How To Create A Free Basic Website At Home
Okay. I know some of you have read my "Why A Website Building Site Is Probably A Bad Idea" article and are thinking 'what gives?". I stand by that article and everything I said in it. It is 100% a bad idea to build your own website if you do not have the time required to learn how to do so(we are talking months to years). So why write this article? Because WordPress is the exception to the rule. WordPress is the place you can start out with a cheap, self made website and still have plenty of room to grow. The reasoning in this is because WordPress allows full customization of its sites including custom styles, custom designed templates, plugins, and much more. You can't do that on Wix.com or Godaddy. You are stuck with the same generic look and features as every other site made that way. The traffic on those sites are not great. You can research yourself or you can ask why do E-Commerce, larger small businesses, medium business, large business and successful bloggers use either WordPress or custom HTML5, CSS3 websites they pay a developer to design. Compare the traffic and compare the profit. It's easy to see why this option is more viable for you people who just HAVE to do it yourself. While GoDaddy at least offers a section to enable CSS and .php, you are barely able to customize some parts of your website. Now GoDaddy as a web host, sure! It is actually a nice and affordable web hosting company. However, its free web builder is not worth the trouble.
What is WordPress
Most people know about WordPress or have heard of it. What remains unclear to many is how to use WordPress and when you should use WordPress. Let me be clear, If you are looking to build an online store or e-commerce site, you may want to hire someone to do it for you. This is because of the amount of time it will take you to learn enough about WordPress to create a functional site for those purposes. You can find a WordPress developer for rather cheap, I generally build sites for about 25 dollar an hour and a basic site will only take me a few hours to get up and running. I know some people are cheaper but their quality of work is also cheaper and I know that of developers who charge 70 dollars or more an hour but their skill sets are generally much higher than my own. WordPress allows you to create websites for free but a lot of the tools are best used with professionals who understand web standards and can create a modern website that is inviting. However, if you are looking for a basic site to put on a business card or to forward and branch from selling on sites like Ebay, you can get away with building your own in most cases. So let's dive in and talk about the process and provide videos and links to help us a long the way.
Hosting and Domains
Here is where we are going to spend a little bit of money. Now some of you may wish there was a totally free site you could use to get hosting and domain. Truth is you could possibly host from your own computer but this is a bad idea in general. The reason is because security, if you have anything purchasable from your website you need to have dual layers of security available. Now you can buy security for your domain but the issue becomes more complicated if you end up with malware, trojan, or key logger on your computer. Most insurance companies will not cover your home computer in the event of ID theft and you become completely liable. Also, even if they do, the price isn't worth it. GoDaddy pays literally a dollar to insure your site per month, you would pay no less than sixty five. At that point it is more cost effective to use a hosting company anyhow, in fact it's far more. Not to mention as a private consumer you will spend 100+ on an SSL certification, when Host Gator can give it to you for 10 bucks a month. In the video bellow I get into our hosting options and how to keep it cheap while offering a great website that gets really good Search Engine Optimization results due to great security.
The Slightly More Complicated Option
Setting Up Your WebSite Using WordPress
This part of our tutorial will discuss setting up our website. WordPress has many themes, plugins, and styles we can use to make our webpage look appealing and modern. There are also many free security features and social media features we can use to get our site promoted as well as marketing features that are easy to use. When building your website from scratch there are a few things to consider.
- Do I Have A Logo?- Logos are cool things you can stamp on letters and business cards but they also appeal to your professionalism in your small business website or blog. You can make your own logo using various tools such as Photoshop or you can purchase a logo. I do custom logos at my website but if you contact me and mention this blog I will give you 15 dollars off. Meaning you would get a logo for 15 dollars. Other places offer logo making services as well.
- Do I have content- You need to develop content for your website. Gather before and after photos or pictures of your products. Use your website to show off your skills and appeal to customers. If you are blogging, do not recycle blogs from other websites. Even if you own the blog it will hurt your SEO rankings and Google frowns upon it. It will also hurt your original blog. Always use fresh and exciting content. You can redo a blog but make it very unique and use as little information from it as possible. Take some time to study other websites and notice the sections they have. Your contact and about us pages will require some time and thought. Do you want a mission statement? Make sure all images are of high quality and do not display other peoples work as your own.
- Do I have social media pages and advertising plans- I have an entire blog dedicated to advertising here. Assuming you have a plan or are intending to read that blog we will discuss a few things. You will want to start a Facebook for your business or another blog spot for your blog. You can link the two together and have more coverage. It also allows users using smart phones and other devices to connect in the preferred social media. Having a twitter isn't a bad idea either. Please note that you must be careful with these pages as they can hurt your business if you make political comments or other comments that can be taken offensively. You can use widgets to link your social media pages to your website and give your business more credibility in the eyes of your viewers. Then you can use your social media to launch marketing campaigns for your website.
Now that we have considered aforementioned, let's get into how to set up and edit our website using WordPress. The following is a video showing some of the basics to get your going. I suggest getting on YouTube and looking up your chosen theme if you run into issues. I will give you many plugins and explain what they do. Yet, an array of other plugins are available and can help you achieve your goals. On to the video.
Getting Set Up (Picking A Theme , Creating Pages, Menu's, adding backgrounds , logos)
Much More To Do!
I will add videos to my YouTube showing the process of creating the entire website on your own. From start to finish you can expect to spend at least 20 hours on a small website and a week or more on a larger/e-commerce site. Blogging sites will constantly be adding new pages and developing. I will be adding a part two to my Hubs so make sure to follow me and drop a like. This video was just to get you guys started on the path. From here you can check out the information on your theme, check out video tutorials on YouTube for WordPress, or check back for my next video as I update this article and add new ones.