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If you have been procrastinating to get your site built because you think it is too expensive, then we are about to walk you step by step to get your blog or website built in the next 45 minutes.
In today’s digital age, if you don’t have an online presence, then you’re well… virtually invisible. Whether you’re an entrepreneur ready to jump in head first with your business idea, an aspiring freelancer, or just an up-and-coming recreational blogger, creating a website should be at the top of your to-do list.
Back in the day, doing this was like climbing a mountain. From having to pay over a hundred dollars for a URL, to hiring an expensive web developer, and then waiting months for a final website – having a website was a sign that your business was making money. After all, not many entrepreneurs have $3,000, $5,000, or $7,000 to dish out to get a www.insertyourbusinessnamehere.com, right?
But, here’s the great 21st-century news…
You can have a professional-looking website up and running in 45 minutes for less than $15. And, you won’t need an expert web developer or a degree in coding to do it! I’ll walk you through step-by-step what to do so you can get a website or blog up online ready to roll in less time than an episode of Power.
Step 1: Find your domain address.
Head over to GoDaddy.com and start searching for your URL. You may have to be creative and open-minded to change in the event the URL is already taken. But, buyer beware… your name must be meaningful and rather easy to remember. Keep in mind, you want people to be able to find your website relatively easily. So, avoid hyphens (because people forget them), using random numbers (because they’re…random), or anything that might otherwise be forgotten. For example, if www.iwriteblogs.com is taken, avoid using www.iwriteblogs123.com, but, instead, try using other variations such as www.expertblogwriting.com or www.blogsinminutes.com or www.cheapblogs.com.
At the top of the GoDaddy homepage, you can search for different variations of your desired URL. If it is available, you will be prompted to purchase it for a one-year license. This will range in cost, but godaddy typically has a promo code to receive a discount on new domain purchases.
Here is a list of the latest Godaddy Promo Codes that will get you a discount. They often run specials of $3.99 for new domain names, but even without a promo code this should not cost you more that’s $9,99.
Having your URL name is one thing, next you need a web hosting that will house all of the content and graphics you post on your website. Let’s do that next.
Step 2: Create a web hosting account.
This is important as this is where your website will live. Hosting plans are inexpensive enough that you should not opt for the free platforms with limited control. Using your own web hosting provides much more flexibility and options.
Our recommended BlueHost web hosting.
Go to BlueHost.com and select the best plan for you. I recommend going with the Plus plan as it gives you the flexibility to grow and host multiple websites on one account. Plus, you’ll get unlimited email addresses and email storage. BlueHost always runs great promotions, so you can get the hosting that you need for $3.95 (or less) per month.
When you select the Plus plan, you’ll be asked to enter in your domain address (that you purchased from GoDaddy). You’ll then enter in your billing address, payment information, and preferred login credentials (your URL address and a password) before it takes you to your personal web hosting account.
This may seem complicated and overwhelming, but trust me it is not as complex as it may appear. The short amount of time that you spend getting this setup properly will be well worth it.
Now, you’re one step closer to having your own website on the Internet. Next up… you’ll need to install WordPress before you can start designing your site.
Step 3: Install WordPress on the server.
To get your website up and running BlueHost.com has made it very easy. First, log in to your BlueHost account, then click the “Hosting” tab at the top of the screen in the menu bar. Under the “website” section click on “Install WordPress”. On the next screen, click the big green “Install” button. You will be prompted to put in the URL address that you want your website to be attached to (the same one you purchased in Step 1 above).
Click on “Advanced Options” and then you’ll be able to start inputting specific items about your website. You can input the Site Title (name of your website) and change the username and password for your WordPress account.
Note: You will use WordPress to edit, add, or delete content from your website. It is best to have a complex password to ensure that your site is well-protected. I advise changing the login credentials that are pre-selected for you and instead use a username and password that you can remember but is not easy to guess. Then click “Install”.
You’ll now be taken to a new login page for WordPress where you can enter your credentials to get into the backend of your website. Bookmark this page, for easy reference later.
If you get stuck, click here.
Step 4: Setting Your Nameservers on Godaddy.com
One additional step that you will need to do to setup your site is set your nameservers inside of your Godaddy account. In plain terms, this is how you tell Godaddy where your website is hosted or where it lives.
Here are the stops that you will need to set your nameserver
Step5: Design your website.
For WordPress, you have the option to choose a free template or a paid template. A template is a pre-designed layout for your website. Without templates, you’d have to pay a web developer to build your site from scratch which is not recommended as templates have become very robust and greatly shorten the time and expense of getting your site or blog up and running.
WordPress has quite a few attractive-looking templates you can use immediately. Or, you can purchase a more customized template from ThemeForest (more on this in a minute).
If you’re not already logged in to your WordPress account, log in using the credentials you created.
Once you’re in the WordPress dashboard. Go to “Appearance” on the left menu bar and select ”Themes”. You will see a few pre-selected free themes already listed. If you want to browse additional themes, click “Add New Theme”. WordPress has dozens of free themes that help you get started in creating your site within minutes.
You can preview each theme before selecting it. And, when you’ve found the theme you want, click the “Install” button in the upper left corner. This will download the theme and configure your website. You can click “Live Preview” to edit the content and images within the theme, before clicking “Save & Activate” to make your website officially live for the world to see!
If you get stuck, click here.
Installing custom (paid) themes
If you want to purchase a premium theme, you can click here and browse through thousands of customized themes to fit your preferences. Themes can range in price from $29 to $79, but may have built-in animation or other eye-catching features that the free WordPress templates won’t. When you purchase it through ThemeForest, download the zip file to your desktop, and log in to your WordPress account. Click “Appearance” on the left menu tab and select “Themes”. Click “Upload Theme” and select the zip file saved to your desktop. WordPress will install your custom theme and you’ll be able to change the text and images using the Live Preview feature. When your template is updated, how you want it, click “Save & Activate” and your custom theme with your new content will be live online.
If you get stuck, click here.
There you have it!
So, for under $15 and 45 minutes, you can go from being “invisible” online to having an official (and professionally-designed) website.
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