Do you want to know how to easily create a website by yourself without a high budget? This guide will definitely be helpful for you. The average cost of creating a website following this guide is about $35 for the first year! 🙂
When you start a business, you usually start it with a website and social media accounts because you need a place where you tell people about your products (a site) and a place where you find these people (social media).
But in the beginning, you usually don’t have extra money for hiring someone who will create a website for you and run social accounts, so aspiring entrepreneurs often do everything by themselves. It’s absolutely normal! I run my projects without any help: I just google some how-to posts and do everything by myself: build a website and run a blog, run Facebook ads, optimize my articles, and build online courses. I hire people only when I start earning something from my business.
So if you have no money at the start, you can easily do most of the things by yourself. This post is a step-by-step guide on how to create a website by yourself without a high budget, fast and simple. Also, I’ll tell you which plugins and tools you can delete and which you should add to make your site faster and safer.
Step 1. Buy a hosting and a domain (don’t be afraid: it’s just a several clicks deal!)
For creating a site you need to have a hosting where you will place it. It is simple: for the beginning, you can choose almost any web hosting and a minimum plan since you won’t have huge traffic first. For example, I use DreamHost: “WordPress Unlimited” plan is enough for a blog and several landing (sales) pages, and I pay only $2,95/month since I purchased a yearly plan.
It has 100% Uptime which means your site will always be available (it’s tremendously important for SEO), also, you will get a free SSL certificate that increases trust from customers, and a free domain for the first year.
If you choose to pay yearly, you save up to 79%: you have a discount only for the period you purchased first, so if you choose to pay monthly, you will pay $2,99 only for the first month, and the rest will cost $12,99. If you pay yearly, every month in the next year will cost only $2,95.
So, click on the “WordPress” in the menu, then choose WordPress Unlimited for 1 year. I advise choosing Unlimited instead of Starter because then you will have a mail hosting and you will be able to send emails from your domain which is good for increasing trust from your customers (receiving emails from Gmail is not what they expect when they plan to pay you).
I trust DreamHost all of my sites, so I highly recommend this hosting. Though, if you want to try something else, I can recommend the hosting providers I choose for my clients, too:
- BlueHost is in the second place for me since it also has a 100% uptime guarantee, free SSL and domain, and costs approximately the same as Dreamhost (from $2,64 monthly for a WordPress plan)
- Fozzy is in the third place since I used it for my very first project and I had a great experience with the support that was always very pleasant and helped with everything I needed. Though, I can’t say that this hosting is the best as I had several issues with uptime and the server was not available several times.
- WP Engine is one of the most popular and powerful hostings that my colleagues use. I didn’t use it by myself but read a lot of good reviews, so I think it is a good choice. By this link, you can get 3 months free when you sign up for WP Engine.
If you don’t want to think long, just choose DreamHost WordPress Unlimited, purchase it, and go to the next step.
Step 2. Choose a domain name
Normally we use a business name or our name for the name of the website. Though, you can choose something else. But remember:
- The name of your website must be simple and short. People should remember it from the first view, so don’t use complex or too long names. The two-word domain will be great.
- Users should know what you offer from your domain. If you sell shoes for babies then it can be babyshoes.com. If you offer design and your name is Kathie, then it can be kathiesdesign.com, etc.
- Remember that you will pay for the domain every year except for the first one. So if you will choose a domain that costs more than usual (it has an additional cost when you choose it after signing up), you will pay more after the first year.
Most of the hosting providers offer to sign up without choosing the domain immediately, so you will have some time to think. But you can’t run your website without it, so don’t think too long 🙂
Step 3. Choose a theme for your WordPress site
When you purchased WordPress hosting, soon you will receive this message:
Don’t be scared when you click the links and see that your site isn’t available. It’s normal! Your site needs 2-3 hours to appear on the Internet. So drink some tea and just wait.
Then, go to this message and click on the link to set your password, and then on this one with /wp-login.php at the end. You will get to your admin panel (in the future you can get there by the link yourdomain.com/wp-admin).
Your admin menu is on the left, there is everything you need. First, choose the theme: Appearance – Themes – Add New. You can use a free theme first: I recommend Astra, GeneratePress, or Kadenci (the one I use now), then I recommend purchasing the theme you like with a custom design. For example, you can find it on Creative Market, or use StudioPress themes or Elegant Themes (their DIVI is the most popular theme for WordPress which is very easy to customize and looks beautiful).
To be honest, it’s not too important now–you can easily change the theme any time you need. So just pick any theme that seems nice to you and click Install, then Activate.
Done! You can customize it by clicking Appearance – Customize.
Step 4. Add useful plugins to your site (and delete ones you don’t need)
That’s why I created this guide–to help you avoid unuseful plugins and choose good ones. So, go to Plugins – Add New. Add these:
- Head, Footer and Post Injections – a very useful plugin when you need to add some strokes of code to your site without developer skills. You will need it when you verify your domain in Google Analytics, mailing services, and other apps you use.
- Hummingbird – an excellent cashing plugin that will increase your site’s speed.
- Smush – another speeding-up plugin that compresses your images automatically. Use them both because speed is one of the most important criteria for Google to show your site in the first positions.
- JSM’s Force HTTP to HTTPS – this plugin automatically redirects your visitors from the unsafe http version of your site to safe https.
- Ninja Forms – a nice and simple form builder that I use instead of popular WPForms and Contact Form 7. I think it looks better and works more stable.
- Total Upkeep – a backup plugin that creates a backup of your site every week. When you update plugins, themes, and WordPress, some technical issues could ruin something on your site. Back up is needed to restore the version of your site when everything was ok.
- Wordfence Security – this plugin prevents spammers and admin logins from scammers by blocking their logins. Also, it will help you when someone tries to attack your site.
- WP Mail SMTP – a mailing plugin that helps set up sending emails from your domain.
- WooCommerce – if you want to sell something, you will need to add the WooCommerce plugin: it allows create a shop and products and set up payments. If not, you don’t need it now.
- LifterLMS – use it if you want to create and sell online courses. I will write an article about it later so subscribe to my newsletter below to receive updates if you are interested.
You can easily find them in the catalog.
Also, after setting up WordPress by the hosting provider, there will be several plugins by default. I recommend deleting everything except All in One SEO, BoldGrid Gallery, Post and Page Builder (and Premium one if you use DreamHost). The first one helps you optimize your texts to appear in Google, the rest two ones are for creating beautiful landing pages and blocks as on my home page. If you don’t like BoldGrid templates, you can use Elementor (another plugin). I love it, too, but I don’t like free templates so to use its maximum possibilities you need to purchase Elementor PRO.
Elementor, BoldGrid, and other plugins for creating pages are drag-and-drop builders: you just choose a template and replace content with texts you need.
Done! You can now use your website as you wish. Click Posts – Add new to create a blog post and Pages – Add new if you want to create a page (about you, your services and products, contact page, etc.)
Step 5. Choose what page to show to your visitors
Go to Settings – Reading to choose what you want to show on the main page of your site. You can choose any page you want or blog posts page. If you want to run a blog or news site, then choose “latest posts” so people will see them when they go to yourdomain.com.
If you create a site for your business to sell anything, choose a static page as a home page and tell essential information about your products and services there (look at my home page for an example).
I hope this guide was helpful for you! I added some affiliate links–it helps me create helpful content for you for free and get some bonuses. I recommend only that I use it myself or if I’m sure of the quality of the product because of good people’s I know reviews. Good luck with your business! Have huge sales and wonderful customers.