Now That You Have a Niche for Your Website, What’s the Next Step?
You basically need three things to get a website up and running.
- A domain name
- A website hosting service
- A program/service that you’ll use to build and update your website.
We’ll talk about domain names and website hosting later on in this article. What is more confusing to beginners is HOW to actually build a website. You can use popular website building programs like Adobe Dreamweaver or RapidWeaver for Macs, but these programs cost money, and they are not for beginners. In my opinion, the easiest and best way to create a website/ blog is by using WordPress.
WordPress is the most popular blogging tool on Internet with over 60 million websites created through them. You have probably been to many websites created with WordPress but just haven’t realized it.
Why Should you Use WordPress to Build a Website?
- WordPress gets listed easily by search engines due to its clean and simple code.
- There are many successful people making money from home with a website created by WordPress.
- WordPress is browser based, which means you don’t need to buy and install a program to use it.
- You can access and update your website from any computer connected to the internet in the world.
Free Websites vs. Paid Websites
There is a WordPress.com and a WordPress.org. Basically, the difference between the two is that WordPress.com is where you must register with WordPress.com (and follow their rules) and can get a free website with them. They’ll take care of all of the website hosting and design. You can pay for a custom domain if you want.
WordPress.org is where you’ll go if you want to purchase your own domain name and website hosting (you have to pay for both of these services). You are not required to register with WordPress.org.
You’ll have to do more work setting up and maintaining your website if you choose this option, but this is definitely the way you want to go. And it’s not that much harder to set up and use than a free WordPress.com account. The rewards you will get by putting in just a little more effort will pay you back in the long run.
So if I Can Build a Website Completely for Free, Why in the World Would I Pay Money for One?
Good question. The short and simple answer is…
Paying to have your Own Website Looks More Professional and YOU WILL OWN YOUR BUSINESS!
Now what do I mean by paying for your website?
In addition to a program or tool to build your website, you’ll need two more things. A domain name for your website, and a place to put your website files (website host). Both a domain name and a website host cost money to use. It’s not that expensive though. It costs around $10 per year to register a domain name, and $5 – $10 per month to use a hosting service. There are options for free website hosting (see “How to Build a Website for Free” for more information). However, at the very least, you should get your own domain name. But I think it’s much better if you get your own domain name and hosting service.
First things first though…..
What’s a Domain Name?
A domain name is the address of a website. For example, let’s look at the website “www.google.com.” The “google.com” part is a domain name.
WordPress offers free websites and free domains, so why should you spend your hard earned money for one?
One of the biggest reasons to get your own domain is: Freedom.
You are free to choose your own name. If you use a free website with WordPress, you can choose the name of your domain…but the domain name you choose will always end with “wordpress.com.”
So if you choose the domain name “i-want-money-now.com” the free WordPress address would be “www. i-want-money-now.wordpress.com” It doesn’t look as good as a domain name without the wordpress.com.
A website is like having your very own business, so it’s much more professional to have a domain name without the “wordpress.com” ending (or any other company’s name). But then again, if you can barely afford to pay your bills, a free website is infinitely better than nothing. You do have an option to upgrade to a custom domain name (so there’s no .wordpress.com at the end) but it will cost you around $15 per year. If you purchase a domain name on your own, you’ll probably pay $7-$10 per year. So it will be cheaper if you register a domain on your own in the first place.
Another reason to get your own domain is because it’s just like real estate.
It’s a piece of the Internet that you own. There are people who actually make money by buying and selling domain names. Nowadays, it’s difficult to make any real money by doing this, but it’s still worth it to have your very own domain name.
How Do you Get a Domain Name?
Getting a domain name is also very simple. You pay a small fee to register it at various websites online. You have probably heard of GoDaddy.com, which is a very popular site to register domain names. I prefer Namecheap.com, because it is cheaper and comes with more benefits than GoDaddy. A normal “.com” domain name should costs you around $10 per year.
When you go to a site like Namecheap or GoDaddy, you’ll see a search box that you can use to see if the domain you want is available. Type your domain name in there and search to see if it’s still available. If it is, you can then go on to register it.
When you are registering your domain name, you might see a lot of options than you can add-on you to your purchase (especially with GoDaddy). Generally, you won’t need any of these upgrades, so you can ignore them. There is one option that will make it so your name and information won’t show up in the WHOIS directory, which lists information about the owner of the domain name, and can be accessed publicly. If you want to be more anonymous you can do this, but many people don’t. I believe you get this service for free if you purchase your domain name with Namescheap.com.
How Do I Choose a Good Domain Name?
How should you pick a domain name? What makes a good domain name? Generally, the simpler the name, the better. If people can remember your website easily, that is always a good thing.
You also want to choose a name that is relevant to your niche. If you told someone your domain name, they should have a good idea of what it’s about. Going back to our example of golf. If your domain was something like “big-yellow-birds.com” obviously that is not good since it has nothing to do with golf. Something like “golfswing.com ” is good. You can use hyphens in your name too. “improve-your-golf.com” is pretty good, and still available at the time of this writing.
Or maybe you have a domain name in mind that doesn’t describe your niche. You’re thinking of creating a website with a brand name instead. This is okay too. Just think about how many popular brands are out there already..Nike, Apple, etc. If you plan on building a brand name, this could be a good way to go.
Hosting your Website
After you register your domain, you will need to find a place to host your website. A website host is a place that will store all your website information and make it accessible to everyone on the web. This usually costs anywhere from a few bucks a month to a hundred bucks or more per month, depending the company and plan you choose. Unless you have tons of traffic or specific reasons why you need better web hosting, most general plans will be sufficient.
A Free Option: How to Get Quality Web Hosting for Free
Buying a domain and web hosting only costs a few bucks per month, but I totally understand not even being able to afford that. I was in that position a few years ago. The great news is that there are ways to get both a free domain name AND web hosting.
As I said earlier, WordPress offers free websites. However, another great option is Wealthy Affiliate. Wealthy Affiliate is an online community of people making money from home. They offer 2 free websites as well as more in depth training on how to build a successful business online and make money from it. All of this is free, and you can sign up without a credit card so this is another great option you can use.
What’s great about Wealthy Affiliate is that it also provides lots of training on the real, legit ways to make money online from a website. Also, the thousands of members there are very helpful and can answer any questions that you have about pretty much anything.
If you register your own domain name, you can use the free hosting on Wealthy Affiliate, as well as their super simple way to set up a WordPress account. Once you get your domain name, using WA’s service, WordPress Express, you can set up your website in a few clicks of your mouse in a couple of minutes. It is probably by far the easiest way to set up a WordPress website. You can sign-up for a free lifetime account here.
This is a very general guide to get you started, so if you have any specific questions that I can help you with, please leave them in the comment section below and I’ll get back to you.
Step 4 is coming up in a day or too so stay tuned! Thanks!
The No-Nonsense Guide Steps