Building a website can be scary for many people especially if you are new to the process; however, you no longer need to be a computer programmer in order to create a fully functioning site. I am going to outline below how you too can build a website online for free.
WordPress is the best platform for building your website. There are a ton of options and the best part is that you can learn how to build a website online for free! As a free member of Wealthy Affiliate, you will have access to SiteRubix, which uses WordPress themes and plug ins. You will also have the ability to create two sites in minutes using Wealthy Affiliate’s how-to videos. The step by step instructions are easy to follow and since you will not need to learn website programming codes, you can focus your efforts on the actual content and appearance of your site. All of that technical stuff is done behind the scenes…Can I have an Amen!!
Selecting A Name For Your Site
The first step in building a website is selecting a name for your site. The name of your site should relate to your particular niche.
Have not selected a niche yet? Learn more here “how to choose a niche for a website”.
Ask yourself this question, does my site name reflect what my site is about? If the answer is no, you should select something else. Aside from that, I would not get too caught up on trying to find the perfect name. The goal is to learn the process and if you spend weeks on the very first step of selecting a name, then your progress will be severely hindered. This is one of many benefits to starting out as a free member with Wealthy Affiliate. You will receive two free sites, so if after going through the initial training classes, you decide to change the name and start over, it is just fine to do so.
Is Purchasing A Domain Necessary?
As you become more and more comfortable with the process and begin to fine tune your niche, you may decide to purchase your own domain name. Rather than have siterubix as your domain within Wealthy Affiliate, you would purchase your own domain name. Here is an example of what I am referring to…take my site for example:
Having your own domain is definitely more appealing and easier for people to remember. At some point, you will want to purchase your own domain name as this will provide a sense of accomplishment knowing that your business name is officially one of a kind; however, this is not necessary to get started building a free website and I recommend waiting until you are certain about the name for your site.
Once you purchase a domain name, no one else can use it (unless you forget to renew it of course). Purchasing a domain is not expensive and there are A LOT of sites offering this service. I recommend using Namecheap as they are cheap (hence the name) as well as user friendly with very little upselling. You simply select, review, pay and leave.
You will have to find a host for your website if you want to be live online. While the website is built, no one will be able to find you if you do not have your site parked somewhere. The cost of hosting varies, but you should be able to find a decent host for your site around 15/month. As a starter member with Wealthy Affiliate, you will be able to build two free sites and hosting is included. This is definitely a good place to start your online business especially if you are on a tight budget.
Choose A Design/Theme For Your Site
Next, you are going to want to design and optimize your site. As a free (AKA starter) member of Wealthy Affiliate, you will have access to a dozen or so WordPress themes to choose from. You will select one to your liking and then watch as siterubix goes to work building the site. Your site will automatically come with 5 of the most powerful plug ins available (a plug in is simply an extra feature that enhances the production of your website). From there, you will have access to step by step instructions on how to optimize and activate your plug ins.
Keyword Searches – Let The Fun Begin!
Now comes the fun part, keyword searches. The term keyword will become very important going forward as your content will be driven by it. Remember, a keyword is nothing more than a term used to describe the words being typed into a search engine such as Google. An example would be if you typed in golf for the beginner, you would find sites based on that particular keyword. Search engines track keywords.
So, as you begin to jot down different ideas related to your niche, you will begin to see various potential keywords. You will want to pin down what keywords to focus on as you do not want to be too broad. Think of it like searching for puppies vs something more specific such as how to potty train your 6 month old puppy. I think it is clear that searching for the term puppy is going to yield way too many results and who knows how many pages you will need to go through to get to what you are truly looking for.
In the same way, as an online marketer, you need to be thinking about your niche and what keyword searches will bring a visitor to your site. The broader your topic, the more difficult it will be to attract visitors targeted to your specific niche.
There is a great tool I use for researching keywords; it is called Jaaxy. If you are not familiar with keyword research tools, take a look at my reviews page where I go into more detail about this process and why Jaaxy is my number one keyword search tool recommendation.
Jaaxy offers a keyword search tool that is fantastic and they too offer a free trial without a credit card, which by now you know is important to me. As a matter of fact, Jaaxy will not allow you to upgrade until you have at least signed up as a free member. You can generate up to 30 keyword searches with important data such as average number of searches for a particular keyword, traffic stats, relevant competition stats, keyword quality indicator, search engine rankability and more.
Once you begin doing this day in and day out, you are going to become addicted to searches. Jaaxy also offers very affordable paid options that offer quite a bit more in the way of data results. Either way, check them out and begin using today. Your website and your business will thank you!
These terms may be foreign to you now, but they will become your new primary language as you begin to live this stuff every day :-)!
Content Is King!
You now have your site up and running and are ready to begin adding YOU!
Now that your niche and keywords are in place, it is time to add content to your website, quality content to be exact. This part always seemed difficult to me. I mean, how do you write relevant posts with valuable content day in and day out? Well, it is actually easier than you might think once you begin using keyword searches and reviewing what is already out there on the web related to your niche.
Believe it or not, your competition will actually inspire you and give you all kinds of ideas. The important thing is that you begin to write and do not let fear or intimidation stop you from going forward. Great content is always a work in progress and we will all mess up, rewrite and probably mess up again when getting started. There is no such thing as perfect content, and you definitely do not want your writing to come across in that way. Most people enjoy easy reading and you want to target most people, right?
Be Authentic When Writing Your Content
Building a relevant site is going to take time and during that time, you will hopefully be able to see yourself through the content on your site. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. Remember, real people are reading your posts and if it does not feel genuine, it will be difficult to keep visitors long term.
Too Much Stuff
Not everyone will agree and is more than likely going to come down to personal preference, but your site should be welcoming and not overly flashy with more banners than actual information the user can find helpful and apply to their situation.
We are all visitors as we all input search terms into Google in hopes of finding what we are looking for. Once the search results populate, you will probably click on one of the first few and decide in about 5 seconds or less whether or not that site is working for you. Of course the look of the page will have something to do with how long you stay there, but at the end of the day, your visitors will appreciate relevant, valuable content that is unique to you.
Do Not Steal Content!
I know this sounds obvious, but it really does happen. No matter what, never copy someone else’s content. It is stealing, plain and simple, and the search engines will punish you for having duplicate content on your site!
About Me Page
I recommend creating your About Me page on day one. This should be the easiest one for you since it is about you :-). It is a very important page on any personal website as it allows the visitor an opportunity to get to know you. Building relationships online is naturally more difficult due to the lack of physical connection. I am probably not the norm, but once I decide to stay on a site, I always check out the About Me page first because I want to know more about the person behind the content.
Your About Me page should always include at least one photo of yourself (I think more than one is better) as well as a brief description of who you are and how you got to where you are today as well as any personal experiences that a visitor can possibly relate to. It just adds that personal touch, and most of us want to do business with real human beings we can relate to, not machines.
Ready, Set, Build!
Siterubix is an excellent platform for building your first site and is included within Wealthy Affiliate. I recommend using this program as you begin learning how to build a website online for free. Get your feet wet and see what building a website is all about. Try it out now right here…
I would love to know your thoughts and any experience you have with building a website. Please leave a comment below. Make it a great day!