Let me show you how to create a website of your very own! Here I want to explain why I decided to create a website, and then how I created the site. There were a few reasons what I wanted to create a website:
- We are in the digital age now; a lot of people spend time on the internet searching for and consuming information
- I wanted to share with you my experiences of how I will hopefully be able to live entirely off money made online (i.e. also known as self-marketing)
- To learn the skills to then offer freelancing for website creation and SEO
- To prove to myself that I could do it
- Hopefully, help generate an income in future years
So, for my first article, I will let you know how I managed to create a website through Bluehost!
Please note, since this article was written, I have moved from Bluehost to SiteGround, due to a better offering.
Step 1: Coming up with a name.
Choosing a name
Coming up with a website name (also known as a domain name), can be a tough decision. Your website’s name is just about creating something simple that is easy to understand and most importantly, stick in your audience’s mind.
So you know what your website is going to be about?
Ah, unfortunately, greatbarrierreeffish was taken and looking at some of the options, I have decided that they all seem too long. For example, if I wanted to make a website about fish on the Great Barrier Reef, I could go to a website name generator (such as www.namemesh.com) (I have no affiliation with this group), and I could type in Great Barrier Reef Fish.
If I use GBR instead of Great Barrier Reef, I could do a search for GBR Fish, which, results in a lot of different names that I can choose. Some of these seem like they would be perfect!
Just remember that there are millions and millions of websites out there (well, 644 million as of March 2012 per the Web Server Survey by Netcraft, or, now potentially over 1.1 billion according to internetlivestats). Your job is to direct that traffic (i.e. people looking at the internet) to your website! You want something that is descriptive of what you are trying to show on your website, but something that can be easy to understand and search for as well!
For my website here, www.thewahman.com is just an abbreviated version of The Working at Home Man (which was already taken when I registered with BlueHost (scary affiliate link – see more about this at the end of the article)). From this website’s name, you can tell that the information here will be about working at home. Fairly straight forward?
You are now off to a great start. Often picking the domain name can be one of the most important decisions when you create a website, as it provides the context for the information that will appear. A name is a brand.
Step 2: Choosing an Appropriate Web Extension
As I mentioned here, I am currently in Australia but looking to move overseas. As a result, it was best (and easiest) for me to obtain a “.com” extension.
If I was registered as a business in Australia, I would be able to obtain the requirements for a “.com.au” extension. However, as I thought my audience would be mainly international, “.com” was the best bet.
As you may have noticed from the pictures earlier, there are a lot of other extensions as well (.io, .net, .dance, etc.). I would try and stay away from these as I believe people are most comfortable searching for a “.com” extension.
Note: If you are interested about a “.com.au” I would suggest having a look at the Australian Government Website: Register a website name.
Step 3: Web Hosting Service
So now that you have a name (and you have checked that it’s not taken), we can now look for a web hosting service. A web host provides servers which will host the content that you place on your website.
These days most website hosting companies will provide an “all in one” type of service, where they will help you
- search for, and purchase a domain name,
- host your website
- set up WordPress, or other framework for the website
- provide an email address for that website.
When I was planning to create a website here, doing a quick Google search for “best website host” found about 5 companies that were all rated high. If you are doing the research yourself, make sure that you find independent reviews of these products. Independent reviews, being reviews not origination from the hosting site. For me, I choose BlueHost (same affiliate link as before), which had good reviews at the time of me selecting the website. The pricing of BlueHost at the time was also straight forward –
So after selecting your plan, you come to a signup screen. This is where you are able to choose your domain name and see if this is in use
And if you are not able to find something specific, Bluehost will suggest alternatives –
Step 4: Blushost Packages
When it comes to selecting a package to use, there are a few add-ons that you can also select
I, like possibly you, did not have any idea about these extra add-ons that were on offer. I returned to my trusty Google Search to see what I needed. “Bluehost Package Information” came up with multiple blogs, the essence of which, I have tried to harness here:
Domain Privacy Protection: Will protect your personal privacy from a WHOIS lookup. As an example, running a WHOIS lookup on this website here would reveal that my personal details are protected behind Bluehost. For me personally this is how I would like it to be.
Site Backup Pro: Provides added options over a free Basic Backup (which funnily they don’t mention) that comes with your Bluehost account. “Site Backup & Restore allows you to download and restore system backups. Backups of your files, databases, and configuration settings are created automatically every night. Daily, Weekly, and Monthly backups are stored on our servers.” – Bluehost Website 2017
I would try the basic one first to see if you really need all of the added features. You can always upgrade to the pro version later on.
Search Engine Jumpstart: An external company – SoloSEO, who say they they can rapidly index your website, and can help with a DIY SEO program. From my research, it seems as this is not important. You cannot pay a company to boost google ratings. Also learning about SEO is an art, and a skill you can freelance to others later on, as I found out here.
SiteLock Security – Find: An external company – SiteLock, who verifies site credentials such as email, phone numbers etc. Also scans websites for malware and displays a sitelock certificate.
For me personally, I didn’t think this was critical, and was not selected. Have a look in the next section where I mention specific WordPress plugins that can do a similar function (for free).