How to Build a Website in 15 Minutes As a Total Beginner
There are many reasons why you would want to set up an own website on the internet. Be it a personal blog or a small business website, the benefits of an online presence can range from earning money and creating financial independence to establishing yourself as an expert, or reaching out to like-minded people and make friends.
Whatever your reasons, the good news is that it's not complicated. Once you registered a domain (even for free) and bought a low cost hosting plan, there are many ways to create a website from scratch as a total beginner. You won't need any programming or web design skills. Just a couple of tools that are normally available eiter free on the internet, or are already included in your webhosting package. Let's see what these methods are.
The content of this article at a glance:
- The 3 things you will need before setting up a website
- Method #1: Set up a Wordpress site under 15 minutes
- Method #2: Use the online site builder of your web host
- Method #3: Use CMS (content management system) software
- Method #4: Build a responsive website using a ready-made HTML template
- Method #5: Set up an opt-in page to generate leads
- How to spice up your website and give it a more professional look?
The 3 things you will need before setting up a website
1. A domain name
The very first step of creating a web presence is to register a domain name for your future website. These days owning a domain name is not a luxury any more. You can get one registered for a couple of bucks, and some web hosting companies, like Bluehost, would even do it for you for free, if you purchase their hosting plan.
What domain name should you register?
It could be your own name, your company's name, your product's name, but keyword rich names are also good choices. If possible, go for the .COM extension, and in case it's already taken, try .NET or .ORG. Depending on which geographical territory your website will target, consider going for a country specific domain extension (e.g: .CO.UK, .CA, .DE, .JP).
2. A web hosting service
In a nutshell, a web hosting service allows you to upload your website to their server so that it will be available on the internet for the whole world. Of course, web hosting companies offer tons of extra services, such as pre-installed scripts for blogs, online stores to sell your stuff, image galleries, polls, forms, surveys, just to name a few. Apart from that you will often have free PPC advertising credits for Google, Bing, Facebook, but that depends on the web hosting company you choose. Email addresses, web statistics for tracking visitors, templates, website builders and a lot of other useful services can be obtained at a web host, usually as part of the basic hosting plan you buy, so without any extra costs. We recommend you Bluehost, they have a wide range of bonuses and extra features. Learn more about how to get a free domain name and how to choose a webhosting package, here.
3. One of the methods listed below to build your website
When it comes to building a website you have several choices. If you are familiar with
programming, then coding your own web pages won't be such a big challenge. But what if you are
a beginner? No problem, there are many options for that, too. A simple Wordpress site can be
installed in a couple of minutes with only a few clicks. Other CMS scripts that allow you to
build a whole portal, create an online store or establish a corporate website are also a
popular method for beginners. And then there are the so called online site builders that
usually use a drag-and-drop technique to create web pages step by step. In the next sections
of this article we will go through a bunch of easy, user friendly website building methods.
Method #1: Set up a Wordpress site under 15 minutes
What is Wordpress and why is it good for your business?
Wordpres was originally developed as a platform for blogging. But since then it has become a very versatile tool for building corporate websites, online magazines, business directories, job boards and even online stores. If you are a total beginner, it's a perfect choice for you.
Where to get Wordpress?
This is a free script. More advanced users can download it from the official site and install it manually. For absolute beginners the way to go is to install it through their webhosting account. Wordpress is available as a pre-install at many web hosting services within the control panel. Bluehost has this option included in their web hosting plans.
How to install Wordpress as a total beginner?
The easiest way is to choose a web hosting service that offers Wordpress in their hosting plans. As mentioned above, Bluehost is one of them. Then you just need to log in to your hosting account and select a feature in the control panel that will install the script for you. It's usually signalled with a Wordpress icon. You click that and follow the very simple instructions. As a result, in a couple of minutes you have your own Wordpress site up and running. You just log in to your Wordpress site and start creating content, the same way you would at a free blogging service. It's really easy and fun.
Where to download professional looking Wordpress themes?
What you need to know is that the original install of the Wordpress will pretty much look like
a basic blog. If you want to turn it into a professionally looking corporate website, or an
online store, or a niche magazine, you will need to replace the original theme (the layout of the
site) with a ready-made template. Luckily, there are thousands of themes available
for download on the internet, both free and paid for all kinds of niches and industries.
Themeforest offers thousands of professionally designed Wordpress themes for practically every need.
CLICK HERE TO BROWSE THEIR THEMES >>
Method #2: Use the online site builder of your web host
What is an online site builder?
