Let’s start with the basics. The process of setting up your own website
can be broken down into several steps, outlined and explained below:

Before building your website, you’ll need your own “home” on the Web – a place to store
your website’s files (hosting) and an address for the users to find your page (domain name):

A domain name is a unique identifier among all existing Internet resources. Excellent free tool for brainstorming domain names: Dotomator.com

It is efficient to have the same provider register the domain and host it – easy to keep track of your online assets, simpler prolongation and billing.

Most important criteria for choosing a hosting provider: stable uptime, price, support, disk space, allowed bandwidth, data backup possibilities.

There are of course plenty of companies which provide domain registration and hosting services –
but we’ve picked two of them to recommend based on our long experience with multiple providers.

Suitable for most websites:
– Decent value for money: moderate pricing for stable uptime.
– All necessary features and friendly support.
– Offers a free basic domain with each hosting order.
– $62.29 for 12 months, cheaper if ordering for more years.
– $175 worth of advertising included for no additional cost.
Visit iPage website »

Domain specialists:
– Widest choice of domain extensions.
– High-quality cloud (decentralized) hosting.
– Great bulk domain search tool.
– Discounts on ordering several domains.
– Lots of additional domain domain features.
Visit GoDaddy website »
Once your hosting is set up, you’ll need to install a content management system (CMS) to be able to easily create
a structure for your website and add text, images and other content. Fortunately, all good CMS are free for
everyone to use. There are several widely used free CMS, including WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla; however, the
facts below as well as our experience suggest that WordPress is the one to recommend in most cases:

User-friendly architecture – quick and easy to install.

20000+ free plugins to extend your website’s functionality.

Largest user community – less bugs, better support.

Wide choice of themes for professional look.

Installing WordPress takes several clicks – most hosting providers, including of course the ones listed above, offer
specialized apps for this purpose. Please see our blog for a visual guide on how to quickly install WordPress on iPage
and on GoDaddy. For new WordPress users, there are a couple of educational resources worth recommending:

– From the basics to more advanced topics.
– 24+ high-definition videos on using WordPress
– 5 free videos, full access for $12 per year.
Visit WP101 website »

– For those who want to learn advanced WP topics
– 37+ high-definition videos on using WordPress
– 11 free videos, full access subscription for $29.
Visit WPLifeGuard website »
After installing a content management system, it is always a good idea to draft your future website’s structure before proceeding to the actual content. Simply take a piece of paper and draw a diagram showing all pages you plan to create, something like the one on the right.

Once you have an idea of your website’s structure, it is much easier to create the menus and start adding text, images, videos, and other content. Make sure your content is relevant, useful, and unique – otherwise, visitors won’t stay for too long and search engines will dislike your website.

plan your website

WordPress and other CMS come with built-in default visual themes, yet in many cases they are not
enough to suit practical needs. One solution is to turn to a specialized web design agency to
customize your website for you, yet there is an easier and much cheaper alternative which is used by
millions of webmasters today: premium themes. Several factors make it a better value-for-money:

Specialized themes for blogs, corporate websites, portfolios, online shops, etc.

Fast and easy to install and customize by yourself, manuals included.

Much lower pricing compared to web design agency work, range of $30 to $100.

Free technical support by the theme author, help in customization and setup.

The number of theme developers is growing by the day,
yet there are a few names worth mentioning separately:

  • The widest choice: more than 2000 premium templates to match every taste.
  • Categories and tags for easy search, but can get lost in the variety.
  • Choose if you want highest flexibility

Visit ThemeForest website »

  • Lucrative deal: access more than 70 templates for a price of one.
  • Choice is limited to existing templates.
  • Choose Elegant if you need several websites for the price of one.

Visit Elegant Themes website »

  • Single template, but with the largest number of features.
  • Slightly higher pricing.
  • If you are creating a complex website and want to tweak every bit.

Visit PageLines website »

In order to maximize the benefits from your website, it is important to keep track of your visitors:
how many are they, how they arrive to your website, which pages they visit, etc, – and how these
trends evolve over time. And yes, there is a handy tool for that by Google, free of charge of course:
with Google Analytics, you can perform all of the above mentioned tasks, and much more.

Step 1: Google Analytics Account
If you have a Google Account already (e.g. if you are using Gmail), you can simply sign in using your login and password.

Step 2: Set Up Account Properties
Google Analytics allows for various configurations, yet the default settings are usually sufficient for most websites.

Step 3: Insert Tracking Code
You will be provided with a tracking code to insert on your website; this will allow tracking visitors and their behavior.

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