How to Create a Website

Aug 17, 2011 by

Create your own website

Create your own website

Some of my author friends have been asking what did I do to create my own website. Some of them have Blogger, WordPress or some other free service, and they don’t like the fact that their site address ends up with extra words tacked in the middle. For instance this site might have ended up as www.fictionBOUND.blogspot.com. Not so nice, huh? They want to know how to have a cleaner name, and if it is difficult to accomplish. Also they wonder what is the cost involved. So I thought it would be good to have a quick post about it.

 

1 – Choose a domain name

This could be as easy or as hard as you make it. At first I thought I would just pick a domain name and be done with it, but the possibilities gave me terrible angst. There are endless choices once you start mixing and matching keywords. I had a long list of names before I decided to go with fictionBOUND.  There are a few things to keep in mind when picking a domain name:

  • Shorter is better
  • Memorable and easy to spell
  • The name suggests the nature of what the site is about


2 – Buy your domain

There are many choices of places where you can buy your domain. Personally, I used GoDaddy.com. It is as easy as making sure the domain name you chose is available and creating an account. Oh and, of course, paying them!


3 – Host your site

More choices! Are you sensing a theme here? Choices, choices, choices. Enough to drive you to tears and give you total paralysis! In my case, I used Hostgator.com. But you can evaluate the different options at hosting-review.com or other similar places. You can buy your domain and host it in the same place. I just happened, at the time, to get a better deal by doing it separately.

After I signed up with Hostgator.com, they sent me an email with my Nameservers. I took those back to GoDaddy.com and pointed fictionBOUND to those. This way GoDaddy would know that my site was being hosted at HostGator. After this it took a day or two for my site to be available. The changes have to propagate throughout the internet. Just try to think of someone in China typing fictionBOUND.com. How is the world does it know where to find it? Yeah, that’s why it takes a few days. Servers got to talk to each other and stuff. They’ve got to learn there’s a new kid on the block, you know.

 

4 – Install WordPress

You can pay a professional web designer to design your site. I didn’t have that kind of money. However, after learning I could use WordPress, shedding the money didn’t seem like a good idea anymore. Mainly because I realized I could get a pro feel for free or for a fraction of the cost, all without the hassle and pressure of finding an affordable, reputable web designer.

WordPress is a free, Web-based software program that anyone can use to build and maintain a website or blog. You can find templates – many free – that provide the basic functionality most authors would need to promote their work and connect with readers. Installing it is easy. Once your hosting is up in running, you log in to your new website and installation is one click away.

 

5 – Choose and install a WordPress theme

I searched all wordpress free templates. There are plenty to pick from. Personally, I chose to pay a little to get a more professional look and feel and support. I used Elegantthemes.com which offers many outstanding templates for an affordable price. Once you choose a template, all you need to do is login to your websites wp-admin and upload the file.

After that you are ready to roll :)

 

So how much did it cost?

 

Item Cost
Domain through GoDaddy (full year)  $9.17
Hosting through HostGator (full year)  $66.72
ElegantThemes (one time)  $39.00
TOTAL  $114.89

 

 

You could do it all for free . . . BUT . . .

. . . having your own domain name gives you credibility. Besides if you through blogger, or whoever else, you don’t really own your site. You are subject to their policies and you can’t sell your blog if, for any reason, it becomes popular and someone offers you big bucks for it ;) Another advantage to hosting your own blog is the added flexibility you gain. This will be crucial if your site grows beyond your expectations.

Now, I must say, I didn’t get up to speed with this all by myself. My friend Clay Burt practically taught me a seminar on the topic. He knows tons about it. Thanks Clay!

Leave me a comment. I’d love to read your thoughts on this.

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