You have already bought your domain name and you don’t know what step you should take next to build your website, right?
Well, you shouldn’t worry anymore. I will be helping you get out of this problem by helping you understand the next essential steps to take to get your website up and running.
I will take you from exactly where you are, that is, from owning only a domain name to have a fully functioning website that you can use to make your dream or idea work.
I will also share with you really useful tips to help you run your website well and have a fairly easy time maintaining it.
Without any delays, let’s get started.
A Few Steps to Take Before You Build Your Website
Getting a domain name is one of the foundational steps that are taken when creating a website.
And since you have done that, you should follow it up with a few other steps so that you are set with your foundation and you are now ready to build your website.
Here are the other crucial steps you should take to finish setting up your website foundation.
Determine your niche and the kind of website you want to build
One important decision you need to make is to determine the kind of website you want to set up and the type of market you are targeting. There are many different types of websites that you can create with your domain name. But you can’t build all of them at once.
You can only build one with your domain name and then maybe sometime in the future, you can buy another domain name and build another website for another niche.
For now, you need to select the type of website that is most fitting for you. Taking this step helps you determine the kind of resources and website hosting plans you will be getting for your site that match the goals and future plans you have for the website.
Whether you want a small blog, an online store, an e-commerce website, a forum website, or a business website, you have to be very sure of what you want. Go ahead and make a decision on the direction you want to take and be clear with your intentions.
Get website hosting for your website
Now that you know the type of website you want to have and how big you want it to be, it is now time to get a place where you can host your website.
This is where you will be managing the website and carrying out most of the tasks related to it. So you will want to get a good website hosting service.
You can choose to buy hosting services from the same place you bought your domain name if they provide that service too. Some domain selling companies also offer hosting services.
If the place you bought doesn’t have hosting, you can get hosting plans elsewhere. Some of the best website hosting services you can work with are SiteGround, BlueHost, HostGator, or DreamHost.
I encourage you to look through their hosting plans and see which one offers you the plan that accommodates your plans for your website and subscribe to the plan.
Connect your domain name to your hosting service
If you chose to get hosting services from another company different from where you bought your domain name, you will need to connect them together so that your domain name reflects well on the website you will build and run on the hosting service.
To do this, you should get your website hosting name servers pointing to the domain name. To make this happen smoothly, you should go to your website hosting account and locate the name servers and copy them (after buying a hosting plan, you will be given name servers).
Then, you go to the website you bought your domain name and locate the server settings and paste the website hosting name servers there.
It is a very easy process and if you get any problems, you can contact the support team of the domain seller or hosting services to help you with that.
Create a custom email address for your site
Having a custom email address for your website is key if you want your website to appear professional and credible. A custom email is an email that has an ending of your website’s name.
Unlike a Gmail account where you have something like email@example.com, your custom email will be firstname.lastname@example.org. For instance, the email for this website you are on (Affiliate Dove) is email@example.com.
This is my website email and I use it to reach out to any work-related clients and run errands with it which makes my website look professional. You should also do the same.
Website hosting services mostly offer a site email with their hosting plans and you will be able to create your own email for free. Although, if you want more than one email, you may have to pay extra for the extra emails.
So you’ll go to the website hosting service you chose, go to your account, locate where their provision for custom email creation is, and create it.
Another wise move to make is to go to social media and create pages and accounts using the same name you used for your domain name.
This will help you secure the accounts and pages that will help you promote the website on social media. Do this with most popular media sites including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and any other that you want to use to promote your website.
Create a business account on these sites using the same name as your domain name. This consistency of names helps your website visitors recognize you on social media and also adds to your professionalism.
Even if you don’t plan on using the accounts right away, having them is a good thing.
Later on, you can link the social media accounts to your website and more value will be added to it.
You should take this step as soon as possible so that the names are not taken by other people.
And in case, you find them taken, you can use hyphens and underscores on the names to still keep something that resonates with your domain name.
How to Build The Actual Website
There are 2 methods you can use to go about building your website. Here they are:
Method 1: Using a Website Builder
This method is where you use a website builder provided by the website hosting service you are working with. Some of the popular website builders are Siterubix, Wix, Weebly, WordPress (the .com version), and GoDaddy, to name a few.
The good thing with these builders is that they have a very simplified way of building a website designed in steps.
In these steps, you ideally choose a title for your website and a website theme and you get the website created for you by the builder in a matter of minutes.
This is the method I would recommend beginners and intermediate website owners to use to create their websites.
It is an easy way to set up a website and design it as most of these builders have an easy to work with a user interface where you can drag and drop the features you want on your website to your site and add them.
Most of them are also WordPress enabled which means you can use WordPress to manage your website and you can add plugins to add extra functionality to your website which is cool.
To use a website builder to construct your website, head over to your website hosting account, and look for a builder. Click on it to build a website and then follow the steps provided to get it done.
