Yes – You can build your own website, I did!

If you want to start making money online, you could do with a website.

You may well think that creating your own website is a complex process that should be undertaken by a hardened web programmer who’s spent years mastering the difficult coding that’s needed.

You’d be wrong though. Anyone can do it – well, almost.

As long as you can get your computer fired up and have a grasp of reading and writing, you’ll be just fine.

There are 3 main steps needed to get your site up and running..

  • Buy a domain name
  • Choose a hosting company so your new site’s got somewhere to live
  • Install some software that will make it look nice and let you add some content

OK, I’m going to guide you through it…  Here we go…

1  Buying a domain name

There are countless sites online that sell domain names – the two most popular are probably ‘Namecheap’ and ‘GoDaddy’ – I’ve always used GoDaddy, because I find it easy to do what I want.
If you visit their site, you’ll be able to look for a suitable domain name. Obviously, most of the more obvious choices have been taken, but there’s still loads available. Just stick your choice in the ‘Find a domain’ box and click ‘Go’.
You could do with a .com but a .net, .info or .org are OK. If you live like me in the UK you may be able to get your desired name with a .co.uk suffix.

Godaddy

Once you find what you’re looking for, click the ‘continue to checkout’ button.
They’ll try and sell you everything but the kitchen sink along the way, including hosting – I usually just take the name.
You could have your hosting with GoDaddy – but I prefer Hostgator (See next section).
You may want to choose ‘Privacy Protection’ which stops people seeing your name and address if they go digging.

2  Choose a Hosting Company

It’s all very well owning your very own domain name, but without hosting – you’re not going to get far!
When someone types your web address (url – uniform resource locator) into their browser, they are directed to the server that your site resides on – your web host.
Don’t worry about how this happens – when we’ve finished it will..
As I mentioned above, I think Hostgator is the best place for this – their prices are good and their systems are easy to work with.
There are various hosting packages available. If your only creating a single site, you can get their ‘Hatchling’ plan, however, for not much more, their ‘Baby’ plan lets you host an unlimited number of domains.

When you sign up for your hosting, you enter details of the domain name you’ve just bought and follow the instruction which are all fairly straightforward. At this stage you’ll be given details of your ‘nameservers’.
These are what tell the internet how to connect the domain name you’ve bought to the location where your files are hosted.
Just make a note of these and head back to your control panel at GoDaddy or wherever you purchased your names.
Here, you add your two name servers and click save. It can take a short while to propagate (They say up to 24 hours but it’s never been more than a minute or two for me!)

Nearly there…

3  Install your Website

Open your web browser and type your new domain name in the address bar – hope fully you should see a page like this:

build-your-own-web-site

If that works, your ready for the final steps.
Add /cpanel to the url in the address bar – like this http://www.yourdomain.com/cpanel

This will take you to the cpanel login screen.

cpanel

Login with the details you set up in Hostgator and hopefully you’ll see the cpanel..

Full_cpanel

From here find either ‘Quick Install’ or on some versions of Cpanel, ‘Fantastico’ and click it.
One of the options should be WordPress.
Click on ‘Wordpress’ to install the software we need.

Quick_install

WordPress lets normal people like you and me make a great looking website with loads of functionality without needing to know anything about programming.
There are loads of places to get more info on setting up wordpress, just google, setting up a wordpress site…

That’s it for today, hopefully you’ll soon have your first website up and running – later we’ll look at how we’re going to generate some cash from it.

Now if all this seems complicated, just watch this video by Glendon Cameron (Not the pretty girl on the front screen!), its easy to follow..

Bye for now…

David Black

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