How To Make Your Own Website – Part 2

January 4th, 2011

Before you get too involved, jump right in and get started to make your own website, I recommend we take a minute to talk about the content a bit more first.  It’s an easy subject to skim over, but many a would-be Webmaster will simply freeze at this point.

What do I put my site?  What should I say or share?  How can I be sure I targeted what people are searching for?  Each of these are questions you might ask, depending on the type of internet presence you want, or the goals you have in mind for your web pages.

What do I put on my site?

This is a question you might ask if you’re an established business.  You want (or know you need) a web presence and have made a command decision to get one going.

You’re “IT” guy knows how to get a site hosted, or knows you can probably do that through your current email service as a “freebie” for signing up with them; (see make your own email for a cheaper way to get email if that describes how your company email got started).

Anyway, maybe he even has a template, knows how to get one, or is savvy enough to recommend WordPress.  All good – but what next.  You have the platform and the technical “know how” to get a few web pages live – but what next?

That’s why we need to think this through first.  Define a purpose for you site.  Is it for your future customers to see what you do, what you provide or what you sell?  Is it for your current customers to track shipments, or have ready access to time sensitive information about the project or program you provide for them?  Or is it just to have a site up so you can point to it on correspondence, but really have no sales goals for it?

Depending on what you decide, the next steps you take to make your own website will get clearer.  Map it out.  Define what you want to show or say (or both).  If you need to be a top ranked site in Google, at least look up SEO on the internet before you start asking for a consultant.  That alone can save you a ton of money.  In fact, the articles and posts you find on this site will help you do much of what a consultant will charge a bundle for – for free, or at least just at the cost of time for you or your employees to learn how.

We’ll discuss the other two questions on the next post …

How to Build A Web Page Using Squidoo

December 31st, 2010

If you decided to build a web page with free web hosting services, Squidoo is a great place to start.

Just type “” into your favorite browser and click the big orange ‘sign up now’ button with the single eyed squid monster behind it. That takes you to a screen where you can enter a user name (you might have to try a few to get one somebody else doesn’t already have), an email address you are comfortable possibly being public with (get a yahoo or gmail address if you don’t already have one you can use), select a password, accept the terms of service, enter the captcha and – finally – press the ‘join now’ button.

Next time, all you have to do is enter your email address and password and you’re all set to build a web page, or squidoo lens as they are called here.

Once you are in your dashboard, just find the ‘create a lens’ button and press it. That will get you headed down the path to where you can start creating a web page.

As an example of a completed squidoo lens, take a look at Rent-PS2-Games. It’s a fun site that shows many of the building blocks you’ll use for yours as well.

Back to getting started … you should be at Step 1. Just follow the directions and type in what you will build a web page about. Click continue and fill in something for the title, your ONE chance at setting the URL, the best topic from the drop down list and a rating as well.

On Step 3, select three keywords, or keyword phrases that people might search for to find your lens. For the above example, maybe video games, video game rental or rent video games would be good, since the best tag ‘Rent PS2 Games’ will have already appeared in the best tag for my lens box.

Click Build my lens and you are ready to go.

Now, to actually build a web page, I’m going to turn you over to the Lens Workshop Tour video. It’s just under 10 minutes long and does graphically what a lot of words would take here. And they probably do a better job anyway – after all, it’s their platform. So get to creating a web page – and remember, as long as it’s in draft form, you can’t break anything (that others will see anyway) …

How To Make Your Own Email Address On Your Own Domain Name

December 30th, 2010

Once your site is live, here is how to make your own email address. This example assumes you have Cpanel, but even if you don’t, your web hosting company will have instructions on what to do from their control panel or admin area. For example, 1&1 doesn’t use Cpanel, but once you click on the email admin area, the basics to make your own email address are pretty much the same.

First, log into your cpanel, control panel or admin area using the user name and password provided by your hosting account. Select the email admin button. For Cpanel that’s the “Email Accounts” icon. That should bring you to a form where you will define your new personal email address.

In the first block, type in the name you want to appear. If your domain name was, and you wanted your email address to be, just enter Admin (or Bob, Sue, contact, info, sales, etc.) in that first block, enter a password in the section for that, confirm it by typing it in again and click on the create account button. If you don’t have Cpanel, the form will be slightly different, but the information you need to enter will be the same.

Once you defined your address, Cpanel allows you to set just how large you will let it get. That’s called the quota, and unless you plan to send a tremendous amount of video, photos or save large files in your account, the default setting will probably be just fine.

