How to Create Your Own Website (It’s Easy!)
If I were writing this guide 10 years ago (or even 5!), it would be super loooong and complicated with a gazillion steps on how to create web pages, use HTML to code things, and use Photoshop to create a logo and graphics.
Lucky for you, this isn’t 10 years ago. It’s TODAY and it’s actually super easy to create your own website!
There are a lot of different platforms you can use including Wix, Weebly and Squarespace, to name a few. BUT, I don’t recommend any of those. They’re easy enough to start with but super limited when it comes to design and functionality options and you’ll end up very frustrated, very quickly.
So instead, I always tell people to use WordPress! It’s a free platform (you will need to pay for hosting – more info on that below) and it lets you do anything and everything with the design and usability of your site.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for how to create your own website THIS week (and have it look like a pro did it).
Step #1: Choose your website name
Your website name will be your domain name (like www.mywebsitename.com).
Choosing a name often trips up newbies, but it doesn’t have to be complicated! Here are a few dos & don’ts for choosing a website name:
- DO: Use your business name. If you already have a business, this is the obvious choice.
- DO: Use a name that describes your website topic or audience. This helps make it crystal clear what your site is all about. My site – SmartMomBlogger.com – uses this method.
- DO: Use your own name. This is a great choice if you are a coach, consultant, or want to establish a personal brand. Here are a few websites that use this method: MarieForleo.com and ChrisPowell.com
- DON’T: Use numbers, dashes, or alternate spellings in your blog domain name. This makes it hard for people to remember or type your domain name (or even get it right in the first place).
- DON’T: Be too clever or cutesy. Even though you may “get it”, someone else might not. It’s too confusing and can make people feel like they’re not “part of the club”.
Step #2: Set up a self-hosted website
Alright – here we go! In this step, you’ll be setting up your hosting account and installing WordPress. If you’re not tech-savvy, don’t worry! It’s a lot easier than it sounds & I’ll walk you through it all, step-by-step.
Every website requires hosting in order to be “live” on the internet. Don’t worry too much about the technical details – just follow along with the screenshots and instructions below and you’ll be on your way!
Set up your hosting
Click here to get set up with website hosting from Siteground. While you can use whichever hosting provider you choose (there are hundreds available), I use and recommend Siteground because they’re super affordable, reliable, and have excellent customer service. You can get start your own blog for just $3.95 per month.
Select the StartUp plan
It’s the cheapest and will work great for a new website. You can upgrade later if needed if your business or website traffic grows, but for now, the StartUp plan is perfect.
Choose or transfer website domain name
Enter your website name (from Step #1) right here! If you already have a domain name that you purchased somewhere else already (like GoDaddy), just click the “I already have a Domain” option and SiteGround will transfer it to your account for free (another reason why I love them!).
Enter account info and payment details
Next, you’ll need to enter your account details and credit card information. Be sure to pay attention to the options at the bottom and check/uncheck the upgrades as desired.
Unlike many other hosting providers, SiteGround discounts apply to any of the initial periods chosen during the sign-up process, which is a great bonus (most other hosting providers only apply the discounts to the longest sign-up periods, costing you unnecessary extra upfront expenses).
Step #3: Install WordPress on your new hosting account
Once you’ve created your hosting account, it’s time to actually install your website. In this step, you’ll install WordPress on your new hosting account. The really cool part about this is that SiteGround does it for you for free! It’s yet another reason I use and recommend them.
Just contact SiteGround via chat after you set up your hosting account and let them know you’d like their free WordPress website installation service on your new hosting account. They’ll be happy to do it for you and you can save yourself the time and hassle of doing it yourself (especially if you’re not techie). You’ll get an email once it’s completed (typically in under 48 hours).
If you want to do it yourself instead, you can just select the “WordPress” option from your cPanel once you log in to your new account (will look like the screenshot below), and follow the on-screen prompts.
Once you get word from SiteGround that your site has been installed, that means your new blog is LIVE!
Step #4: Choose a Design Theme
Once you view your new website, you’ll see that it has a basic look or “design” to it. This is called a “theme” and you can change it to look like whatever you want!
WordPress has thousands of free and premium designs to choose from, and you can try several out to see what matches the overall style and feel you want for your business.
To access all the themes and back-end “dashboard” area of your website, you can log in at www.yourwebsitename.com/wp-admin (just add the /wp-admin after your website name in the url). You’ll also get an email from SiteGround with this info, so make sure you file it away so you can access it whenever you need it.
Once inside your dashboard, you’ll see a menu on the left side with all your options. Click Appearance > Themes > Add New to view and test different designs.
This is the fun part! Don’t obsess over things or try to make it perfect (not gonna happen anyway), but give yourself some time – a couple hours or so – to play around with designs and customize your website to look awesome.
If you need to find stunning imagery for your website, try a site like Pexels or Pixabay which have thousands of free, high-quality images.
Step #5: Publish & Publicize!
Once you’ve found a design you love and have all your website copy dialed in, it’s time to publish that design! Go you! It looks fab 😉
And don’t forget to share your new pro-looking website with the world! Here are a few ways you can publicize your website and business:
- Email your list
- Share on your social media
- Use Facebook ads
- Create Pins for Pinterest
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Spread the word in person to friends, family and acquaintances
After all, the whole “If you build it they will come” concept works great in the movies, but not so much on the world wide web. You’ve gotta get the word out!
If you’re wondering how to create your own website or are intimidated by the thought of it – don’t be! By following the steps outlined above you can absolutely do this.
If you have questions or need help, let me know in the comments below.
If you found this guide helpful, please share on Facebook or Pinterest! When my readers share my content, my blog grows. I’m so grateful!