How to Make a Website: A Newbie Guide
Complete Guide for Newbies
Whether you want to start a website for fun or to make money, you’ll first have to learn how to make a website. Making a website is not difficult at all. In fact you can have a website running in less than 10 minutes for under $15. Since the online industry is growing rapidly and everyone wants to have a website, I’ve been getting a lot of questions when it comes to building a website. So to make things easier for everyone, I’ve decided to write up this blog post on how to make a website, a complete guide.
To get a new website online, you’re going to need two things:
- A domain name (a web address like yoursitename.com), if you buy a website with domain name you don’t need it but you must do domain ownership change to get the domain name.
- Hosting (a service that connects your site to the internet)
Step-1:Registering a Domain
First things first, you’ll have to decide on a domain name. If you’re a business, the ideal domain name would be your company’s name with the .com extension. There are hundreds of domain extensions, but the most common ones are .com, net & org I would personally suggest going for a .com, if it’s taken & there is no website (no competitor), I would suggest either trying to find a different domain name or register the .net extension. For non-profits/organizations, I would suggest .org. If you’re a business in a country outside the US, you should consider going with your country’s domain extension.
There are different tools online that can help you come up with a name. I personally use the following two.
A Domain name should not be long, it should be easy to remember & brandable. After deciding for the name, you’ll have to register it. The best domain registrar is Godaddy Depending on the domain extension, the price range for a .com is usually $7-$10 per year.
Get your .com domain name now for $1 at Godaddy using this link
What kind of domain name should I pick?
As an easy starting point:
- If you’re making a website for your business, your domain name should match your company name. For example: YourCompanyName.com
- If you’re planning to set up a website for yourself, then YourName.com can be a great option.
For this site (WebsiteSetup), I chose WebsiteSetup.org
Domain names usually end with .com, .org or .net, but in recent months, a huge amount of domain extensions (the end part of the web address, like .com) have come out, ranging from .agency to .pizza.
My best advice? Avoid the weird extensions and go with .com, .net or .org unless they perfectly describe what you have to offer – and even then, see if you can find a more common name.
While .com, .org and .net are commonly used and easily remembered, the domain extension craze hasn’t really gone mainstream yet – so people may not find you if you use a really different domain extension.
Things to Consider when Choosing a Domain Name
- Brandable – Make it sound professional. “DogAcademy.com” sounds better than “dogtrainingtips.com”
- Catchy – It should stick in the person’s head. It should be easy to remember
- Easy to Type – Avoid using words that are complicated to type.
- Short – The shorter the better. It will be more catchy, easier to remember & type
Step-2: Choosing a Web Host
A web-host is simply a place where the files of your website are stored, giving everyone who has access to internet to access your website. This step is simple, yet very important. Different web-hosts offer different features, however usually the regular plans work. It’s important to choose a proper web-host the your site loads fast, and there are no interruptions such as your website going down. In most cases, a regular web-host plan is enough. There are free web-hosts out there but I would highly discourage the use of those. They are slow, fill up your site with ads and many other things you don’t want to deal with. Here’s a list of the top web-hosts I recommend (& had personal experience with).
Personal Recommendation: Godaddy or Hostgator
1)GoDaddy is considered to be one of the world’s biggest and best web hosting companies.
Click here << SPECIAL OFFER! $1/month. Hosting Plans at GoDaddy with FREE Domain name!
2)HostGator is a great compromise between performance and price. They offer unlimited emails, MySQL databases, disk space, and bandwidth, plus 1-click installs of popular open-source projects, in addition to a 99.9% uptime guarantee on their shared hosting plans.
Transfer Website to your Host
When you buy a ready website, you can use your own domain name or transfer the domain from the buyer.
After getting the domain name you need to change the nameservers of domain to your hosting servers:
The next step after having domain name and doing nameservers change is installing website files at your host and wait some hours for dns update to see the website live at your host:
Step-3: Marketing Your Website Online
Great, so now you have a great looking website built, with lots of great content. You’re missing one thing, traffic. In the online world, we refer visitors as “traffic.” The goal is to have as much high quality traffic as possible. The more quality traffic, the more money/clients you make. Depending on your website, there are different ways you can market your website. Below are some great, very easy basic ways to start driving traffic to your website.
