A lot of people are interested in making their own website but have the fear that it is too difficult to create one. This is false. Anyone can make a website if they follow this simple step by step guide. Creating your own website gives you a sense of empowerment, whether it’s just to express your views and opinions in a blog or if you want to start your own internet business. The possibilities are endless. Back in the earlier years of the internet age, creating a website required writing code and much more time and skill. Today we have several different platforms that help creating a website an easier process. The platform that we will be discussing is WordPress. WordPress is by far the most popular of the site building platforms with over %50 of all the sites on the internet running off this remarkable tool.
The first step is to choose a domain name. A domain name is the website’s name. The most popular Internet domain registrar and web hosting company is “GoDaddy.com”. Another option is a website called “Sedo.com”, this website is very useful for buying and selling domain names. When selecting a domain name, you are going to want to keep several things in mind. It is important that you keep the domain name short and simple, this prevents users from mistyping your website address. Avoid hyphens and numbers within your domain name. Be sure to select keywords that are relevant to your business or services. For example, if you want to sell sunglasses online, you may want to choose a domain like “buysunglasses.com”. This will increase your ranking on the major search engine websites. Be sure to research your desired domain name first to avoid selecting a name thats has already been trademarked. The top three extensions for a domain name are .com, .org, and .net. This is something to consider when when creating your domain name. The most popular search engine “Google”, views these three extensions equally. Selecting one of those three extensions will increase your chances of ranking high on search engines.
How to Purchase a Domain Name on “GoDaddy.com”
Step 1 – Go to GoDaddy.com.
Step 2 – If you do not have an account with GoDaddy, you are going to need to create one by clicking Sign In towards the upper right hand corner of the homepage. A box will drop down with several different options, click Create My Account.
Step 3 – The following page gives you the option of creating your GoDaddy account using your Facebook profile or simply providing your email address. If you would like the first option, just click Continue with Facebook to advance to the next step. If you would like to sign up with your email, simply enter your email address, create a username and password, then select a 4 digit “Support PIN”. Once you have input all the following information, click Create Account.
Step 4 – Now that you are signed into your new GoDaddy Account, you can now purchase your desired domain name. Enter your desired domain name in the search bar located towards the top of the homepage and click Search Domain.
Step 5 – You will then be directed to a page that provides results for the domain that you just searched. For this example, I chose to look up “WebsiteExample.com”. As you can see, that domain is listed at a decently high price. If you scroll down, you will see that there are similar domain names with different extensions. Instead of spending all that money for the .com, I can purchase the .org for a fraction of the cost. Keep searching different domain names until you find one that fits your needs and budget. Once you have found a domain name that you would like to purchase, click Select. This will add the domain to your cart, click Continue to Cart to proceed. (If you select a one year hosting plan, they will offer you a free “non-premium” domain name with the purchase. If this interests you, you may want to purchase your hosting plan first. View details under the “Hosting” section.)
Step 6 – GoDaddy will offer several different features for an annual fee. The first feature they offer is “Privacy Protection”. Privacy Protection basically just makes it so nobody can see your personal information. GoDaddy replaces your information with theirs. There are 2 plans listed under this feature, one is just the basic privacy protection plan and the second one is catered towards businesses. If you do not find it necessary to purchase this feature, click No Thanks.
Step 7 – Next, you will be offered the “Website Builder” and “Linux Web Hosting” options. These options will be covered under the “Hosting” section of this website. If you would like an email address that matches your domain, you may be interested in the last option. This option provides several different plans that vary depending on which features you desire. Once you have selected your options, click Continue with these options to proceed.
Step 8 – Select the length of time you would like the term of ownership to last. You can always renew at a later time(just make sure you do so prior to the expiration date). The total can be viewed to the right. If everything looks according, click Proceed to Checkout.
Step 9 – Provide the following billing information.
You are then going to scroll down the page and select your payment option. You have the options of:
- Credit/Debit/Prepaid Card
- Gift Card
- and Checking Account
Once you have selected your payment option, fill out the payment information and click Continue.
Step 10 – This is the final step. It is simply just reviewing your order and confirming the purchase of your domain. If everything looks good, click Place Your Order. Congratulations! You are officially the owner of a new domain name.
