Before I made BrokeHero.com, I spent a lot of time searching for a really watered down guide on how to create my own website for really cheap if not completely free. I ended up just jumping right into it because no guide I found was very easy or necessarily cheap.
This is my gift to you: a bare bones guide to build your website for under $14 a year.
There is a way to get a completely free website built but for as much effort as that takes with my lack of knowledge it is worth the $14 annual fee to save time that I could be writing mote articles.
Quick Read Before You Begin:
If you have questions or problems I probably will not have the answers or ability to help you other than point you to customer support.
To Save/Bookmark This Webpage:
Press and hold the buttons “Ctrl” and “D” until a window pops up, then tap “enter” or click “save” on the screen.
You’re almost ready! Just take 1 minute to watch this video on how to pick a strong password:
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Step 1: GoDaddy.com is where you are going to buy your domain name for 99¢ a.k.a. the name for your website. This is where your website/domain name is registered.
- Type in your desired website name such as pandalist.com, godogrun.net, myscholar.org etc. If you don’t have a name for your website yet or if yours is already taken, they have great tips on how to pick a good name for your website.
- Once you found one you like, add it to your cart and check out. Don’t buy any of the extra upgrades they offer – we will get those things for free later on. **Do not enter your real address, name or phone number except when entering payment information on this website unless you feel comfortable with it being publicly known** Again, you will have free privacy protection soon but for the time being just protect yourself on your own, you will always be able to change it later on anyways.
- To move on to the next step you will have to wait 30 days until you will be allowed to unlock your domain name so you can transfer it to namecheap.com. If you want to mess around with their free website builder for the 30 day trial while you wait, I would use it just to get some ideas going. —- —--Do not put too much time into this or make sure you completely back up any content you have written in a separate file yourself. As soon as those 30 days are up for the trial, they will delete everything and hold all of your content hostage unless you pay them $12/month for 2 years upfront! That adds up to $250+ to use their website builder which really lacks a lot of the features you’d expect for as much as they are asking you to pay to use their software.
Step 2: Now that you have waited 30 days you can finally unlock your domain and transfer over to Namecheap.com to get a very generous hosting bundle that includes:
- Hosting for the remainder of the time with your current registrar plus an additional year
- WhoIs Privacy Protection
- SSL Certificate Bundle (Https://)
- Cpanel Webmaster Tools and Analytics
- Continue hosting for just $14/year
- And more
- Go back to GoDaddy.com and unlock your domain. You will then have to wait 3 days until you are able to begin the transfer.
- Copy the necessary keys to enter on Namecheap.com
- Verify the transfer to the new registrar on Godaddy.com.
- Accept and pay to initiate the transfer process on Namecheap.com. Transfer will complete in the next 48 hours.
Step 3: Now that you have successfully transferred your domain registration over to Namecheap.com with the hosting bundle, you now need to make sure people will feel safe and secure on your website by activating your free SSL certificate.
- There are 4 ways you can go about this, the easiest is to get self-signed security certificates but it doesn’t really mean anything or change the security status of your website. Any potential viewers will still receive warnings that your website is not safe and will be deterred from entering.
- Generate a Certificate Authority Request and copy the entire key.
- In Cpanel (direct link is in your Namecheap.com dashboard) click on your hosting package and hover over the SSL image, then select manage from the popup menu.
- Under Quick Edit you need to paste the key you just copied as an additional note.
- Message Support to finalize the request and issue your security certificate for your website.
Step 4: Either use the Cpanel website builder or WordPress.com to begin to customize the design of your website and begin uploading or writing content. I recommend WordPress.com because their templates are easy to modify and publishing pages takes no time at all.
See, not too hard after all? Enjoy and good luck!