Scenario 1: You have been using one of the free or managed website systems such as Weebly or Wix for your voice over website, but you’ve run into a wall. It simply won’t do what you need it to do. You’ve outgrown your free service, and in order to expand you have to pay their rather high rates. But even if you go that route, you don’t have complete control over your website.
Scenario 2: You are just starting out in the voice over business and don’t have a website for this new endeavor. You don’t necessarily need a free website, but you don’t have the money for a professional designer to do it either. You need to create a standalone website, but you don’t know where to start. It seems so complicated and your no web tech. There is a way! I’m about to tell you exactly how to pull a website together from the beginning!
This is part one of a three-part series on how to get your own website up and running – quickly!
And since we’re talking about “up and running quickly,” these articles will be posted within quick succession of each other.
Here are the steps in a nutshell:
- Purchase a domain
- Purchase hosting (you can do steps 1 and 2 at the same time. Nice!)
- Install WordPress (one-click installation. Also nice!)
- Install a Theme (two clicks – 1: install, 2:activate)
- Create web pages (and a blog page, if you want)
- Let the world know
Yup, at its core, getting a functional, nice looking website up and running can be done in one day. Well, less than a day, but you know what I mean. Yes of course there are much more technical and intricate details to making a full professional website. It has taken me years to gain all the knowledge I have of the in’s and out’s of website technology, coding, design and trends. However, when you have a limited budget and you really need a web presence, I can get you there very quickly through these articles! So let’s get started…
Steps 1 & 2: Purchase Domain and Hosting
Yes I’m putting both steps together because the hosting company I’m going to suggest offers a free domain at the time you purchase the hosting. The connecting of your domain name to your hosting account is all done for you! This will happen by the simplicity that is Bluehost.com. It is by far the easiest and most affordable hosting company to get your web presence going.
Yes there are many, many hosting companies out there – a few of which I like and use depending on the needs of the website. Bluehost is my go-to when budget is the dictator of the project, but you still want quality.
What makes Bluehost.com different from others in their class is their simplicity and pricing. And just to let you know, I am affiliated with Bluehost, as well as a couple of other hosting companies that I feel are the best. They are the only ones I use – I wouldn’t affiliate myself with any service I didn’t believe in.
Let’s Get Started!
- Go to www.bluehost.com.
- Click the green “Get Started” button.
- Select the “Starter” plan, which at the time of writing this article, is on sale for $3.95/month if you purchase it for 36 months (3 years). This includes the cost of a domain purchase!Purchasing hosting and domain for such a long time is very common.You’d be surprised how fast time goes by, and if you plan on keeping up with your business, 36 months is the way to go. If you can’t lay out even that much money at first, they offer shorter terms for a bit more per month (2-years: $4.95/mo, 1-year: $5.95/mo). These are ALL great prices!
- After selecting the “Starter” plan, a page will come up where you can select a new domain name (web address) or use one you already have (no matter where you purchased it).When you put in a new domain that you want, it will tell you if that domain is available or not. You may want to come up with a few options first in order of preference in case your top choice is taken.
- After you submit your new domain name and you find out it is available, you will go to a page to fill in your account information (e.g., name, address, email, etc.).
- Below the information section you just completed, you will have the option to select which “Starter” plan you want (what length of time you want to purchase).
- They then have some add on’s. ALL the host providers try to up-sell. Sometimes it’s nice to know of other services, though, because you may actually want one or two of them. For instance, domain privacy protection is pretty nice because it hides your contact information from the public. It’s not necessary, but it may be something you care about.I wouldn’t select any of the other items. They have a website backup offer, and backup is super important, but there is a free plugin that does a really great job of backing up your database, template files and plugins in a very intuitive way. So I would forgo this. Be sure to uncheck the boxes so you don’t get charged.
- Below that section, enter your payment information. This is a secure web page and your payment information will be encrypted.
- Read the terms of service, etc., and check the box that says you agree.Click SUBMIT.
- Now that you’ve purchased everything, you will go to a page to set up your Bluehost.com login and password.WRITE THESE DOWN FOR YOUR RECORDS.
Step 3: Install WordPress
- Log into your Bluehost account.
- After logging in, click the “Hosting” tab at the top of the page and in the dropdown menu select “cPanel.” This is where all the action happens!
- In the cPanel, there will be a section called “Website Builder” or something similar.Click the WORDPRESS icon.
- You will arrive on a page where you click the “Install” button.
- You will be asked to select the domain for which the WordPress software will be used. In your case, you have just the one domain. Leave the box after the slash following your domain blank.Click CHECK DOMAIN.
- Select “Show Advanced Options” to open a small area where you can set up the name of your website, as well as your WordPress user name and password – you will use the username and password every time you want to access your website for updates.
- Username: Change the default “Admin Username” to something other than your email or domain name. Choosing a couple words put together works well, such as “roselovesapples” or something to that effect.
- Password: I suggest using the one that is generated automatically. Yes it is hairy looking but it’s more secure that way. You can change it to whatever you want, but make sure it’s got upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters such as !,@,#,$,%,^WRITE THESE DOWN AS YOU WILL NEED THEM EVERY TIME YOU WANT TO WORK ON YOUR WEBSITE!
- Be sure “Automatically Create Database” is checked.
- Read the terms, and check the box “I have read the terms and conditions.”Click INSTALL.
- Bluehost does all the work now: creating a database, getting all the software set up in your hosting account, and connecting your domain to your hosting automatically!
Log in to Your Website
- Now to access the administrative area of your website (also called the back end, go to: www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin (replace “yourdomain” with your actual domain).
- You will be presented with a login page. Enter the username and password you created for your WordPress website (not your Bluehost login and password).Click LOG IN.
- If all has been done right, you will land on the WordPress Dashboard page of your website. This means you are all set up and ready to go!
- To check out your website to this point, in another tab in your browser, go to www.yourdomain.com. By default, WordPress applies its own theme just so you have something there. You should see a web page with some text that WordPress just put in there for starters.
There it is. You’re all set up!
You have now:
- Purchased a domain name
- Purchased hosting for your website
- Set up WordPress including the database and software
You are ready to pick a theme for your website. Themes are what determine the layout and functionality of the site. Most come with a certain look to them and certain options. We will talk about theme shopping and installation in Part 2 of this 3-part series! In the meanwhile, spend some time familiarizing yourself with the Dashboard area and the menus.