4 steps to creating your own website
Building a website is one of the best kept secrets for impressing potential employers, and could see you running your own money-making empire! As the owner and founder of Save the Student, I’ve been a website developer for more than 14 years. I go through the process of setting up websites all the time, so I’ve been able to work out the best and easiest methods to get started as well as sourcing the best prices available.
Setting up your online pad is easier and more affordable than ever. Follow these quick and easy steps I’ve put together and you can be up and running within 30 minutes for less than £30.
I’ve gone through these steps below with many of my graduate friends, and they admit they’ve all benefited from an employer’s raised eyebrows when applying for jobs. Most of the sites don’t even have much to show off – just the domain name or email address alone can be enough to impress.
Aside from actually landing a great job, setting up your own website could be your biggest achievement since graduation!
4 basic steps to creating your website
First thing’s first! The core ingredients you will need to set up your website are:
- a domain name (ie. myname.co.uk)
- an email address (easy to set up with your domain name registrar)
- a website host (someone who stores your website’s files on a server)
- a free WordPress account (helps you manage your website without having to know any HTML etc).
Choosing and registering a domain name
As you probably know, there are a range of domain name extensions available. The most common for the UK are .com and .co.uk. It’s your choice which you go for, assuming that the domain name you want is still available.
.com domain name
Cheapest Registrar: GoDaddy.com
Price: ~£7.35 per year
Notes: Select GBP from top right to pay in £
.co.uk domain name
Cheapest Registrar: 123-Reg.co.uk
Price: ~£2.99 per year
Notes: Minimum 2 years, exc. VAT
Setting up your personalised email address
The easiest way to create your email address under your new domain name is to do it with your registrar from step 1.
Once you log in, there will be an option to set up email addresses which you can then hook up with your usual email client (eg. Hotmail, Gmail, Outlook).
There are loads of guides out there on doing this, so I’ll leave this to Google for now.
To upload content onto your domain name you will need a bit of server space (just like storing files on your computer). There are hundreds of web hosts out there now, and you could spend forever looking.
Top website host: GoDaddy
Price: From £2.99 per month
You will then just need to point your domain name to the server by setting the “Nameservers”, which will be provided by your web host. If you need any help in getting things sorted, never hesitate to get in touch with the hosts as their support teams are usually very good.
Technically your online presence is secured at this stage, but if anyone goes over to your site, there won’t be much to see! The quickest way to get something on your site is to install the incredibly popular and free piece of kit called WordPress.
If you have gone with GoDaddy, they have a very simple system in place which allows you to install WordPress through them.
Otherwise, it’s a case of downloading WordPress, unzipping the files and uploading them to your server via a FTP client (I use FileZilla). Again, there’s loads of stuff online to help you with this process – WordPress Docs is a great place to start.
What happens next?
Once you’ve got your site set up, there’s a whole world of opportunities to grow your website and even make some money from it.
The most important thing is to work out the best ways to get eyeballs (traffic) on your website by exploring search engine optimisation (SEO) and link building.
For a quick insight into how websites generally make cash, have a look at our guide to making money as a blogger.
In the meantime, it might be worth signing up for Affiliate Window – a popular affiliate network for promoting products and services for commission.
Websites = Employability
Every student and graduate now has an online presence of some sort. Whether it’s a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn profile, you will have a whole network of footprints across the web.
But there’s nothing like having your own website and your own personalised email address to really impress employers. It can be a bit of a novelty, but having your CV or portfolio at myownwebsite.com really makes you stand out from the crowd.
A website also makes you much easier to track down, and can even be considered an online platform to promote yourself.
Make sure you put the actual website that you have set up on your CV itself! And of course you can also use [email protected] as your professional looking email address. No more blushing when spelling out [email protected], either. Wins all round!
Registering a domain name, creating your own website and personalising your email address gives you an identity and explicitly demonstrates that you have certain skills which employers are looking for.
If you have any questions or want to share your own experiences, leave us a comment below or feel free to get in touch.
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