Selecting a hosting plan to get your website up and running
GoDaddy provides several different options for hosting. They recently added a new plan called “WordPress Hosting”. You can still run a WordPress website using their regular “Web Hosting” plan, but with WordPress Hosting, it will automatically manage your WordPress updates and handle some of the more technical issues one has to deal with when running their own website. To purchase and install WordPress Hosting, follow the directions below.
Step 1 – Go to the GoDaddy homepage and make sure that you are signed in to your account.
Step 2 – Click the “Hosting” tab located at the towards the top of the homepage. A box will drop down and the “WordPress Hosting” option will be available under “WordPress Solutions”. Click WordPress Hosting to advance to the next page.
Step 3 – There are several different packages GoDaddy offers for their WordPress Hosting. These packages vary in the number of websites you can host, amount of storage you are allotted, how many people can visit your site a month, and several other factors. The more features, the higher the monthly fee. Depending on your needs, click Configure on the package that bests suits you. You may want to consider selecting the Deluxe plan and higher, the basic plan does not provide the SEO Plugin or the one-click staging site option, which are very useful tools.
Step 4 – If you selected one of the plans below “Ultimate”, you will be asked if you want to add some additional features. If one of these features interests you, simply check the box to the left and click Continue. (To the right of the screen it shows the term length and total of your purchase. The amount of months can be adjusted when reviewing your order).
Step 5 – GoDaddy offers a free non-premium domain with a one year purchase of a hosting plan. If you do not want to commit to a year, simply click No thanks. I’ll pass on the freebie.
Step 6 – The next page allows you to adjust your order and view the total. You may see some additional products that you do not wish to purchase. If this is the case, click Remove below the subtotal of the undesired product. The default term is usually 36 months, if you would like to reduce the term length, click the box below “Term” and choose the number of months that you would like. Once you have made your adjustments(if any) and agree with the total, click Proceed to Checkout to purchase your products.
Step 7 – Select which payment method you would like to purchase your product(s) with. Enter any billing information required, then click Place Your Order(either button will suffice.). Congratulations! You now have a a hosting plan.
Installing WordPress Hosting to your domain
Step 1 – Log into your account and click the “Quick Links” tab. This tab will show the owner of the account’s name(mine is under Michael) and can be located towards the upper right hand corner of the screen. You are going to want to click Manage Your Hosting below the “Quick Links” section.
Step 2 – To setup your site, click Add Site.
Step 3 – Select I’m building a brand new site, then click Get Started.
Step 4 – Select Website domain and choose the domain that you would like to install the WordPress hosting to, then click Next.
Step 5 – Choose the region of your data center and click Next.
Step 6 – Next, you will create a WordPress login. Input your desired username, select a password, and confirm the password. Once you have filled in all the required fields, click Install.
You will then be directed to a page that confirms WordPress is being installed. If any errors occur, you are going to want to contact GoDaddy’s customer service department and notify them of your situation. A representative will be able to resolve the issue.
Step 7 – Once WordPress has been successfully installed, click Get Started to begin.
Step 8 – Get started quickly with WordPress by selecting “Quick Start Wizard”. This simplifies the customization of your website and offers a lot of useful features. Click Start Wizard to proceed.
Step 9 – On this page you are going to customize your basic settings. Select which type of website you would like(Website + Blog, Blog only, or Online Store). Choose the industry of your website. Once you click the dropbox below “Industry”, there will be hundreds of different industry options to choose from. Input the “Title” and “Tagline” of your webpage. A title is essentially the name of your website or company and the tagline is the slogan. Once you have filled in all the required fields, click Continue.
Step 10 – Input your contact information which includes your:
- Phone Number
- Fax Number
- and Social Media Profiles
Step 11 – The last step of the setup will display several generic “Themes” to choose from. A theme is the layout of your website and determines the design of your display. Select one of the following by clicking on the desired theme. (You can always choose a different theme in the future.)
Step 12 – Once you have selected and installed your theme, you will be brought to your “WordPress Dashboard”. Congratulations! WordPress has now been officially been installed to your domain name and your website is up and running. The next stage is customizing your website to your specifications.