Today, we are living in an internet world with many ways to promote yourself for free. Of cause, Instagram or Facebook is also a good way and popular, a website should be the core of your network. It’s the center of the traffic, all the response of your link come together through from your social media platform. A personal website is not the something new, I’ve been using it as my name card for more than 10 years. Now, a website also can be a portfolio, blog, shop, it gives you multiple possibilities to showcase your work, service, product, ideas and more. Like I do, You are not a coder and don’t have time to learn it for coming project. You may never think that build a great look website in 30 mins can be happened. I’m writing my experience of building a website to help more people to get out of this difficult problem.
First, you need to know what kind of your website is: portfolio, blog, shop, service or anything else, and a mix function website is also workable upon your request. I recommend you to draw everything on a blank paper, organize pages and categories. The more you’ve thought before building it the better to save time to fix it in the future. Don’t make my fault again.
Second, what the content is, how many contents you have right now and how often you gonna update your site. Why this important? Different website theme has different benefits which help you out to showcase your content. For example, If you have not much content like photos, videos, and posts, the best way to display this kind of website is a portfolio, not a blog.
There are many different types of website, find the best way that works out for yourself:
- Portfolio: Work better for designers, artists, and photographers to showcase your work with an easy to use uploader and organizer. (Recommendation: Photoshelter, Squarespace, Wix, Photofolio)
- Blog: Work well for all types of bloggers, easy posting, and comments. (Recommendation: WordPress, Tumblr)
- e-Commerce: Sell your product online, sales and shipping management(Recommendation: WooCommerce, Shopify, BigCommerce)
- Mixed with above: Build your own website system to meet all of your need. This will be easier than you though, only three steps to get your website.
After making a decision of the main usage, now it is time to build your website. There are three basic steps to go if you need to build your own website system wether works for portfolio, blog, and e-commerce or all of them:
1. Choose A Web Hosting
If you are a new bee to this step, I can tell how confused you are. For photographers or designers, PhotoShelter is highly recommended for who wishes to sell their artworks online, the simple reason why not other platforms are, PhotoShelter offers built-in shopping cart which means your client can purchase and pay directly to your website without jump out of the webpage. They also have much major print lab partner do the professional part of work. The most important reason for myself that PhotoShelter has self-fulfillment service, which allows me to sell and ship product all by myself, this function gives me flexible options and more possible to sell my artworks online. Please feel free to check my portfolio here to see how it looks like.
For bloggers and corporate website, WordPress is the best free and open-source content management system that I’ve ever used for more than 10 years. I’m using both BlueHost and Godaddy WordPress host for my blog and business, they all good on space, bandwidth, and price of the plan. They all give you a free domain when you sign up at the first time. Let’s talk about something different about them: email account. An email account is important for your business, whether you need a customer email account or plan to start email marketing. BlueHost gives you unlimited creations of email account with no extra charge, it charged $4.99/mo(On sale$1.99/per user/mo) on Godaddy. SSL certificate(Secure Sockets Layer) is free on BlueHost and $67.49/year on Godaddy. If you have more than one website and plan to use WordPress system, BlueHost will be the best fit your needs. My blog powered by WordPress which you are reading now, write any comments if you have questions.
2. Buy a Domain
When you made a decision from the last step, you’ve realized some of the web hosting providers offer a free domain when you purchase a plan. If you do so, you can skip this step, set up your free domain when manga your website. For purchasing a new domain, I would recommend Godaddy, the best domain service I’ve ever used with reasonable price.
3. Pick a theme
It’s time to design your WordPress website, a friendly design theme is a good to start. Here, I recommend a platform I’ve used for about ten years: Themeforest. There are 39k+ WordPress themes and website templates From just $2. It calls “Shout” cost $59 for my theme which you are looking at on this site, designed by Pirenko Studio. To pick a handy theme, you need to think about a few things:
- Is it ready for major plug-ins, sort of MailChimp, Page Builder, Customize Forms, Easy Facebook Feed, Slider Revolution, etc
- Does it have demo install, which allows you install the theme as the demo by just one click. This is very important!
- Include WooCommerce theme or not, if you plan to sell product or service on your website.
- Support multilanguage, if more than one language is needed, translation is another request.
I would encourage you to read tutorials on every theme page before purchase and feel free to ask designer any questions. This gonna help you to get know more about the theme before you lost money because of it non-refundable.
Okay, this is a post about what I am using and how to start to build a personal website, if you have any question about it, please feel free to leave a comment here.