How to start a website in 20 minutes

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By in Jobs & Careers, Make Money. Updated February 2017.

Starting a website is one of the best kept secrets for making money and passive income. You’ll also impress potential employers!Start your own websiteI’ve been a website developer for more than 14 years. I go through the process of creating websites all the time, so I’ve learnt the easiest methods to get started as well as sourcing the best prices available.

Follow these quick and easy steps and you will have a live website and your own domain name within 20 minutes, for less than the cost of a coffee a month.

Anybody can start their own website. Even my 82 year-old Grandma is a webmaster for her village’s museum site.

And several of my technophobe friends have followed this guide, all benefiting from an employer’s raised eyebrows when applying for jobs. Their sites don’t even have much to show off – just the domain name or email address alone can be enough to impress!

5 reasons you need a website

  1. Worth it just for your CV and a professional email
  2. Generate passive income (make money in your sleep – keep reading)
  3. Gives you freedom to work from anywhere
  4. It’s ridiculously easy and affordable (and fun)
  5. So my grandma doesn’t show you up… here’s what you’re up against:
grandma website

Grandma’s WordPress site.

4 steps to start a WordPress website

We’ll be using Bluehost who handle all the parts of starting and running a website for you, making the whole process ridiculously easy for next-to-nothing.

I contacted Bluehost and negotiated a special discount, plus a free domain name. Woohoo! Like most hosts, their prices are in USD but available worldwide.
  1. Choose and register a domain name

    A domain name is what people type into their browser to view your website. savethestudent.org is a domain name. It’s also used for email, such as [email protected]

    There’s a wide range of domain name extensions available, including .com, .org, .net, .info. .com is considered the best, but also the most popular so your preferred .com name may be registered already.

    Registration typically costs £10 ($13) a year, but you can get yours free with this link:

    a. Click here to lock in the free domain name offer
    b. Click “Get Started Now” and select the “Basic” plan for now
    c. Type in your preferred domain name to check availability.

    check domain name

    If your domain name is available, you’ll see the “Create your account” page. Congrats! Continue to Step 2.

    If it’s not available, you’ll be told to try another variation. Consider changing a word, using hyphens (-), adding a number or pick a different extension (such as .info).

  2. Setup website hosting

    Every website needs to be hosted. A web host is just a home for your site and its content (like a remote computer). The host then ‘serves’ the website to visitors when they type in your domain name. It sounds much more technical than it is! In a few clicks you’ll be set up and ready to start posting for the world to see.

    There are hundreds of web hosts out there, but Bluehost is by far the best choice for beginners.

    Why Bluehost? 6 main reasons:

    1. Affordable (from $2.95pm)
    2. Reliable (99.9% uptime)
    3. Free domain name, email addresses & 1-click WordPress install
    4. Brilliant support and training guides
    5. 30 day full refund policy
    6. Officially recommended by WordPress

    Once you’ve found a domain name, simply continue to create your Bluehost account.

    The “Basic” package is more than enough for most websites, and you can uncheck the other paid options for now if you don’t want them.

    bluehost package

    Cost of the Basic 12 month plan.

    To secure the super-low monthly price, you need to pay for at least one year ($71.28) but it’s cheapest ($2.95pm) for three years ($127.44). It’s ridiculously cheap for what you get.

    There’s actually no contract and Bluehost have a no-hassle 30 day refund policy. Even if you want to cancel after that, you can get a refund for what you won’t use.

    Make the upfront payment using your normal card details or PayPal (click “more payment options”). Again, it’ll be in USD but you don’t need an American bank.

    Enter your email below and I’ll show you how easy it is to monetise your new site:

  3. Installing WordPress on Bluehost

    Technically your online presence is secured at this stage, but if anyone goes over to your site, there won’t be much to see! That won’t be for long though… you’re about to install WordPress which allows you to easily manage your whole site, including content and design, without any technical background or coding experience.

    WordPress is used by 80 million websites, including this website 🙂 It was first designed for blogs but even online stores and major news sites like CNN and MTV use it today.

    Login to your Bluehost account, and from the Control Panel click “Install WordPress”.

    install wordpress
    After a couple of minutes you’ll be able to login to the admin panel, and write your first post!

    Wordpress admin editor

    WordPress Admin Panel – Free with Bluehost

  4. Choose your theme

    If you go to view your site now, it’ll look very basic and empty.

    So go ahead and change the theme of your new site. Just click on “Appearance” > “Themes” and browse hundreds of free themes. When you find one you like, click “Preview” or “Install” to apply the theme with just a click!

    wordpress themes

How to get traffic to your new website

question markOnce 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.

