I recently contracted a company to build a house for me and my family to live in. We left the basement unfinished to try to save some money. I thought, it was too expensive to finish and how hard could it be to hammer some nails and throw some sheetrock up. I was wrong, very wrong. I quickly found that the time it was taking me to search the DIY websites and youtube channels was enormous. I also found that it took me until I was halfway done with the job to learn the shortcuts or efficiencies of the task I was doing which was making my end product look less than professional. I realized that hiring a professional would have cost me more outright, but I would’ve saved me more money in time than I wasted just learning the trade.
Websites are no different. Anybody can create a website using a drag and drop builder or purchase a template for less than $100 and modify it as you see fit. As a web design professional with decades of experience I see these type of websites weekly. However, I know it’s expensive to get a great website and I know the satisfaction of completing a DIY project on your own. I thoroughly hope you do succeed, in fact, if you do complete your own do-it-yourself website, I challenge you to put your website on this list. You should be loud and proud of your accomplishment and shout it to the world. We’re not going to continually bother you with offers to upgrade your site. I know when I get done with my DIY house job I can post it to pinterest or instagram and people will congratulate me. You won’t get that same response when you post a URL places. So I’m offering you a brag board, all you have to do is follow my tutorial. So, here it is, the tutorial:
Step 1: Find a domain name.
Domain names are the text that people type to find your company (our is shoutyourname.com). Finding your perfect domain name is almost as hard and as important as naming your first born child. So here’s some tips to finding that perfect domain name that everyone will know and remember:
- Don’t try naming your website after a flower, direction, state, or your favorite stripper just to try to be unique and cool. Name it after something relavent to your company.
- Think of a name that can be spelled out really easy. I started my first company “Leidholm Technologies” and came up with the domain name https://leidtech.com because I thought it sounded cool. What I didn’t know is that people had no idea how to say “leed tek”. They also did not know how to spell it when it was just spoken to them over the phone. I’m forced to phonetically spell out my email address and url every time I tell someone about my company. I urge you to find something that sticks in peoples’ minds and is super easy to spell.
- Don’t be afraid of using .net, .org, .me or other site suffixes. As long as you can say your URL without having to spell it out most of the time, it doesn’t matter what the suffix is.
- Keep it short. You have only a few seconds of a customer’s attention. Don’t waste it on telling them your huge URL.
- Don’t use acronyms unless your company is well known for it’s acronym. ie: IBM.
- Don’t use locations unless your company will never leave that location. ie: don’t use fargopayments.com if you want to accept payments across the US.
Think through the domain name, come up with something that not only describes your company but something that you don’t have to spell out every time that you get a call from a semi-hard of hearing customer. Then check if that domain name is available. Repeat until you find the perfect domain name.
Step 2: Find Hosting
There are hundreds of hosting partners aailable. It’s really easy to sign up for one of the giant hosting providers and get sucked into their “I’m so cheap” sales pitch. But just remember, ramen noodles are easy and cheap but like your hosting provider they will eventually slow you down and cost you more money to fix the issues they cause. A good hosting provider depends on what kind of website you are going to develop. If you’re building a wordpress site, then pick a hosting provider that is optimized for wordpress and will keep on top of your updates. ShoutYourName does host our client’s websites because we want to control the support and server speeds that our clients get. If you do want to host with us please reach out and we’d be happy to set you up with the perfect hosting solution.
Step 3: Set up your CMS
Most hosting providers offer a cPanel account to manage your server space. If you have a cPanel account just navigate to the wordpress section and create a default install.