Taking the leap to start your own business can be a scary decision, and beginning to build your first website is an even more daunting task. When I was just beginning to build my website I was overwhelmed with all of the steps that needed to be taken. I had no web design or coding experience and was afraid that I would be unable to pull it off it on my own. Well, every small business needs an online presence and I’m here to tell you that you CAN build your website on your own, even if you don’t have a single techy bone in your body. All you need to do is follow this comprehensive guide to build your first website for your small business!
Step 1: Choose and buy your domain name.
You can buy your domain name through many different websites but I personally recommend NameCheap.com for two reasons. First, because you can also buy your hosting space through them. Second, and most importantly, they have amazing customer support with a live chat to walk you through any troubleshooting you may need as your build your first website (and if you’re anything like me, you will need a lot!)
Cost for your domain name: around $10/year.
Step 2: Create your business gmail account.
You have your personal domain name, now you need your new gmail account. Gmail for Work allows you to create multiple addresses for you and your employees for one low price. Super simple! Of course you get 30gb of inbox storage as well.
Cost for your gmail for business account: $5/month
Step 3: Buy hosting space.
If you followed my advice and bought your domain through NameCheap.com, you can buy your hosting space through them as well. Log in to your NameCheap account and click on “Hosting” in the menu across the top, then choose “Shared Hosting” from the drop down menu. Follow the steps to purchase your hosting space.
Cost for your hosting space: $10 for the first year for the value package that hosts up to three websites. Renewal cost $38/year.
Step 4: Connect your gmail address to your domain name.
To do this you need to login to your cpanel. The login info for your cpanel will be emailed to you when you buy your host space. You can find the login page for your cpanel at www.yourdomainname.com/cpanel This is where you’ll find the bare bones for building your website. To configure your new gmail account to your domain name, go to the bottom of the page, under the heading “Exclusive for NameCheap Customers”. Click on the icon for Google Apps. There you can follow the instructions to configure your MXentries for your gmail account. This can take up to 24 or 48 hours so don’t be alarmed if your emails aren’t going through immediately.
Cost to configure your gmail account: free!
Step 5: Download and install WordPress into your cpanel.
WordPress is the most popular tool for building your website, and it comes free for you with your domain and hosting space on NameCheap, which saves you $50 a year. Awesome! Once you download WordPress, you have your first website! You can always access it through your cpanel by clicking the WordPress icon under the heading “Softaculous Apps Installer”, or through WordPress itself with your admin login info. Why choose WordPress to build your website? It’s the most common website creation tool and therefore constantly updated with new plugins. It also means you can be sure that any troubleshooting questions you may have have already been asked and answered online!
Cost to build your WordPress website: free!
Step 6: Install a theme and start building your website and blog!
Play around in your dashboard to learn how to install contact pages, build a menu, and more.
Done! Every business needs an online presence so learning how to build your first website is vitally important. I hope this guide to buying, hosting, and building your first website has been helpful. Comment and let me know if you have any more questions you need answered, or other tips and tricks for our readers! Good luck!