How To Build A Website
For Less Than $200
A complete guide to creating a website with Akhil Raj
Whether you’re selling products, providing services, running an agency, or simply starting a blog, you’re going to need to create your own website. Simply speaking, any business or service provider that doesn’t have a website these days might as well be invisible – and invisibility won’t get you any sales.
In contrast, when you create a website you can attract the attention of potential customers, communicate better with your existing customers, widen your customer base, and have a launchpad and a destination for your business marketing strategies.
So how do you create your own website? This guide will take you through the step-by-step process you need to follow and the issues you need to consider in order to create a brand-new website that meets the needs of your business.
Step #1: Buy A Domain Name And Hosting
Before creating a website you need to buy a domain name and purchase hosting. Don’t let these terms scare you. A domain name is the name of your website, such as fiverr.com. When you have a domain, you need somewhere to store your website; this is the hosting, which is the physical storage of your website.
Another way to think about it is that your hosting is a piece of land that you rent and the domain is the house you put on it. The two together allow people to reach you online by typing in your domain name (also known as a web address or URL).
Many of the companies that provide web hosting also sell domain names. Two popular providers of both are GoDaddy and HostGator, but there are many others. The first thing you need to do is to check whether the domain name you want is actually available. Most providers have an easy way to do that and also suggest related alternatives if the one you actually want is not available. It can be difficult to find the right domain name, so consider getting some help. Fiverr has plenty of sellers who will help you to come up with a catchy domain name.
Your Next Step
Insider tips for buying a domain name and hosting
- Align your domain name with your business name to improve brand recognition and trustworthiness for your customers.
- Keep it short and catchy so it’s easy to tell anyone where your website is located and also easy for people to remember. You can lose customers if your web address is too complicated.
- Get a top-level domain (TLD) such as .com or .co.uk. Choose the TLD based on your customers’ main location so your site will show up when people search with local versions of Google.
- Register the domain under your own name so that you have control over it. If you don’t want your name and address plastered all over the web, then you can enable domain privacy for an additional fee with most providers.
Step #2: Install A Content Management System
Once you have your domain name and hosting, you need to put some content on your website. The best way to do this is with a content management system. This will allow you to change the structure and design of your website, to manage navigation, to add pages, and to add content without needing any coding experience.
The most popular content management system by far is WordPress. Although many people think of WordPress simply as blogging software, it is far more than that. It is a robust content management platform that is suitable for any kind of website.
In fact, it powers 27.5% of the web, running everything from personal blogs to the New York Times. Other popular content management systems include Joomla!, Drupal, and ModX, but there are many more.
You can also consider solutions like Wix and Weebly, where once you have a domain name, you don’t need hosting but can build your entire business website within the platform. And if you are planning to sell products, consider Shopify, an e-commerce platform which allows you to design your entire web shop from within its interface. Whichever option you choose, Fiverr sellers can help you to get started.
Your Next Step
Insider tips for installing a content management system
- Pay attention to ease of use. Can you perform essential content and design tasks without too much trouble?
- Ensure that your CMS is regularly updated to address security issues.
- Make sure there’s a good support community you can go to if you face any challenges in creating your website.
Step #3: Install A WordPress Theme
Okay, so let’s assume that, like most people, you are going to go with WordPress for the creation of your website. In order to make it look right, you’re going to have to get a theme. The theme is the design of your website, which affects what your customers see. How you manage the website doesn’t change, no matter what theme you have.
There are literally thousands of WordPress themes to choose from. It’s important to choose a theme that reflects your business, but making the choice can be a challenge. You can have themes designed for restaurants, themes intended for education, themes for corporate sites, themes for selling products and services online, themes for simple bloggers – the list is endless.
A good place to get started, especially if you’re on a tight budget, is the WordPress themes directory. This has hundreds of free themes and you can use the built-in on-site filtering tools to select themes by layout, subject (such as food and drink or photography), and features (including the ability to use custom headers or integrate accessibility features).
However, one issue with free themes is that they are widely used and therefore your website may not stand out as much as you would like. Also, because the creators aren’t paid, some free themes don’t have the level of support that you might need. The alternative is to pay for a more professional theme, which will give you more layout and design options and better support in case there are any issues.
Step #4: Install WordPress Plugins
One of the great things about WordPress is that it can be extended almost infinitely with plugins. There are more than 48,000 plugins in the WordPress plugin directory. These allow you to add new features to your website without having to do any coding. Any developer can develop a new plugin for WordPress, so how do you choose from this huge list to find the plugins that work well and enhance your website? We’ve got you covered, with a list of the nine most important plugins you must install and configure.
1. Yoast SEO
This is the most important plugin you will install on a site. This plugin will help you with search engine optimization for your WordPress site so that it ranks better in the Google search results. You can do some overall configuration for your website at the start, but you can also use Yoast SEO to optimize every new page or post you create.
2. W3 Total Cache
This plugin helps to speed up your site by creating a cache of your content so that pages can be loaded more quickly. Since pagespeed is one of the factors in search ranking, using a caching plugin is good for SEO, and W3TotalCache is one of the most popular.
Spam is the bane of our lives and it doesn’t just affect email; it also affects blogs. If you create a blog as part of your website and allow comments, then chances are you will get spam comments posted by users or bots. Akismet helps to identify and eliminate those spam comments so you have a clean website.
4. Contact Form 7
The built-in WordPress contact form is a little bit basic. That’s why thousands of people use Contact Form 7 both for their contact page and to collect visitors’ emails.
5. Wordfence Security
If you want to keep the hackers away from your website, then a security plugin is a must. Wordfence Security secures your site, lets you block attempted logins and bad bots, and even reminds you to keep your plugins and themes up-to-date for additional security.
6. Share Buttons by AddThis
Share Buttons by AddThis is one of the most-used social sharing plugins. It will automatically add social sharing buttons to each blog post to make it easy for readers to like and share your posts on social media. Social media sharing is important for engagement, reach and SEO, so a plugin like this is essential.
7. Comments – wpDiscuz
WordPress has built-in comment management but sometimes you need a little bit more. Comments – wpDiscuz allows you to customize comment forms, integrates with social login, has antispam features, and much more. In fact, it’s the plugin we use on our own.
8. FooGallery/Envira Gallery
There’s nothing like a beautiful photo gallery to capture the attention of web visitors. FooGallery and Envira Gallery are popular photo gallery plugins that are pretty easy to use. Check out the previews and see which one you like best.
If you’re planning to sell items on your website, then you need to be able to upload them easily, sort them into categories, add prices, and allow people to purchase them using PayPal or a credit card. That’s exactly what you get with WooCommerce. All you need to do is install the plugin, configure the basic options, and start selling.
Your Next Step
Insider tips for installing WordPress plugins
- Check the reviews to see if there are any recent issues or bugs that affect how the plugin will work.
- Ensure that the plugin is being regularly updated to work with the current version of WordPress and to address any recently discovered security issues.
- Avoid installing too many plugins as this will slow your site down, which is terrible for SEO.
Congratulations! You have now created a great foundation for your web presence. Your easy-to-manage website is completely accessible and mobile-friendly, search engine optimized, and ready for your users to engage with you and for you to collect your customers’ emails so that you can engage with them.
You May Also Like
More guides to boost your business