Knowing how to create your own website can be a rewarding skill to have. You can test your ideas quickly without spending too much money on hiring a web designer to do it for you.
Personally, I have been able to grow my online businesses and find clients using the website you are reading right now.
This is a website I built myself at a minimal cost. It’s a simple website that does what I want it to do.
In fact, I have been building websites to test my business ideas since I was a college student more than eight years ago.
Knowing how to build my own websites enabled me to test many different ideas without spending more than RM3,000 in total on building websites.
The best thing?
I don’t even know how to code!
If you have been wanting to build your own website for months or even years but haven’t go to it yet because a) you don’t know how to code or b) you don’t have thousands of RM to hire someone to build it for you, here’s the good news:
It is possible now to build your own website – yes, even if you don’t know how to code – for a cost less than RM300 in less than 60 minutes.
If you have RM300 and 60 minutes to spare, let’s get your website up and save you RM3,000 today!
3 Easy Steps to Create Your Website in Less than 60 Minutes
There are three main steps for creating a website. What are they? Take a look:
Step 1: Choosing a platform
Step 2: Choosing a domain name and host
Step 3: Setting up your website, choosing a theme and customizing
Step 1: Choosing a Website Platform
In the early days of the world wide web, the only way to build a decent website was by knowing how to code. It was very time intensive and expensive even to build a basic website.
Nowadays though, there are much easier ways to build and manage a website. In fact, most websites in 2017 are built using something called a ‘Content Management System’ or CMS for short.
What’s a CMS and Which CMS Should You Use?
A CMS is a platform for building and managing your website without the need to use code.
There are many CMS to choose from (paid and free) but my favorite one is WordPress.
WordPress is a free CMS used by nearly 75 million websites around the world.
What I like about it is that it’s really easy to use and modify. A lot of WordPress’ users are people who do not know how to code.
Other than that, since it is open source, there is a huge network of developers building on the WordPress platform which means you can find answers to any problems you have with the platform quite easily.
Although some paid CMS can do a better job in some areas compared to WordPress, for a free CMS, WordPress is exceptional.
For beginners, I would recommend using WordPress. I am personally a big fan of WordPress and have built all my websites on the WordPress CMS.
Step 2: Choose a Domain Name and Hosting Provider
Now before you can start using WordPress as your CMS, you will need to complete the next step, i.e. to choose a domain and a host.
Why do you need a domain name and hosting?
Let me explain:
A domain name tells people where to look for you online. It’s kinda like your address online.
Hosting, on the other hand, is where you store all your website files online. A good hosting provider will not only provide you the space to store your files online, they will also make sure that your site loads fast and are always online.
Although both of these will cost you money, from my experience it is well worth the investment.
Where to get domain and hosting?
1. Buy a Domain on GoDaddy
For domains, GoDaddy is my go-to choice. I like GoDaddy because it is really easy to use and manage domains inside GoDaddy.
A new domain would cost you around US$10 (RM40+) a year.
To register a new domain, first go to GoDaddy.com.
When you are there, you will see this page with a bar where you can type in the domain you want:
Once you key in the domain name you want, click on the search button:
Once you do, GoDaddy will show you if the domain is available. If it is, you can buy it. If not, you’ll have to look for a new domain name.
Here, GoDaddy lets me know that nasilemakboys.com is available and I can buy it for $12.17. If I’m only going to buy this one domain, I’ll click on ‘Continue to Cart’ to buy the domain:
When you do check out, you’ll find that GoDaddy has some more options for you to add to your domain name.
Let’s go through each of them.
First, privacy. When you don’t buy privacy, anyone can find your name, address, email address and phone number on the web. If you don’t want this to happen, make sure you add on privacy for $7.99 a year.
If you don’t mind people finding your information online, click on ‘No Thanks’:
Next, Linux Web Hosting. You don’t need this. We’ll be getting a cheaper hosting for you later so select ‘No Thanks’ here:
Finally, e-mail address. We can create a free e-mail address with the hosting provider I recommend you later, so select ‘No Thanks’ here as well:
Once you are done with all three options, click on ‘Continue with these options’ to make payment.
Once you do, you’ll get to the page below:
Since this will be your first time buying a domain using GoDaddy, click on ‘Create Account’ on the left to create a GoDaddy account. You will use this information later to login to your account.
