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A Dummies Guide to Starting Your Own Website
Getting Your Own Website
What a long strange trip it's been......
If you've ever decided to "get" your own website you will know exactly what those words mean. Long and strange is just about exactly how I could describe my venture into owning my own website, or "domain" as some techies would call it (your website is your domain)
My venture into Internet webland started about 3 years ago, before I even became a solid writer here on the Internet. I have definitely learned a few things along the way, especially on what not to do when getting your own website (not that I'm an expert or anything like that, but I have got a few mistakes under my belt)
First Website Through Yahoo
First of all let me go back and tell you a little history about me. I am a former small business owner specializing in marketing, design and writing (besides being the janitor,accountant and just about every other job title one could think of in our former business) One day I decided it would be really cool to have my own website apart from the wonderful website that our franchise supplied us with. So my first website was bought through Yahoo and was called "InTimeSurvival". I thought I had a brilliant idea, to have a website to discuss all of the pressing issues of the day including green living, survival tips, yada yada. Not a bad idea - however - buying this website through Yahoo came with plenty of restrictions. Come to find out that I didn't really "own" that website, I was only purchasing a service on the web to have a website that looked like....well a website. There was no freedom in editing it. I was stuck with premade templates that made me gag, and honestly, I think I lost interest within minutes of my official website "buy". So it sat... and sat... and sat...
Venture number 2 was better as I had this wonderful idea to sell banners after the movie "The Passion of the Christ" came out. This turned out to be a better idea as a friend of mine was a webmaster so he hooked me up, maintained the pages and uploaded everything I needed, including a shopping cart. The site looked pretty good but it made NO money. Nada. Zip. Not a dime.
Hmmm... so this idea of making money on the Internet with my own websites was starting to lose it's glow. I honestly started to think just how in the heck do people do this anyway? Wasn't I supposed to just put a website up and sit back and watch the money flow in?? Where was the problem here??
Vista Print-Great for Business Cards
Website Number 3 Through Vista Print
Not one to give up easily, I thought surely website number 3 would be the big hitter. After all, this website was my name. How wrong can you go with your own name? I knew I was already starting to get some good name recognition on the web... so hey maybe this one just might be the ticket...
Mistake number 3. I purchased this website through Vista Print while getting some business cards. $4.95 a month to have my own website was just too. good to pass up, right? WRONG AGAIN. At least this one had a few more bells and whistles. I was still stuck with a lack of freedom though - and come to find out that I didn't even own the website (my own name for goodness sake) so now my name is hostage to VistaPrint. Waste, waste, waste of money. I couldn't even put my google adsense on my new website so what exactly was the point of this? I was becoming decidedly deflated by my website "purchases".
Grannies Green Living- Website Number 4
My "About Me" Page at Grannies Green Living
Buying My Own Website Domain - It's Really Mine!
So now we get to the good part....lesson number 4, but this one has a happier ending. (Well it's just the beginning but you know what I mean)
Determined to get this right, I decided to go for website number 4. This time I did something very right though, I went to the hubber forums here and asked questions. Thanks to the wonderful friends here that I have made, I finally got steered in the right direction (BTW when people say it's not what you know but who you know they are SO right) Thanks to friends like Misha, Eric, Lissie,Thranax, BDazzler, Sweetie Pie, Darkside, Marissa Wright, Lisa HW and a host of others (you know who you are and I adore you all), I got started the right way this time by going to Hostgator, where I purchased my own domain name (website) which I now own, free and clear. No fooling around this time. No more hostage situations for me.
So after picking a domain name (this is not as easy as you think) I finally got "hosting" throughhostgator for my website, complete with a scary looking "C-panel" with all kinds of widgets,gadgets and techie stuff enough to scare the pujeebies out of me.
Not being a quitter however (you probably get the picture about my tenaciousness by now) I started to take little baby steps towards dolling up my new website. Through the help of other writer hubbers here I picked Word Press to run my site with a theme that I liked (getting that installed one night was probably about the worst strangle the computer night I've had in awhile) Anyway, to go on here I finally got a theme I liked and started to learn how to navigate the word-press template.
So as we get ready to wrap up Part 1 of a Dummies Guide to Getting a Website - let's call this one hub and save the rest for later, shall we? Plug-ins, SEO and all that other stuff can come in future hubs.. Point being here fellow writers and entrepreneur's, if I can start a website so can you. Go for it and if I can be of any help like my fellow writers have been for me, then come meet me in the forum to talk about this. If you have a willingness to learn and be patient you can make your own website too!