Social Media – One of my favorites, easy & effective. Get on Facebook, Twitter, and all other major social media platforms. Share your blog posts, engage with your target audience, even advertise through those platforms if you have the budget for it .Build an audience, a fan-base who will follow you wherever you go.
SEO Marketing – I will talk about this one in the next step.
Paid Advertising – Websites like Facebook & Google offer paid advertising. Read up a lot of guides on them and then test them out. You can also use BuySellAds.com to buy banner space on websites, make sure you have a good banner that people will click on. Or manually find niche-related websites and contact the owners regarding advertising.
Reddit, Stumbleupon & Digg – Easy way to get instant traffic. Share your new blog posts up there. Although the traffic may not be as quality, it still converts.
Q&A – Get on sites like Yahoo Answers & Quora and answer questions related to your niche. This will build you a reputation for being an “expert” in the industry, and can also drive traffic. Don’t spam, make sure your answers are good and that the link you drop is actually closely related to the question.
LinkedIn – Connect with people in your industry & post your new posts up there.
Email Lists – Have people signup for your email list (Tip: Give them an incentive to) and then whenever you release a new post, you can email them all. Probably your most quality source of traffic.
Comment on Other Blogs – Comment on other blog posts related to your industry. Don’t spam, and make the comment useful. If you spam, it will ruin your reputation.
Engage With Your Audience – If they leave a comment, reply to their comment. If they email, reply to their email. Take care of them, and they will take care of you.
Get on Youtube – Another very effective way to build a reputation as an expert in your industry. Talk about a problem many people have to have more views, put your face out there.
Interview Influencers – Interview other influencers in your industry, whether it’s through video or text, and put it up on your blog. They will also promote that blog post.
Forums – Engage in forums in your industry. Put a link/banner in your signature. Be informative and help others, and you will get traffic.
Email Signature – You most likely email with other people in your industry. Add your blog in your signature, they’re most probably going to click on it.
Cross-Promotion – Engage with other influencers in your industry and cross promote one another, whether it’s through email subscribers, social media or websites.
Infographics – This will most likely be paid unless you design them yourself. Have high-quality informative infographics made related to your industry, and share them. A very effective method.
Trendy Topics – Write up blog posts about topics that are currently trending, people are more likely to read them.
– Don’t give up. You may not start seeing traffic right away, but continue engaging with other people in your industry and you’ll eventually start seeing traffic pouring to your website. Don’t try to force people to go to your website by spamming as it will also kill your reputation.
– Having subscribers is incredibly valuable. Don’t spam them with links to your blog posts. Engage with them, give them freebies, and have them fall in love with your content. You want to have them look forward to receiving an email from you.
– If you’re a business/service, consider going to seminars/conferences in your industry and engaging with others while promoting your website. These visitors are usually of very high value.
– Spy on your competition. See what ways they market themselves, and copy that.
– Make use of Google Analytics. See the sources of where your traffic comes from, and focus on those.
Step-4: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This one tends to be more difficult than others .But once you do it properly, you can have a lot of traffic coming to your site and increasing an audience-base fairly quickly afterwards. Organic traffic is one of the best sources of traffic you can get. SEO requires time & patience, depending on what you’re after. Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing your website to make it more search-engine friendly and then building links so you can rank better. There are 2 parts to SEO. The first part is on-page SEO. This is the process of making your site & content search-engine friendly .Meaning writing quality lengthy blog posts, internal & external linking (linking to other parts of your blog, and even to other websites), proper keywords in your title & content, and much more. The second part is off-page SEO. This part is building quality backlinks to your website. There are a lot of different ways you can get backlinks, these include guest posts, forum profiles, blog comments, directory submission, links from other blogs and much more. I cannot express how important it is for you to read a lot about SEO. Building bad backlinks can kill your website from search engines, and that’s the last thing you want.