The process is easy and intuitive and you will not get stuck.
Even connecting the website you will build to your domain name is quite easy as you will be asked to type the name of your domain name in one of the steps and they will help you connect it easily.
Method 2: Write the code for your website
What you do here is to choose your web development environment where you will be writing your website’s code and then go ahead and start writing the code.
Some of the best environments to use for web development include Atom, VSCode, Sublime, Brackets, or NotePad.
You can also create your website using method 1 and then make a few enhancements to it using your coding skills. You will just need to locate the code files on the website builder you are using and then make the changes as per your desires.
Please, if you don’t know how to code well, avoid interfering with the code files or it may break your website entirely. Only use it if you really know what you are doing and always have a backup ready in case of anything.
When you are done writing the code for the website, you will then transfer the code files from the environment to your website hosting account. There you will be able to also link the domain name to your hosting plan and get to easily manage your website.
Customizing Your Website
There are 2 types of customizations needed for your website. These are basic customization and advanced customization. We are going to go through all of them.
Here, you will make a few changes and enhancements to your website to make it look neat, personal, and a bit professional.
If you coded the website using method 2, then you may skip this step as you don’t really need it. Since you can use the programming skills to customize the website, you don’t have to make more customizations if you are okay with how your website looks.
If you used method 1, here are the basic customizations you should make on your site:
* Customizing the homepage – Your homepage should reflect the summary of your whole website. When someone visits the homepage, they should learn what your website is about and also have a sneak peek of your posts and pages.
This being the case, you should ensure that the homepage has one section that gives a summary of your website. You should also have other sections showing your a sneak peek of your blog posts, an email subscription provision for people to subscribe to your mailing list, and have a footer where they can see the website’s office address and copyright disclaimer.
* Changing the theme – If you also built your website using website builders such as WordPress and others that allow you to change the theme you should consider changing the theme to something more neat and interesting.
Just look through the theme options you have and choose a theme you feel is simple to use for your visitors but is also classy and elegant in a way that you love.
The theme shouldn’t have many bells and whistles and its main focus should be the easy readability of your content and navigation of your site.
If you are using a website builder that allows you to buy and upload a new theme to your website, then you should spend time looking for a good theme from the top theme sellers such as ThemeForest, StudioPress, and MyThemeShop.
Such quality themes come with many great features that let you do so much on your website which adds huge value.
* Deleting dummy content – If you are using WordPress powered websites, there is a chance the new website you just created has dummy content that shows you how your website will be when you add content to it.
The dummy content that includes dummy posts, pages, and comments is good to see the first time but you don’t need it. So you should go ahead and delete it in your website backend or admin area.
Just login to your website administration account, go to “posts”, “pages” and “comments” each at a time, and delete them.
This will make your website clean and ready for your personalized content.
This is the part you will need to make more customizations on your website that further enhance the value of your website. This part needs you to be well versed with the administration dashboard of the website management service or hosting service you are using.
Take your time to click around and see what is located where in there. If you need help you can Google, or watch YouTube tutorials on the website builder or hosting service to know your way around.
Once you have done that, here are the other customizations you should make on your website.
1. Managing the plugins on your website – If you are using WordPress enabled websites, then this part is for you. Plugins are extensions that help your website function better on various aspects such as speed, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and other aspects.
Go to your dashboard, then click on “plugins” and then “installed plugins”. You will be able to see the plugins on your website at the moment. You can delete them if you don’t want to use them or let them remain.
To delete you will just click on the “delete” option within the plugin you want to get rid of. To add more plugins, you will just click on the “Add new” button and you will be taken to a pace where you can search the plugins you want to add.
Search for them then click on “Install Now” and then “activate” to get them working on your website right away.
Some of the useful plugins that most website owners work with are website performance plugins like Google Analytics, sitemaps plugins like XML Sitemaps, website speed like WP Fastest cache, spam protection plugins like Akismet, contact forms like Contact Form 7 website backups like UpDraftPlus, and SEO plugins like Yoast SEO.
2. Adding posts and pages – You will also want to know how to add new posts and pages on your site that will help you when publishing content on your site.
There is a difference between posts and pages. Pages are the type of content that is static and often makes the foundational content for your site like Homepage, about page, contact page, and others.
Posts are the type of content that makes up the majority of your content. Examples of posts are how-to’s like how to do… or topic related posts that cover about a certain topic at length. You find posts in your blog section.
3. Managing sidebars, menus, and widgets – Sidebars are the sections on the far right or left sides of the website where you can add more parts of your content or advertisements for your visitors to see.
Menus are what you use to help you navigate to different sections or pages of your website. The menu that is on top of every website is known as the top menu and you can choose what items get to be on that menu.
You can also have menus in your sidebar and even footer. It all depends on where you want your menus to be.
