In this tutorial I am going to show you how to get your own business website up and running in under an hour, for less than $50! – Brock Hamilton
Building a website for your small business is a lot easier than you think, there are hundreds of great looking pre-built themes available that make setting up your website and customizing it to suit your small business a breeze.
So let’s get to it.
Step 1: Choose A Domain Name
If you already have a domain name in mind, then skip to step 2.
The first thing you will need for your new business website is a domain name. Your domain name will act as your website’s address on the internet.
A lot of businesses use their business or company name (or a variation of it) for their domain name, but you can also use things like product names, or industry terms etc that are related to your business.
I personally use and recommend Hostgator.com for all my domains and webhosting needs. (plus I have arranged a discount for users of this website) So click on the link below to see if our desired domain name is available.
Once you get there you should see a screen that looks something like this:
Click on the “DOMAINS” tab on the top menu, and you will see this search box:
Enter your desired domain name and click “Search”
If the domain name you chose is available, you will see a screen like this:
If however the domain name you wanted is already registered by someone else, you will see a message telling you that it is not available, all you need to do is just keep entering slight variations of your desired domain until you find something that is suitable.
Once you have found an available domain that you are happy with (don’t buy it yet) just on to step 2 where we will set up your web host account.
Step 2: Setting Up Your Webhost
The next thing you need to do to get your website up and running is to setup a web host account.
A web hosting service is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their website accessible via the World Wide Web. – Wikipedia.com
Setting up your webhost account will take about 5 mins, and plans start at around $4 per month. Every website needs a domain name and a web host account, so these small expenses are somewhat non negotiable if you want to run a website.
Again, I use and recommend Hostgator.com for your web host, I have been using them for over 10 years, and have never had any problems, they are fast, very affordable and have great customer support.
Don’t forget to take advantage of the 25% Hostgator discount offer I have arranged for all visitors of this website. (details below)
Head over to Hostgator.com and click on the main graphic (View Web Hosting Plans).
Next you will see 3 options for different plans. the Hatchling Plan, the Baby Plan & the Business Plan.
Most people just start with the Hatching Plan, and upgrade it later on if they need extra domains or whatever. But its up to you, just click on whichever one suits your needs best.
Once you have chosen your hosting plan, click on the ORDER NOW button and you will see this screen:Enter the domain name that you decided on earlier in the box on the left, or if you already own a domain, enter it into the right side box.
IMPORTANT: In order to take advantage of the 25% discount we have arranged, you need to enter the text: WEBSITETUTORIALS in the box at the bottom.
Then just click the button to continue.
In the next page you will need to fill out the standard Hostgator order form, choose your billing cycle (the longer it is, the cheaper it gets). And fill in all your account details.
Enter a user name and a security pin and make sure you write them down somewhere where you will remember them.
Next you will see the standard order form, so fill it out with your details.
Then you have the chance to add some “Optional Extras” It’s up to you if you want to add an extra layer of privacy & security to your website, if not, then just unclick the boxes:
Finally you will see a summary of your order, so make sure its all right, and tick to agree to the terms & conditions then click “CREATE ACCOUNT”
Whoa, that was a bit tough, but we’re all done now, you now have a domain name and web hosting setup and ready to go.
You will receive an email from hostgator with all your login information, so as soon as you have received that, you can continue with the next step.
Step 3 – Installing WordPress on Your Site
Remember when I told you that you don’t need any programming or graphic design skills in order to make a clean, professional looking website in a matter of minutes?
Well, it’s all thanks to a free CMS platform called WordPress. This platform actually makes the website for you and all you need to do is to customize it to your own preferences!
Thanks to the Hostgator’s built in WordPress installer (Fantastico), we can set up WordPress for our site in less than 5 minutes. That’s one more reason why I always recommend this host.
So without further ado, fire up your browser and type in:
Replace »yourdomain« with your domain name and ».com« with your extension. You are now trying to access your hosting control panel and you will need the account details you were given upon registration with Hostgator. Look for them in your e-mail.
Once you’re logged in, you will be astonished by the number of features that you can use, but for now, just focus on finding the blue smiley named »Fantastico De Luxe« and click on it.
In the newly opened window, in the left sidebar under the column entitled »Blogs«, click on the link »Wordpress«.
Once you’re here, there are just 3 steps to do:
1) Click on »New Installation«
2) Select your domain in the drop-down menu, leave the »Install in directory« field BLANK (this is very important!) and fill in the details (username, password, site title…)
3) Click Install WordPress!
Once you do that, you will be given some information about your database (which you typically won’t need right now), just press »Finish Installation«.
See how easy that was? I told you a 10-year-old could do it! Now wait a couple of minutes and try accessing your URL, you should see a default (twenty-eleven) WP theme installed:
Congratulations, you’ve now got a real, professional website!
Getting familiar with WordPress
To configure your WordPress site, type /wp-admin after your url and press enter:
Once again, you will be asked to login. Simply use the information that you chose yourself while using Fantastico Deluxe (in the previous step) to install WordPress.
Welcome to the WP dashboard. This is the main control panel of your entire website.
Everything you will do, you will do it from here. Adding new content, images, videos, installing themes, plugins – it’s ALL done in the WP dashboard.
Let us check out some of the main features of WordPress:
1) Posts and Pages
WP allows you to create 2 different types of web pages: Posts and Pages. Posts are commonly used when you wish to host a blog (instead of an ordinary website).
This means that you can have post previews on your pages, so users can click on the link to read the entire post (this is a default blog layout).
On the other hand, you can also just use ordinary pages and have links to them from your »homepage« (the first page that is displayed once a visitor comes to your site).
Either will work, however, if you’re creating a blog, you will want to get familiar with posts.
This is an area in which all of your uploaded images and videos will be stored. You can upload media either here or directly while creating a page, it’s entirely up to you.
Personally, I upload my media right on the spot, and then I can review my media here.
WP also allows you to create various link categories which you can then populate with all sorts of links of your own choosing. This tool can be very useful when creating widgets.
You can enable or disable for people to leave comments on your website, which is absolutely fantastic. I highly recommend you enable people to leave a comment, as it encourages them to come back and participate in a conversation – this is how you build a community!
Of course, you can also set up comment restrictions, moderation, etc – totally flexible.
This is one of the best features of WordPress – its ability to change your website’s look entirely in just a few clicks! There is another free tutorial on our website that goes into this in deep details, so be sure to look for it.
Another brilliant feature from WordPress. If you ever need anything for your website, you can bet that there’s a free plugin for it – whether it be visitor counter, image slideshow, anything!
Simply search for what you need and install them with a single click – easy peasy.
Once again, all of this and more about how to set up WordPress after the initial installation is explained in our other free website tutorials – so be sure to check them out!
We would love to hear your feedback, did you like this tutorial? is there anything you didn’t understand, or needs to be explained better? We want to make this site and these website tutorials the best they can be, so we value any and all feedback from our users. Just post any comments you have in the comments form below. Thanks again.