4. Do It Yourself Websites

First you need a Web Host

Before you go off down the path of building a website using an HTML editor, you are going to need to get a domain and a hositng account.

 

Domain Name
Go Daddy   $7.49 .com sale

Almost all web host nowadays will include the purchase of a domain name when you sign up, and it will usually be good for a year.

HOWEVER, I would like to recommend that you use a separate company like Godaddy to register the domain.

Why? Well, it gives you the kind of control over the domain that a lot of host don’t provide. Also, if someday down the road you want to leave your host, all you need to do is login to your Godaddy domain manager and change where the domain is pointing. You are in control.

Its only about $10-15 a year, and WELL worth it. Again, most host will provide this, so if you want to deal with only one company…then by all means take advantage of it, but if you can afford the extra $10 use Godaddy.

Hosting

This is probably one of the most critical decisions that you will have to make. As long as you are not going the FREE route, changing a host is not that bad, but making sure you are on the right hosting platform from the get-go will save you a lot of pain down the road.

There are several things you should look for when choosing a host…besides cost.

First and foremost should be easy of use, professional and an outstanding reputation. (Careful using “Hosting” review sites… they rank based on the highest affiliate payout ;)

    • Diskspace - Amount of space you are allowed on the hosting sever. Should be UNLIMITED.
    • Monthly transfer – Amount of traffic you can support. Again, should be UNLIMITED.
    • FTP access- Need to be able to directly access your file using an FTP program.
    • Control Program - Looking for a HUGE control panel for managing every aspect of your website. From email to sql databases.
    • Tutorials with Audio and Video support -This is a big key to the better companies. They take the time to build good tutorials for their products. They are interested in you succeeding because if you don’t, then they don’t make money…and the ones with better tutorials “Get That”.
    • Email – Once you have a domain (either through Godaddy or your new host) email is setup in the hosting control panel. The more difficult part of email, is not setting up an account…but actually understanding how to retrieve it from your email client (outlook, AOL, gmail etc. ) I’m building a page that will cover that a little more, but most host nowadays (again the ones with better tutorials) will walk you through setting that up step-by-step.
    • Website Builder / Templates

 

Recommended Hosting Companies

HostGator
This is the hosting company I use for this website, as well as, most of my clients at SiteDesignZ. EXCELLENT customer support, up-time and affordable.
VodaHost
A full hosting company that also has the benefit of using BlueVoda their website editing tool. Although the editor only works with VodaHost, as a hosting company, they are top notch.
HostWay
A hosting company with longevity. They have been around for a long time and have worked out a lot of bugs. A strong and stable hosing company with a lot of advanced tools.
BlueHost
This was my host before HostGator. I only moved because HostGator had a better reseller option of hosting my companies websites. If not for that, I never would have moved. I loved this hosting company.
MyHosting
Relatively new, but feature packed and extremely affordable. They offer all the services of a full hosing company at the cost of a “free” hosting company. Worth a try only if you are really strapped in your budget.

Hosting Companies I DONT RECOMMEND for DIY Websites:

  • Network Solutions
  • Godaddy
  • 1&1 Hosing

 

Tools for Building your Website

Now that you have a hosting account and a domain, you need a way to build the website.

DreamWeaver (Adobe)

Click Here to learn more about DreamWeaver

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expression Studio (Microsoft)

Click here to learn more about Expression Studio

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thesis

Click here to learn more about Thesis

 

 

 

 

The biggest distinguishing factor from the “Small Business” websites and the “Money Making” type websites it the ability to sell products or advertise on the site.
If you expect to advertise or sell products on your site, then just jump ahead to the Money Making website page, and follow the steps there.
Small Business websites are for a local restaurant or local service based business that cannot service customers outside their area, and if all you are looking for is a site that can give information about what you do, or a portfolio or a menu etc. Then this is the page you should be on.
These type of sites are pretty easy to build and a little more cost effective than the money making websites.
Because you are not needing the cart functionality or looking to generate advertising dollars from your site, most of the following solutions at the bottom of the page will fit your needs pretty well. In determining which of these to suggest to you, I have tried most of these and really focused on the following criteria:
1. Domain Name
Almost all webhost will include the purchase of a domain name when you signup. It will be good for usually a year. Now some people (including me) like to simply register their own domain using a registrar provider like Goddady.com instead of the host. Why? Well it gives you control over the domain that a lot of host don’t provide. Also, if someday down the road you want to leave your host, all you need to do is login to your Godaddy domain and change where the domain is pointing. You are in control. Its only about $10-15 a year, but WELL worth it. Again, most host will provide this, so if you want to deal with only one company…then by all means take advantage of it.
2. Hosting
This is probably one of the most critical decisions that you will have to make. As long as you are not going the FREE route, changing a host is not that bad, but making sure you are on the right hosting platform from the get-go will save you a lot of pain down the road.
There are several things you should look for when choosing a host…besides cost. First and foremost should be easy of use, professional and an outstanding reputation.
(Careful using “Hosting” review sites… they rank based on the highest affiliate payout ;)
1. Diskspace – Amount of space you are allowed on the hosting sever. Should be UNLIMITED.
2. Monthly transfer – Amount of traffic you can support. Again, should be UNLIMITED.
3. FTP access. Need to be able to directly access your file using an FTP program.
4. Control Program – Looking for a HUGE control panel for managing every aspect of your website. From email to sql databases.
5. Tutorials with Audio and Video support -
This is a big key to the better companies. They take the time to build good tutorials for their products. They are interested in you succeeding because if you don’t, then they don’t make money…and the ones with better tutorials “Get That”.
4. Email -
Once you have a domain (either through Godaddy or your new host) email is setup in the hosting control panel. The more difficult part of email, is not setting up an account…but actually understanding how to retrieve it from your email client (outlook, AOL, gmail etc. ) I’m building a page that will cover that a little more, but most host nowadays (again the ones with better tutorials) will walk you through setting that up step-by-step.
5 Building the Website – This is the tricky part. For the purposes of this website, Im going to assume you do not want to learn how to code HTML, XML, or PHP. So, you will need to use a WYSIWYG editor (Pronounced “WizzyWig” short for WhatYouSeeIsWhatYouGet) Basically, this is either a really good tamplate system with a content management area (CMS) or an actual editor like the one VodaHost (The Blue Voda).
6 Submitting to search engines (SEO) – Once your site is built using your editor or template (CMS) then you are going to need to let the search engines know you are out there. There are Billions and Billions of websites…if you don’t make a noise…it may take a year for the search engines to find you. Now few host provide this as a service. It is fairly easy to do this yourself (Using the “Generating traffic” page of this site to help you), but if Really increasing traffic is important, then before you select a host you should definitely check out a host like Site Build It. Site is a little corny…but the product is top notch.
There are other items, but truthfully these are a few of the key indicators.
So given the above criteria for choosing a host to build and maintain your site with minimal effort, tons of functionality and extremely cost effective, There are a lot of choices, and I have personally tried most of them. There are three that will work for you and that I feel comfortable recommending to you.
SiteBuildit
Voda Host.
With a ton of video tutorials, and the Blue Voda website builder. This is by far the number 1 choice for build your own website.
1&1.com
Homestead
Web.com
VodaHost is a great cost effective solution for this. Voda Host is one of the Top choices for most websites. There are a lot of choices, and I have personally tried most of them. There are three that will work for you and that I feel comfortable recommending to you.
BlueVoda
1&1.com
VodaHost + SiteDesignZ