If you're ready to get going, this guide will introduce you to the services and software that can get you started building your own website, even if you have no experience. Keep in mind, none of these tools will give you an idea for a winning website—that's on you. They also won't make you a web designer, a job that's distinct from building a site. Still, these services and software will ease some of the headaches that come from a lack of extensive expertise in CSS, FTP, HTML, and PHP.
These services can host your content on their servers free of charge, but in exchange for that zero cost, your online destination will have a less-than-elegant domain, such as jeffreylwilson.tumblr.com. That might be fine for a personal blog, but it will look too low-rent for a business that wants people to trust it enough to pay for whatever it's selling.
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If you already signed up for hosting, you’ve created an account. If you don’t already have a web host, we recommend signing up for the Wix sitebuilder via its website. Simply enter your email address and password at the Wix.com signup page to begin. Note that the email address handle will become part of your free domain (if you don’t have a custom domain), so keep that in mind when signing up. If you’re still unsure, I welcome you to check out our expert review of the Wix platform below.
But there's one thing that's the most important for all beginners - customer support. And HostPapa is just brilliant in this field - it has a multilingual 24/7 live chat, phone, and ticket support as well as the most extensive knowledge base possible. So whether you want to chat with someone or solve an issue yourself - HostPapa has all the means for that.
Hostinger’s cheapest plan starts from just $0.99/mo (when you choose a 48-month payment plan), renewals start at $2.15/mo. Bandwidth and databases are unlimited unless you choose the “Single Web Hosting” plan. With the latter you’ll be limited to 10GB of disk space, 100GB of bandwidth, one MySQL database, and one email account. Most notably, the cheapest plan doesn’t include a free domain and has limited processing power and memory.
Sure, Squarspace isn’t that cheap. But there are NO hidden fees or complicated stuff. Trust me, I’ve tried everything, but they are all disappointing. Squarespace has not suspended me or those stupid rules other site builders have. You’ve got to pay more to do some advanced stuff like coding but there is always a workaround. It’s the best platform I have ever found!
Shift your focus from content quantity to content quality. Previously, Google rewarded sites for their breadth of content. No more. Today, sites with well-researched, organized content, with an emphasis on multi-media, are in favor. Why? Because backlinks matter (as you can see in the Ahrefs chart above). And you only get backlinks from quality sites when you publish quality content.
If you want to avoid identity theft, then domain privacy is worth it. Without it, anyone can look up your WHOIS data and expose all of your sensitive information like your name and contact information like your address and phone number. If you don’t want that information available to anyone online, you should select privacy protection when you register your site through a host.
Almost all the services offer some sort of drag-and-drop website builder that makes it easy to drag and drop items to build your page. These are great for getting started, but they often lock you into the service. Most website builder setups are proprietary to the service, or don't create HTML that's portable enough to be easily moved to another service if you decide it's necessary.
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Groupon may not be as trendy as it once was, but it is still generating millions in sales each month. They get you with an email popup before you ever click on the page. If you bypass the popup, you get to the homepage. It’s laid out very clean and with buttons at the top that very clearly help you find other things you need on the site. The ads that populate are also helpful in getting you to click, therefore generating revenue for their company and closing the sale.
We liked how Web Hosting Hub describes its new customer process. It tells new customers, "We walk you through setting up your account in a personal on-boarding call." The company has a few other wins as well. It offers an all-SSD infrastructure, automatic vulnerability patches and a custom firewall, SSH access for certain plans, free site migration and an excellent 90-day money-back guarantee.
On the topic of dedicated hosting, many web hosting services also offer managed hosting. This type of hosting sees the web host act as your IT department, handling a server's maintenance and upkeep. This hosting option is something that you'd typically find with dedicated servers, so it's a business-centric addition. Naturally, it adds a few bucks to the hosting cost, but nothing that should break the bank if you have the resources for a dedicated server.
The company also offers higher-end Windows and Linux servers, available with Plesk and cPanel respectively. We were very intrigued to see that the company offers low-end Atom-based dedicated servers as well as the more traditional Xeon-based machines. One great resource for those doing some basic experimentation, or site development, is that it has a free, three-month trial for one of its lightly equipped Atom servers.
Once you decide you price range, you need to consider how long you'll need web hosting. If it's a short-term project—say, less than a month or two—you can typically receive a refund should you cancel your hosting within 60 days. Some companies offer 30-day money-back guarantees, others offer 90-day money-back guarantees. Once again, it's beneficial to do your homework.
Make sure your site is mobile-optimized. How long someone stays on your site and what they do there (click, for instance) matters. Google reads this as engagement, and the more engagement you have, the higher you rank. Why? Because engagement indicates that they content is answering the query the user input. If your site isn’t mobile-optimized, folks won’t stay on your site long and Google will lower your ranking.
ToFu: Top of Funnel sales funnels are for cold traffic. Cold traffic is like a blind date. The purpose is for you to get to know them by providing value so that your audience get to know like and trust you. If you succeed, the customer might just for over their email so that you can follow-up. A typical example is a landing page the provides a downloadable lead magnet in each for an email.
In order to publish your website online, your business website requires a web hosting service. However, a web host gives business owners more than just web hosting services! For example, web hosting firms typically employ in-house technicians to make sure their clients' websites are up and running 24/7. Plus, when website owners are in need of help or troubleshooting (e.g. script debutting, email not able to send/receive, domain name renewal, and more), the web host's in-house support are the go-to people. A professional web hosting service ensures a hassle-free experience for business owners, so they can efficiently focus their time and effort on their businesses.
Aptly named the “Best Host to Grow With,” HostGator is one of the most well-known and well-respected web hosts in the industry. Their plans include user-friendly Weebly site builder, no contract commitment, and unlimited storage, emails, and site traffic. Start with shared hosting and grow your business to dedicated-server scale, and the HostGator team will be there to help you grow every step of the way.
Top tip! Don’t just test your website yourself. You will be blind to some of its faults. Plus, you know how your site is supposed to work, so while you might find navigating it easy that’s not to say a stranger will. Get a fresh perspective. Ask family members and friends to test your site and give feedback. If they’re anything like our family and friends they won’t be afraid of offering criticism.
In this case, you’ll need a web host that offers more than just a few basic shared hosting plans. Pay special attention to those that cover the spectrum of web hosting services as well as those with a variety of plan types that cater to specific business types (e.g. bloggers, small businesses, enterprises, agencies, e-commerce companies, and so on).
As you work with your site, the Squarespace interface offers a number of helpers, such as their logo maker, curated color palettes based on the design you’ve selected, or easy typography customizations and global font settings. You can also switch between layouts pretty easily. And when you’re ready, you can register a new domain for your site and get it launched to the world.
“Some of our guests have huge social media followings so we use their fans to get more listeners. It’s not an exact science but when we invite guests, we check how many followers they have on their social media accounts sometimes. We alternate guests that will help us grow our audience base with other guests who provide quality content but don’t have much social media presence.”