There are multiple reasons to have your own website. Among them are:
- A web presence to promote your business.
- A blog to share things with friends and family
- A resume site to help you find a job.
- A site to start your own online business and make some money.
The way we see it, if you’re going to use your computer, why don’t you do something useful with it?
It was this very concept that led to the creation of PCMech.com itself (over 13 years ago). I started this site as a hobby and it grew over time.
These days, setting up a website has never been easier. So, if you have an idea, all you have to do is set the site up. You can do the whole thing often in less than an hour or work.
In this guide, I’m going to boil this down to the absolute basics. If you simply follow this, you’ll get set up with a professional looking website and be ready to roll with your bigger plans.
Why A Blog?
Historically, a blog is simply a form of website where one posts routinely and the posts are shown in chronological order. A lot of people still think of it this way. However, things have changed.
Today’s modern blog software is really a full blown content management system. It can be used to power all kinds of different websites, making everything easier to manage without knowing much (if any) HTML code and other potentially confusing languages. In other words, blogging is really for anybody with any kind of modern web presence today. The differences between a “website” and a “blog” are pretty much gone today.
So, why should you bother with a blog?
- Are you looking to create a modern web presence for your business?
- Do you want your website set up in such a way as to maximize impact on search engine rankings?
- Do you want to set up your own membership site?
- Do you simply want to share with your friends and family?
- Do you want to share your expertise with the world, help people, and work to turn that into a new income stream for yourself?
Then, THAT’S why you want a blog. Because trying to do these things any other way (in this day and age) is just asking to waste tons of time and money.
WORD OF WARNING FOR BUSINESS OWNERS
I’ve known many people who have blown THOUSANDS of dollars getting websites set up. Every time, I shake my head and sigh. Because if they only knew how much money they wasted, they’d probably vomit.
Typically, it is a small business owner who doesn’t know how to do anything related to website setup. They think it is really complicated. So, they seek to hire somebody to do it for them. They find somebody to do it, but usually they have this uneasy feeling about it the whole time. And what happens? They spend 4 or 5 figures paying somebody to set up a fairly basic website with a custom layout (which often isn’t even that good).
Truthfully, using the information on this page, you can do it yourself and spend hardly any money at all. And it won’t take you long. And it’ll look better. Don’t hire somebody to set up your site for you when you have no idea what is even being done. You’re just ASKING for them to take advantage of you that way.
Basic Terminology Explained
One of the biggest sources of confusion when setting up a blog/website is the technical terminology geeks are throwing around. When you don’t know what it all means, it is easy to assume it is all equally important and… you go cross-eyed and get frustrated.
In this video, I explain a few of the real basic terms. I’m not even going to cover everything, because it is unnecessary. If you are following along with this guide, you’ll be led in the right direction.
STEP #1 – Buy A Domain
A domain is simply the web address which you’ll point at your site. So, for this site, “pcmech.com” is the domain name. You can buy a domain name for around $9/year (it varies depending on who you use to buy it). My personal preference for buying domains is Namecheap. They are a good company where you can easily manage your domains without all the endless upsells typical with GoDaddy.
STEP #2 – Get Web Hosting
There are a LOT of web hosting companies out there and it is a big industry. To get started with your site, you’ll need to select and sign up for an account with a web host.
If you’re just starting out, I recommend you sign up with Hostgator. You can get a web hosting account with them for about $9/month and it has all the capability you’ll need. As your site gets much busier, you might need to move to a more powerful server (Hostgator can do that, too, or you can decide to move your site somewhere else). But, for people just getting started, go with Hostgator. They have great support and they’ll treat you right.
STEP #3 – Set up WordPress
One of the reasons I recommend Hostgator is because of their 1-click installation of WordPress. While WordPress isn’t particularly difficult to install manually, it can still be confusing for a “newbie”. The 1-click install is much faster and more convenient.
STEP #4 – Pick A Theme
The “theme” is simply the overall design of your blog. WordPress comes with a default theme when it is first installed. However, you can use any theme you want and you can even customize themes and turn WordPress into any kind of site (with any design) you want.
There are numerous themes out there to choose from. You can find and install a free theme from right within your WordPress dashboard. For MANY reasons, you might want to consider a premium theme (in other words, not free) or perhaps even a theme framework. This video will explain more…
Links mentioned in that video:
You’re Done! – Congratulations
At this point, your blog is set up and you’re ready to move on to the next stages. You’re probably going to want to spend some time working on your design and exploring all the plug-ins which you can attach to WordPress to expand the capability.
But, a word of advice…
You want to QUICKLY move right into creating content for your new site. I see a lot of “newbies” get so focused on perfecting the site itself that they spend no time on the content. And the content is a LOT more important than the design! It isn’t as if you’re going to all of a sudden cut a ribbon on your new blog and the world will flock to it! This is a process… and it begins with you creating quality content to help people. Help them learn to do something, help them learn more about your business, stay up-to-date… whatever it is.
Content is KING. So, now that you have your blog set up, it is a blank slate for what matters most – the CONTENT. Time to get busy. This is where the real work begins.