Today we are going to learn how to setup a professional website in 4 easy steps.
You don’t need to know how to code or use expensive software. Simply follow the instructions below and you will have a professional website within a matter of minutes.
There are multiple ways to setup a website online. You can use amateur options like Weebly, Squarespace, or GoDaddys free website builder, but these are not the industry standard. I’m going to show you how a professional does it quickly with minimal cost. This is also the best option if you are looking to scale in the future.
[Alert-Info]Note: I am a professional web designer and developer. This is how the majority of all basic websites are created and the method I use regularly. If you already have systems set up like GoDaddy or a domain and hosting platform, that is fine. You can still follow all the tutorials. The basics are the same, however the admin panel may be different.[/Alert-Info]
Tutorial Steps Written Out Below
What you will need
Theres really only two things you need is a domain name and hosting provider.
On average the domain will cost $10 per year and the hosting will be about $5-$7 per month.
Theres also the cost of a professional looking template, but thats optional but highly recommend because it will make your website look sleek and professional.
Let’s Get Started!
Step 1: Getting a domain name
The first step is acquiring a domain name. In this tutorial we recommend Netfirms.com. They are 2-4 dollars a year cheaper than Hostgator or GoDaddy and they work just as well. Saving money is awesome!
You can also do a Google search, shop for a cheap domain name and use another site. However, this tutorial will show you just how to connect your domain name purchased on Netfirms to your hosting provider below.
After you have purchased your domain, Netfirms will send you a new domain admin screen. Let that sit for a moment as it needs time to process. In the meantime, set up your hosting platform.
Step 2: Setting up your hosting server
Just like domain name services, there are many hosting services. You have probably heard of the most popular like GoDaddy, Hostgator or Blue Hosts. I use and strongly recommend Hostgator. I have yet to have a dropped website (knock on wood) and it is affordable.
Here is a promotion where hosting costs only 1 cent for the first month and an average of $5-$7 per month after that.
Go to the Hostgator website here and click the “Get Started Now!” button to begin the hosting setup.
The hatchling plan is all you will need for now (you can always upgrade later). Pick your pricing structure and press the big yellow “Sign Up Now!” button.
Since you already purchased a domain name from Netfirms, click on the “I Already Own This Domain” tab, enter your domain and fill out the rest of the setup information.
[Alert-Danger]Use the coupon code “MARKEAZYHOOKUP” to get the first month of hosting for only 1 cent! This way if you don’t like it, it will only cost you a penny![/Alert-Danger]
Once the setup is completed, you will be given access to your hosting admin panel. It’s time to connect the domain URL to your host!
Connecting your domain to your host
After you have setup the domain name and host, head over to your Hostgator admin panel. You should have received all the login information via email after signing up. On the left hand side, scroll to the bottom and you will see a section called “Name Servers”.
Copy the top name server number, go back to Netforms.com and login to the Control Panel.
In the Netfirms control panel, scroll to “DomainCentral”.
Follow these steps:
- Find the domain name you purchased and click on it. This opens a dropdown panel with menu links.
- Click on the blue “Nameservers”tab.
- Click the “Use Different Name Servers” select box and enter both of your name servers in the input boxes. Press save.
No go back to you Hostgator admin panel and go to “Software/Services” panel and press “QuickInstall”. You are now ready to set up WordPress.
Step 3: Installing WordPress
After pressing the “Quick Install” button on the Hostgator admin panel, you will be presented with the Quick Install page.
Go to the left where it says “Popular Installs” and click on the WordPress link.
Once you click the link, the “Install WordPress for FREE” panel appears. Click on the panel and press the “Install WordPress” button. You do not need the premium install features.
This opens “Text Input Options”. Select your domain from the dropdown menu and enter all the information about your website. Press the green “Install WordPress” button.
WordPress will install and provide you with a link to your new website, the admin login URL and the website admin username and password.
[Alert-Info]Note: It may take awhile for your domain to “talk” to your new WordPress website. Copy the URLs, login username and password and then wait 15-30 minutes before going to your website URL.[/Alert-Info]
WordPress Admin Basics
WordPress is popular. Why? It’s easy to use, powerful, scalable and it offers endless plugin options. The website you’re on now is a WordPress website with a theme.
Once you login to the admin panel, you will see your admin dashboard and the main admin menu.
The most used options are “Posts”, “Pages”, “Appearance > Menu”, “Appearance > Widgets” and “plugins”.
Posts: Posts are used for all your blog posts.
Pages: Pages are used for all your websites pages.
Menu: The menu is your website’s navigation.
Widgets: Widgets are the panels in the sidebar of your website.
There are many more options to check out in WordPress. I recommend searching YouTube for WordPress basics videos to learn more.
Step 4: Installing a Theme
Installing a theme is as easy as changing your default picture on Facebook. In WordPress, head over to “Appearance > Themes” and at the top select “Add Theme”.
To get a theme you can google “free WordPress themes” or what I recommend is Themeforest.net. Browse all the options and choose the one right for you.
Once you have your theme selected:
- Download the files.
- Follow the documentation that comes with the theme.
- Upload your theme and demo content.
[Alert-Info]Note: I recommend downloading the demo content and replacing the text and images with your own personal text and images. Without the demo content, setting up the theme is difficult to visualize.[/Alert-Info]
Be sure to follow all the setup documentation for the theme to work properly.
I hope this gives a clear idea on how easy it is to setup a professional website. If you have any questions, please comment below!