Set up your own professional website or blog and make it work immediately.
A website developer costs thousands of euros, which you A) don’t have in the beginning and B) don’t need to spend in the beginning. The truth is: you will change ideas, your business will change, you will learn from your clients and only after a while will you know what you truly need and want!
When the time is there and you have earned a lot of money in your business, you can outsource (which means pay someone else to do this for you) the task of creating an even better website for you and your business.
In the beginning, this will be the cheapest and funnest way for you to get started!
I have outlined the costs for every phase and I implore you: just roll with it. Stop doubting.
When I started my website I wasted so much time looking for the best deals and comparisons… whereas you just need to start! Every hosting company charges a fee, every domain name website costs money and themes cost money too… Make quick decisions so your business can start working for you, instead of you researching endless websites!
There are a few basic principles you need to know before you create your own website.
- You need a name that hasn’t been taken yet in the format you want it.
- You need to buy this domain name.
- You need a place to host your website – kind of like if you would rent a store, you need to pay rent to be able to offer your products and information to clients.
- You need a theme, or at least a way to make your website look pretty and professional!
In the next phases I will explain how you can set up your own website and have it look great!
Note: the links might contain affiliate links, which means any purchases you make might earn me a commission. Just so you know: I only suggest software I use myself and have tested on my own platform!
Phase 1: setting up domain name and hosting for your website
Average cost: 80 dollars for a year
STEP 1: Go to bluehost, you will get the homepage
STEP 2: Click on the green box that says ‘get started now‘.
STEP 3: Choose whichever plan option you prefer, for example the basic option. Click select.
STEP 4: Input the domain name you would like for your business and make sure it’s available. You can choose either .com (which I prefer) or the extension of your own country like .be for Belgium. The latter can be especially interesting if your audience is in that country and the language too, it makes it easier to be found.
Tip: looking for a new name? You can have your own name (first name and last name) or the name of your business. If you are still looking for a name for your business, try combining two words. You will have a bigger chance of still finding an available name this way.
By the way – why not register your own name? If you are still figuring out the name for your business, this can be a great way to postpone decision making and already get started. After all, perfection is the enemy of progress.
STEP 5: Click ‘next‘.
STEP 6: Fill out personal details, select what type of package you would like and fill out payment information. I suggest taking a 12-month package. You can choose which extras you would like, but I suggest buying the domain privacy protection and not buying everything else. You can make changes to this later if you need to make adjustments.
STEP 7: Click ‘submit‘.
You have now bought your domain name and hosting and are ready to open your wordpress site!
Bluehost will help you set up a theme now, but you can skip this step. Make sure you choose to create a wordpress site and login to your dashboard. You will be taken to your wordpress dashboard. Stop there and continue to phase 2.
Phase 2: make your website look pretty and professional
Average cost: 89 dollars for a year
You can adjust the theme in wordpress manually by learning a bunch of stuff online or spending ages looking for a theme to replace the standard wordpress theme.
BUT I wouldn’t suggest that. Time is money and you are going to spend a lot of time to figure all of that out. Luckily, I found a solution to this. For the last websites I have set up, I have been using Divi.
Divi is a drag-and-drop builder for your website which means you can see how you can adjust your website while you are doing. What’s the difference, you ask? Other themes require you to make adjustments in the code, which means you need to learn a lot and experiment before you can make this work. Divi is made for people who don’t want to spend ages learning technology but still want a professional looking website.
STEP 1: Go to divi so you can buy it and upload one of their ready themes to your website.
STEP 2: Simply click ‘sign up today‘ to get started, fill out payment information and complete your registration.
STEP 3: When you are logged into your account, go to downloads and download the divi you see at the top (main theme) as well as the divi builder.
These will save as zip files onto your computer. Don’t unpack the zip files yet, keep them as a zip file for easy uploading later. Not downloading as a zip file? Then use chrome or firefox instead, safari sometimes automatically unpacks zip files.
STEP 4: Upload the divi theme in your wordpress website.
Watch this video to see how to upload the theme.
STEP 5: Upload the divi builder plugin to your wordpress website.
Watch this video to see how to upload the plugin.
STEP 6: Choose a divi pre-made layout to customize your site, or adjust each page with the drag and drop builder.
I would suggest trying to use a pre-made layout and adjusting from there!
Watch how to use a pre-made layout for your pages: https://www.elegantthemes.com/documentation/divi/premade-layouts/
The big advantage here is you get to select a layout that’s perfect for your business and has already been optimized.
Discover how to make adjustments on your pages here: https://www.elegantthemes.com/documentation/divi/visual-builder/
Now you have a good base to start out with, instead of having to start from scratch for each page!
There you go! You now have a website that is up and running.