You have this great idea for a new business and you know you are going to need a great website to promote it. You also know that hiring a professional to build it is going to cost you a lot of money and so you are asking yourself…how do I build my own website?
Great news! Nowadays it’s incredibly easy to build your own website and in this article, I am going to show you a simple method by which you can create a beautiful website in minutes and for little or even no cost.
First, I will explain what you will need before you get started. Next, I will walk you through a simple, four-step process at the end of which you would have a live website. I will then invite you to watch a brief video recapping that four-step process. Next, I will give you several options for getting started. Finally, I will explain, in a little more detail, some of the terminology and concepts that you will previously have seen mentioned in this article.
What You Will Need to Create Your Own Website
Before you can begin to construct your website you will need the following:
- a computer (it is possible to do this on a smartphone or tablet but a computer is far superior)
- an internet connection
- an idea of what your website and your business is about (your niche)
- a free (and it is totally free, as in no credit card required) membership with Wealthy Affiliate. You can arrange that now, HERE or later, as you wish. For more information, see below.
The Four-Step Process
Before you begin you will need to log in to Wealthy Affiliate. When you are logged in, from the menu on the left-hand side of your screen click “Websites” and then “SiteBuilder”. Now we are ready to start.
Step one. You will be asked, “What kind of website do you want to build?” Your choice is between a free website or one with a domain you already own or plan to purchase (and which you can do right there by choosing the third option, “Register a domain”). I discuss the pros and cons of both options later in this article but, for now, let’s assume you want to start for free so click on that option.
Step 2. Enter a domain name. Because you are going with a free website you will have what is called a sub-domain. This means that, instead of your name ending .com or .net, etc, it will end .siterubix.com. I explain this in more detail later in this article.
The name you choose should ideally indicate what your website is about although this is not essential. It certainly doesn’t make any difference to your ranking within Google and the other search engines.
If the name you want is already taken you will be prompted to enter another name.
Step 3. Enter a site title. This can be the same as your domain name (minus the .siterubix.com) but this is not essential. It is however important that the title gives an indication of what the website is about.
Step 4. Choose a design (theme) for your website. The theme you choose will determine the overall appearance and structure of your website. For example, some themes will only permit a single column of content and which means you would not have either a left or right-hand sidebar. Some themes may have many color options while others may be very limited. Some themes will allow you to change the font and/or spacing, while others will not.
Within this platform, you have a choice of over 3,700 free themes to choose from and which can be a little bewildering. Fortunately, if you choose a theme and then don’t like it you can change it quite easily at any time. I discuss themes in a little more detail below.
UPDATE; Late in 2019, Wealthy Affiliate made a few changes to the program and Starter Members no longer get a choice of themes and instead a theme called Generate Press is automatically installed on their new website. The reasoning for this was to simplify the initial setup process for Starter Members but, don’t worry, Generate Press is an excellent theme and in fact is the one we use on our (this) website. Premium members can still choose from over 3,700 themes.
And that’s it! Just click on “Click Here to Build This Site” and your brand new website will be constructed and go live on the web in less than 30 seconds. Now doesn’t that sound easy?
To view a video of this simple four-step process, click on the image below:
Next, you have a few options.
1. If you would like to create your website through the Wealthy Affiliate “Online Entrepreneur Certification” course (highly recommended) then go to the Wealthy Affiliate Signup Page (remember membership is free). After you have signed up you will find yourself in your Dashboard area and from the menu on the left-hand side select ‘Training’ and then ‘Online Entrepreneur Certification’
Please note that the free membership only includes Level 1 (of 5) of this course but Level 1 not only takes you through the creation of your website but also includes invaluable information on choosing a niche, fine-tuning your website (after it is live), getting your website ready for search engines and creating your initial website content.
2. If you would like to jump straight in and create your own website FOR FREE without any further ado then CLICK HERE to join Wealthy Affiliate and then maneuver to ‘Site Builder’ as described above under “The Four-Step Process”.
3. If you would like to see some more information on some concepts and terminology previously mentioned, including themes, the difference between free and paid domains, and different web hosting options, as well as more about Wealthy Affiliate itself, then…… please read on.
