Learn How to Build a Website

When it comes to being online there seems to be two different types of people. Those that know there way around complex programming and those that can send email, browse a website and not much more.

I encourage you to become a third type. Someone who can setup their own website or blog and run it, even without having a knowledge of how to use html, css or anything like that. While there are ways to make money online without a website, the vast majority of them, not to mention the best ways, all involve having your own websites.

How I Became My Own Web Person

I had spent months preparing my first product to be ready to go. Finally it came time to sell it. I hired a web person to make me my first real website. And I wanted to keep it simple. In fact it was just a single sales page for a book with a thank you page.

I wrote the sales copy and told her how I wanted it to look. It cost about $800 and took a couple weeks of back and forth. Mind you, I was just starting out and on a shoestring budget. That amount of money was a lot for me (I had to put it on a credit card). For the job I wanted her skills were really beyond what I needed.

Anyway, at last it was up and my book started selling. What next? I wanted to make changes to the site. I wanted to start putting articles online and much more. How did everyone else do this? If it costs that much to get a single page up and took that long I knew I would be doomed.

So I searched for another answer. And I stumbled upon a course that thought me the basics of html. How to take a template and manipulate it around so that you could make a site. How to get your site to do all the functions you want it to do.

In fact with an html editor you don’t need to know any html code. Yes it helps and I believe you can learn some as you go along. But you can use the WYSIWYG editor so that it’s not more complicated then using word. If you do need to throw in an html code, for an optin form or something similar, all you have to do is cut and paste.

With that I took control of my own website and I was on my way. Now I could make changes to my sales copy at anytime, I could throw a new article online. I could even build my own new websites.

Outsource or Do It Yourself?

There are those that are literally afraid of technology. Many guru’s play up the fact that they are a technical dunce. But the truth is it’s not hard to do. And once you do learn how to build a website you have a skill set that you can benefit from (and even charge others for) the rest of your life.

Some will say to outsource it. There are benefits and drawbacks to that. The benefits are obvious. You can hire someone else’s expertise so you don’t need the skills yourself or to spend the time. For some this is the best route.

If you want something complex you may need to find someone else to do it for you. Even now I can’t do much more than write simple html or changes things around. If I needed anything in CSS or PHP I’d have to go elsewhere. And that’s fine by me.

The problem is finding a good person. Outsourcing can be a nightmare. It takes work to find the right person that matches how much you’re willing to pay and who can do work quickly. If you have someone like that make sure to keep them around!

Even so it still takes time. If you outsource offshore then you’ll likely have to wait at least overnight for anything, even if you have someone who is real fast.

What happens if you want to set something up real quick? Just last week I decided to hold a sale. This required a new page that I was able to put up in a few minutes by myself. No back and forth needed. These days I can throw a website up from nothing to online and functioning in less than a hour. This includes registering the domain, getting it hosted, then putting it online. As Joe Vitale once said, “Money loves speed.”

Meanwhile I have friends who are taking months to get their first website online by working with other people. One friend hired a guy, who worked on his site for about a month, before my friend got too frustrated with the delays, sacked him and followed my advice. He know has his site running with a second one on the way.

And if you are starting out without much money like I was, learning how to do it yourself is even more important. All you need is the basics to go quite far.

How to Building Your Website

First you need to register a domain name. Choosing a domain name is a whole long subject that I won’t cover here. I wouldn’t bother messing around with any sort of free websites either, not as your main website. And in most cases you’ll want to get a .com. To find a good name and have some fun doing it use Bustaname.

Next get hosting. Often with domain name registrars you can get hosting too. I personally use Dreamhost. With one account I can have tons of domains on it. All you have to do is set the nameservers wherever you register your domain. Then in Dreamhost you add a new domain. In a few minutes you’re ready to go.

From here you need two pieces of software. An html editor – I use Seamonkey. And a FTP program – I use Coffeecup.

To design your website I recommend starting with a template rather than from scratch. You can do a google search for html templates or just copy the source code from a website you like if you know what you’re doing. Make your changes and once you have the pages ready to go you upload them to the hosting with the FTP program and your site is live.

This is how I use to do it. I still use html websites here and there depending on my goal (like squeeze pages or sales letters) but the majority of my sites are built off of blogs just like this site. In another article I’ll have up soon, I’ll talk about setting up a blog, which is 90% easier, and in most cases better to have as your main website.

One last point before I wrap it up. Do not think your site has to be the prettiest site out there. Or that it must be perfect before it goes online (it never will be perfect). You can get by with a pretty bad looking site to start with, at least in most niches. Over time this can be improved. In fact, I know some people that make hundreds of thousands of dollars online with some of the worst looking sites I’ve ever seen. More important than how it looks is what it accomplishes.

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