Have you ever wanted your own website but thought it was too complicated? I mean running websites are expensive, right? Well, it’s actually very affordable, and you can run an entire website without knowing a bit of code. Not to mention it is so much fun! You can have a website up and running in under 15 minutes. It is seriously, very easy to do. Having had a website off and on for about 20 years now. I just started this one back up a little over a month ago and couldn’t believe how easy it has gotten. It has been such an enjoyable experience, I thought I would write about it.
How much does it cost?
Why not free? You can start a blog for free on WordPress.com. It’s a great place to start before you make the leap to spending money. If you find you enjoy writing and want to take the leap later on to your own domain, there are many webhosts that can move your site for you very easily. But if you know you want your own domain from the start then starting with an entry level package from a webhost is the way to go. Most webhosts will give you a free domain name of your choosing for free 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 a sentimental value to it now. Your websites name is your whole identity so choose carefully. You can check availability with the host of your choosing or try googles domain checker.
Once you’ve came 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 webhost takes care of everything for you pretty much. I have used several over the years. I’ve used Bluehost, Go Daddy, Host Gator, & Dreamhost to name a few. They all are pretty good hosts. But I think my new host may just 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.
This website was started a few months ago as I said earlier. I went with Host Gator because I used them the last time I had this site up. Since WordPress is so easy to use, I decided to go that route. It’s just so much easier and it’s free.
Anyways, when I first installed WordPress which was literally a few mouse clicks later. I opened my site for the first time and…. It was soooo slow. My feelings were hurt. I tried every optimization trick in the book. I kept thinking what am I doing wrong? But I think it just came down to my host. I was on a shared plan which means my website was on the same server as many other websites. I could’ve upgraded to a dedicated server plan but they are expensive. Shared hosting is very common. But Host Gator is notorious for putting too many websites on the same servers, in turn slowing them all down.
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 really didn’t want to, but If it takes 7 seconds to load your website, it’s pretty unusable for the person visiting your site. You are gonna leave quickly.
What to do?
I thought about going back to Bluehost, they are a pretty damn good option. But since I am using WordPress, I started looking for sites that specialize in WordPress optimization. That’s when Dreamhost started popping up in search results. They are known for how easy it is to migrate WordPress websites. And they are suppose to be very fast as their servers use SSD’s, so your content loads up fast.
So I bit the bullet and made the switch, all you have to do is install a plugin to WordPress and put in a token and it will automatically migrate your whole website to your Dreamhost servers. Of course I screwed it up, you are suppose to install WordPress on Dreamhost first. I didn’t do that and it kept messing up.
I contacted support and they had me going in under 30 minutes. I couldn’t believe how quick they were. The website is twice as fast now too. It was so exciting, I thought man they need 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. So if you click here and sign up, I’ll make a couple bucks. It’s a win-win for you and me. Their prices start at $2.59/month. Like it is seriously cheap to start a website nowadays.
Once you have decided on a webhost and you get your domain. The best way to go, is install WordPress. Most webhosts 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. No coding needed. WordPress is used on almost half of all websites in existence today. It’s pretty popular, so if you do run into problems, support is pretty easy to get. If you aren’t sure if you want to make the leap to running your own website, you can still start a free blog on WordPress.com and see if it’s for you. Having your own domain will allow for more customization and more control of your site.
That’s pretty much it. Starting and running a website is a very enjoyable 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. The options are endless. I use google adsense on my site and the revenue from the ads will cover some of the hosting costs. If your website gets popular you can even 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.
I guess I’ll have to put this post in the Cool Things category since I did a shameless plug lol. But seriously click the ad below, they will take good care of you. Just think 15 minutes from now, you could have your own website.