Why don’t we do it right the first time? Because we don’t have the right information. The right information only comes from someone who has made the mistakes themselves and is willing to share their experience so you can do it right the first time.
The First Mistake – It’s FREE!
This article gives you the information. It’s written from my experience. I’ve made them all. The First Mistake was starting a free website. It looked simple to do, or so the text read so I clicked the “get started” button. Every step was complicated. First I had to select a name for my website then I discovered the name I wanted to use was taken by someone else. With the free website the name of the website had the website platform in the URL and this signals to the world it’s a freebie. The only way the platform name wouldn’t be in the URL was to upgrade.
I thought the website was free? The website is free, but the URL looked like this: http://mywebsitename.wordpress.com this didn’t look right. I don’t want wordpress.com in the URL! Too bad this is how a free platform works.
If I wanted to continue, I would have to buy a domain name and then I could have the URL as https://joanmargau.com. If I had the right information to begin with I wouldn’t have started a free website with a free theme. I didn’t like the website and I didn’t want to buy a domain name… and I couldn’t figure out how to use the theme either. I thought WordPress was easy to use. It is when someone shows you how it works.
Step # 1 The Domain Name
The first step is to decide on a domain name and to check if this domain is available to use. The name of your website should tell people what the website is about. It is the name of the industry or business or your personal name. Make sure the domain name is not confusingly similar to another domain in use.
Step # 2 The Website Must be Self-Hosted
Self-hosting isn’t hosting your website on your computer. It’s using a Hosting Company to host your website on their server. Which is the best Hosting Company? The one that gives you the best support based on your level of comfort with the intricacies of website management.
Step # 3 Choosing the Right Hosting Company
Don’t go with the cheapest price. Cheap hosting fees mean insufficient memory, and an upgrade fee for sufficient memory. Even if your website starts with a few pages and a blog. You will be adding images and videos which requires more memory.
The Hosting Company servers should have PHP 7.0+ with a free SSL certificate, at no extra cost. Daily backups of your website and email service with 24/7 helpful tech support.
Step #4 Choosing the Website Software
This time you’re in luck the best software for a website is WordPress and there is no cost to you to use WordPress. It’s delivered to you when you sign up with a Hosting Company. WordPress is the most used software for websites worldwide. It is secure and updated regularly. The next step is the most challenging one.
Step #5 Choosing the WordPress Theme
There are literally hundreds of themes each one better than the one you looked at previously, and they’re free. By now you should be wary of the word “free.” My advice; never go with a free WordPress Theme. Do yourself a favor and go with the most used Premium WordPress Theme in the world, the Divi Theme. This is all you will need.
One of the things you do not want to do is to have to change your theme each year. Why? A theme comes with a one year license to use and to continue using that theme you must renew the license.
Why the Divi Theme?
There are plenty of themes and why I’m prepared to recommend the Divi Theme is because it’s the one theme that let’s you be in charge of your website. The idea that only a designer or a programmer can build a website isn’t true. You can build a website without knowing code and be in control of the website you own. There is a learning curve, as there is with all software. But once you know how it works, you’ll be building your website.
The Leader in the Industry
In my opinion this theme is the best WordPress theme. I have used other WordPress themes but they aren’t as versatile as the Divi Theme. Divi comes with an on page Visual Builder and a Theme Builder.
No other WordPress Theme offers this much versatility. And, you don’t need to know how to code to use the Divi Theme.
The Most Important Consideration – Your Budget
How much money are you wanting to spend? None? Then you’ll live with the free website and eventually come to the point of dissatisfaction because you can’t get what you want out of the website and it isn’t working. If you’re going to have a website it will take an investment on your part, but it’s not as expensive as you think.
Step # 1: The Domain Name. You can purchase the domain through the Hosting Company as most of them are Domain Registrars. A domain is priced from $9.88 to $20. All domains must be renewed annually to keep them from dropping into the public domain. Some Hosting Companies will include the domain for free when you sign up with them for hosting. This might be for the first year of hosting only.
Step # 2 and #3: Hosting Company. A Hosting Company will have attractive low introductory rate offers. After the introduction period the price will go up to the regular monthly rate. Always make sure you know what that rate is. Don’t be lured by the cheaper hosting company. Remember, cheap means insufficient memory and upgrade to use more.
For more information take a look at SiteGround pricing. As a comparison take a look at WordSpaces pricing.
Divi Theme Purchase
Step #4 and #5: WordPress and the Divi Theme. WordPress is included. A WordPress Theme overlays the WordPress core. The core is the free part of WordPress. To use the Divi Theme you must be a member of Elegant Themes. The membership includes tech support and all the products that come with the Divi Theme. The products are Monarch, a social media sharing plugin, Bloom an email opt-in plugin, and premade layout packs added weekly to the Divi Library.
The Elegant Themes membership is $87 per year. You can upgrade to a lifetime membership with a one time fee for $249 and thereafter your fees for all the products and features will be $0.
If you’re budget conscious, there will be special discounts and offers and of course there’s Black Friday in November. This means you get a huge discount off joining Elegant Themes and the lifetime membership.
What is your budget? How much should you spend? As much as you need depending on where you want to go with your website.
Some of the links on this page are my affiliate links. I only recommend products I use on my websites and on clients websites.