Have you ever wanted a website but thought it would be too complicated? Did you know you can run an entire website without knowing a bit of code? Websites can be affordable, too, not to mention they are so much fun! You can have a website up and running in under 15 minutes.
I have had a passion for website development for over two decades and have had several sites over the years. After taking a break from running a website, I relaunched Wisedocks.com in August 2022. Since then, I have been pleasantly surprised at how effortless it has become to run a website. The experience has been so positive that I felt inspired to write about it.
How much does a website cost?
Why not free? You can start a blog for free on WordPress.com. It’s a great place to start before you leap into spending money. If you enjoy writing and want to take it a step further with a domain of your own, many web hosts can quickly move your site for you. But if you know you want to own your domain from the start, then beginning with an entry-level package from a web host is the way to go.
Most web hosts will give you a free domain name for the first year. It will cost around $10/year after that. And the monthly hosting fees start as low as $3/month. That’s less than the price of a cup of coffee per month.
How do I start a website?
The first thing you need is a name, of course. You won’t be able to change your website name, so this can be very important. I chose wisedocks.com because it was a play on my name years ago. It has sentimental value to it now. Your website’s name is your whole identity, so choose carefully. You can check availability with the host of your choice or try googles domain checker. Only settle once you are happy with the name you have chosen.
Once you’ve come up with a name, it’s time to find a host for your website. Most hosts offer free domains when you host your website with them. A good web host takes care of everything for you. I have used several over the years. I’ve used Bluehost, Go Daddy, Host Gator, & Dreamhost, to name a few. They all are good hosts. But my new host may be the best of them all.
Disclaimer: I currently use Dreamhost, and some links in this article are affiliate links, meaning if you sign up with Dreamhost using these links, we both get a discount.
Tips for running your new website
Your web design should aim to provide a seamless, visually appealing, and user-friendly experience for your visitors. There are many factors you want to keep in mind such as layout, color, typography, and images, among others. Your design should also be responsive, meaning it should adjust to the different screen sizes of various devices such as desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
Good web design practices are essential if you are building your website for a business, as a website is often the first point of contact between a company and its customers. A well-designed website can help build trust, establish credibility, and provide a memorable experience for users. On the other hand, a poorly designed website can have the opposite effect, driving users away and potentially damaging a business’s reputation.
Things to keep in mind
The following are some key components of good web design:
- Navigation – The navigation of a website should be intuitive and straightforward, allowing visitors to quickly find what they’re looking for.
- Layout – A website’s layout should be clean, organized, and easy to follow. Visitors should be able to find the information they need without having to search for it.
- Typography – The use of font and typeface is a crucial aspect of web design. The font should be easy to read, and the typeface should be in line with the overall aesthetic of the website.
- Color – Color plays an important role in creating the right atmosphere for a website. The color scheme should be consistent and in line with the brand’s visual identity.
- Images – Images are a powerful tool in web design and can greatly enhance the user experience. High-quality images should be used to illustrate the content and create visual interest.
Also, just so you know, if you want your website to appear in a Google search, you should optimize your site for a phone. Google takes the way your site performs on phones into consideration when deciding whether or not to index it.
I revived Wisedocks.com in the fall of 2022, as previously mentioned. I chose to host the site with Host Gator, as I had used their services the last time I ran the site, approximately six years prior. I opted for WordPress as my platform, as it is user-friendly and offers a smooth experience, not to mention it’s free. While I enjoy coding, I am not an expert in the field.
Installing WordPress was a simple process, requiring only a few clicks. However, when I opened my website for the first time, I was disappointed by its slow performance. Despite trying various optimization techniques, I became frustrated and couldn’t figure out what was causing the issue.
Through trial and error, I discovered the problem was my hosting, as I was on a shared hosting plan where multiple websites were hosted on the same server. Upgrading to a dedicated server plan would have improved the website’s speed, but these plans are often expensive. Shared hosting is a common practice, but Host Gator has a reputation for overcrowding its servers, leading to slow website performance.
