As a young entrepreneur, you are either providing a product or a service, and eventually you’re going to need a website. You want the best website around, but you don’t have the money for it, so you only have two options: hustle a friend or family member to create one, or create it yourself.
We’re going to explore the latter, however, creating a website can be a hassle and a detriment for a budding entrepreneur, but for around $60 you can create a professional looking website and run it yourself. If you’re good at Microsoft Word, and capable of using Facebook, then you’re smart enough to build your own website following my advice. The first step is to accept that you need help from…WordPress.
When it comes to technical stuff, I’m very independent, but I’m definitely not willing to learn HTML, XHTML, PHP, PERL, etc. because I’m not a web designer by choice. So that’s why you need to use WordPress. It simplifies all of the messy stuff, so you don’t have to worry about it. Before WordPress, I created my websites by hand, and I hated it. It was only till about a year and half ago that I started using WordPress, and in less than a couple of weeks later, I finally knew why everyone loved WordPress.
Believe it or not Epiclauch.com uses WordPress and so does my production studio. Also, WordPress has a huge support community. There has never been a time where I would Google a question and it had not been answered already.
Get A Domain
Step 2 is to get a domain. Get one from either 1and1.com, Godaddy.com. 1and1 is cheaper of course, but I enjoy Go Daddy’s sleek interface. I now moonlight as web designer, so I recommend clients just get their domains from Go Daddy. Both have great service, so you can’t go wrong either way.
Cost: $9-$12 ($7.50 with our discount on Godaddy)
I recommend BlueLemonHost.com, they have hosting for $11 a year! They also have everything you need to run a WordPress site. However, you’re limited to running only two sites. You’ll have to upgrade if you decide to host more. I’ve had them for a couple of months, and they have great service also.
You can also check out HostGator which lots of people use and are happy with it. Click the banner to the right and input the coupon code epiclaunch for $10 off the package price!
You then need to download the WordPress software at WordPress.org. Currently, its in version 3.0.1, and that’s the one you want to get. Oh yeah, did I mention that WordPress is free? Yup, it’s that awesome.
Now this is the trickiest step. You need to really play close attention on how you install WordPress. Basically, you need to set up an FTP server, and then a MySQL database that runs PHP5. What!? I know, I know, calm down. But that’s not even the trickiest party, that part belongs to using cPanel which is a web site control center dashboard. Most hosting services use cPanel, and you’ll need to follow these instructions on installing WordPress:
First go over these instructions from WordPress.org:
Then carefully go over these instructionns for cPanel:
If you need even more detailed instructions on using cPanel to set up your databases and servers, try this:
Step By Step with cPanel
There are some hosting services that offer express installation of WordPress, however, I haven’t had a good experience with them, so I wouldn’t recommend it. Also, I like to have control over the installation, because I know what I’m doing and how it works. However, with a one click install, a lot of stuff happens behind the scenes, so when something goes wrong, you don’t know how to fix it. Also, Bluelemonhost doesnt offer single click install. I’ve noticed that the hosting services that do offer it usually force you to buy 2 years worth of hosting.
Get A Theme
I get all of my WordPress themes from Themeforest.net. They offer high quality WordPress themes for awesome prices. I recommend setting up an account and becoming a prepaid customer where you get $2 off most purchases. The best themes seem to run between $25 and $35, but I haven’t seen any themes cost more than $40.
EpicLaunch uses the theme Headlines by WooThemes. WooThemes is also a great resource for themes. Instead of buying specific themes, you can purchase a package where you get a set amount of themes. In most packages you also get the Photoshop File so you can play around a bit if you would like.
Secure Your WordPress
Since WordPress uses databases and PHP files, there’s a slight chance that your WordPress site can get infected. There are two ways that I know that your site can be attacked: 1) They break into your login account, and 2) they break into your FTP server and install crap. The latter happened to me because the FTP username and password was easy to hack. So, now I use “Generate Password” and those things are near impossible to crack and to memorize. I keep all of my passwords in an excel sheet, but even if I did lose it, the hosting company can help you recover your password or reset your account.
If you recall correctly, Ben-Lang.com was once hacked. Ben wrote a blog post about what happened, what he did and what he now does.
Bellow are other other resources that have strategies and necessary plugins you’ll need to secure your site like a fortress
If you follow these guides, you should be more than protected from attacks and viruses.
…And You’re Done!
Let me know if you decide to create your own website, I’d love to see your babies and if you need any help, just drop me a line.