I would highly suggest reading Moz’s guide on SEO which can be found here(https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo). After that, if you want to learn even more, you can read “The Advanced Guide to SEO” (http://www.quicksprout.com/the-advanced-guide-to-seo/) by Neil Patel. It’s a very informative guide that will help you increase your SEO knowledge incredibly. He also has a lot of videos related to SEO which I highly encourage you to watch. They can be found here [http://www.quicksprout.com/university/category/seo-videos/]. Again, I cannot express how important it is for you to understand SEO (and that it is always changing) before doing any SEO yourself.
-Try targeting long-tail keywords, they are generally easier to rank. Use different keyword research tools to see for which keywords you should aim for.
– If you’re paying for SEO (which you most likely will), don’t try to save money by going for cheaper services. In this game, it’s “you get what you pay for”.
– Your permalinks should be set properly. Instead of having site.com/post1 , it’s more effective to have it as site.com/your-title-goes-here.
Step-5: Monetizing Your Website
Depending on your industry, there are multiple ways to start monetizing your website. You should consider testing out different ways and see which brings you most money. I’d suggest spy on your competitors and other similar industries, and see what they are doing then improve.
Membership Programs – Offer better-valued content to your audience by offering a paid membership. If your free content is of great value, they will gladly sign-up for your paid membership.
Your Own Product – Great way to make big bucks. Launch your own product, whether digital or physical.
Being an Affiliate – Promote other products/services for a commission. Depending on your industry, you can sign up for a CPA Network, Clickbank, Amazon & many others and start promoting. (Note: You can also promote via your e-mail list)
Google Adsense – You get paid for each time someone clicks on your ad.
Selling Banner Space – If you have a blog with quite some traffic, you can always make extra money by selling your banner space. BuySellAds (marketplace for banner spaces) allows you to put your banner up for rent. You choose your own pricing.
– Compare different sources such as selling banner spaces vs using Adsense, see which brings you more money.
– Make your site look professional, don’t put up ads everywhere, it will kill your audience.
– If you decide to build a membership program or your own product, consider opening an affiliate program.
Conversation Rate Optimization (CRO)
I absolutely love and enjoy doing optimizing websites for better conversion rates. The results are quick, so you know you’re doing well. If you’re blogging, it’s still important, but this is primarily focused on landing pages for businesses/services. Test, test and keep testing. You can always optimize it better for more conversions. Experts charge a large amount of money to optimize your landing page, because it can bring a lot more sales especially if your landing page isn’t good. You’ll need to do A/B split testing on things such as what title headline to use, where to place your call-to-action(CTA) buttons and much more. There are useful tools out there that can tell you where you need to put more focus on.
Google Analytics – a must have for tracking where your visitors come from, the amount of time they spend on your site, the bounce rate and many other cool features.
KISSmetrics – Owned by Neil Patel, a CRO expert. KISSmetrics offers a lot of great features such as funnel reports, A/B split testing, revenue reports with channels & the ability to see how behavior changes over time.
HotJar – An incredible product. Offers heatmaps, recordings, funnels, forms, polls & more. I’m in love with this one. Gives you an in-depth analysis of the behavior of your audience on your site.
KingSumo – Headlines are extremely important. It’s the first thing a person usually reads on your site, so you better try testing different headlines. KingSumo offers exactly that.
Optimzely – Great product for A/B split testing. Owned by two former Google product managers.
Qualaroo – Custom insights, asking your customer why they decided not to buy, and any other question you want.
LivePerson/Zopim – Both are live support chats. Great way to communicate with your potential clients and showing your bad ass customer support.
– If you don’t have as much traffic, you should consider testing it longer so you have more accurate data. The more you test, the more accurate the data is.
– Spy on your competitors, see what they’re doing, test & improve.
[box] If you’ve been helped by my website, please consider a donation, $1, $5, $5, $10, $10, whatever you can. Not for me, but for those who need it rather more.
Donating through JustGiving is easy & totally secure. Your details are safe – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails.[/box]