I’ll admit it. I’m a total DIY’er.
I’ve been known to cut my own hair, sew my own clothes, and bake my own bread. Sometimes it turns out perfectly, and sometimes it doesn’t (my most recent DIY-project meant an immediate appointment at the dog groomers). But I’m a strong believer that with enough guidance, instructions, and pretty pictures, I can do just about anything.
But what about websites?
Enter the mystical land of HTML, CSS, PHP, and a hundred other acronyms that are mysterious and, frankly, scary. Staking out your own place on the worldwide web can be a bit harrowing, but enter the iThemes Guide to Building an Awesome Website (ta-da!):
At iThemes, our goal is to Make People’s Lives Awesome–and that means web design made easy. We wanted to break website building down into eight simple steps. It’s really that easy!
Step 1: Get a Memorable Domain Name
Think about it and be creative, but keep in mind domain names should be simple and easy to remember (and spell). We recommend GoDaddy to purchase your domain name.
Check out a few more helpful tips on choosing a great domain name in our free eBook 5 Keys to Rockin’ Websites.
Step 2: Get Quality Hosting
Think of your domain name as your address and your hosting as your house. This is very important: get good hosting! Not all hosting companies provide the same quality, service, and technical specifications–so choose carefully.
Step 3: Install WordPress
It’s simple: WordPress is the best, easiest to use, and most innovative content management system on the web. The best part? It’s free.
Check out our How to Get Started page with video tutorials on getting your domain name and hosting and how to install WordPress.
Step 4: Personalize Your Site Design
Personalizing your site is one of the major advantages to building your own website. WordPress has tons of themes and templates, so the possibilites are pretty endless.
We recommend iThemes Builder, the most flexible, robust, and “super” theme out there. Builder helps you create WordPress sites quickly and easily by creating your own page layouts, something basic (and free) WordPress themes don’t offer.
Step 5: Add Content
Content is King, folks!
Besides personalizing your site, having control of your website content is another important reason to build your own website. Your site needs to be updated frequently, and having an easy way to add or change content is crucial to the success of your site.
Check out Content Rules by Ann Hadley and C.C Chapman for some great ideas and tips for creating great content.
Step 6: Promote Your Site
What good is your site if it doesn’t get traffic? Fortunately, great opportunity exists in utilizing social media and search engine optimization (the modern “yellow” pages).
Thank goodness iThemes Builder includes an SEO plugin to help you get started getting noticed.
Step 7: Protect Your Site
Make sure to protect your investment and hard work. Losing your site due to crashes, hackers, and mistakes can be tragic, so make sure you have BackupBuddy–a plugin that automates backup files of your site and can even restore everything completely if something terrible happens.
Trust us–don’t build a website without BackupBuddy.
Step 8: Learn and Grow
Another one of our core values at iThemes: Learn and grow. Technology and society are changing rapidly, so stay up-to-date and engaged in advances to stay ahead of the competition and ultimately, meet the needs of those that visit your site.
Check out WebDesign.com for awesome training and community in all things “web”.
Get all of the tools you need to build your website in one place: The 3-in-1 Web Designer’s Toolkit!
With support and community, as well as themes from iThemes (including Builder), plugins from PluginBuddy.com, and comprehensive training from WebDesign.com, you’ll have everything you need for the ultimate DIY project.
So, start building! The possibilities on the web await.
Download your copy of the entire infographic and see the interactive version here:
Let us know what you think!