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How to Have Your First Website Up and Running in 15 Minutes

~ 11 Minute Read

Oh, so you’ve been reading up on my other posts have you?  Been reading about how I’ve quit working for “The Man” and struck out on my own journey and now you’re hungry for your own slice of micropreneurship.  Well fuck man I’m jacked, jacked to the tits!  Let’s do this!

Oh, wait… do you even know how to get your first website up and running?  No? Shit son we need to take a step back and get you up to speed so you can start creating your own online piece of sweet destiny.  Today I’m going to give you a step by step guide on how to get a website up and running without the need for all the complicated coding shit.

How Do Websites “Work”?

Alright let’s dig right in.  The first thing you want to understand when you create a website is what a website actually is.  If you are like me before I got into this online biz stuff you probably think getting  a website up and running is pretty complex.  But it really isn’t.

While a bit of a oversimplification, a website is just a bunch of files that are coded to show up in a certain order.  Those files can include text, pictures, videos, etc.  The files and code for the website are housed on a host server, which is sort of like a computer for the internet.

When someone visits your website it sends a message to the host server to load your website.

The 15 Minute Website Guide

Step 1: Get Hosting

Before you can have a website the first thing you need to do is get web hosting.  It is like the dough of your pizza.  We recommend SiteGround hosting for your website, and also MDD (affiliate links: helping a Micropreneur out).

For your first website simple shared hosting will meet your needs.

SiteGround

For SiteGround I would get the GrowBig plan as it allows you to have multiple domains on the one hosting account.  Having multiple domains on one account allows you to have multiple websites on the single hosting account.

Buying A Hosting Plan

Here are the steps:

Go to SiteGround.com

Click “Web Hosting”

Click the “Get Started” button beneath the “GrowBig” plan column

Pick Your Domain Name (You get one domain name free with your plan)

Tip: Don’t worry about picking the perfect domain name to start.  Just try to get a website up and running to develop your skills.  With this “GrowBig” account you can add-on multiple domains later on.

If you want to buy more domain names in the future I suggest buying them from GoDaddy and then pointing your domain name servers to your SiteGround hosting.

Setup account details

Start with the 12 month plan to test out having a website for a year without committing to anything longer

Select payment method

Once you finish these six steps SiteGround will send you some emails that will give you login information for your account.

Accessing cPanel on SiteGround

cPanel is sort of like the desktop of your computer.  You can access your website files and other programs that help your site run better.

To access your hosting cPanel on SiteGround:

1. Go to siteground.com

2. Login to your account (top right corner)

3. Go to the “My Accounts” tab

4. Click the red “Go to cPanel” button

5. Woohoo! you have now accessed cPanel

Step 2: Install Wordpress

By this point you should have a domain and a hosting account tied to that domain.  Now it is time to go into your cPanel and install WordPress.

Here are the steps to install WordPress on a SiteGround account:

1. Go to your account’s cPanel

2. Find the “WordPress Tools” Row

3. Click on “WordPress Installer” which is the icon farthest to the left

4. Click the “Install” tab

5. Choose “protocol” (simple http:// will work for most)

6. Choose the domain you want to install WordPress to

7. Leave the directory field blank

8. Leave site name and description unchanged (you can change it later)

9. Choose admin username and password

10. Enter an admin email

11. Leave everything else unchanged and click the “install” button

12. After installation your website info will be available and your site will be up and running!  Type in your website domain in the address bar of your browser to find out.

13. Get your boner pants on and head to the strip club for a break

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that allows you to maintain your site, add new content, and customize the appearance of your site without the need for coding.  Think of it sort of like Microsoft Word for websites.

The reason I recommend WordPress opposed to other CMS systems is that WordPress is by far the most popular and commonly used.  Because of this it has robust features and search engines are very familiar with it.  The other thing is that WordPress is very customizable, once you become competent with WordPress you can literally create any type of website you desire including news sites, product review sites, blogs, and even e-commerce stores.

Setting Up WordPress

Back from the strip club big boy?  Okay, then wipe the coke off your nose, change into some new pants and let’s get rolling.  To access the backend of your WordPress site type in www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin.  Enter your username and password and click the login button.

You now should be on the “Dashboard” or backend of your WordPress Site.  This is where you’ll add content and customize your site.

