The following post Build Your Own Business Website Without Coding Knowledge in 2017 was originally published on Digital Estate. Find more at: Digital Estate’s blog about business growth.

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Create a WordPress website online

How To Build a Quality WordPress Website with Only $138.40

The first thing that pop’s in my mind when someone tell’s me I can have something of high value, for something of less value, I think its a hoax so……

I want to make it clear from the start.

The price you see above is absolutely, 100%, all that is required to build your own high quality business website. Not only that, you will have paid for one whole year of hosting including your business domain name if you don’t already have it!

The catch is……..

You need to put in the time to write the content, pick the color scheme, find some free photos, choose a few simple options and….. well….. That is about it.

Technology has become so user-friendly that almost anyone can start building and selling websites to friends, family and business colleagues while…. charging $100’s, and usually, $1,000's.

Yep, that’s right, thousands.

Building your own website isn’t difficult and throughout this post, you will see how easy and cheap it can really be. But there will be small limitations.

If your looking to build a website that does more than send quotes to your email, inform and educate your customers and provide a hub for social media activity, then your likely going to need to pay a developer to code that function in for you.

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Things To Know Before We Start.

There are only three things you need to create a space on the internet to display your business. They are hosting, a domain name, and a framework to build the website. Don’t worry, its simple stuff.

Ill first explain each of the three requirements, then we can go ahead and purchase them as we create our website together.

1.Hosting

Think of hosting as the home for your website. When you buy hosting, you are buying space on a server (computer) that will store all the files that make up your website. The better the server, the faster your website loads and the more people who can visit your website without slowing it down.

With thousands of hosting companies charging anything from $2 a year to over $250 per month, its important to pick the right hosting service based on support, price, packages and performance. To avoid costly mistakes and save you time testing different services, I have provided a link to the service I use for each and every website I create, including Digital Estate.

2.Domain Name

A domain name is the doorway to your website. While the hosting service has all the files, the domain name points visitors to your server where they can see your website through there search engine.

There is nothing technical you need to know about the domain name but there are a few things we should take into consideration.

If your in Australia and want to market your website to Australians, it’s in your best interest to use a local Australian domain. These are the domains ending with “.com.au”, like the one I use on this site.

Using a .com.au domain help’s you rank higher in Google for Australian searchers and increases the number of people who click through to your website from the search engines. It’s a trust thing, most people in Australia want to do business with people who own local businesses.

You will need an Australian Business Number (ABN) before you can claim a .com.au domain. If you don’t have one, the next best option is going with a domain ending in “.com”.

Other Things to Consider when selecting a Domain Name:

  • Your domain should be your business name or as close as possible.
  • Avoid using numbers and dashes where possible.
  • Try make your domain memorable.

If you already have a domain name but it doesn’t fit this criteria don’t worry. The hosting service we will be purchasing comes with a new domain name absolutely free.

3.Framework

The framework put simply is the building blocks of a website. We will be using WordPress as our content management system (CMS) which is simple to setup and use.

WordPress is highly adaptable and can be changed to suit your style by simply adding different themes and plugins.

A theme gives you a layout for your website. Some themes are user friendly with simple options and others are better suited to the WordPress experts.

The theme we will be using is simple and allows you to create a website by simply dragging and dropping, all while seeing your website right in front of you. No coding and a tiny learning curve, perfect for beginners right though to experts.

Now we know what the theme is, what is the plugin?

Think of a plugin as an upgrade. When you first install your WordPress and theme, your site is simple. You only have a few options to choose from and its functionality is low.

By installing plugins on WordPress you are giving yourself a new function.

Some examples are:

  • SEO plugins to help you rank your websites pages
  • Caching plugins to help speed up your website
  • Call now buttons to increase call rates on mobile devices
  • Contact form plugins to give more options when someone enquires online

The best part……. The plugins we need are all FREE!

I will show you how to find and install plugins in a video below.

Setting Up WordPress Hosting and Domain Name

Now we know the basics we can get started creating your own business website. Each detail will be covered here, but if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask in the comments section below the post.

The Best Hosting Service

Every hosting service offers a slightly different service, with a different price and setup. We need to make sure we purchase the right hosting in order to have the fastest, most secure website.

After spending years building websites and testing out hosting provider there has been a clear winner.

Without a doubt, SiteGround is the best hosting company I’ve tested so far. I use them for this website and all my clients sites. Not only is the support 10/10, the performance and price for packages are industry leading.

Picking the right hosting package is simple.

1. Visit SiteGround and select “WordPress Services” as seen below. You should land on a page that shows the WordPress hosting packages.

what siteground hosting to use

2. To stay in our budget, we need to select the “Startup” package. If your site is a simple business website or your just creating a blog to share your work, this is about all you will ever need. If you ever need to upgrade to a larger package, it’s is as simple as contacting SiteGround support and asking.

