How to Make a Website For Fun or Profit – Part 3Posted on December 6, 2013 by
Hello – Nice To See You Again! Here’s what you’ve learned in the first 2 parts of this article:
- How important it is to have a website, if you’re in business in the 21st Century.
- There are so many things you can do with it, like get more business, educate your consumers, entertain an audience, inspire your community, link it to Facebook, etc… and that’s just scratching the surface.
- We also discussed HOW and WHERE to actually get a website up & running quickly – all for either FREE, OR almost free (inexpensive).
- We identified the first few steps you need to take on the road to having a nicely-performing, lead-generating website for your business.
Ok, with the quick review out of the way, I have a question for you: Have You Done Your Homework? If you recall, I’d given you two choices: 1. The free route (to learn how to get started), or 2. The paid route, if you’re running a business or want a ‘legit’ site.
If you’ve wisely chosen the legit/paid route, you should have picked a domain name and bought it by now! Remember? You should also have gotten your Hosting Account set up.
You… did that, right?
If not, what are you waiting for? Go do it now – I’ll wait!
But seriously, it’s important that you take action right away, so that you can truly understand what you’re doing and how this whole thing works.
Of course, if at any time, you just don’t feel like you can or simply don’t want to handle any of this, you can always hire a professional. Contact me if you need any assistance, and we’ll get you straightened out.
So if you are all fully caught up, you’re now ready to choose a layout & appearance, then add the content on your site! Now, when it comes to this part, you’ll have a few options. Please allow me to save you a ton of time & headache by simply giving you ONE word: WordPress. What’s WordPress? It’s a platform on which you can EASILY set up, run, and customize a website.
I build most of my sites these days on WordPress, and you should, too. Why? Because there are SO many advantages to using it. Too many for me to get in to here. Just trust me on this.
So HOW do you get WordPress? Well, the easiest way is to use a simple software script that should be included with your website hosting. You first need to login to what’s called your CPanel in order to get access to the script you need. You should contact your web host (or read the email they sent you when you signed up) to find out how to login to your CPanel.
Once you’re logged in, you should look for an icon with the name “Fantastico Deluxe.” Click on that, then click on the WordPress tab on the next page. I wish I could show you all you need to do on this, but I just don’t have the time or space here. So I’d suggest you go to YouTube & search for “how to install WordPress on CPanel.” Good news: It’s only tough the first time!
Yes, I KNOW there are a lot of details that go in to all this, but this is an article, not a book here!
After you’ve gotten WordPress installed on your website, you now need to choose a layout for how you want your site to look. This is also known as a Theme in WordPress. There are literally thousands of themes that are available for WordPress. You just need one.
You can either get a FREE Theme, or a Premium (paid) one. For this article, let’s keep it easy, quick… and free, ok? So here’s the easiest way to get a fresh, new theme. First, log in to your new website by going to www.YOURSITE.com/wp-admin. It will ask you for the user name & password (the ones you chose when you first set up your site via CPanel). Enter that info & click the button to login.
From here, you’ll go to: Appearance > Themes. When that page loads, click on ‘Install Themes’ at the top. Next, you can either search for a name of a theme in the search box at the top, or you can specify which options you’d like to consider, such as Colors, Number of Columns (I recommend two), Width (I recommend Flexible, so that your site looks good on all kinds of devices), Features, etc.
Go through the choices you’re given & choose one that you like. Now it’s time to customize it. You’ll need two essential ingredients: Content & Images. The content is the words you want to show up on your site, and the images are the pictures. Of course, you can also add video.
With WordPress, you have two main choices on where to place your content: Pages and Posts. Think of pages as the MAIN content for the structure of your site, and Posts are for the supporting content that will get linked to those pages, based on the category or subject.
If you’re running a real estate related website, you’d probably want to set up a few pages with the titles of “Sell Your House,” “About Us,” “FAQs,” “Contact Us,” and “Property Information.” I’ve found that about 5 pages works very well. You may want to have more or less.
You should create those pages, then set them up to be on a Main MENU. Set that menu up to be your primary menu under Appearances > Menus.
After you’ve created your basic structure like that, you should go back to each page and edit it to add the content you want. You should have around 500 words for each page, then add a picture or two to the content of the page to make it look good. Of course, you should also have your content and the names of your images optimized for your intended keywords, so that the search engines pick you up for what you want.
There are a lot more things to do for your website. Yes, there IS a substantial learning curve. But if you have the time & the inclination to do all this, it can be done. The good news: It will save you a lot of money. The bad news: It will cost you a lot of time. This time could be much better spent doing deals and generating traffic to your website (once it’s all set up properly), rather than learning how to do a website by yourself.
My advice? If you have some funds to invest, it would be best to hire a professional who knows what he’s doing. This will save you a ton of time & headache. Naturally, the choice is yours!
Let’s Wrap This Up:
You’ve learned WHY you need a website. You’ve learned where & how to get one.
You’ve seen the differences between the FREE and PAID options. You even got started by installing WordPress, changing the appearance & adding some content and images!
You’ve also seen how much work this can all be. If you have more time than money, plus the technical inclination, you may want to choose to continue on this path & do it on your own.
But if you have more money than time, you may want to consider talking with a professional web designer who also understands marketing to get the job done. If you have any questions about this article, feel free to drop me a line (contact me), and we’ll point you in the right direction.
Join us next month, when we get back to real estate-related stuff!