If you've been putting off creating your own blog or website for too long, let's get it sorted out right now.
Just follow my steps below and you'll have a new website installed and running in 20 minutes.
People wait for months, even years, deliberating how to create their website or blog, what system to create it on, and what design to go for. Meanwhile you have no site and you're not progressing your business or blog.
I have a simple solution: WordPress. WordPress is a superb free blogging system but it can also run your entire website (this site runs on WordPress). It doesn't even need to look like a blog if you don't want it to.
However I am not talking here about registering a blog on wordpress.com - sure it's easy but it won't give you a website or blog you have full control over. You will have a limited set of designs to choose from and you won't have the freedom to add all the useful widgets and doodads you'll want to have on your site.
What I'm talking about is self-hosted WordPress. That means WordPress running on your own webspace. The web space is only about £5 a month. There are more steps for you to do but the payoff is enormous. You'll be creating a site that you have complete control over, is almost unlimited in its options for design and expansion, and saves you hundreds of pounds on web design fees!
Let me show you how to do it step by step.
Registering your domain & webspace
For a version with screen grabs and short videos showing you exactly what to do, grab my free PDF.
1. Sign up for web hosting
Click here to go to hostgator
(opens in a new window)
I chose this company after much consideration for a number of reasons: They're one of the largest hosting companies in the world, they provide unlimited diskspace and bandwidth (unlike some other webhosts), have 24hour support 365 days a year and provide a 99.9% uptime guarantee (i.e. you're extremely unlikely to see your website go down). Oh and they run on green electricity. But particularly important to us, they have a one-click install for WordPress (trust me, this makes life much simpler)
On their home page, click VIEW WEB HOSTING PLANS
2. Choose the web hosting plan
- Go for the Hatchling Plan - this is the cheapest web hosting plan and is ideal if you're just creating one website. (You can always upgrade later if you get into multiple websites etc)
- Choose whether to pay monthly or yearly. Choose monthly if in doubt.
- Then click ORDER NOW
3. Choose a domain
Your domain is the address of your website (like google.com or redcross.org). Unless there is a very good reason otherwise, I recommend you choose a .com address even if you're a UK-specific business. They're just so much more memorable. If you're creating a charity or campaign project you might consider a .org domain.
There are 2 options here:
- If you are registering a new domain, enter it on the left hand side and choose .com, .net, or .org from the pop up.
- If you already have a domain (that you registered somewhere else but haven't used yet) enter the full domain name (including the .com etc) on the right side of the screen.
Save $9.95 with my discount code
Before continuing from the domain page, you can save a further $9.95 off your hosting simply by entering this discountcode I've set up for you: SWLPCOUPON. This makes your first month of hosting completely free!
- Click CONTINUE TO STEP 2
NOTE: If you are registering a new domain and you have chosen one that someone else has already registered, you will get a message warning you. Go back to the box on the left of the screen and keep trying names you like until you get one that's available.
4. Enter payment information
- Choose a username and security pin to login to your web hosting
- Enter your payment information - either by credit card or paypal account.
- Scroll down to see a summary of your payment showing that your first month is completely free because you've used the SWLPCOUPON code.
- Hit CREATE ACCOUNT
- If you chose to pay by Paypal, you'll see 2 options: Choose 'Subscribe' to make sure your ongoing payments happen effortlessly.
5. Check your email inbox
Congratulations! You now own your own domain and web space. A few clicks and $15 was all it took! In a few minutes, you'll receive an email with details of how to log into your web hosting.
Installing and using your website
From here, you can use the automatic WordPress install feature and then login in to your new website and starting adding content and playing with the design.
I've listed all the steps out in a free PDF with screen grabs and short videos.