When it comes to creating your own website, people commonly have one of two reactions. Some think that it is a hopelessly complicated process, and that even after you get a site up on the net, they don’t think they could ever make a ripple in the vast ocean that is the world wide web.
This is clearly wrong: I’m a day trader, ok? I’m far from a tech wiz here, but somehow I not only managed to get this site up and running through mostly my own efforts, but I have continued to build it since then to become one of the leading niche travel/trading blogs out there. If you can perform a Google search, you can figure this stuff out … trust me!
At the same time, I’m not going to sugarcoat it: in the beginning, you’ll have to put in the hard yards to get your site up in the rankings, and if you’re not careful when setting up the site, you can cause errors that will mess up the infrastructure that loads your page.
Don’t be scared though! This post will help you through the initial stages of getting your blog or site live, and well on your way to ranking high in the search results of Google, Bing, etc. Let’s get started!
1) Purchase a domain name
First things first: you’re going to need to name your site before you build it. For about $10 per year or less, you can lay claim to a URL that will be 100% yours. No more renting your efforts to WordPress.com: with a web address, you’ll be able to get started in building your very own piece of internet real estate.
There are many domain name providers out there, but I personally recommend 1&1, as they have always been good to me in the past. When you go to create your domain name, make sure that it is easy to remember and type: try to avoid z’s, q’s, x’s, etc and no more than 12-15 characters if you can help it.
2) Find your website a home on the net
The next step in the process involves finding a reliable domain host. The key considerations here are uptime and traffic spike management; a low price per month might be enticing initially, but if your host continually has maintenance and technical issues, or if your site goes down every time you create a viral post, then you’ve got a problem on your hands.
Paying enough for a reliable service will help your site’s credibility, as well as ensuring that you survive Buzzfeed links and the infamous Reddit hug of death with ease.
3) Upload software from WordPress.org
While there are other options for website platforms out there, WordPress.org’s software is by far the easiest and simplest to use for computer neophytes and non-coders. In as little as five minutes, your site will be ready for you to start creating content like the superstar you are.
I could give you a tutorial, but there are countless ones out there that will guide you through the easy steps that anyone can follow: just plug in “how to install WordPress into Google, and away you go!
4) Point your domain name at your site
Before your greatness will be visible by anybody, you’ll have to point your purchased domain name at the host where you just uploaded and installed WordPress. Now, this is the most technical of the steps, but it basically involves logging into the site where you bought your domain name and entering in the name server addresses they provided you in the e-mail they send you when you signed up for web hosting (if you don’t have these, e-mail their customer support and obtain them).
This process may take a little while, so don’t panic if completing this step doesn’t serve your web page straight away … patience, grasshopper!
5) Start writing content, use relevant keywords in posts, etc
Now that the computer geek stuff is over and done with, it’s time to crack the knuckles and start creating content. Get some initial posts (at least 3 to 5) up before going live to avoid having your site look like a ghost town to early visitors, and then schedule new posts at least once every two weeks at a minimum.
Seed post titles and the post body with keywords and key phrases (don’t go overboard though!) that you think your target audience uses. Experiment, do research, fail, dust yourself off, try new stuff and you’ll eventually gain traction.
Above all else, welcome to the internet, my friend … it’s an exciting place to be, and the party’s only getting started!