Once you have created an account, review your domain name and add-ons. If they are as you want, proceed with payment by clicking on ‘Complete Payment’ button at the bottom right of the page:
Once you are done, you will have bought the domain. You are now the owner of the domain.
But this is not the end yet, we will have to come back again to domains after buying hosting for a final step.
Now, let’s take a look at how you can buy hosting.
2. Buy Hosting on SiteGround
For hosting, the hosting provider I recommend is the one I am currently using for my own site, SiteGround.
Here’s what I like about SiteGround:
It’s fast. SiteGround hosts all its client sites on SSD drives. SSD drives are the fastest storage drives there is today!
It’s cheap. You can get started for under RM20 a month (paid yearly) for one website.
It has great 24/7 live chat support. So far I have been very satisfied with the response time and support from InMotion’s customer service team. Great 24/7 support is a must-have for me.
It offers 1-click WordPress installation. When I set up my first WordPress website I had to do it the manual way. This took a lot of time and effort and I wasted a lot of time on mistakes. Luckily inMotion offers 1-click WordPress installation so it will take you less than 5 minutes to install WordPress on your site.
It comes with a free SSL certificate. SSL certificates normally cost RM35 a year but with InMotion, it’s included in your hosting plan. SSL certificates are important for websites nowadays because Google is placing a higher value on security online these days.
You can have an unlimited number of emails using your domain name. Some hosts charge RM5 – 20 a month PER email. But with SiteGround, you can have any number of emails you want in the format of YourName@YourDomain.com. Having emails using your own domain makes you look more professional than using a gmail or hotmail email address.
SiteGround offers three plans – StartUp, GrowBig and GoGeek. Check them out below:
Which plan should you get?
For beginners who want to start with one website, I recommend going for the StartUp plan. It has everything you need to get started.
If you are ready to buy your hosting, click on the link below to select your plan:
Once you have decided on the plan, click on ‘Get Started’. When you do, this page will show up:
Since you have already bought a domain from GoDaddy, select ‘I already have a domain’, key in your domain name and click on ‘Proceed’.
Once you do, you will be brought to the payment page:
Fill in your details and payment information.
At the end of this form, you will see this section:
For the ‘Data Center’, you should pick the country closest to your target audience. The closer your data center to your audience location, the faster your website loads for them.
If say your website will be targeting mostly traffic from Southeast Asia or the Asia Pacific region, ‘Singapore (SG)’ will be a good choice.
For the ‘Period’, I would suggest that you go for as long as you can afford because you would be able to take advantage of the promotional offer of US$3.95/month. After this, your rate will be switched back to US$9.95/month. So if you can go for 24 – 36 months, you would be able to continue enjoying these discounted rates for 2 – 3 years.
Once you have chosen the data center and period, you can proceed to make payment by clicking on ‘Pay Now’ at the end of the page. Make sure to check the first box ‘I confirm…’ before you proceed:
And that’s it! You have successfully bought your hosting and domain name!
P/S: Do make sure to get your hosting first before moving on to the next step! Buy your hosting using the link below:
One Final Step: Pointing Your Domain to Your Hosting
Once you have bought your domain name and hosting, you have to now point your domain name to your host.
This is something you need to do when your domain name and hosting are provided by different companies. If you want to avoid this hassle, you can choose to buy the domain name from your hosting company as well.
The benefit of using a different domain name provider is that they are normally cheaper.
In the case where you have followed my steps and chosen GoDaddy as your domain name provider and SiteGround as your hosting provider, follow these simple steps to point your domain name to your hosting provider.
Here’s how to do it.
Step 1: Get Your Hosting DNS from your SiteGround account
Access your cPanel by clicking on ‘My Accounts’ in the main menu bar and then clicking on ‘Go to cPanel’ under My Accounts:
When you do, you will be brought into the cPanel page. Inside, all you have to do is take a look at the left-hand sidebar and you will notice this information:
Take note of these 2 lines. You will need it later.
Step 2: Point Your Domain to Your Hosting
First, log in to your GoDaddy account.
Inside, click on your name on the top right, and then click on ‘Manage domains’ in the drop-down menu:
Inside, you will find your domain name. Click on the small arrow next to the domain and then, on the pop-up menu, click on ‘Set Nameservers’:
On the next page, scroll down until you arrive at the section titled ‘Nameservers’. Click on the ‘Change’ button:
In the drop-down menu that appears, select ‘Custom’:
Finally key in the nameservers you obtained earlier from the cPanel of your SiteGround hosting:
Finally, save your new nameservers.
