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A Dummies Guide to Starting Your Own Website

Updated on March 23, 2013

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

I got my business cards through Vista Print and was very happy. Having a website through Vista Print though should be for only really basic reasons.You won't own your website and this could cause problems for you down the road.
I got my business cards through Vista Print and was very happy. Having a website through Vista Print though should be for only really basic reasons.You won't own your website and this could cause problems for you down the road.

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

I absolutely love the new template for Grannies Green Living. The colors and vibe are exactly what I was looking for for my readers.
I absolutely love the new template for Grannies Green Living. The colors and vibe are exactly what I was looking for for my readers. | Source

My "About Me" Page at Grannies Green Living

This is my about me page where readers can read a short bio about me and what Grannies Green Living is about
This is my about me page where readers can read a short bio about me and what Grannies Green Living is about | Source

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!

My Latest "Post" at Grannies Green Living

The nice thing about your website is that you can write what you want. I linked back to another hubbers article here at  Grannies Green Living website (Robie aka pinkpackrat)
The nice thing about your website is that you can write what you want. I linked back to another hubbers article here at Grannies Green Living website (Robie aka pinkpackrat) | Source

Poll on Websites

Do you own a website?

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Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    Affordable Website Design 

    9 years ago

    A wealth of info. Another option is to outsource, there are a lot of companies doing this anymore.

  • profile image 

    9 years ago

    Man that is so close to what I am currently going through its not even funny, really spooky actually....really spooky.

  • Hawkesdream profile image


    9 years ago from Cornwall

    Hi Dorsi, am bookmarking this one for reference, thanks for the tips.

  • Dolores Monet profile image

    Dolores Monet 

    9 years ago from East Coast, United States

    Sometimes the best first advice is what not to do. Thanks for the info, Dorsi.

  • Lgali profile image


    9 years ago

    Very Informative article and your new web site thnaks

  • websitesecurity profile image


    9 years ago from Utah

    Great article. It's so nice of you to let us learn through your mistakes! It will definitely save lots of time and trouble.

  • SweetiePie profile image


    9 years ago from Southern California, USA

    Glad to see your website is doing well and taking off. Thought about hosting a site via wordpress myself, but these days I am just happy with My website does okay for my purposes, and I am able to make many subdomains with it, so all in all I am happy. I even have plenty of space to let my nephew make funny websites just to play around with because I want to encourage him to learn more about computers. He is so amazing with computers actually, so I hope my sister gets him one again soon.

  • ocbill profile image


    9 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

    Wordpress always gets a mention when this topic comes up..Nice job although I still use Dreamweaver as well.

  • The How To Hub profile image

    The How To Hub 

    9 years ago from Australia

    There are so many ways to get it wrong and only a few ways to get it right! Sad isn't it : (

    I am sure your experience will help many. Thumbs up on the hub & the site...well done!

  • hubman profile image


    9 years ago from Southeast Tennessee

    Excellent hub Dorsi, :) I now own several sites and have these on my own server. Your hub reminds me of my first encounters with owning a website. I really learned quickly that it is best to build your own sites and I learned what I needed to get the job done.

    Thanks also for posting about the small houses...Got to have me one now. Awesome concept and should be good for the environment. Keep those Hubs coming.

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    Nice hub :) It's true, getting your own website looks overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of it, it's a cool feeling to own a piece of "online real estate" :)

    Can I point out two small mistakes in the text? "After all , this one would one with my name " something went wrong with that sentence. And "also couldn't even put my google adsense on their" should be "on there". ;)

    Good luck with the blog, I hope it will become a great succes!

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    Good advice for beginner webmasters.

  • profile image

    Nancy's Niche 

    9 years ago

    Informative article and your new web site is very interesting. I liked the presentation!

  • Raven King profile image

    Raven King 

    9 years ago from Cabin Fever

    Thanks for the super informative hub!

  • agvulpes profile image


    9 years ago from Australia

    G'day Dorsi , you have done a terrific job with Wordpress, it not the eastiest thing to get around.

    Are you using a standard template or did you modify an existing one?

    I found the text on the comment panel to be hard to find on the background?

    I love the brightness and the layout looks great!


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