How to Build My New Website

Okay, you’re ready to go online with a new website for your home based business, but there are so many platforms, types of coding and options you may be a little confused. So in this how to guide, I’ll present you with some of the more popular choices and explain a little about each one. This guide is for a website. For how to set up a blog, click here and for how to set up a Forum, click here.

HTML Website

HTML is the most popular choice for building a website. If you already know how to write HTML, then you’re ahead of the game and can build your own website.

If you want to learn HTML, there is a guide to HTML here. It has tutorials and it can be learned in a fairly short amount of time. The advantage of learning to write HTML is that you can change your own website at any time without paying someone to do it for you and you will know how to use HTML code in social media and other places that allow you to add HTML code to promote your website. Even if you decide not to be an HTML guru, you should learn a little just so you understand how your website works.

You can start with a theme that is already built to make things easier. Go to Template Monster and you’ll see hundreds of choices. You’ll still need to edit the template to suit your needs, but it’s easier than starting from scratch and for around $65, it isn’t a bad way to go. make sure you click Web templates at the top of the page, then in the dropdown that says “products”, uncheck everything except Website Templates, then hit “Apply”.

I do not recommend using the options that include “Flash”. With HTML 5, the need for Flash is diminishing and unless you know how to write or edit Flash, or you’re willing to pay extra for someone to do it for you, it’s better to stick with HTML.

Next, look for the keyword field and type a keyword related to your new home business. There you go. Pick out something you like and you’ll have a new template that reflects what you want the site to look like. A few changes, your own text, changing out the images, and you’re ready to go. As far as images, there is more on that here.

If you don’t write HTML and don’t want to build your own HTML website, then you’ll want to hire someone to do it for you. However, do not just go look up web design or web designer to find out who that will be. A successful website requires planning by a professional who understands marketing and how your website is found. At the bottom of this guide, there is more about who to hire first to get started.

WordPress Website

This is the easiest choice for building a website, especially if you want to do it yourself. This blog is built using WordPress, but blogs aren’t the only reason to use WordPress. Entire websites, even very large ones can be built using this easy-to-install software. You don’t have to know HTML, but knowing a little doesn’t hurt, so still think about learning a little HTML from here so you can make changes to the template whenever you want to.

If you go to WordPress.org you can download the WordPress Software. You need to have an Apache/Linux Server to install it. I explain more about choosing the right hosting company here.

Installing the software is easy. If you have CPanel, that’s the control panel offered by most hosting companies, it should include an area called something like software / services and in that area you may find an icon for Quick Install or fantastico or both. If you click one of those and look down the left side of the page, you will likely find WordPress. Clicking that will let you automatically install WordPress.

If that option doesn’t work for you, the instructions for installing WordPress are included in the download and on this page.

If you are still having trouble, we can help you by installing it for you or we can use a web meeting and install it while you watch so you learn how to do it yourself next time. Contact us here if you want help installing and setting up WordPress.

Next, you need a theme or template for your new WordPress Website. Just as with an HTML Website, you can go to Template Monster and see hundreds of choices. You’ll still need to edit the template to suit your needs, but it’s easier than starting from scratch and for around $65, it isn’t a bad way to go. make sure you click the tab that says CMS & Blog Templates at the top of the page. Then choose “WordPress”. A Joomla template won’t work with WordPress, so when you pick your theme, make sure it’s a WordPress template before you buy.

With a few changes, like putting in your own images and adding your new pages with your own content and you’ll be on your way to starting your new home business.

There are a lot of options in WordPress, like how to handle permalinks, using widgets, plugins and what settings to use in the section called settings. When I write a WordPress Setup Guide, I’ll link it here, but in the meantime, you can contact us for help setting it up or to ask questions about the settings.

Or go with a Pre-Built Blog Site below

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Other Options

There are a lot of different types of platforms or codes to use to build your website, however, the two options above are the simplest and will work for 99% of all websites. There’s Ruby on Rails, PHP, Joomla, Dot Net, and 1000 others. And people who know how to write the code for those types of websites will give you 1000 reasons why those are better than HTML or WordPress. They took the time to learn that code and swear by it because their livelihood depends on it and because they like it.

But getting your new home business up and running the simplest and easiest way possible is the goal, not having some fancy coding that you’d only be able to brag about to people who understood it. HTML and WordPress are the best two options to get started.

Hire a Search Engine Optimization or Marketing Professional first

Most people build their own website or have a friend do it or they hire a web designer first. Then, when they aren’t getting any traffic or making any sales, they end up hiring a marketing or SEO  professional to “fix it”.

But if you start with them first, they will plan out how your website will be built, which pages you will need, how the navigation will work, how best to bring in traffic once it is built and coordinate the building of the website with how it will be marketed. They may also build the site for you or choose a designer that understands how to do what they want done.

About putting images into your website

You cannot “borrow” images from another website without permission. You cannot use code to display an image from another website without permission. You need to own the rights to use any image you want to put into your website. There is such a thing as “public domain”, but most images are not public domain and you can and likely will be sued for using someone else’s copyrighted image.

The safest ways to add images to your website is to create them yourself or buy the rights to use the images through a website like IStock Photo or Dreamstime.

If you need more help with creating your new home business website, contact us here for a free consultation by phone.