How to Build Your First Website

There are many money making and home business ideas featured on the pages of DadCash.com.

There is one thing that a lot (indeed most) of them have in common

And that is to get yourself a website built

Whether you are looking to make money blogging, sell info products or sell physical products, you need your very own website

However, you’ve hit a stumbling block. You don’t know anything about building websites

And you really don’t want to invest thousands of dollars on a professional coder to help build your website.

What you really need is a low cost, easy to use solution to getting your own website online quickly

And one that you can edit and add to yourself

The solution?

Use WordPress.

You may have heard it before. And you probably didn’t know what it meant.

Well, from this day forward, you’re going to be learning everything there is to know about WordPress.

The learning curve is reasonably straightforward even if you know absolutely nothing about building websites.

Don’t worry though, I have the resources to make the technical stuff sound easy.

And once you have installed WordPress on your very own website you can build it out to be a blog, an authority site, a business website….. anything you want really

By the end of this article, you’ll be able to build your very own WordPress website.

And (maybe) the best part is that you can even use your newfound skill to help other people build their WordPress sites, for a fee of course!

But let’s start at the beginning .

What Is WordPress?

WordPress is an extremely powerful software for building websites.

Unlike free website builders which abound on the Internet, WordPress gives you maximum control over your website.

You get to control how you want your website to look.

You can choose from thousands of themes to change your website’s appearance.

You can install plugins to extend the core functionality of WordPress.

Basically, it means you can choose to do whatever you want to do with your website! That’s how powerful this software is.

And best of all? It’s 100% free!

Gone are the days when you’d have to learn HTML and CSS just to build a simple website.

WordPress allows you to save thousands of dollars in professional web developers’ fees.

The Two Versions Of WordPress

There are two versions of WordPress: WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

WordPress.org is the home of the free, open-source software which you must install on your web hosting server (a.k.a. self-hosted WordPress). This is the version of WordPress I will be covering in depth in this course.

WordPress.com works just like a website builder, and the learning curve is practically non-existent. You simply create a WordPress.com account, and voila, you’re ready to write and publish your first post.

You can build a free website, yes, but your domain name will be something like ‘yourname.wordpress.com’. If you want to remove wordpress.com from your domain, then you’ll have to upgrade your membership.

However, even with your upgraded WordPress.com membership, you still won’t have the level of control and freedom that a self-hosted WordPress website enjoys.

In summary, WordPress.com works great for beginners who don’t want to get involved with buying a custom domain, paying for web hosting, customizing and managing their website.

But if you want to use it for advertising and selling stuff then it is far from ideal

For those who want maximum control over their web properties, a self-hosted WordPress website is the way to go.

Trust me – although there is a little bit more setup work – it is the only way to go.

The Self-Hosted WordPress Story

In May 2003, WordPress version 1.0 was released to the world. Its founders, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, developed the platform based on another blogging software called “b2/cafelog”.

The first release was well received by the blogging community.

But it wasn’t until a year later in 2004 when the biggest blogging software at the time, Movable Type, announced a radical change in licensing terms that resulted in mass migration of its users.

Most of Movable Type’s users ended up using WordPress, a free and open source alternative that offered features found in their mainstream and premium competitors.

With the influx of new users giving favorable feedback to WordPress, more and more developers joined the platform. And the rest, as they say, is history.

WordPress has received numerous awards to date. It has been named the ‘Best Open Source CMS,’ ‘Best Open Source Software,’ ‘Best CMS for Personal Websites,’ and many other similar awards by different organizations.

Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little built this software for free, without expecting anything in return.

And the world rewarded them for their generosity.

WordPress has grown from being supported by a few developers to being continuously updated by a global community of developers.

As of this writing, WordPress powers 30% of all websites on the Internet.

That translates to millions upon millions of websites running on this very powerful, free software!

And that number includes this humble website which is self-hosted and built on WordPress

Who Uses WordPress? (Apart From Me)

WordPress may have started as a blogging platform, but it’s not just bloggers who are avid fans today.

People from many different industries with various website needs use WordPress.

Just because WordPress is free and open source doesn’t mean only people who can’t afford to spend money on web developers use it.

Nothing can be farther from the truth. From personal websites and blogs to Fortune 500 companies to governments all around the world, WordPress can power them all.

To give you an idea of who’s using WordPress here’s a very short list:

  1. Microsoft News Center (https://news.microsoft.com)
  2. Sweden’s Official Website (https://sweden.se)
  3. The Walt Disney Company (https://thewaltdisneycompany.com)
  4. Mercedes Benz (https://www.mercedes-benz.com/en)
  5. The Wall Street Journal Law Blog (https://blogs.wsj.com/law)
  6. Sony Music (https://www.sonymusic.com)
  7. MTV News (https://www.mtv.com/news)
  8. com (http://time.com)
  9. University of Washington (http://www.washington.edu)
  10. The US Air Force Blog (http://airforcelive.dodlive.mil)

It’s obviously just a small sample, but as you can see, if you build your website on WordPress you’re in very good company!

Still not convinced ?

Check out this article which explains 13 top reasons you should be using WordPress to build your website

Now I have (hopefully) convinced you to use WordPress let’s get down to the “nitty gritty”

In order to set-up your first website we need to go through 3 steps

  1. Get a domain name (such as DadCash.com) and somewhere to host it
  2. Install WordPress
  3. Choose a theme

So let’s start at the beginning.

Step 1 – Domain Name and Hosting

In the previous section, you learned why WordPress is a very popular platform for website owners.

It’s free and open source, and you only need to pay for your domain name and your web hosting to get it to work.

Fortunately, a domain name will only set you back maybe $10 to $15 per year, while a basic web hosting plan will only cost you a few dollars per month.