The Dashboard Explained

The dashboard of your WordPress site is broken into the following sections:

  • Dashboard- Gives a basic overview of your site
  • Posts– Where you can create, edit, and manage content
  • Media– Allows you to add and manage videos, photos, and other multimedia content
  • Pages– Manages and creates pages for your site
  • Comments– Shows comments left by visitors to your site
  • Appearance- Where you will select a theme, customize said theme, select widgets for your site, and create and edit menus
  • Plugins- Plugins add specific functions to your site.  Here you can install, active, and deactivate all the plugins you choose to have for your site.
  • Users- Gives you the ability to add other users that can add content
  • Tools- Allows you to import and export content
  • Settings- This is where you can select settings for your plugins and your WordPress site in general

Settings to Change Immediately

With your brand spanking new WordPress Site comes some things that need to be changed first thing.  This will keep things running smooth as you develop your website.

General Settings

Click the settings tab, then click general.  Make sure to set your timezone.

Permalinks

Click on the settings tab, then click permalinks.  This page sets the URL structure of your content.  The Micropreneur recommends you select the “Post Name” URL structure.

Reading

This is where you’ll choose to have your front page be a specified number of posts or if you want to have a static page be the front page of your site.  Blogs will probably want content on the front page, while retail shops and Amazon Associate sites will generally want a static front page.

Picking a Theme

The first thing to do when customizing your WordPress site is to select a theme.  The theme controls the basic look and layout of your website.  If you are creating a blog you’ll want a site that makes finding your content easy and user friendly.  If you are selling products, you may want to choose a theme that shows your products on the front page and less text.

Go to the appearance tab and click “themes” then click “add new” in the top left to peruse the themes available.  For most sites a free theme will work just fine.

Try to find a theme that has some customization options so that you can select the color scheme you’d like for the site.

Plugins

Once you have settled on a theme, which will take some experimentation, then it is time to install some needed plugins.  Plugins add specifically functions to your WordPress site.  For example, most modern sites have a contact us form.  Thanks to the magic of WordPress, you can easily set up a contact us form using a plugin.

To install plugins go to the appearance tab, click on “plugins”, and then finally click “add new” in the top left.  Here is a general list of plugins I recommend you install:

  • Akismet
  • BestAzon (Amazon Associate Sites)– Localizes affiliate links based on visitor’s location so you can make affiliate commission for other Amazon Associate programs (UK, Canada, France, etc.)
  • Comet Cache– Simple caching plugin that helps your site load faster
  • Contact Us Form
  • Easy Table of ContentsShows a table of contents at the top of each page, I actually use this plugin on The Micropreneur as you can see on the top of each post.  Good for SEO and content organization, especially for longer posts.
  • Enhanced Text Widget Gives your WordPress widgets more text and code functions
  • Insert Adsense- A must-have if you plan to have Google Adsense ads on your site
  • Related Posts by Sovrn– Shows related content on the bottom of each post to help your visitors navigate your site and to promote your content
  • Sendpress Newsletters Great for new sites that have less than 500 email subscribers
  • Share Buttons & tools to grow traffic by GetSocial.io
  • Tablepress (Amazon Associate Sites)
  • UpdraftPlus Backup/Restore– A free plugin that backs up your site on a daily or weekly basis
  • WP Mobile Detect– Allows you to show specific content based on if visitors are using a desktop, tablet, or phone
  • Yoast SEO– Gives guidance on creating content that is optimized for search engines

Note: this is not an all encompassing list. You may need additional plugins or less than what I’ve listed here depending on your site’s specific needs.

Where to Go From Here

At this point you have basically everything you need to start adding content to your site.  You’ll want to test and experiment to develop your skills on WordPress.  Make sure to write content regularly (at least one post every other week) to keep things fresh and the search engines interested in your site.  The bottom line is that you have to have the perseverance and will to succeed even after the excitement of having a website has worn off.  This is where success is born.

Also, if you want to know more about the specifics of WordPress sites this guy has some great tutorials.

I will be adding more content about how to maximize your chances for success in regard to affiliate marketing and creating a well read blog.

Do you guys have any plugins that you like to use for your sites that I missed?  Do you have some tips on how to get the most out of WordPress?  Let me know in the comments below!

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