Note: At the time of writing this post, 12 months hosting cost $47.70AUD. But used correctly it will be a tool that helps bring you thousands.

3. Once you’re happy with your choice, select “Get Started”. On the next page you get to claim a FREE Domain name…..

……If you can, claiming a free domain name takes less work than using a domain name you already own, I have instructions in a later chapter, but it means waiting up to 24 hours before getting started. And we all know how important taking action now is to success.

4.a. To claim your free domain name, type your choice of domain in the box provided. Make sure to set the TLD to “.com.au” (or “.com” if your not in Australia)

Select “Proceed”

OR

4.b. If you have a domain name you already own, and you don’t want the free domain, select “I already have a domain” and enter your full domain name including the TLD (.com.au, etc) into the box provided.

Select “Proceed”

Note: SiteGround may test out new offers and landing page layouts. If the guide below isn’t 100% accurate, let me know in the comments and I’ll bring it up to date. However, the process should still be the same.

  • Select the domain name
  • Enter in your details and select your hosting service
  • Double check all the details look right
  • Complete payment

Account Information

While signing up for your domain and hosting you will be prompted to create an account. You will be able to access your website hosting information, emails if you set them up and contact staff about your hosting if you have any issues.

Screenshot of SiteGround account information signup form

5. Fill out your Account information and make sure to save the password and Email address used somewhere safe. You will need it in the future.

Client Information

6. Next is the Client Information. This info is used for your billing and invoicing.

Screenshot of client information form

Domain Registrant Information

If you’ve chosen to claim a free domain and it’s an Australian TLD, you will be required to enter your Domain Registrant Information.

This precaution means only Australian business and company owners can purchase Australian domains. It’s not like that for every country but if your being asked for it when signing up, its required.

7. Complete the Domain Registrant Information with your ABN or ACN to qualify for a “.com.au” domain.

Screenshot of domain registration information form

Payment Information

8. I’m pretty sure we all know what this image is all about. Fill in your details and get ready to own your own space on the internet!

Screenshot of payment info form

Purchase Information

9. This is the last point to make sure everything is in order.

  • Your “Plan” should already show your previous selection.
  • “Data Center” is the location of your server. If your in Australia or the Pacific your best location is Singapore. It should already be selected based on your IP address, but if not, you can choose the data center that is closest to you.
  • You do not need HackAlert Monitoring, and it is not included in this budget.
  • Check the box at the bottom that states “I confirm that I have read and agree to the SiteGround Terms of Service.
Screenshot of final Purchase info

10. Once you’re happy with your selections select “Pay Now”. You now own your very own spot on the internet.

Pointing Your Domain At Your Host — Setting Name Servers

Note: If you purchased a new domain name, don’t worry about this step as it should already be taken care of by SiteGround.

When people visit your domain name through social media, Google, Email or any other form of marketing, they expect to see your website. Before this happens, we need to setup our Domain’s Name Servers (DNS).

By doing this, anyone who visit’s the domain you just setup will be directed to the servers IP address (your area on the web) and will see your website — once we build it.

To do this all you need to do is log into your Domain Registrar and set your DNS to the DNS supplied by SiteGround.

Finding Your DNS

You can find your DNS by logging into your hosting account. Select the “My Account” tab like the screenshot below and your Account DNS will be available. Yours will likely be slightly different, but may be the same.

Where to find DNS

In my case my two supplied Domain Name Servers are:

  1. ns1.sgp32.siteground.asia
  2. ns2.sgp32.siteground.asia

Change Domains Name Servers at your registrar

Your Registrar is where you first purchased your domain name. Before moving any further in the process you’ll want to:

  1. Log into your domain registrar
  2. Find and select the domain name you want to use
  3. Look for something to do with “Change Name Servers” or “DNS Settings” and select it.
  4. Delete the DNS (There are usually two or four) and replace the first two spots with your new DNS
  5. Confirm your selection by clicking what ever button they have to confirm.

Because every registrar is different, I can’t really expand on it any more than that.

The best advice I can offer is to try searching variations of “how to change name servers at { insert your registrar}” in Google, and Google Videos. Chances are, you will find step by step instructions.

Alternatively, you can ask the support team at your registrar to change it for you, this approach may take time.

This is an example of what you should be looking for if you use Godaddy as your registrar.

Godaddy Nameservers

Note: Some registrar will take 24 hours for Name Server changes to take effect. This just means you’ll not be able to access your WordPress once you install it on your server until the time has lapsed.

If you’ve waited longer than 24 hours, contact your registrar support team.

Once you’re happy, its time to install Wordpress.

WordPress

WordPress is the content management system (or CMS) used by almost 75,000,000 websites. It’s easy, user friendly, and adaptable. WordPress is also absolutely free and super simple to install…..

