How To Start A Website In 10 Minutes
You will need:
Technical skills: none
Time: 10 minutes of actual work, maybe some waiting here and there.
It’s that easy. People tend to think starting your own website has to be really difficult and require special skills or lots of money, but in fact it’s pretty much just as easy as using Youtube or doing any number of other things you do on the internet every day.
The first thing you will need is a “domain” – that’s an internet address, like “delusiondamage.com”. There are various companies that can register a domain for you, some better than others. I use Namecheap.com. Go there and you will see the main page:
Write the domain you would like in the indicated area and click “Search” to see if it’s available for registration:
As you can see, Namecheap gives you free WhoisGuard with a new domain registration. What does this mean? There are public databases known as “Whois databases” where people can search to see who owns a particular domain, like this:
The page will guide you to create an account with NameCheap and select a payment method, it’s all pretty self explanatory and I don’t suppose you need any help with that part. Once you’ve created your account and paid for your domain, you’ll be able to log in with your new username and password at the top of the namecheap.com page:
Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of an internet address! But, that address doesn’t point to any web content yet… now you need what’s called “web hosting”, that is to say, you need a company to rent you some server space where you can put whatever files and pages you want to be available on your website, and the company will take care of making sure the server is up and running 24 hours a day, ready to transmit your files and pages to people who want to visit your website. I’ve tried several hosting companies, some better than others, and I’ve now been with HostGator for the last couple of years. In the interest of being completely honest, yes, they’re paying me to advertise their services, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’d been using Hostgator’s hosting for my own websites long before they ever wrote me a check. They’re good, they’re cheap, and if you have a problem they will promptly fix it, which is a lot more than I can say for some other hosting companies. Click here to sign up with HostGator and you will see this page:
As you’re just starting out, I don’t see any reason why you’d need the Business Plan or anything fancier than that, and the main difference between the Hatchling and Baby plans is the number of domains you can host. If you think you’ll want to register more domains in the future, get the Baby plan. If you think the one domain you already have is all you will ever need, get the Hatchling plan. You will be able to upgrade or downgrade your plan later if you change your mind, so what you choose now isn’t too important. Click on “order now” and you’ll get to type in your domain:
They give you an option to register a domain here too, but I like to have my domains and my hosting with different companies for security reasons. You already have a domain, so type it in the appropriate field. Below, they’re going to suggest their basic default coupon code to get 20% off your purchase, but if you want to pay as little as possible, type in the coupon code delusiondamage to get up to $9.94 off – which means that when you click on “continue to step 2” and scroll down the next page, you will see that your total comes to… one cent! Neat, huh?
You’ll receive a welcome email from HostGator with the details of your account. It’ll look something like this:
HostGator has provided a video to show you where to need to type in the addresses of your name servers. Watch it here. Once you’ve saved your changes, it might take up to 24 hours for the changes to take effect, but in my experience it usually happens a lot faster, sometimes almost instantly. When it does, your domain will point to your hosting account, which means that anyone who types your domain into their internet browser will end up seeing your website. There’s just one thing… you don’t have a website yet. But that’s easy to fix. Go to your cPanel using the link provided in HostGator’s welcome email and log in. Your cPanel will look like this:
There’s a lot of stuff here that you don’t need to worry about. Most of it is for advanced users who want to do difficult things that you don’t need right now (or probably ever). You should find the “Quickinstall WordPress” link in the indicated spot. Click on that and then click on “Continue” on the next page. You are about to install WordPress, the same software as I use on this site, and your site will soon look remarkably like this one.
You’ll need to fill in a couple of fields before you can install:
For “Application URL”, you can leave the part after the slash blank if you want WordPress directly on your domain’s home page (which is how I have it on this site). Alternatively, you can write something there if you want it in a subdirectory. If you don’t have a particular reason to use a subdirectory in mind, I suggest you leave it blank.
For “admin email”, put your email address. The “blog title” is obviously your website’s title. And for ****’s sake, don’t write your real first and last name in the designated fields unless you want them publicly displayed on your site. You can change the title and names later, so don’t worry too much about your choices right now. Just click on “install now” when you’re done.
It will take a few moments, so don’t panic if it looks like the page freezes. When it’s done, it’ll give you a link to go to your site, which should now look something like this:
In the lower right corner in the sidebar, you’ll find a link to “log in”. Go to your email and get your password from the email sent to you by the WordPress software, and log in to your new website. Your dashboard looks like this:
The options are in the sidebar on the left. Under “appearance”, select “header” and you will be able to upload your own header image to be shown at the top of every page.
Under “posts”, select “add new” and write something. Then click on “publish” and it’ll appear online. Piece of cake! You now have a fully functioning website:
There you go! You can now unleash your piercing intellect upon the unsuspecting public.
If you’re having trouble with this guide, you can contact me to get help and simultaneously help me make this guide better for future readers.