Let This Year Be The Year You Build Your First Website

Let This Year Be The Year You Build Your First Website

Let This Year Be The Year You Build Your First Website

It’s Wednesday… but it’s a little bigger than that. It’s a brand new year. 2014.

We made it.

As is the habit around this time of year, it’s time to start talking about what plans we have for the year ahead. Why not make this year the year you finally do it?

You know, build that website you are always talking about.

Now, I won’t say it will be a walk in the park. There is certainly a learning curve to building a website, much like anything else. Building a website is a labor of love, and if you are finally ready to make it happen, I’ll gladly walk you through how to get started.

So, I guess the ball is in your court. Are you ready to go for it?

Step 1: Choose a domain name

Your domain name is the identity of your website, so you will want to think carefully about the name you choose. You can either choose a domain name that describes your product, or you can choose a domain that is brandable. Either way, the choice is yours. Here is the perfect guide to choosing which option is best for you:

How To Choose The Perfect Domain Name For Your Business

Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind when choosing a domain:

  • Make sure the domain you choose does not infringe on any trademarks.
  • Choose a domain that is also available on popular social networks.

Social media plays a big role for promoting your site, so you want to make sure that all of your usernames will be available. This is important as it will help you stand out and make you easier to find online. You can use services like Knowem or Namecheckr to check domains and multiple social media sites in one search.

Step 2: Get a hosting plan

If you are building a brand new site, chances are you won’t need a VPS or a dedicated server. Starting with a small shared hosting plan is the best choice. It’s more economical, and because your site won’t be seeing much traffic just yet, you won’t need a lot of bandwidth. Also, shared hosting plans typically come with a free cPanel license, which will make managing your new site even easier.

Get 30 Days Free WordPress Hosting — Use Ecode ‘30FREE’

Step 3: What type of website will you build?

This is where you have options. The decision you make will largely depend on the type of site you want to build, as well as, your skill level and budget. Fortunately, our shared hosting plans come with 200+ one-click installs that allow you to publish a forum or blog with a few clicks of your mouse. There are also plenty more options, from ecommerce sites to free message board software.

Here are some compelling reasons to choose a blog or a forum:

7 Reasons You Should Be Using WordPress For Your Small Business

The “I Want To Know Everything” Guide To Starting Your Own Forum

Step 4: Customize your new site

It’s easy to think that you need all the skills in the world to build a beautiful website, but the reality is there are a lot more options out there that are not only affordable, but highly professional. You can find a huge selection of themes for whatever type of site you are building, whether a forum or traditional website.

A good place to start looking for a fresh design is Themeforest. You can find WordPress themes and a nice collection of forum skins for vBulletin, SMF, and phpBB. There are plenty more theme shops and developers that offer professional themes, so do your research until you find something you want to settle on.

Start A Forum With A Small Budget (And Still Stand Out)

Step 5: Create content for your website

Now is where things get a little bit more complicated. You are going to have to figure out what type of content and information you should include on your website. This can be a difficult process if you are just getting started, so the best way to decide on what your site needs is to go look at other websites.

Keep in mind that duplicate content is a no-no. You don’t want to copy content from another website. This not only reflects poorly on your brand, but it can also get you in trouble with Google. You don’t want your new site blacklisted, so it is important to do this right.

First, what you are going to want to do is come up with a list of example websites, with features that you like. Next, create a list of at least 10 of the most popular competitors in your niche. You can uncover quite a bit and set your website off on the right path by making sure you understand your competition. This tutorial from Moz will get you started.

You will also want to make sure that you are structuring your pages and posts with SEO in mind.

Your Content Should Attract The Right People

Step 6: Add Google Analytics

You want to track your progress, right? The only way to judge if what you are doing is working is by tracking results. Before you begin promoting your site you will want to add Google Analytics. This is a free tool by Google that allows you to track visits to your site and see where your traffic is coming from.

Next, just to go the extra mile you should verify your site with Google Webmaster Tools and Bing. This will allow your website to begin getting indexed faster.

Step 7: Setup your social media accounts

Now that you have made it this far you are going to want to create social media accounts to promote your website. While there are a ton of options, the most important ones you can set up for your new website is Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Be sure to add links to your website and add a design that matches the look you are going for.

Step 8: Start promoting!

This is the step that never ends. Once you have your site ready to launch you will want to market your new website in a variety of ways.

In other words, the journey just started. = )

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Post Written by
Greg Middlesworth is the owner of URLjet.

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