The problem was that the technical expertise to create even a basic website, involved being able to read and write computer code. And learning such skills required more than watching a few YouTube clips. You would also have needed some good graphic design skills, as there were very few easy to use tools available that would help you lay out images and text on your site.
Fortunately things have changed a lot!
As the title of this page suggests, it is completely possible for anyone without web design skills to register, host and set up a great looking website in less than an hour. Whether you’re strapped for cash or just have a bit of an interest in setting up your own business or hobby website, this article will give you the exact step by step process.
Some of this might be very obvious and if you have even a little bit of interest in web technology then you’re probably familiar with it. In order to set up a website there are a couple of things that you absolutely must have in order to create a brand new online presence.
Here’s what you’ll need:
In the early days of the Internet you would have needed a dedicated server in order to host your website. Today, unless you are expecting huge amounts of web traffic, you’re able to get your website hosted on a shared server with a simple to use control dashboard called cPanel. For less than $10 a month you can have your own hosting set up with Media Fortress.
Without a domain name you can’t have a website. This is essentially what you type into your browser to access a website, just like mediafortress.com.au. In most cases, choosing your domain name will be basically matching your business name. But you can also come up with fun ways to combine your name with what you do. More on this below.
This might seem obvious, but a lot of people get to the stage where they have the raw website set up and have no idea what to put on it. Essentially, you want to create pages that describe your business, your service or product and provide ways to buy directly or get in contact with you.
None of these steps require in-depth knowledge and understanding of web technologies. By simply following the steps you can have a professional looking website of your own. So let’s not waste any time
In order to register the domain name, just head over to our domain registration page, enter your desired domain name and click on Lookup. The search results will tell you if your exact chosen name is still available, and if not it will give you some alternatives. Just pick the most suitable name and add it to your cart. The checkout process is simple and just requires a credit card and a few business details.
The good news is that if you plan to use hosting provided by Media Fortress then DNS settings will be pre-configured. Otherwise, you need to check with your chosen hosting provider what DNS settings to use and enter them as part of the registration.
We obviously recommend our own hosting service which is available for less than $10 per month and is specifically tailored to small and medium size businesses. Simply head over to our hosting service page and register for a package that you think suits you best. Your hosting registration will include providing details of your domain name from step 1 so that it gets added straight away.
You will receive an email with your personal cPanel login link and details. Simply log into your cPanel and you will have completed the 2 most fundamental steps.
This is not a mandatory step, but highly recommended. SSL is an encryption technology that provides a secure connection between readers and your website. This is vital, especially if you ever plan to sell directly online or collect personal information. At Media Fortress you can take advantage of a free SSL certificate for your website, so it’s an ideal step to take advantage of.
In your cPanel you want to locate the Softaculous script installer and launch it. This will allow you to very easily install WordPress for your domain. WordPress is a very straightforward and extremely popular content management system. It makes it extremely easy to create and manage your website content. And best of all: It’s Free.
The script installer has just a few simple steps where you select your domain name, email, username and password. At this stage you don’t need to worry about choosing a theme, as this is easier within your WordPress dashboard.
Once the script installer is complete you will be able to login to your brand new website for the first time. The link to the login screen appears on the installation success screen, and is also emailed out to you as well. Head over to that page, which will be something like mydomain.com.au/wp-admin and enter your username and password to access your website dashboard
Now the real fun begins Your website is actually active now, and you can even access it with your web browser. But there won’t be much more than placeholder information at this stage. Before you start adding content, there are a couple of things you need to do first.Choose A Theme
First of all, you should pick a theme for your site that you think is suitable for your business from an overall look. Simply go to Appearance>Themes and then click on Add New. There are hundreds of them to browse and search.
Don’t worry, even if you pick one that you don’t like in a few days’ time, it’s no problem to change it. Just pick one that catches your attention and looks professional.Plugins
You should also consider installing some plugins by going to the Installed Plugins section. For a contact form you should install WPforms, which will make it very easy for people to send information requests directly on your website.
There are dozens of others that can come in handy relating to SEO, image optimisation and spam filtering, but for now you should be good to go.
First thing to do is to create a new home page. You can do this by going to Pages>Add New Page. You’ll be presented with a simple Word editor where you can add some information about your business, services and products. Ideally add some information on where you are located and how to get in contact with you as well.
Don’t forget to add some photos, as a webpage with only text basically screams 1990s. You can experiment with the layout a bit to make it look nice. And that’s basically it. You now have a website set up with some information about what you do and a way for people to contact you.
Obviously this is quite a basic website. It’s easy for you to go ahead and add more pages to the site with information on specific products and services. And you can even get a blog running where you provide some industry news or details about some of your work.In the long run though, there is more to maintaining a website than just having a couple of pages.
For your long term online success talk to one of our advisers at Media Fortress today. We can provide you with all the setup, design, maintenance and optimisation services you could need to make your online presence stand out from the rest.
Having a basic website is better than not having any at all. However, there are some risks involved that you need to keep in mind.
Website management systems need to be regularly tweaked and upgraded to ensure that they remain secure and functioning at optimum speeds. This also involves monitoring visitor connections for any malicious attacks, viruses and spam.
There is also a risk that any customisations you make can end up being overwritten with new updates when you don’t set them up as child themes. This is a bit of a technical process that is likely beyond the skills of most people.
Finally, you also have to make sure that your website is designed in a responsive way. This means that it should be viewable on all types of mobile devices with different screen sizes.
The reason this is so important is that over 50% of Internet traffic now originates on mobile devices. If those people cannot easily view your website, then you could be losing a lot of potential customers.
The solution is simple.