A site builder is a piece of software that helps you build a website without any programming or web design skills. It can be a drag-and-drop type of web builder, a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) type of web editor. Sometimes even CMS (content management system) scripts are often referred to as online site builders. (More about CMS a bit further down on this page.)
Where can you get an online site builder without extra costs?
Usually, they are included in your web hosting package, if you host your website at a company
that offers this feature. Bluehost has a site builder called Weebly. They also have Wordpress
and dozens of other CMS that can be used for creating a website. Other web hosting companies may
offer their own version of site builders. You need to check it out on their web pages.
Method #3: Use CMS (content management system) software
What is CMS software and how to get it for your website?
A CMS (content management system) application is a tool that enables you to create, edit and delete digital content through a user interface. A very common and popular type of CMS is a blog engine such as Wordpress. You log in and create articles, upload images, add videos and sound, allow other users to join, let readers leave comments, and do a lot of other stuff with the help of additional mini programs called plugins that you can easily install into your blog. But blogs are not the only CMS applications for creating content. You can choose from various portal systems (Drupal, Joomla, PHP-Nuke, etc), classifieds site, client management scripts, ecommerce and shopping cart scripts (Magento, AgoraCart, Opencart, osCommerce, Cubecart, Prestashop, Zencart, etc), educational portals, forums, forms, surveys, wiki, image galleries, mailing lists and a lot more.
How to get CMS applications for creating a website?
Dozens of the most popular CMS scripts are available free. If you know a bit about web
programming, then you could download them from the web and installed them manually. For absolute
beginners the best route is to choose a web hosting plan where these scripts are offered as a
1-click install service. Bluehost offers these as a feature of their hosting plans. They have
dozens of these applications available as a pre-install.
Method #4: Build a responsive website using a ready-made HTML template
What is a responsive HTML website template?
For marketers with an intermediate level of HTML and CSS, setting up an old-school HTML site
could be both efficient and fun. When you need a company website or a niche site that consists of
only a couple of pages, a static website can be a quick and cheap solution. However, just because
it's old-school, it doesn't mean that it's out of touch with the requirements of modern technology.
Responsiveness in web design means, that a website is optimized not only for PCs and laptops, but
also for tablets and mobile phones. And if you don't want to spend too much time with web editing
and programming, just use one of the many thousands of responsive HTML templates available on the
internet. Themeforest is a place where you can download high-quality, professionally designed templates
even under 10 bucks (which is really a bargain).
Method #5: Set up an opt-in page to generate leads
What is an opt-in / sign-up / landing page?
Opt-in pages (also known as sign-up page or squeeze page) are used to capture prospects' contact information. Sometimes, when you are ahead of a product launch and don't want to set up a whole website yet, but you would like to start building a list of potential clients and buyers, the best way to go is to create a simple opt-in page. This can be a stand-alone HTML page, a specific page on your Wordpress (or other CMS) site, or even a pop-up / pop-in site.
How to install an opt-in page?
There are many opt-in page plug-ins on the market for Wordpress. You may want to use one of them.
For an HTML website a good choice is to use a pre-designed sign-up page template.
Themeforest has dozens of these. What else will you need? An autoresponder offered at email marketing services
such as GetResponse or Aweber.
What these services do is that they let you insert a small piece of code
into your web page that will take care of the sign-up process. When a visitor comes to your website and
signs up, they will be added to your email list. What is the importance of an email list? Well, this is a list of prospects,
a list of potential buyers. With the right email marketing tactics you can turn them into loyal buyers.
Here is a tutorial on how to turn prospects into repeat buyers >>
How to spice up your website and give it a more professional look?
There are a few tricks and tools that can help you make your website stand out from the crowd. One way to do that is to use stunning images. Many stock photo sites offer royalty free images at a low price. As you know, a picture can tell more than a thousand words. So, they are definitely worth the investment. Bigstockphoto has some cheap options for both subscription and packages.
Another way is to use a professionally looking website design. Templates offer this at an affordable cost. Just check out Themeforest and browse their vast back catalog of web templates. If you need graphical templates (e.g. web banners, buttons, icons, pre-designed navigational panel), go to Graphicsriver. And if you seek to add more functionality to your website, why not use a script or a plug-in? Codecanyon is a great place for finding scripts according to your needs.
What to do next?
Check out our tutorials about how to attract web visitors and with that potential buyers to your website
and how to sell your stuff online.
- How to attract more visitors and buyers to your website
- The easiest ways to sell your products and services online