Free Website Creation Tutorial For Beginners
You have just stumbled upon a beginner-friendly, comprehensive site that will teach you the basics so you can create your first website.
Reserve Your Domain Name (AnySite.com)
Think of your domain name as your website's home address. Take your time on this step because whatever you choose will represent your brand.
Also, try to choose a name that is short enough so you can get matching usernames for Twitter, YouTube and other Social Media accounts. Branding is everything -- don't rush this step!
Check out these domain registration tips and discover how to get a free guide to help you start your website. Also learn how to get a domain name for only $1.99.
Select Your Web Hosting Company
The web host is the company that houses your site and provides you with space to create web pages, any scripts you can install (forums, shopping carts, blogging, etc.), email addresses, security and so much more.
Hosting companies can overwhelm you with their features, but the majority of them offer the same services. Always start with the cheapest monthly plan because upgrading later is very easy.
How you create your site will depend on the kind you want to make. For example, if you want to create a blog, you can take advantage of the built-in templates that come with the blogging (WordPress) platform.
No coding experience is necessary. All you do is search for the theme you want to use, activate it, make your customizations and your website is ready to go.
Not sure about the difference between blogs and regular websites? Click here to learn more.
What Kind of Site Do You Want?
There are so many different types of websites you can create. From ecommerce, membership to content sites, etc. Find out the best way to approach your future site. Click here for details on different kinds of websites you can create.
Consider Creating a Niche Website
The more defined your target market is, the easier it will be to engage your audience and sell products to them.
You start by taking time to find a "profitable niche" and build a very useful content-rich website that caters to the audience you've defined.
Once your site is up and running you can monetize it by selling ad space or your own products, joining affiliate programs, and more.
This is the way I've been earning a living since 2006. Learn more about building niche websites here.
Static HTML vs. Dynamic Websites
There are basically two kinds of websites you can create.
1) Static HTML (Content is uploaded and displayed "as is")
2) Dynamic (WordPress, Joomla, etc.) Dynamic means information is pulled from a database so you can display your website content by date, category, etc. Think blogs.
In 2004, WordPress revolutionized the way we build websites because there is no software to buy. You simply install the WordPress script from your web host, launch the admin panel, choose a theme design and begin writing your content.
Because WordPress is dynamic, you can add functionality very easily using plugins. These are scripts (many of them are free) that you install to help you do so many things (collect visitor feedback, build surveys, add social media icons, and more.)
No longer do you have to spend time uploading complicated scripts just to add shopping carts, comments, and all other kinds of functionality to your website.
Using WordPress to Make Blogs or Dynamic Sites
If you want to create a blog website (content sorted dynamically by category and date), I would highly recommend using WordPress because it's the most flexible, robust blogging system on the Web.
What's cool about this platform is you will have access to a variety of templates you can choose from, so building your website is a breeze.
And when you're ready to change designs, just choose another theme and your site will update instantly!
As you'll see in the video on my WordPress tutorial page, WordPress is not just for blogs where your content is dated and arranged in reverse chronological order. You can use it to create a traditional, static site as well.
Here's a quick overview of how to get started with WordPress.
How Long Will Website Success Take?
This is one of the most common questions I receive about the creation and success of a website and it's also the most difficult to answer.
The time it takes will depend completely on YOU and how long it takes you to learn how to market your site. It will vary from person to person for a variety of different reasons.
If you were running an offline store, you would never expect to know how long before you sell 100 donuts right? The same applies to the online world. There is no way to predict how quickly you will get the traffic you need to succeed with your site.
A CLASSIC Money-Hungry Website Mistake
Don't fall into the trap of being so focused on the money that your site fails to connect with real people.
I've seen this mistake so much, I had to create a page that will help you understand why it's often a bad idea to start with a stand-alone store, and what happens when you spend more time in the wrong areas.
If you want to create a successful site, you have to understand how people find websites and the importance of connecting with human beings instead of just building a site with words on a page.
The Free Website Warning
I am often asked about creating free websites. Sorry, but you won't find recommendations here.
Not only does the web address look unprofessional (freesite.yoursite.com), but you will be very limited to what you can do with your site.
Free sites are also very risky because you don't own your content. So if the company decides to shut down, guess what happens to your content?
Yep. Right down the drain.
Many people make the mistake of starting off free with the intention of moving to a paid host later. The problem is, the process of moving to another host can be a royal pain, so you might as well do it right the first time.
Not convinced yet? Read why I believe free websites are bad.
Also, check out my article that discusses more common mistakes people make with building websites today.
Do You Need to Register a Corporation for Your Website?
You'll be happy to know that you don't have to setup a corporation if you want to make money with your site. Nevertheless, you'll still want to read up on your options with regards to DBAs, LLCs and more.
Still Have Questions About Your Future Website?
I've created a page that includes the most common questions I receive on website creation, building traffic and making money online.
This is definitely one page you will want to bookmark and come back to reference.
Get the scoop on blogging, finding images, selling your own products, affiliate marketing, making money, creating membership sites and more.
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Costs Involved With Creating a Website
Designing a Website Using the Genesis WordPress Theme
HTML/CSS Templates for Static Websites
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How to Make a Web Page on Your Computer
This page was last updated November 18, 2013.
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