect with me on facebook and leave comments below.
By Geoff Young