Start Your Own Website – 5 Common Questions & Answers
It’s intimidating to start your own website. Especially with all the options and potential scams that can cause confusion and frustration.
These are the questions I get asked most often about starting a website:
1. How do you get a website address?
One of the things to understand about getting a website domain name is that you ‘register’ the domain and not buy it. It’s kind of like renting. So, what you need to do is find a domain registrar to rent the domain from and then find a place to ‘host’ it. It’s kind of like renting a car and then you need to find a place to park it.
You get your website address from a domain registrar. is a registrar I use and trust. I use HostGator for hosting my domains as it has 24/7 online support. If something goes wrong with your site it usually happens after hours ( usually in the middle of the night… if you work late like I do) and it is so reassuring to be able to contact a person and get help quickly.
2. How do I get a website?
There are many ways to get a website online and really this is one place you should do your research before just jumping in. The web host you choose or the designer you pick can have a big impact on how you move forward with your business on the internet.
You have a few options:
Learn to build a website yourself – time consuming and confusing if you go it alone but very rewarding once you master it!
Hire a website designer – you still need to do your research so you understand your needs with a website.
Use a website builder – Some website hosting companies come with built in website builders that help you get online but are very limiting when it’s time to grow and do other things with your website.
If you’re new here then you might not know that I teach people how to set up their own websites using a free software program called WordPress. It’s my absolute favorite way to build a website! Gone are the days where you have to be a programmer to make your own website. WordPress really puts the ability to build an online business into the hands of anyone with a great idea and the determination to get it done. For more on how to build your website with WordPress, check out my program here: WordPress 101
3. How do you take payments on the internet?
Even if you offer a service, instead of a product, taking payments online is a smart way to boost business and get new customers or clients when they’re ready to buy. The process of setting this up can be baffling to those new to the process.
Many people who sell on the internet will use a shopping cart system to actually collect payments even when they’re not there. The shopping cart is set up ahead of time and then when people come to your website, see something they like and are ready to buy, you don’t need to be there to help them make the purchase. It all happens automatically through the shopping cart.
One of the most common ways to take payment online is through an online system called Paypal. With Paypal you sign up for an account and hook up your bank account or credit card to the account. This way when you make a purchase the only one who gets to see your credit card or banking information is Paypal and you are a little safer than if you’re randomly surfing the internet marketing purchases.
You can also sign up for a merchant account to accept credit cards on your own website through a shopping cart system.
The shopping cart system I have hooked up to my own websites and business is called Amember. It’s more for digital products and not ecommerce.
4. How do you set up a business email?
You should have a business email that matches your website. Normally you will purchase this either with your website hosting package or as an add-on. It creates more professionalism to have an email coming from your own domain name then a local internet service provider account that you get when you sign up for the internet.
Once you have your hosting setup, it’s a fairly easy process to then setup your email. Most hosts (or good hosts) will have a program called Cpanel available to you through the hosting account. To set up your email you log into Cpanel and click on the email section and then follow the prompts. If you have trouble finding this you should be able to call or email your hosting company to ask them how to set up your email.
5. How do you get your website listed in the search engines?
Getting on the search engines doesn’t have to be a long or expensive process. There are some people who will charge you a lot of money to submit your site to hundreds of search engines. Don’t pay them. There is no need to submit your sites at all as they can be found naturally.
The search engines send out what are known as ‘spiders’ constantly. These spiders follow the links from one website to another. All you need to do is get yourself a link on a site that is already being ‘spidered’ and the search engines will find your and do what they call ‘index’ your site in the search engines.