Have you ever had a good idea? Ever wanted to launch a website that is only yours? We have made a short guide to help you achieve your dreams.
It’s called WordPress and the best part: it’s free.
So basically all you need to create the website of your dreams is:
- a good idea
- a catchy domain name
- and a reliable hosting plan
The good idea
You probably already have something in your mind. Depending on what your goals are it may be something that is in fact a good idea, or something that you think is a good idea. Let me explain the difference between the two.
If your only goal is to launch a website or blog for yourself, your family or friends, something that will be your hobby or passion then any idea is a good idea and you should just go along with that. Be creative, be free. You probably won’t have many visitors and will only have limited success (in terms of visitors), but that was not your goal anyway.
If you want to start a website which has the potential to grow and become financially successful as well then you need more planning. These days launching a successful website is quite hard and you need to apply some strategies to give yourself a chance.
So even if you have a good idea you will have to analyze and refine it. You will need a successful niche and this guide of ours will help you find it.
Finding the perfect domain name
Once you know what your niche is and what your site will be about you will need a good domain name. You may or may not know that these days it’s not very easy to find a good domain name, because most of the best domain names have already been taken. Did you know for example that no 4 letter domain names are available any more? All of them are sold out and there are many companies buying and selling domain names like crazy.
Luckily, still you have a lot of options. If your domain name is taken, just choose another one.
What are the characteristics of a good domain name?
- It is not too long. Just pick something between 6-12 characters
- It’s easy to remember, not very hard to spell
- No numbers or hyphens, only letters
- Don’t go too creative, play it simple, don’t try to be too funny
- Make it grammatically correct, otherwise someone else will benefit from your visitors
If you need help in finding a good domain name, we have created the perfect tool for you. It’s called the Domain Name Generator. All you have to do is enter a word, any word that you would like to be in your domain name and it will randomly generate several suggestions for a unique domain name. Some might be crazy, but others will be genious. Make sure you try it!
If you already have a hosting plan, we have included a link where you can buy it. If you don’t, just jump to the next section because when you buy a new hosting plan you will be able to get your domain name for free.
Find the proper hosting plan
Based on your needs and financial possibilities you will have a lot of options. But you should consider your needs and not neccessarily go for the cheapest solution. Also, your needs may change very quickly once you start, so I would recommend you buy a hosting plan with the following features:
- Free domain included
- Unlimited websites hosted
- Unlimited storage and bandwidth
- Unlimited parked domains
- WordPress support
- Free SSH access
I believe these are the most important features you should go for. There may be several options available on the market, our recommendation is WebHostingHub that we are using and are satisfied with. Their basic plan doesn’t include all of the above features (though still quite generous compared to other basic plans), so we recommend you choose the “Nitro” plan which has everything that you will ever need.
Once again, you may find cheaper solutions on the market (new and less established providers will give you more discounts to gain some market share), but if you want a reliable source and a website that is available 24/7 you don’t have to risk.
Making the initial steps
Once you have bought your domain and hosting plan all you need to do is create a WordPress site. Usually it’s quite straightforward, at WebHostingHub for example you just have to click on the WordPress icon and fill in your Site’s name, description, admin user name and password. Then it takes about 20 seconds and your site is up and running.
Once logged into your site, you can upload your first post, it’s quite an uplifting moment.
Regarding the desing, WordPress uses themes. Some of them are commercial, but there are several good looking free themes as well. If you want to see what they are capable of or would like to get some ideas about them, just visit our themes page, here you can see the 100 most popular WordPress themes and browse random sites that were built upon them. Or take the opposite direction, browse random sites until you see a design that you like.
If you already have the design, you should install a few plugins. In WordPress you can do everything with plugins! Want to create a slideshow? Make your posts shareable on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? Create a poll, a popup, subscription window, send out newsletters or add a forum? All of these are just a few clicks away. Here we have collected the 11 most essential plugins that we normally add to our new sites.
Once you have your website, your design, added some posts and installed some plugins you should also consider using Google’s free tools to have some statistics and insights regarding your site content and visitors. We have a description of these tools and a small tutorial on how to start using them.
If you have installed these tools and see that your visitor numbers are not yet up to your expectations, just read our guide that will help you double your visitor numbers quickly.
And once you have a handful of visitors every day with some good posts behind your back, you may start considering adding some ads to your page (this is how you can get your site approved by Google Adsense). Because if you already have a good looking page with good content, why not make some extra bucks and have your hosting expenses covered by some ads placed carefully in your site bar? And as your site grows, you may even make a living out of your new hobby and leave your daily job behind.
Have you just started your new site? Let us know about it!
If you have followed above steps and have launched your dream website, make sure you let us know about it! You can subscribe to our newsletter and also submit your site. Also, we have a Partner Program for helping new sites and blogs get a little more visibility and authority.
Starting a successful new website is not easy, but with a little bit of work and some good friends you can achieve your dreams. Let us be partners along the road and grow together! Good luck and feel free to share your thoughts, challenges and successes in the comment section below!