The Seven Steps to Your Own
Today's tip is for folks who want a website of their own but are
not sure how to go about it. You'll discover exactly how to put up
your own custom web site without paying big bucks .
Before we start though, I'd like to answer one
question I hear a lot...
"Jim, do I really need a site of my own? I got a free
one with the last affiliate program I joined. Can't I just use
And my answer is always the same...
Sure you could. That's if you're willing to hinge your
success on a site that is identical to thousands of others. And I
hate to admit this, but I tried that route six years ago. It didn't
work then and it certainly doesn't now. You can try it too, but I
guarantee you'll learn the hard way that having YOUR OWN web site is
the first step in promoting ANY business online, even those
affiliate programs. Okay, now let's get your site going.
For starters, we want to do this cheap. The total cost
of setting up a custom web site can be less than a hundred bucks and
some of your time. Once your site is up, the only ongoing costs are
monthly web hosting charges, which can be as low as ten dollars per
month plus yearly domain fees of $15 or less. Now that's cheap!
Here's the entire website building process,
Step #1: Put something down on paper.
Draw out what you want at your website. Don't worry
about the look right now, just figure out what your basic web pages
will be about. A few examples would be a main page, a page that
describes your company or yourself, a page that offers free
information about your area of expertise, and a page with your best
product/ service/opportunity that you plan to promote.
Step #2: Put it into your computer.
Once you have a basic idea of what your site will
contain, take that info from step one and put it into your computer.
There are many ways to do this. You can go out and buy one of those
800 page books on html, the code used to design web pages, or you
can go the easy route. The easy route is to purchase a WYSIWYG
(stands for What You See Is What You Get) web design program. There
are many programs to choose from in today's market. These programs
offer the easiest way to design a web site, especially for the first
timer. Most of these programs cost in the neighborhood of one
Here are a couple examples of such programs...
- Microsoft FrontPage
Frontpage is the program I use to design and update my
sites and it is a decent choice for new webmasters. Though I am not
fond of the uploading interface, the design tool is easy to use and
has improved significantly through the years.
- CuteSite Builder
This is one of the best WYSIWYG tools I've seen come
along in years. The software makes it simple to add content such as
text, images, and links, and publish your site with just one-click.
CuteSite also comes with pre-designed website templates, although
much better quality templates can be found on the web. (See the next
Step #3: Get a professional template.
When designing a new website, I suggest you start with
a pre-designed template, rather than designing the site from
scratch. A professional-grade website template can be had for less
that thirty bucks in most cases and it will save you days if not
weeks of design time. Here's a website template site offering the
best quality and variety of templates I've seen to date.
Note: If you have my Make A Living Online package, you
now have complimentary access to those superb templates. (Members
log in and look for the link on the main page.)
(If you're not a member of my Make A Living Online
site, click here for a peek at some of the templates that come with
my Make A Living Online package.)
When I think of the time templates like those would
have saved me years ago while building my sites, it gives me a
chill. But website templates were practically non-existent back in
1996. Today I can't imagine building a site any other way. Take a
look at those and you'll see why.
Step #4: Get a domain name.
Once your site is laid out on your computer, you'll
need to decide on a domain name for your site. Registering your own
domain name means that web surfers will be able to connect to your
web site by entering www.whateveryouchoose.com.
Try to choose a domain name that is easy to remember
and has something to do with your business. If you need help coming
up with an idea, my domain name wizard can conjure up a few good
choices for you. Just enter a little info about your business at my
domain name wizard and let it go to work. If you like the domains it
suggests, you can register them right there for just $15 a year.
Step #5. Select a company to host your web site.
Okay, your web site is designed and you have a domain
name picked out. So why do you have to hire a company to host your
Well actually, you 'could' host the pages on your own
computer. After all, a hosting company will provide just that to
you, a computer. But in order to do it yourself, you would need
special software, a T-1 or T-3 connection (which can cost more than
a thousand bucks a month) and a way to monitor it 24 hours a day.
Therefore, hiring a web host who already has everything set up is a
much more cost-effective solution for small businesses.
Since your web host will maintain your 24hr connection
to the web, making sure surfers can connect to your site at all
times, it's important to hire the right company. My past experiences
with web hosting have been quite eventful (as well as painful). To
help you make an informed decision, I've posted a full report about
selecting a host.
Step #6: Set your domain name DNS.
Many people cannot understand how their site will load
when someone enters their domain name in their browser. It's simple.
You, as webmaster, must TELL your domain name where your site is
hosted. That is as simple as logging into the site where you
purchased your domain name and then entering the "DNS" (stands for
Domain Name Server) information that your web host gives you. It
looks something like this...
Once it is entered in, your domain will go "live" to
your website with 48 hours or so.
Step #7: Upload your website.
This is another step that many newbies have problems
with. Basically, you'll be transferring your newly designed web
pages from your own computer to the computer at your web hosting
Although most WYSIWYG web design programs come with a
"web publishing" interface, the few I've tried have been clumsy and
slow. Rather than using the web publishing interface in my design
program, I prefer to use FTP to upload my pages. "FTP" (stands for
File Transfer Protocol) and there are lots of these programs
available on the web. They cost in the $40 range and they make
uploading your site to your host, as simple as drag-and-drop..
Here are a few simple and effective FTP programs you
This is the program I use to upload web pages to my
site. The simple drag and drop interface can be learned in a matter
of minutes. You just enter your website address, user name and
password the first time you run the program. Then, whenever you want
to upload a web page (or entire site) it's as simple as dragging the
files from your computer and dropping them at your host.
This is one of the more popular choices among veteran
webmasters. The easy and intuitive interface makes managing your web
site a breeze.
- Fetch for Mac
This is the popular FTP choice for Macintosh users.
This user-friendly FTP client also allows point-and- click, drag and
drop file transfers. If you're on a Mac, you'll save money in this
department since Fetch can be licensed for just $25.
No matter which FTP program you choose, once you've
downloaded it, spend an hour or so getting used to it. You'll be
using it a lot as a new webmaster.
That's it! You now have each step laid out in an easy
to follow checklist. Well, that's it for this month's gazette. I'll
be talking' with ya in November.