Aside from publishing high quality content, the most important thing is to get eyeballs (traffic) on your website. Building social media pages and links to your new site should be your main focus. Not only do they directly send new visitors your way, but they’re also the main indicators Google uses to rank websites. And Google traffic is the best kind of traffic!

How to make money from your website

Traffic can then be monetised in lots of ways. Sign up to Affiliate Window from day one. They are a huge affiliate network giving you instant access to thousands of online retailers and services who pay you a commission for any leads. It’s just a case of copying a link across and including it within your content (or social media pages)!

For more of an insight into how websites generally make money, have a look at our guide to making money as a blogger.

Enter your email below for practical ways to GROW your blog:

 

Websites = Employability

Graduate JobEvery 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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14 Responses to “How to start a website in 20 minutes”

  1. Beth

    12. Feb, 2017

    Hi! This is a really interesting article. Is it possible to make money off a free website made on weebly, for example? Or wix?
    Thanks for your help!
    Beth 🙂

    Reply
    • Owen Burek

      14. Feb, 2017

      Thanks Beth 🙂

      Well yes, but seriously stay away from free platforms, for lots of reasons. For example you will never rank in Google or have full control over your own site.

      It’s also extremely hard to get readers to trust and invest time in your site if it’s obvious you don’t care enough yourself to get a proper domain/site.

      Go with WordPress and pay a little in setting up your hosting to do your site and content justice!

      Reply
  2. chandu

    03. Feb, 2017

    Hi there,

    Thank you for the above advice I am a second year Psychology student and have recently been researching affiliate marketing. Do you have any further advice or guidance on this.

    I gather I would follow the above steps and then go on from there?

    Oh I must add I am NOT a internet whizz kid….

    Thanks in advance
    Chandu

    Reply
    • Owen Burek

      14. Feb, 2017

      I’m hoping to put together a guide to affiliate marketing soon as it’s a whole other beast.

      I would recommend you start with one network (like Affiliate Window), pick no more than 3 brands you think will work with your audience/content and really work hard at creating content that would complement them, and then driving traffic. Twitter is a good start as you can engage with other sites and people in your niche.

      TLDR: start small, test, then grow slowly!

      Reply
    • Jake Butler

      03. Feb, 2017

      Hi Chandu, you’re taking the first steps which is good. After reading this guide and setting up your website I would suggest heading to Google and doing some research on how to take your site to the next level and work with affiliate marketing.

      Reply
  3. Rebekah

    14. Dec, 2016

    Hi Owen,

    Thanks for this helpful article – I have recently purchased a domain name for a review website that I would like to launch one day, but assumed I would need a web developer to build this as it is more complex than most websites.

    I was just wondering if you agreed or if it would be possible to set this up myself, as I would certainly consider this.

    Thanks in advance,

    Rebekah

    Reply
    • Owen Burek

      16. Dec, 2016

      Nope, I would definitely go with WordPress and get a prebuilt review theme from Theme Forest (might cost $100) that you just install and comes with all the settings you’d want.

      Most people think WordPress is just for bloggers, but today there are lots of shops and more complex sites using it as a base to build on!

      Reply
  4. rishav

    11. Sep, 2016

    Hey how i can make money if my website is a free to read website like yours……..please mention the steps

    Reply
  5. Avik Mondal

    07. Sep, 2016

    hi..thanks for the helpful site..that is so cool

    Reply
  6. Kerry

    21. Jul, 2015

    Hi there,

    Thank you for the above advice I am a second year Psychology student and have recently been researching affiliate marketing. Do you have any further advice or guidance on this.

    I gather I would follow the above steps and then go on from there?

    Oh I must add I am NOT a internet whizz kid….

    Thanks in advance
    Kerry

    Reply
    • Jake Butler

      22. Jul, 2015

      Hi Kerry, it’s all about learning as you go. Start with the advice above. When you get stuck or want to learn more just search for extra advice and you’ll find loads of it.

      Reply
  7. Katie Cooney

    27. Jan, 2015

    Hi Owen,

    would like to thankyou for your ‘easy read’ guide!
    I have contemplated with an idea for a website for a while now and your ‘go for it’ attitude has certainly given me drive to start with the set up. Will definately search for more of your info and guides alongbthe way

    Many Thanks
    Katie

    Reply
  8. Josh

    13. Jan, 2015

    Hi Owen,

    Apologies for this question being slightly off topic. But i had a query regarding email address with providers.

    I have an account with Yahoo, but I would much prefer to use a physical program for emails (as Mac Mail / Windows Outlook etc). How can I remove all my correspondence from the Yahoo mail website to a program; or simply is there a way that I can completely cut out the website and use the program as per usual (like the old 2008 Microsoft Outlook programs). I feel that this is my only obstacle in starting up my own website.

    Many thanks,
    Joshua

    Reply

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