Don’t feel stupid for not knowing how to set up your own website.
There are a lot of different companies, strange terminology, and overpriced website creators out there.
Using my patent pending analogy technology, I’ll have you buying domains, hosting them, and managing a CMS in no time. Don’t worry if the following sentence made no sense, just follow my 3 step guide and you’ll be setting up websites in no time.
Step 1: Buying a Domain Name
A domain name is kind of like a phone number. It’s what people type in to find you on the web.
Also like phone numbers, most of the good ones are already taken (867-5309 for example). However, you can easily search and see what domains are available. I use the search bar at GoDaddy to see what’s available and buy right through them, but first…
- Keep it short and simple if possible
- Avoid dashes or long names
- Try sticking to a .com address if available (with .net and .org as second choices)
- Avoid brand names in your domain for less legal hassle
Domain names generally cost around $10 a year to secure, so definitely not going to break the bank. But no matter where you buy your domain from, you’re going to get up-sold like you’re buying a new car. I’m sure some of their add-ons are useful, but odds are you probably don’t need “rust proofing”. I recommend declining all the add-on offers and just buy the domain. All those offers will still be there if you ever want them, and odds are you won’t.
That brings us to…
Step 2: Hosting Your Website
If domain names are like phone numbers, than hosting companies are sorta like phone companies (Sprint, Verizon, etc,). They handle all the technical stuff and make sure your website comes up when people type in your address (domain).
For this you pay a monthly fee which, much like phone plans, have different payment levels based on what you need. Thankfully, unlike phone plans, prices are stupid cheap and you don’t have to sign a two year contract.
I use HostGator for all my hosting needs, and I’ve never had a single problem in the four years they’ve been hosting this site. You can get unlimited web hosting from them for less than $4 a month, plus if you order through my site, or use the coupon code “proyoutuber” you’ll get an additional 20% off. BAM!
Here’s how you set up your hosting account with a domain you purchased from GoDaddy:
Step 3: Installing a Content Management System
Alright, I’m gonna ditch the phone analogy for this one, but don’t be scared by the title. A content management system is just a way to organize the pages and posts on your website. You can create one yourself, but that wouldn’t be stupid simple. WordPress, on the other hand, is stupid simple.
Now, I’m not talking about WordPress.com. That site is for suckers that don’t have their own domain name and hosting like us. I won’t go into all the reasons why installing WordPress on you own domain is better than using WordPress.com, but here are a few:
- Thousands of free and premium website templates available
- Amazing plugins for running a business, incorporating social media, adding YouTube videos, etc.
- The ability to monetize your site with ads (can’t do that with WordPress.com)
- Your favorite blog (probably) uses WordPress
So, here’s how you install WordPress on your hosting account
Dude, you got a