Terminology and Concepts
Here is a little more information on some of the terminology and concepts I have mentioned previously.
More About Themes
As mentioned previously, the theme you choose while creating your website determines the overall appearance and structure of your website and there is definitely no shortage of choice.
In addition to the 3,700 free themes mentioned above, there are a huge number of paid themes available. The cost of these paid themes varies considerably as do the terms of their use.
The principal advantage of paid over free themes is that the paid themes will, typically, have a lot more features built-in and will, therefore, allow you to be a little more creative with the appearance of your website. The flip side of this is that those additional features can be a little confusing and in some cases, there is a very steep learning curve.
Also, many of the free themes have optional upgrades (for a fee) and which are usually a little less costly than the paid themes.
My recommendation is to start with a free theme and then consider changing to a paid theme when you are more comfortable with the process.
More About Niches
Your ‘niche’ is what your website/business is about. If you already know your niche and are here simply to create your website then you likely do not need any further help in his area. The one piece of advice I would give is that you ensure that all the content you add to your website is relevant to your niche. This will lead to greater success within the search engines and to more focused traffic (visitors) to your website.
If your niche is still a work in progress, or you really haven’t come up with an idea yet, then this is definitely something you need to focus on and get right. The most common mistake people make when deciding on a niche is to make it too wide by offering too many products/services to too diverse a market. Sure, this potentially allows you to sell more things to more people but the downside is that your competition increases exponentially and your chances of success, particularly in the short to medium term are greatly reduced. Far better go with a narrower niche and less competition.
Wealthy Affiliate (see below) offers some great training on choosing a niche.
More About Website Hosting
No matter how little experience you have with websites and the internet generally, you probably know that your new website has to be hosted somewhere. Think of it as where your website ‘lives’.
There is a huge choice of hosting companies out there and hosting fees can vary considerably, from a few dollars a month to hundreds a year. Much depends on the quality of the hosting offered, two of the most important factors being the speed and reliability of the servers used and the security offered by the hosting company.
Occasionally (and as mentioned in the “Four Step Process” described above) you will see ‘free hosting’ being offered. These offers can be genuine but the hosting will almost certainly be for a sub-domain only (see below).
More About Domain Names
Your domain name is your address on the world wide web (WWW). Your first decision in choosing a domain is whether you want to go with a paid primary domain or a free sub-domain. An example of a primary domain could be “mywebsite.com” whereas as a subdomain it would read “mywebsite.siterubix.com”. In this example “siterubix.com” is the primary domain and “mywebsite.siterubix.com” is a part of that primary domain.
For practical, everyday purposes, a primary domain and a sub-domain function the same way. They appear the same on the web and you create them and add content to them the same way.
More about Wealthy Affiliate
Wealthy Affiliate is an online platform offering training in online marketing as well as domain registration, web hosting, and website construction tools (including SiteBuilder). It also offers excellent research tools and has a highly active and supportive community of members.
The monthly (Premium) membership fee is $49.00 per month and this includes full and repeated access to their extensive training programs, unlimited use of their website builder program, and the hosting of up to 10 domains on their state-of-the-art, super-fast, servers. There are no up-sells and there has been no increase in the monthly fee since Wealthy Affiliate was founded in 2005. Membership can be canceled at any time without penalty. There is also a yearly payment option of $495.00, a saving of $93.00 on the monthly payments.
Free membership is also offered and this includes access to part of the training, unlimited use of their website builder program, and the hosting of 1 sub-domain. There is no time limit on being a free member.
The most typical scenario is for a person to join on the free membership and proceed with the included training which takes them a little past building their first website. By this point, the free member has had ample time to see everything Wealthy Affiliate has to offer and makes the move to Premium membership.
For more information see my Wealthy Affiliate Review.
A Few Final Words
I hope this article has given you the confidence to go out and create your very own website. As much as I have tried to be thorough and provide all the information you need to do that I have also been concerned not to overburden you with details. I am sure you will have some questions (in fact I hope you do!) so please leave them in the comments box below and I will answer them as soon as possible.
Happy website building!
The greatest years of your life are still ahead!