How To Start Your Own Website

So you’ve decided to setup your own website, hoping to become the next Amazon.com? That’s great! I also started out this way, and my business has really taken off. Hopefully I can help you avoid some of the mistakes I made along the way, and become profitable that much quicker.

1) Registering a Domain Name

This step should not be taken lightly – A good domain name is worth it’s weight in gold, and will be paramount in the success of your site. When you’re ready to register your name, you’ve got to lock it in with an ICANN-accredited domain name registrar. GoDaddy is the Number 1 registrar in the world, and I’ve got dozens of domains registered with them. At $8.95/yr for a domain name, it’s a great deal too!

GoDaddy.com $1.99 Domains

Another registrar worth considering is Network Solutions. They’re been in the domain name game since the beginning. You often hear horror stories of domains being held hostage by registrar companies that have gone belly-up. With Network Solutions, you’ll pay a bit more for your domain name, but you’ll never have to worry about that scenario, as they’re the company that started this whole business!

2) Hosting Your Website

Most people start out with a shared hosting plan. They are low-cost, suit the needs of most growing websites, and are usually scalable to meet your future needs.

If you’re launching a site that’s going to get a ton of traffic or utilize a lot of resources, you’re best off going with a dedicated server. For most people, this will be overkill in the beginning stages, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind for when your site outgrows it’s current host.

Tread carefully here, as not all hosts are created equal. Sometimes it’s worth spending a few extra dollars a month to get RELIABLE service. I’ve been through a number of hosts over the years, and it’s been a real nightmare at times.. Below are a few hosts that I would suggest without hesitation:

3) Building Your Website

You’ve got the name, and you’ve got the server space. Now comes the hard part – Actually create the website. Unless you’re a web designer, this step is probably best left to a professional. But if you search out a web design company, you’ll usually end up with a quote in the $5000-$10000 range. This isn’t rocket science, it’s HTML and graphic design. There are plenty of freelancers that will do an incredible job for a LOT less. Check out the Sitepoint Marketplace, where you can find some of the web’s most talented developers! You could also try Elance, although I don’t have any personal experience with them.

During this step, you’ll need to decide which eCommerce platform you’re going to use. Don’t be afraid to ask questions on the forum, these people know what it’s like to get started, and are there to help.

Hopefully this helps you get started in building your first website. If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I’ll be happy to help.


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