……So lets get started.

Learning cPanel

cPanel is the control panel to your space on the internet. It gives you everything required to complete a range of different functions including:

  • Install WordPress on our server
  • Setting up a custom domain name email address
  • Connect to website performance and security enhancing services like Cloudflare
  • If your website gets a lot of traffic, or has a large portfolio of images and video, you can upgrade and use SiteGrounds premium WordPress tools.

Login

1. To get into cPanel, log into your hosting account.

2. Once in, go to the “My Account

3. Select the orange “Go to cPanel” button near the top of your page.

You should land on a page that look similar to the screenshot below. Now we are ready to start installing WordPress.

SiteGround Cpannel

Installing WordPress from cPanel

1. Under the tab “AutoInstallers”, select the icon labelled “WordPress”. In the image above, this is the one between Joomla and Magento.

2. Select the “Install Now” button as highlighted below.

How to install WordPress

On the next page you’ll be required to choose where to install WordPress. To make things simple, follow the illustrations below, while adding the information personalised to you.

3. Make sure to choose your own password and username, more importantly, save it in a safe place. You’ll need it every time you want to make any changes to your website.

4. As well as choosing your own password and username, you need to pick your site name, and site description, and email address.

  • For Site Name, chose your business name.
  • For Site Description, write a short description or company slogan.
  • Make sure directory is left empty.
  • The Admin email should be sent these details, but don’t count on it 100%
How to setup Wordpress

Language, Plugins, Theme and Advanced Options should be left unless you are in a country using a different language, or you have experience with WordPress.

5. When your happy, select the”Install” button at the bottom of the page and your WordPress installation will begin.

The image above says it all……Congratulations on installing WordPress.

That concludes installing WordPress and we’re ready to start diving in to the WordPress Settings!

But before we do,

Make sure to record the Administrative URL provided. This is always going to be your domain name with /wp-admin/ on the end, as shown in the image above.

6. Save this URL with your WordPress username and password. It is the location you go to login to your WordPress back-end.

Next up, we need to gain access to our user friendly WordPress theme.

Divi 3.0 — The Ultimate User Friendly Theme

Divi 3.0 is the perfect theme to build a website. We will be using this particular theme to create customisable, high quality, user friendly website without knowing any coding at all. It’s fast, simple, and cheap.

Elegant Themes have a range of different themes that you’ll get access to when you sign up on the yearly subscription. You also get great support, access to an active forum and more.

Another perk to joining Elegant Theme’s unlimited installations you have. Most premium themes limit your install to one website, with Divi, you can build hundreds, making it perfect for entry level web-designers.

Buying Divi 3.0

1. Visit Elegant Themes

2. Once you land on the website, select the big green button in the menu that states “Join To Download”.

Become an Elegant Theme Member

From here, you will have three choices,

  1. Join Personal and have access to All themes including the one we need.
  2. Join Developer and have access to the plugins as well.
  3. Join Lifetime Access and never pay for the theme again.

Now obviously, selecting lifetime is going to blow our budget. However, if you plan on keeping your website for over three years this will save you money. The choice is yours…..

3. Once you’ve made your choice, select “Sign Up Today!” and complete the form on the next page.

As always, make sure to save your details in a safe place.

Downloading Divi 3.0

Once your a member of Elegant Themes you’ll have access to the Membership Area including Divi 3.0 and the API required to access updates as they become available.

  1. In the members area, select “Themes” on the sidebar.
  2. Scroll down to the heading that says “Theme Downloads
  3. Select “Download” then select “Theme Package

You folder will automatically start downloading. Once complete, save the folder to your desktop or anywhere on your computer you can easily find it. Before we head back over to WordPress and install our new theme, we need to record our API key.

  1. To find your API key scroll up to the top and select “Account” under the “Themes” tab you were just using.
  2. Select “Your API Key”’
  3. Copy and paste your API key, and save it with your Elegant Themes membership’s username and password, or anywhere you will be able to find it again later.

That concludes purchasing and downloading Divi. Now lets get started on installing it!

Installing Divi 3.0 On WordPress

Installing Divi 3.0 is like installing any other theme or plugin on WordPress.

1. The first thing you need to do is log back into your WordPress back-end — if you aren’t already.

2. Once in, hover over the sidebar “Appearance” Tab and Select “Theme

Installing Wordpress Theme

3. On the next page, select the button in the top right that says “Add New

Add new Theme

4. You will be taken to a similar page, select the button in the same place that now says “Upload Theme

How to upload a theme

5. Select “Choose File” and find the Divi Zip file you just downloaded.

6. Select “Install Now” and wait. Depending on your internet speed it may take up to 10 minutes. It’s packed full of goodies!