In this guide, you’ll learn how domains and web hosting work, as well as how to set up your custom domain email address in your web host’s control panel or cPanel.

Let’s start with domain names.

What Is A Domain Name?

Your domain name is your website address. It’s the address people type into their web browsers.

Metaphorically speaking, if your website is your house, then your domain name is your house address.

For example, Google.com is a domain name. So are WordPress.org and WordPress.com.

There are two parts to a domain name. The first part is the name itself (Google) and the second part is the domain extension (.com).

For the name, it can be a combination of alphanumeric characters.

This means that you’re not limited to using only letters for your domain name. If you want, you can use all numbers like 1234.com, or a combination of numbers and letters like abcd1234.com.

For the domain extension, you can choose from 280 extensions (and growing all the time).

There are generic top-level domain names like .com, .net, and .org. And then there are country code top-level domains like .us, .au. uk, .de.

 

What Is Web Hosting?

Web hosting is simply a service you pay for to store your website files in.

Think of it this way, if your website is your house, and your domain name is your house address, then web hosting is the land beneath your house.

Your website is made up of many different types of files.

To make your website accessible to the Internet, you need to host your website files with a good hosting company.

You can’t just store your website files on your local computer. It’s not powerful enough to handle the traffic.

When you host your website files with a web hosting company, they are able to serve up your files to your visitors 24/7. They have powerful computers or servers to keep your site online.

Web hosting companies offer different hosting plans to their customers. From shared servers to virtual private servers, you have a host of options to choose from.

But for your new website, you don’t need to pay for the most expensive plan – a beginner or ‘newbie’ plan that runs on shared hosting will work just fine.

You can always upgrade to a better plan when you start gaining some traction with your site.

So, what’s the best hosting for your WordPress site?

While there are thousands of web hosting companies in the entire world, WordPress.org officially recommends three web hosts.

These are Bluehost (https://www.bluehost.com), DreamHost (https://www.dreamhost.com), and SiteGround (https://www.siteground.com).

A Quick Comparison Of Bluehost, DreamHost and SiteGround

While I’m not going to be recommending one host over the other (you have to decide for yourself), here’s a quick rundown of the differences and similarities between each web host (as of March 2018)

Look out for any offers that each host may be running as well.

  • Pricing: For pricing, Bluehost’s Basic Plan offers the lowest price at $2.95/mo if you lock yourself in a 3-year contract. The second cheapest is SiteGround’s StartUp Plan at $3.95/mo for a 12-month contract. The most expensive among the group is DreamHost. Its $6.95/mo plan gets you locked in a 3-year contract.
  • Free Domain Name: Both Bluehost and DreamHost offer a free domain name for all new customers. For SiteGround, you’d have to shell out an extra $15.95/year for your domain name.
  • 1-Click WordPress Installs: All three web hosts make it easy for you to install WordPress with this feature. With just a single click, you’ll have WordPress installed on your site in no time at all.
  • Money Back Guarantee: If you change your mind about your hosting, both Bluehost and SiteGround offer a 30-day money back guarantee. DreamHost, on the other hand, gives you a 97-day money back guarantee.
  • Support: You can’t go wrong with any of these web hosts when it comes to technical and customer support. You can contact them for help 24/7. If you like figuring things out yourself, all three hosts provide a robust knowledgebase full of tutorials and screenshots.

If you don’t want to use any of the official WordPress partner web hosts, know that you’re free to use any other web host you like.

You just need to make sure they are able to meet the minimum requirements for running WordPress:

  • PHP version 7.2 or greater
  • MySQL version 5.6 or greater OR MariaDB version 10.0 or greater
  • HTTPS support

Important Tip About Your Domain Name And Web Hosting

To keep things simple, I would recommend you buy your first domain name from your web hosting company.

As I mentioned in the previous section, you can get a free domain name from Bluehost and Dreamhost.

The reason I recommend this is because doing so will help you simplify your website setup process.

If you buy your domain name from a different company, you would need to point your domain name to your web host.

For beginners, the ‘linking’ process can be quite overwhelming.

Messing around with domain nameservers can be confusing and when you are just starting out it’s the last thing you need

However, if you’re willing to learn the technicalities involved, you’ll find it’s really not that complicated to link your domain name to your web host.

Now that you know the important stuff about domain names and web hosting, let’s move on to the next step which is installing WordPress itself.

Take the Plunge

Once you have decided on which host you are going to use, just signup and follow the instructions

You will get an email with all your login details including how to access your hosts Control Panel (usually abbreviated to CPanel)

It is from there the magic begins…….

Step 2 and Beyond  – Installing WordPress

Installing WordPress is actually very simple and rather than me rambling on about it, the folks at mythemeshop.com  (where I get all of my themes incidentally have produced an excellent set of FREE videos which explain all you need to know about setting up and using WordPress

WordPress 101 is all the basic stuff you need to get you going

WordPress 201 is a bit more advanced (you don’t need this stuff yet)

Videos 1 and 2 cover much the same ground as I have done earlier in this article (though much more succinctly)

Video 3 is the big one and explains how to install WordPress.  Note that the video explains how to install WordPress using “softaculous” which is available on most hosts.  However, some hosts have different software installers but the principles are very much the same.

If in doubt ask your hosting company how to install WordPress on your domain

Videos 4 to 24 explain the functionality of your new website and how to use that functionality

Don’t be daunted by 24 videos – these are short and sharp, and you should take them one step at a time in chronological order

Note that mythemeshop.com provide free themes (which determine how your website looks) and plugins (which provide functionality), and they also offer premium themes and plugins which are paid.

If you are just starting out the free stuff should do you just fine, you can always move onto the paid stuff as you figure out what you need from your website

HERE IS THE LINK AGAIN TO THE VIDEOS

Enjoy setting up your WordPress site

 

 

Go on.... you know you want to..

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