So after a month of dealing with a very slow website, I finally started looking for alternatives. Moving a whole website is a pain in the ass. I didn’t want to, but If it takes 7 seconds to load your website, it’s pretty unusable for the person visiting it. Your visitors are going to leave very quickly.
I thought about going back to Bluehost; they are a pretty damn good option. But since using WordPress, I started looking for hosts specializing in WordPress optimization. That’s when Dreamhost began popping up in search results. This was the first I had heard of them. But apparently, they are known for how easy it is to migrate WordPress websites, according to what I had read from other users. And they are supposed to be very fast as their servers use SSDs, so your content loads up fast.
So I bit the bullet and made the switch. I had to install a plugin in the WordPress admin panel and put in a token. It automatically migrated my whole website to the Dreamhost servers. Well, it should have been that easy; I screwed it up. You are supposed to install WordPress on Dreamhost first. I didn’t do that, and it kept causing errors.
I contacted support, and they had me going in under 30 minutes. The speed of their customer service was astonishing. I usually hate contacting customer service. But I’m so glad I did. The website is twice as fast now too. It was so exciting; I thought they needed a shout-out. But why do it for free? So I signed up to become an affiliate with them. These guys are the real deal. If you click here and sign up, I’ll make a few bucks at no extra cost to you. It’s a win-win for you and me. Their prices start at $2.59/month. Like it is seriously cheap to create a website nowadays.
After switching hosts, my website’s speed improved significantly. However, I was still not completely satisfied. So, I decided to invest in a VPS (Virtual Private Server) through Dreamhost. The cost was more affordable compared to HostGator and I am glad I made the decision to switch.
Dreamhost not only has one-click WordPress installations they also include some premium themes and a site builder. You can start your own online business complete with a storefront, shopping cart, and checkout on your website without knowing a single line of code.
If you plan to start a storefront, I recommend using Woo Commerce. It is available as a plugin you can install from the admin section of your website for free. They offer some premium services, but everything you need to set up and start selling is free. I set it up on this domain to test it out, and it was super easy to use. If only I had a product to sell.
Once you have decided on a Webhost and you get your domain. The best way to go is to install WordPress. Most web hosts have one-click installs. Once installed, you are ready to go. You can then use the WordPress admin panel to install new themes and customize your website. You don’t need to do any coding.
WordPress is used on almost half of all websites in existence today. It’s popular, so if you do run into problems, support is easy to find. If you want to run your own website, you can still start a free blog on WordPress.com and see if it’s for you. However, owning your domain will allow for more customization and control of your site.
I sometimes struggle with grammar issues, but with the help of a program, my writing has improved. Nothing is worse than reading over my blog posts and seeing misspelled words, omitted words, or just plain poor grammar usage. This was frustrating, so I decided to take action. I researched various grammar checkers and finally chose Grammarly. It has been a worthwhile investment.
Far from a spellcheck, Grammarly helps with sentence structure and helps make your writing overall easier to read. I’m not upselling it, but if you need help with grammar and want to be a blogger, I recommend getting a grammar checker. There are many good ones on the market. I discuss them here.
I have learned from my mistakes as the program catches them. This has been training me to become a better writer overall.
I also spent money on a premium WordPress theme. This took me several months to decide on. I tried a ton of free versions before settling on Astra. I talk about that here. Give it a read if you are in the market for a premium theme.
That’s it. Starting and running a website is a gratifying experience. You can run a daily blog or journal. Run a local news website. Use your site just for storing recipes or sharing them with the world. Or start your own online business. The options are endless. I use google AdSense on my site, and the ads’ revenue covers some of the hosting costs. If your website becomes popular, you can make a good side income from it. I hope to be there one day myself. So tell your friends about my site wink wink. I hope you enjoy the rest of your day.
Click the link below; they will take good care of you. Just think, 15 minutes from now, you could be a website owner.
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