So you need a website and you don’t have a bunch of money to sink into it. On top of that you are just about as technical as my mom. What to do? How do you get a website without it sucking? Well pony up cowpoke. Here is how you build a website using tools most web developers don’t want you to know about.
First of all, you are NOT going to start from scratch. 99% of the time starting from scratch is stupid (cough…cough…) I mean unnecessary. You’re going to start with WordPress.
Secret #1: Build on WordPress
Yes, WordPress is a blog tool. Yes, some developers will tell you “This is a cut-rate approach to building a website.” Yes, anyone that tells you that is just trying to steal your money (or sleep with your sister.) So tell them to stick it. Embrace WordPress as your foundation for your website. It’s wonderful…and it’s free…after all code IS poetry.
Now that you’ve got the foundation for your website organized you’ll need hosting. Actually, you’ll need hosting first, but if I started this article with something as mundane as “hosting” you’d probably have stopped reading already.
Are you still there?
Cool. Ok. So Hosting…
Secret #2: Get inexpensive, reliable hosting
Now, I see the ads for 1&1 and they say they are the #1 hosting provider. I don’t know that for sure. But for me, 1&1 has been great. They have a beginner package that starts at a whopping $3.99 per month and you get all you need with it. What’s important about your hosting (because this is required by WordPress) is that it includes a SQL database. When you install WordPress, you will already need to have set up your SQL database. I know, that sounds way technical. Like shut up already Nerd Boy. But, at 1&1, it’s super easy with just a few clicks of a button. Every hosting company is going to have their quirks. I’ve been with 1&1 for years and they have always treated me right. On the web they are 1and1.com. Aside from the web hosting you get a bucket full of email addresses, which is very handy.
Secret #3: Buy a WordPress theme
Now, this is the part that makes web designers (those who make a living selling you expensive websites) crazy. Once you have your hosting and WordPress, then all you need to do is BUY a THEME. That’s right. You can window shop for your website look and feel. Hell, some themes are even FREE. Trying on different looks is about as hard as switching socks. The best place to get themes is here. Make sure if you are buying a theme, that you get one for WordPress. You can search the net for “premium” themes. Another place to get good themes is here.
Now that you have your hosting, wordpress and your theme you are ready to go. WAIT just a cotton-pickin’ minute. We left something out.
Secret #4: Register a domain
Was this really a secret? What about your domain? What address are people going to use to access this site? Well that’s up to you–and your domain registrar. Now…even though I failed their “intelligence test” and couldn’t get hired at Godaddy because (apparently) I’m too stupid, I still use Godaddy for all of my domain registration needs. So just go to Godaddy and run your searches. Don’t be too disappointed if most of the domains you think of are gone already, that’s just the way it goes.
So let’s recap. Here is what you need in order to create an excellent website:
|A domain name||$11.99|
|Web hosting that includes SQL database/monthly charge||$3.99|
|Premium WordPress theme (prices may vary)||$39.00|
Mix, shake and stir. Voila! Website!
Total estimate cost………………………………$54.98 + labor
Piece of cake right? Sure it is. Just like Godaddy’s IQ test. (no…I’m not still bitter about that…no not at all.)