Once completed, you should see a page like the image below. The theme is now installed but not activated.

7. Select “Activate

Successful Theme Installation Screenshot

Congratulations, you have now installed Divi 3.0, how easy was that!.

Updating Divi

To enable your theme to keep up to date you need to add your API key and Elegant Theme Username. This is done in a few simple steps.

1. Log into WordPress and hover over the tab in the left column labelled “Divi

2. Select “Theme Options

3. Next go to “Updates” at the far right of the Divi menu.

4. Enter your Elegant Themes Username and API.

You should already have the latest version of Divi 3.0, but you can now update as soon as new versions are published. You will get a prompt in the back-end of WordPress when one becomes available.

Using The Divi Builder To Design Your Website

Using the Divi builder to create pages on your business website is super easy and fun to do once you get the hang of how it works. If you can imagine a design, chances are you can create it.

In the Video below I go over some of the features and rush my way through putting some aspects of a website together. I haven’t spend a lot of time on this and move quickly from one thing to another because the truth is, the best way to learn this software, is to use it.

Check out the video and see how easy it is to make changes. I go over setting up your front page, and using both the front-end and back-end editors.

Enjoy.

Theme Settings, Menus and Widgets

To get a professional looking website you need to have a nice header, logo, widgets and menu.

In the following video i’ll shown you what they are and how easy it is to make changes to suit your style. You can even see the changes as you make them, in real time….. Pretty slick right?

Creating Content For Your WordPress Website

When you start creating content for your site you should have one thing on your mind, Offering Value! The image’s, video’s and text you provide readers on your website isn’t there to just look pretty and fill in space.

Visitors to your website are real people who are looking for your services, why else would they have looked for your website in the first place? A great website has content that answers questions and educates visitors into taking action on the goal you set for your site. For business owners, usually a call or email is the goal, for a blogger, signing up to an email list.

Writing To Your Perfect Customer

One of the most important steps in content creation is knowing exactly who your ideal customers is, including what there looking for when they reach your website.

By creating content this way, your writing to people more likely to turn into customers. Acknowledging your readers pain points and offering a solution is marketing 101.

Build Trust

Where ever you can, build trust. You can do this by adding reviews and testimonials on your website, offering more FREE advice on your site than your competitors and genuinely helping others. The whole reason for a website is to generate work and/or followers. Use your website to build trust and with it, you will build lasting relationships.

Things You Shouldn’t Do

To save you from heart ache, I have created a short list of things you simply CAN NOT DO! If you do, not only may you face fines and legal action, you wont have any chance of ranking your website in Google. Which, is how you get a great return on investment in your business.

The choice is ultimately yours, but do these things at your own peril:

  • Plagiarise content from other online sources. Google knows where the content come from first, and they will punish you for stealing it.
  • Use free images you find online. Although there are exceptions, the best option is to take your own photos or buy them from a site like Shutterstock.
  • Write less than 500 words per page. This isn’t a must, but if you want to rank in Google and generate organic traffic (not Adwords) you need to have more valuable content than your competition.
  • Use bad grammar, misspell or ramble on about unrelated ideas. You want to look like a knowledgeable professional in your industry.

Things You Should Do

This post isn’t really here to tell you what you shouldn’t do. So here are the things you should always aim for when creating any content on your website.

  • Write thorough, informative pages that relate to the goal of the person visiting your website.
  • Add images and videos where possible. People connect visually easier than with text.
  • Add a headline that lets people know there in the right place. This should be at the top of each page.
  • Use trust generating media like testimonials, positive reviews, guarantees, and links to Social Media.
  • Make sure to incorporate clear, concise call to actions. These are phone numbers, contact forms, buttons and offers.
  • Where possible, link from page to page. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to navigate around your website and find the information they require.

Conclusion

You now have all the information required to build your own website for as little as $138.40.

The question is….. Will you do it?

Unless you don’t have the ability to use a keyboard, or $138,40 to invest in your business, you can get it done. I’ve built cheap sites more times than I can count and believe me, there is no “magic button” or “silver bullet” that creates a quality website for you at anywhere near $200.

I build conversion optimised websites for customers all the time using the same software listed above, then sell it for 10X what it cost to build. Is that ethical……?

…….Of course it is!

When you buy a custom website your not paying for the fansy pants software. Your paying for the time required and the expertise built up over several years and a whole lot of testing, trial and error.

Building your own website is a great idea in a couple of situations:

  • When your low on funds, and high on time.
  • When you want to be in control of your own website and how it functions.

If you have the funds to pay for a website, its faster, more efficient and will give you the added bonus of adding years of experiences to your build. Ultimately giving you a more efficient, more professional site.

One last thing.

If you wait till your website is perfect before marketing it, you waited to long. Get it out there, get your brand online. You can always make changes as time goes by.

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