Learn How To Build A Website From Scratch In 10 Minutes Or Less

Overview

This article is written for someone with little to no web creation experience. It’s really not hard to build a new site. You just need a little knowledge and you can be up and running in no time at all. Obviously, websites can be as simple or as complex as you want, but luckily with a few of the resources I’m sharing today, you can build even complex sites with relative ease. This is fortunate because in order to find success online, it’s generally a good idea to have your own web presence. In other articles we discuss how to use your website to build a business and generate income online.

Choosing A Domain Name

The first thing you’ll need when building a website is a domain name. This is simply the name that people enter into their web browser to access your site. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when choosing your domain name:

  • The shorter the better (makes it easier to remember and type in)
  • Generally, go for a brand name rather than a domain name with words from your website’s niche
  • Should be easy to spell (helps ensure you get every visitor who’s trying to access your site)
  • Go for a .com if it’s a commercial site (it’s what people generally expect)
  • .org can be good for non-profit organizations
  • .gov for government
  • .edu for education
  • .net if you really can’t find an open .com you like

Register Your Awesome Name

Once you choose a name, you’ll need to register it with a domain registrar. We recommend registering your domain at godaddy.com. They are an internationally recognized leader in the field, and have been around for over a decade. It’s important to choose a well-known registrar so that you know the company won’t suddenly go out of business. With GoDaddy, you don’t have to worry at all.

One thing to keep in mind is that there is a chance that the first name you try to register will already be taken. There are a lot of domains that are already registered, so you’ll have to find one that is still available. Just keep trying different names and you will come across one that is a good fit. One method of finding open names is to type in a random brand type name. That is why sites like Tumblr exist. Not all domains need to be actual words.

Registering a domain name is really simple.  Go ahead and register your domain using the link below:

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Time To Get Some Web Hosting

Now that you have your domain name, it’s time to get some web hosting. A web host is a company that allows you to actually upload your website onto the internet. They give you space on their web servers where you store your website files. Then they serve up your website to your visitors.

Just as with domain registrars, it’s important to pick a reputable, long standing web hosting company. There are many options out there, but the one that I recommend is called HostGator. They have been around for over a decade and have a strong track record of excellent customer service. With over 12,000 different web servers online, they work hard to ensure you site is always accessible.

Use this coupon code to get 25% off your hosting purchase:
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Connecting Your Domain To Your Web Host

Now that you have your domain and web hosting, it’s time to get your site online! In order to do this, you’ll need to connect your domain to your hosting account. This is actually really easy to do. The first thing is to login to your domain registrar and point your nameservers to your new webhost.

What are nameservers? Great question! Nameservers tell the internet where you find your website files when someone types in your domain name. To change your domain’s nameservers in GoDaddy to point to your HostGator hosting check out this helpful article from HostGator.

Using WordPress To Setup Your Website

You’ve likely heard of WordPress, and if you haven’t you’ve definitely been on many WordPress powered sites. The fact is, WordPress powers over 22% of the entire internet! So, what is it?

WordPress started as a blogging system, but has developed into a high powered content management system. You can use it for a wide variety of projects. From simple blogs, to modern, mobile-ready, feature-rich sites…there is something for most every need. Unless you are trying to create a very custom website, with the ability to develop the code from the ground up, WordPress can likely provide what you need.

That being said, for this tutorial, we are going to show you how to setup WordPress on your web server to get your site online fast.

Another great thing about HostGator is that it allows you to install WordPress with just one click. It literally takes a minute to install. You just login to your hosting account (after updating the nameservers) and you’ll be able to get WordPress up and running. Here is a helpful video from HostGator that shows you the exact process to follow:

Choosing A WordPress Theme

Now that you have WordPress installed, you will want to get a theme to make it look better. What you see when you first install WordPress can be used, but you’ll want to make your site a whole lot better than that. After logging into your WordPress admin area you’ll go to the Appearance section through the link on the left. Then you can click Themes and the Add New button. From here you can search through thousands of free themes that will get your site looking right.

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when choosing a WordPress theme:

  • A simple, modern design is usually better than something complex and crowded
  • White space in the design is your friend
  • Get a theme that has responsive design (this means it will look right on mobile devices)

Here are a couple of great sites to find quality free themes:
http://www.wpulti.net/best-free-wordpress-themes/
http://www.scratchinginfo.net/best-free-wordpress-themes/

If you want something with more functionality and features, you will likely have to go with a premium theme. This means that it will cost a little bit of money. Usually, they are still quite affordable, and often offer a bit more. Plus, you’ll often get support from the developer, which can be quite helpful.

Here is a recommended resource for finding high quality premium themes:

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Finding Good WordPress Plugins

Now that you’ve got your theme installed, it’s time to learn about plugins. Plugins add additional functionality to your WordPress theme that doesn’t come with the standard install. Here are a few examples of what plugins can do:

  • Install a newsletter signup form so that you can collect emails and build a following
  • Help you perform advanced on-page search engine optimization
  • Improve the default search functionality within your site
  • Add social sharing so that you can build your social media followers
  • And much, much, more!

Using plugins allows you to easily add functionality without editing the core files of your theme. There are literally thousands of different plugins that add all sorts of different features. Some of them are free and some are paid. You can likely start you site with just free plugins, but if you find that there is some feature you really want, and it’s only in a paid plugin, it may be worth it. The good thing is that most of them are not all that expensive.

Here’s a site that details the some of the most useful free plugins that you’ll want to install on your site:
http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/25-must-have-wordpress-plugins-for-2014/

Here’s where to go to search for WordPress plugins that provide more advanced functionality (but aren’t free):

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A Final Word

That’s it! You’ve got your site setup, looking great, and working well. Now that you know how to build a quality site quickly, you’ll be able to take full advantage of the other articles and lessons. Soon you’ll be making money from your sites so stay tuned for more. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions, or just to add your own input. I’d love to hear from you!
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