That’s it! You’re all set!
Step 3: Set up your website and make it look professional
Once you have completed all the steps in Step 2, it’s time now to install WordPress on your website.
Go to the cPanel again by going to My Accounts >> Go to cPanel.
Once inside, scroll downwards until you reach the section titled ‘WordPress Tools’. Inside that section, you will find an icon named ‘WordPress Installer’. Click on that icon:
You will be brought to this page:
Fill in all the details needed and click on install at the end of the page:
Choosing a theme
Once you have installed WordPress, you will end up with a site that looks like this:
This is the Twenty Seventeen theme which is the default theme WordPress installs on every site.
If you don’t want to look like every other site online, you will need to install a new theme.
You have two options to do this: you can install a free theme or buy a premium one.
Let’s take a look at how can do both.
Free WordPress themes
To install a free theme, go to the sidebar and hover over ‘Appearances’. When you do, you get a menu as below. Click on the ‘Themes’ link:
This will bring you to the themes page. To add a new theme, go to the top of the page and click on ‘Add New’:
There you can pick from thousands of free themes:
Use the ‘Feature Filter’ at the menu to filter the themes down to the specs that you want.
Although these are free themes, you can often find very high-quality ones. So do look at them before you move on to look for premium themes. For most basic websites, a free theme would be more than enough.
If you have selected a theme, all you have to is install and activate it and you will see it on your site:
Paid Alternative: Premium WordPress themes
If after looking at the free themes you still could not find anything you like, consider going for paid themes.
Premium themes will set you back another RM200 – RM350 to your budget, bringing it up close to RM800.
My favorite place to look for paid themes is Themeforest.
It has some of the best looking and performing themes online.
When looking for premium themes, I personally tend to choose themes that are highly customizable. With a highly customizable theme, you can customize the theme for any purpose.
With a highly customizable, it’s like buying 1,000 themes for the price of one!
Here are two of my top picks for customizable themes from Themeforest:
Browse more themes on ThemeForest’s WordPress Theme Marketplace here:
Once you have chosen your theme, it’s now time to add pages to your site. Here’s how you can do that:
At the top of your dashboard, you will see a menu with a few options. At the end of the menu you will find a ‘+New’ link. Hover over it and click on ‘Page’:
When you click on it, you will be led to a page which looks like this:
Adding a Menu
Once you have added pages to your site, it’s now time to add the pages to your navigation menu.
To access your menu editor, go to the sidebar on your left. Hover over ‘Appearance’ and click on ‘Menus’:
Once you are inside, follow the following steps to add a page to your menu (click to play video):
Additional Step if You Have a Blog: Adding and Editing Posts
As I have explained in my SEO guide, your blog is a good place for you to optimize your website for SEO.
Just as you have done for pages, to add a post, all you have to do is go to your top menu, hover over ‘+New’ and click on posts:
Once you do, you will be brought to the post editor page:
This is where you can create posts like the one you are reading right now.
Additional Customizations: Installing Popular Plugins
Plugins are extensions you can add to your WordPress site to add a new function or feature that was not included in your theme.
To install a plugin, go to the sidebar on your left again, hover over ‘Plugins’ and click on ‘Add New’:
Once you have chosen your plugin, all you have to do is install it.
Here are some plugins that most websites nowadays have installed to get you started off with:
Google Analytics – Google Analytics tracks your traffic and your visitors’ behavior on your site. This helps you measure the results of your efforts.
Contact Form 7 – Contact Form 7 is the best free contact form plugin. You can use it for visitors on your site to send you an email from your website. I am also using Contact Form 7 on Entrepreneur Campfire’s Contact page.
Yoast SEO plugin – Yoast is helpful for you to do SEO on your site. Personally Yoast SEO has been helpful in Entrepreneur Campfire’s growth from 100 to 10,000 visitors a month.
These are only a few of the plugins available to you. There are thousands of free and paid plugins you can look out for online. Feel free to explore them.
Conclusion: Go ahead, Launch your website
Knowing how to build your own website can make a big difference in your life. Not only do you save money, you can also execute your ideas faster.
Gone are the days you need to spend hours and hours coding just to get a basic website up. Nowadays with CMSs like WordPress you can easily get a professional looking website up within an hour.
If you have been thinking about setting up your own website, look no further. You already have everything you need to build your first site for just under RM300.