How to build a simple website
I thought there might be some people out there interested in how I built this website. It’s not complicated, but it’s taken the best part of a week. I specifically chose well known providers to ensure I could find support, either on their sites/chats, on YouTube or on other people’s blogs.
Domain – GoDaddy (your domain is your URL, ie ‘alexryanuk.com’ – you need to buy this first. If you want to talk about what makes a good domain name for your business, get in contact – it can be a very important decision)
Hosting – SiteGround (hosting is like the foundations for your house, it’s where all the files that you create are stored. Your domain ‘points’ to your hosting in order to then display your website). SiteGround are VERY competitive on price, definitely check them out if you need hosting.
Website – WordPress. More than 30% of the worlds websites are made using WordPress. Enough said really! (you have to ‘associate’ your WordPress website with you hosting – it’s just a few clicks with SiteGround).
Theme – Marketing Pro, bought from Envato Market (your theme is your starting point for your website, a bit like a template but with hundreds of design options, widgets and plug-ins. You need one of these unless you’re an absolute pro and fancy coding your site from scratch, which almost NOBODY does).
Email – GoDaddy (they have a bolt-on option to add email to any domains that you’ve purchased. You can also bolt-on MS Office if you need it)
You need to start in the following order, to keep things simple;
- buy your domain
- buy your hosting
- associate your domain with your hosting (can have complications, get a live chat up to help)
- inside SiteGround, click on ‘set up a WordPress’ site – this will direct you to the right place to set up your account with WordPress. Don’t set up a WordPress account before (unless you know what you’re doing) as it can get confusing – there’s wordpress.org and wordpress.com, and if you go direct you might end up paying for a WordPress account
- If you’ve bought your hosting and your domain the WordPress should be FREE. It has some FREE themes that you can use to start building your site, or you can purchase a fancy theme (which is what I did so that I had plenty of development options for the future)
- start editing your theme
- my website doesn’t have a payment option, as it’s not an ‘eCommerce’ site. If you’re selling something online, you need to think about;
- an eCommerce plugin – I suggest WooCommerce (works great with a WordPress site) but there are plenty of others out there
- a payment gateway. PayPal is a great option and easy to set up on a WordPress site, but it takes one of the largest commissions. Have a Google of some comparissons, check out Worldpay, Stripe, Amazon Pay, Sage Pay and Shopify)
Things to think about in advance (I’d do these on an Excel / Word doc as it’s easier to plan on these than it is on your site)
- what do you want on your menu (home, contact, blog, FAQs etc) and will any have sub-menus (blog, vlog)
- what do you want on your home page (most important statements, what are you selling, pursuade people to contact you)
- where are you getting your media from (websites need video and photo, can you make these yourself? Have you got a friend who can do these? If not, need advice on someone to work with you? [contact me])
- write some content (you don’t need to wait until you’ve made your blog to write your first post. Every time you think of something, get it onto a Word Doc – you can copy and paste later. The same goes for all your page content).
That should be enough to get you going, but please get in contact if you run into difficulties!