I started making websites when I was in high school. Back then the internet was still in its infancy and there were not a lot of resources out there that could guide me into making a website. You kind of had to figure out things on your own. Thankfully, things are getting much easier.
There are numerous companies and services out there that are trying to remove the technical aptitude of publishing a website out of the consumers hands. To tell the demand for this kind of service all you have to do is Google “build a website” and you will come up with thousands of results. Some of them actually provide a good service for the solopreneur. There is, however, a problem….
When you often go to the route of buying an all encompassing web service you are often confined to the constraints of their templates and framework. When you outgrow a prepackaged web service you will be met with the unfortunate realization that there is no options to customize, add…or even worse…migrate your contents onto a bigger platform for your continual growth. Most often than not, your website will be bound to the rules set forth by the web service. You will grow when they allow you to grow and you will change when they change. When they go out of business then you will be in big trouble.
This is the reason why I tend to avoid web services that promise easy and fast ways to create a website. Easy and fast also means hard and slow to scale. With that said, there is a way for you to build a website with relative ease that will future proof your website if it grows into something BIG. If you commit yourself with just a little bit additional knowledge up front and exert just a fraction more of additional effort you will be way better off than using an all encompassing web service.
Below are the steps to get a scalable and powerful website up in 30 minutes. It is based on using WordPress, the most popular and powerful open source CMS platform that is used by many fortune 500 companies. It is also the platform that this very website is built on.
1. Buy a domain name – It takes roughly 5 minutes to go through the entire purchase process. Time estimate is not including brainstorming time to actually come up with the domain name to buy (It will probably be the hardest part).
**Protip: You can usually buy a 1 year domain name for $0.99 cents. All you have to do is Google “99 cent domain” and Godaddy usually runs a sponsored ad in Google. Click on the link so you get the 99 cent promotion credit and continue on to purchase. Ignore all of the add-on services that Godaddy tries to get you to buy. We are only interested in getting that website up as fast as possible.
2. Buy Web Hosting – I usually buy my web hosting through BlueHost. It will take roughly 10 minutes to go through the entire purchase process AND install WordPress. They are one of the hosting providers that WordPress themselves recommend on their site and you can quickly install WordPress right then and there. After you do that, if you purchased your domain name from Godaddy, don’t forget to point your DNS to your hosting provider, ~5 minutes.
**Protip: They currently have a deal right now for hosting at $3.95/month. You can’t beat that for owning your own website on a platform that can scale. That means you can own your website for less than $50 for the first year including the purchase of your domain name. How’s that for startup cost?
3. Configure Your Website – For the remaining time left out of your half hour, ~10 minutes, you should be installing the All in One SEO plugin. I consider it the one must have tool for every website to set critical meta descriptions for search engine optimization purposes. You should also be choosing your theme. I’m currently using the twentytwelve theme that WordPress comes standard. It is a clean theme, it is mobile friendly, and it is user friendly….what more could you ask for? As a helpful resource, this is how I configured this site when I just launched it. A few of the things have changed, but the essential elements remain the same.
There you have it, step by step instructions on how to set up your website in 30 minutes. Your website, of course, is completely void of content, but you will have a foundation in which you can build upon day after day that is controlled and owned entirely by you. You won’ be confined by the rules set forth from prebuilt web packages and you will be armed with the tools necessary to grow your site in a big way.
**Protip: Read more here on essential tools every website needs to take your website to the next level.
Let me know your thoughts. Was my steps accurate? Did it take less than 30 minutes to setup your WordPress site? Did you run into any problems? Let me know in the comments below.