Starting Your Own Website
Interesting In Starting A Website?
I remember when I was 12 years old, I created my first “blog” at the then “Freewebs.com” now webs.com. I was excited to learn how to code HTML, CSS and design my website. However, I found the hosted website was a little too restrictive for my creativity and then went on to join a friend, with a sub-domain. It was a lovely experience, as I learned more about websites and upkeep. I gained organizational and management skills, just by doing things on my on. I took a long break, a very long break, from blogging, and now I am back today, with my first domain. ￼ It is a liberating experience to have a website you can call your own, promoting your creativity and thoughts. Blogging is a great way to even start a small business or organization. In the past I have searched thoroughly for a hosting company that will not overcharge, yet still be reputable and reliable. Below are the steps in starting your website.
The steps are very easy to creating your own website.
- Establish a Platform, Domain + Hosting
- Be Crafty + Design Your Blog
- Selecting the Best Plugins For Your Site
- Define Your Success
- Create Compelling Content
- Be Consistent With Your Site
- Connect with the World
- Grow With Your Blog
Establish the Platform, Domain + Hosting
First things first, find your host and domain. The host holds the server to your website, where you will be purchasing hosting for your website and its information and the domain is the web address (www.example.com/.org/.net/.us). I went to SiteGround and registered my domain there. Luckily, SiteGround allows you to transfer an old hosted WordPress blog to your new self-hosted website and if you’re starting fresh, SiteGround will install WordPress for you. WordPress is a great platform for bloggers. I highly recommend it as it is very simple to use and extremely customizable.
You can also receive a 60% discount and a free domain, at $3.95/month if you use this link here, with the Basic Plan. If needed, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee. The great thing about SiteGround, there is a pre-purchase, during, and after, free 24/7 “live chat” as well as toll-free calls. The customer service is super helpful. In my experience as a first time buyer, I was extremely satisfied with how patient they were. I’m not what you will say, tech savvy.
Craft! Time to Design
WordPress has so many themes to offer. Free, premium and you can even create your own theme. A good theme will draw your visitors in and best thing is, you can craft it exactly how you want it. If you don’t wish to code, that is fine, as earlier stated WordPress provides Free + Premium easy to install themes. SiteGround is also great with providing easily to install themes, all for free.
The Essentials: Selecting the Best Plugins
Plugins allow your site to become as flexible as you want it to be. From creating membership forms, commerce widgets, share to social media plugins, WordPress has a wide collection of widgets + other plugins. Some plugins I’ve used and enjoyed with WordPress are the following:
- Akismet. Protects your blog from comment spam. Very useful if you have custom forms.
- Jetpack. A WordPress plugin that shows the stats of your website.
- WP Super Cache. Clears your cache, helps your content load faster.
Define Goals + Success
What are the reasons you are starting a website? Some want to start a small online business, others wish to teach, share and learn from the world. Blogging can become a career. Lifehacker has an article speaking on making a living from blogging. Whatever your goals are, write them down and stick to it. You define your own success. What is your purpose? I researched for months before launching my website, because I wanted to be clear with myself about my goals and purpose. Sometimes a guide can help you along the way, but it is up to you to decide what it is you wish to accomplish.
Create Compelling Content
Start with a homepage that will draw the reader in. Add some pages such as an About, Contact, Archives, Shop, whatever kind of page related to the content of your site. Make your content easy to read with Headers, Bullet Points + Images. Find your niche and stay related to your blog. Whether your website will be about cooking, dancing, writing, or sleeping, let it be about you and be relatable to your preferred audience.
You do not have to write everyday, though it is completely up to you. However, it is important to be consistent with your updates. Try posting something at least once a week, but do not force content. Be yourself when writing, because readers will know when you’re searching for content to write about.
Connect with the World.
So now you want the World to see your blog, but you first have to visit the World. Visit other websites, and genuinely communicate with other bloggers and writers. You can even guest-post on some blogs and better, allow some people to guest-post on your blog. This can increase the traffic on your website. Leave honest comments on the amazing posts you will read along the way. Social media is also a good way to connect. Use your resources.
Grow With Your Blog
As you grow, your blog will grow. Avoid being stagnant with content. Things change, websites change. You might find new tools and strategies for writing, you might want to add a newsletter to your website or even a membership. There are other hosts and platforms, but I can only speak on what I’ve used. Be sure to do your own research before purchasing. Happy blogging and kindest regards!