Although businesses still survive without one, having a website is essential to the success of your company. In days of old, you would literally pay thousands of dollars to get a basic site built, that today can be done for several hundred dollars. I have just gone through the process of creating a website, and will walk you through how to do it in just a few steps. Really!
First off, the more you can do on your own, meaning things like having a logo, a design in mind for what you want your homepage or landing page to look like, etc., the easier and cheaper it will be. If not, these are easy to do. Okay, this is about as technical as it is going to get for you. Two things that you need to do:
- Set up your Hosting Account: I used Bluehost (I’m not affiliated with them)
- Install WordPress: This is the content manager and the software where you will create your site. (This is FREE!)
So far you have probably spent less than $10. Domain name and monthly fee. Crazy, huh! You have now signed up for Bluehost and have chosen your website name, and which plan you want to use. Then you downloaded WordPress pretty much like you would do any software. For me, that is as technical as I wanted to get. I do know how to program, but unless you really like to do it, it takes up valuable time that you could be using to work on your business. Opportunity costs.
Now that we have the hard part out of the way, we can start to be creative. Let’s break this section into 3 main areas:
Design: This is how your website will look. Most importantly, how the home page or the landing page will look. If you have an idea of what you want it to look like, great. If not, search the web for styles and themes that you like. It can be in your product area or any area really. Start picking bits and pieces from what you like and put them down on paper. I used a combination of Microsoft Word and PowerPoint to create a basic page. Once you feel you have something to work with, it’s time to call in the pros.
Build: This is where we hand off to someone with WordPress experience to setup and build the site. There are a myriad of ways to find a website programmer, but I used Fiverr.com. If you don’t belong already you can easily create an account. Once you are in, search the site for a WordPress developer and something like this will come back:
There are many developers on the site, and you can choose one according to your budget. I was in the $100 to $200 range. You can also create a request for your service, where you can describe what you want and the price you are willing to pay, and within hours you will have dozens of offers to build your site. At this point it is kind of like Craig’s List, you have to have a feeling for the right person and use the reviews that are on the site. You will give your ideas and design to your new found WordPress programmer who will get the site up and running. Of course it will won’t be how you want it on the first iteration, but find a programmer that will fix it and change it to meet your satisfaction. I forgot to mention, you can get your logo designed here as well. That really is five dollars!
Promote: The last step in the process is to promote your website. Again, this can take time to do and will also be affected by how much you budget to spend on marketing. Once again, I would start my search with Fiverr’s digital marketing tab. Find someone who is in your budget that can do what you want, from SEO to email blasts, it is all right there.
I realize that this is not the most detailed about how to start a website article. I wanted to keep it simple and show you just how inexpensive and straightforward it can be. It was for me using these steps and it can be for you too.