My website history is painful.
Early on, I bartered with programmers for my website. Let’s just say that things never got done in a timely manner—or at all! My business suffered big time because I didn’t have control over my website.
About 10 years ago, I did my first Do-It-Yourself (DIY) website. The experience was mildly better than working with a disinterested designer.
Unfortunately, the website builder I was using was clunky and not straightforward. At the end of the day I had a website, but I had to put in an insane amount of hair-pulling-out hours to get it done.
But now, it’s a whole lot easier. Many website builders are simple to use and the end product looks good.
Here’s how I build a website fast and inexpensively.
You’ll need three things: 1. hosting company, 2. website builder, 3. domain name.
If you’re like me (non-techy), you’re a millisecond from x-ing out of this screen. But these 3 things are not big, hairy deals. Promise.
Let’s start with a hosting services. Hosting services are companies that provide space for your website on a server.
There are a ton out there. Here’s a list of some popular Web-Hosting-Services.docx (251 downloads) .
I use Bluehost because I need all the support I can get. Once I erased my entire WordPress blog. Oops. (The WordPress blog is different from the Weebly website than I’m going to show you how to build. You can’t erase that one.)
When I called them (about 1 AM on a Sunday), they restored my WordPress blog within a few minutes.
Since then, I seriously abuse their phone service. I call them about everything, no matter how small the detail.
They don’t seem to mind–either that or they’re playing it safe because the conversation is being recorded.
Okay, for building a website there are quite a few companies that offer easy-to-d0 website building. I like Weebly because their free version and has some cool features, like cell view. It’s a feature that allows you see what your website would look like on a cell phone while you’re actually designing the website.
Something to budget for in the future: If you want to sell anything off your website, like gift certificates, you’ll have to upgrade and pay. But this is true for all services that offer free websites.
The thing I like best about Weebly is that it’s really easy (and I mean easy) to do. I’ll show you exactly what I mean in the screen video below.
And if you’re fast with the content, you can have a decent looking website up within hours. By the way, if you struggle with writing, this article may help you–Make More Money in 2017.
The last thing that you’ll need in order to have a website is a domain name. The step is 100% NOT hard to do, but VERY important to do.
Because if you don’t own your own domain name, you don’t have control of your business name on the Internet.
If you have a “free” website and hosting through a professional organization (AMTA, ABMP), you might not know that you don’t own the domain name to your website. If you leave that organization, you don’t take the domain name (and potentially the website) with you.
Also, your domain name is more than likely, a subdomain of the professional organization you’re with. Your URL may look like this: www.ashleysmassage/massageprofessionalorganization.com.
And your website address will not match your business name. This doesn’t look good to clients and it makes marketing/advertising complicated.
I know this firsthand. A while back, I had a free website through Google. My website was okay looking (not really according to my wife, Lisa), but my website URL made things waaay complicated.
For instance, was I really going to put www.markliskeymassage/googlesites.com on my business cards? Actually, I did. It looked crappy and no one ever went to my website.
The sad thing is that I knew better, but I wanted someone else to take care of all the details, like getting the domain name.
I guess it’s pretty much the same answer for everybody. Fear of the unknown.
That’s when you start imagining all the things that could possibly go wrong, like Omg, I just bought MarkLiskeySucksAtMassage.com instead of MarkLiskeyMassage.com!
But, seriously, you’re not gonna screw it up.
I bought another domain name for the Weebly tutorial below. It took me about 2 minutes to do it.
You can get a domain name and pick a website builder through the hosting service.
Step #1: Hosting Service & Domain Name
If you choose to support my work, thanks!
Whether you go through my link or not, you can always come back here for more Bluehost, Weebly and WordPress (BlueHost supports WordPress, too) tips, tutorials and advanced training that I’ll be providing for free.
Next topics will include: Adding Video to Your Weebly Website, Setting Up a WordPress Blog, Selling Gift Certificates and Products Off Your Weebly Website and How to Convert a Weebly Website into a WordPress Blog.
Okay, if you go to Bluehost, this is the first screen you’ll see:
Click on the “Get Started” and this will be your next screen:
I suggest just starting with Basic (the cheapest plan) for $3.95/month. If you want to add websites or need more website space you can always upgrade later. Once you select a package, you’ll be taken to this page:
If you have a domain name enter it into the box to the right. If you don’t, decide on one and use the box on the left.
Suggestion: if your domain name is taken, try adding words, like “massage” or “massage therapy”. For us, “pressureperfect” was taken, but “pressureperfectmassage” was not.
After you select your domain name, you’ll be taken to the Create Your Account page. Once you fill in the account information, you’ll scroll down to the payment section. It looks like this:
Okay, so you want to pay attention here. Look at where it says Account Plan. You’ll see that BlueHost has you connected to the cheapest plan at $3.95 per month; however, it’s for 36 months.
With Bluehost you pay for everything upfront. So, over the long run you’ll save money with the 36 months plan, but it’s going to be a bigger initial expenditure than the 12 month plan.
That said, for getting your website up and running for the least amount of money possible, I’d choose the 12 month plan:
Okay, once you do that, look below Account Plan. See all those boxes checked? Un-check them and save yourself more money. If you’re following my suggestions, your total should be $65.40 and here’s what your screen should look like:
Once you pay, your next screen says Congratulations:
On this screen, they offer more add-ons, but I’d pass for now. You can always go back and add apps later. Click to the next screen and it’s going to ask you to create a password:
Create your password. Hit the confirm button. Done! You’ll soon have a website (with a domain name that you own) that only cost you about $65 for a year.
Here’s what your next screen should look like:
This is the control panel (C-panel). It looks a little busy, I know, but I’m going to make it easy for you.
Step #2: Build a Website
Now it’s time build your website. I’m going to use Weebly, and I’m going to take you through the process in the video tutorial below. It picks up from where we left off above–at the BlueHost C-panel.