One of the things I genuinely love about our age of constant connectivity is that anyone can do anything they want! You can bring your ideas into reality. You can make a difference in the world. You can make more money. Anything!

And in most of these cases, your website will be the door to all your dreams. Even better, building a website these days is simple. A quick and easy way to open the door to all my dreams? I'll take it! Here are 5 simple steps to create your first website. Let's do this!

 

1. Choose a Platform (Provider)

Think of a platform as a place where you can create a website. For instance, Spaces is a great platform if you want to sell something. Or, if you just want to start a blog, Wordpress is a good choice. Squarespace and Wix are other great options, but might take a bit more effort.

You can start on most for free, and there are cheap upgrade options as you grow. The big thing about choosing a platform is that you need to be able to do three things: get a domain name, add a design to your website, and store all that information somewhere. Any platform worth its salt (including those mentioned above) will do all three without you even having to think about it.

You will want to create your own website, as opposed to just creating an Amazon account or a Tumblr profile, because, well, they would only be profiles on someone else's platform. You wouldn't even be able to specify your domain name, and that's the crucial next step!

 

2. Decide on a Domain Name

To be clear, your domain name would be like this: www.YourDomainName.com. For instance, mine is www.KennethBurkeWriter.com. You can make your domain name whatever you want it to be, so long as someone else hasn't already chosen it. 

To get your domain name, you can use a domain registrar like GoDaddy. Or if you're using a website platform, they probably offer a service for you to buy your domain name and hosting directly through them, like Spaces does.

A good rule of thumb is to choose something you think people would actually search for. When it comes to getting visitors to your website, creativity loses to simplicity. For instance, mine is my name and my occupation. It's obvious and straightforward.

If you're a local shoe store, maybe your domain should be www.ChattanoogaShoes.com. Or If you're starting a blog tailored at twentysomethings, you might choose www.LearningAdulthood.com.

Whatever your goal is for your website, write out 15-20 potential domain names. Then choose the one you think would be most relevant to visitors, and that wouldn't go out of style.

 

3. Choose a Template

This step might be the easiest, because platforms like Spaces or Wordpress give you a plethora of free user-friendly template options, each of which can be customized to your liking. (In some cases you might have to pay extra for specific customization options, but it's not much.)

Choose a template that you think will best represent what you're trying to accomplish, and then you're off to the races! Whichever template you choose, there will be a very clear setup process, and ample help and resources for any questions that come up along the way.

 

4. Customize Your Layout

This is where you and your brand's unique character get to shine! Whichever layout you choose, start going through each menu item to customize the design and functionality how you want them to be. If any questions pop up, there will be an answer in the help and resources.

Write your copy or your blog posts, get your subscribe and contact forms set up, add pictures, and have a blast! Customizing your layout will likely be the most time consuming part of creating your first website, but it's also (for many) the most enjoyable part!

 

5. Tell the Whole Wide World

You won't have any website visitors if no one knows your website exists. So tell them! Tell everyone!

A great way to start is by sharing your website on Facebook and LinkedIn and every social media network where you're active, telling people what you're starting and how excited you are about it. It's also a best practice to share any new content or website updates across social media, too. That way people will continually interact with your site.

As you grow your website, you'll also need to pay attention to search engine optimization (SEO). Basically, search engines like Google and Bing scan your site for pictures, words, and links to determine how many internet users to send to your website.

Yoast offers a lot of great help in this area, and most platform providers come with areas like Description, Title, and Tags to help give beginners a boost. Search engine optimization isn't something that will matter immediately, but it will be very important over the following months and years.

Well, there you go! There are 5 simple steps to create your first website! Setting up your first website is surprisingly simple. What are you waiting for? Go ahead and get started!