When it comes to widgets, these are sections that you can use on the sidebar to add a photo or piece of text and they have various functions include adding code to help achieve a certain function.
As you get used to working on your website, you will be better able to manage them on your site.
4. Adding logos and favicons – Logos are somewhat like images or icons that make a website’s trademark. They are usually on a website’s header section and people can easily identify with the website using the logo. Be sure to use a logo that relates to the purpose of your website and is memorable.
Favicons are also like icons or images but instead of being placed on the header section, they go to the URL section of the screen on a computer. When you search a website on a new tab on a computer, you will see a favicon of the website next to the name of the website page you opened, if the website has uploaded a favicon.
Adding both of these helps a lot with the identification and professionalism of your site.
5. Ensuring your website is SSL secured – Adding SSL to your website makes it have an “https” format rather than “http”.
And what this means is, if your website is”https” it is more secure than the other type.
When you have SSL on your website, your website domain name should be https://yourdomainname.com or .net or .tv any other ending you may be having.
To add SSL on your website, you may be required to pay some extra charges. Having this on your website also helps with adding SEO value as it is a known ranking factor.
6. Improving website speed – You also want to make sure your website pages and posts load faster (in less than 3 seconds).
For that to happen, you should not have many plugins on your website and you should have well-optimized photos among other factors. You can check your website speed using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom.
7. Email subscriptions – Having an email subscription provision is good to help your visitors get notifications of your new content or other promotions you may have on your website.
This provision allows you to get their emails and names so that you can use them to send them notifications. You can use tools like MailChimp to add this provision to your website.
8. Website backups – Backing up your website is always a good idea as there are times your website can have issues and require you to restore a backup after a new change breaks it so that it keeps running smoothly.
You should back up your website frequently as you add content and as you make changes to it.
Backup plugins like All in One WP migration can help with that. You can also use the WordPress provision for backups in your administration dashboard in “Tools” then “export” to save a backup to your computer and then use the “import” feature to restore the backup to your website.
9. Social sharing buttons on posts and social media feeds – If you want your visitors to share your posts, you can add social sharing buttons on each post easily using plugins like SharedCount, AddToAny, Sassy Social Share, and Simple Social Icons.
If you also want social media feed on your website where your social media activities are shown on your website, you can use plugins like Juicer for that.
10. Connecting Google Analytics and Google Search Console for performance tracking – It is always essential to track the performance of your website in terms of visitors and how they interact with your website. It helps you know which content they love and which ones need improvement.
They also have other awesome features that can help with improving your website which you should utilize like knowing your traffic source, having a real-time view of your visitors, and which pages they are on, among others.
You can use tools like Google Analytics and Search Console to help you do that. You will need to create your account with these tools and then connect your website with them. There are steps provided in the tools to help you make the connection.
Rewarding Tips to Use For Website Success
Here are tips that will help you take your website to the next level and ensure you have a smooth flow of maintaining and profiting from the website you just made:
– Setting a trademark for your site. Trademarking your business name offers an extra layer of protection if you plan to do something big with it. It also helps you win legal cases when someone else uses it to benefit themselves without your consent.
– Having a content plan if your website is content-based. If you are going to be working with a blog or a website that has a blog section, you will want to have a content plan in place.
This will help you know the topics you will be covering through your content and the keywords you will be targeting to help you rank in search engines and get the right kind of visitors to your website.
Create a list of topics and keywords you will be working with and then be writing content on each keyword every so often or every day if you can.
– Work with SEO. As earlier mentioned, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and this is based on practices that help you rank well in the search engines and which also help your visitors have a good experience with your website.
Most hosting services offer pricing plans that include SEO and they work well.
You should check to see if your hosting service offers SEO services as well. If it does, consider subscribing to the services. If they don’t, consider hiring an SEO skilled expert or learn SEO and apply it to your website.
– Monetize your website. You can make money from the visitors who come to your website in two ways. One is through affiliate marketing and the other is through Google Adsense.
Google Adsense allows you to put advertisements on your site and get paid when your visitors click on them.
– You may sell your domain name and website too. You can also choose to sell your domain name at a higher price and make a profit. This works for those domain names that are targeted for a certain market and are cool.
You can also choose to create a website with the domain name, design it for a certain market, and then sell it to people who may be interested in it.
This is called website and domain flipping.
And some of the services you can use to do this include Flippa, GoDaddy Auctions, and Sedo, among others.
And that is pretty much it!
I hope this has been of help to you.
If you want to keep building the website to make your website dreams come true, you will only need to follow what you have been given here and it will go a long way for you.
As you keep building out your website, you will learn more about website management, and even get stuck with issues at times.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from me and other people you know are well experienced in this area. We are all here to help each other.
Let us know what you have in mind for your newly created website in the comments below.
All the best with your website endeavors! 🙂