The make your own email part is done now, but to read, send and generally access your account, go back to the Cpanel home screen (or your host’s email control panel area) and look for an email access icon. For Cpanel, that’s the “Webmail” button. Press it and you will have 3 choices for reading mail.

Web hosting companies that have a different admin area may only have one way to view your mail, so they may send you directly to the account area. That’s ok … for the rest, you will get a choice of Horde, Squirrelmail or Roundcube. I prefer Roundcube, but it doesn’t really matter which you choose. They are all very basic services without much flare, so just pick the one you like, select it and head on over to your inbox.

You can make your own email address anything you like, and you can set your account up to have as many addresses as you want, at least up to the memory limit your hosting account allowed you on sign up. It’s a good idea to send an email to one of your other addresses to make sure that works, then reply to that email on your old account to make sure your new inbox functions properly as well. That’s it! You now have your own personal email account. Create some addresses for your friends if you like and you’re good to go!

Host Your Own Website and Register Your Domain On Different Services

December 27th, 2010

Finding out how to host your own website isn’t all that difficult, but there are a few things to keep in mind before you get too far down that path. First, as mentioned on the initial site post, you really don’t want to register your domain name with the same company that you’ll host you own website on.

I did so with some of my sites in the beginning, and (crossing fingers), so far I haven’t had any issues. But … many notable forums out there with folks much more in the technical, day-to-day ‘know’, strongly recommend not doing it. I won’t mention any web hosting packages, or hosting company names, as the intent here isn’t to pass on rumors or slam a reputable company because a few folks had issues … but the common guidance at the base of those discussions is not to host your own website with the same company that you used to register the domain.

The reasons are varied, but the common thread is having your site held captive. Basically, the argument is that if you have a problem with your hosting company, you can always transfer the domain to another and move on. However, if you’re having the registrar selected by the same company (usually as part of your web hosting packages), then you can’t even transfer the site. That site is completely out of your control at that point.

So, even if you plan to build your own websites, and you’ll host your own website as well (great choices here, by the way), general guidance for best results is to keep the two companies separate. Having said that, I really do like NameCheap for buying domain names and Host Nine for putting them on the Internet.

NameCheap has very reasonable domain name prices and a superb private registration (whois guard) process that others provide at a much higher annual cost.

Host Nine is worth considering if you plan to make website building a career. You can create unlimited sites, host them on servers with different IP addresses as desired and you can even offer web hosting packages to others if you purchase their reseller’s account. For just getting a site up, Host Nine is still ok, but if you only plan to have just a few, then I recommend HostGator. Great service, great prices.


Build My Own Website Free With Blogger

December 23rd, 2010

Build my own website? Certainly … and next to WordPress, using is probably one of the easiest, quickest and least expensive ways to do just that. If you plan to use it for business purposes, Blogger is also owned by Google, and even though that by itself won’t get you to number one on the search engines, it certainly can’t hurt have Google as your host, so to speak.

Anyway, one of the first things you’ll need is an account at Google. If you don’t have one, it’s quite easy … just type the url into your search engine, hit return and wait for the Blogger home page to appear. There will be a spot on the right hand side where you can either enter your Google login, or get an account.

Once you’re logged in, you will be at your dashboard. After you build your own websites, or in this case, your own blogs, you will see them here. Until then, it will be empty … but, on the right side you’ll see a button that says Create A Blog – and one right next to it that says Help. Honest, that help button is all you need … that and a good cup of coffee. It will walk you through every step you need to get a site up.

If this is a personal site, all you need to do next is find your photos, use the help screen to get them posted and start calling friends and family to let them know you can “build my own website”, and here’s the URL as proof!

But do remember. You can build a website or blog this way very easily … but if it is for business purposes, I can’t recommend strongly enough that you buy your own domain name, host your own website and be in control of your own online destiny.

How To Make Your Own Website – Part 1

December 20th, 2010

One of the first things you’ll need to make your own website is a domain name.  If you plan to use Blogspot (Blogger), Squidoo, Hubpages or any number of other free services – then usually all you need to do is decide on a name you like and enter it.  If it turns out somebody else used that name already, then you can add hyphens or slightly change the wording to find a url that can be assigned to you.

If you plan to purchase your own domain name, then services like Namecheap, Hostgator, 1&1 and many, many others are out there to help you with that.  For what it’s worth, I like Namecheap because they are very reasonable, and they have a whois protection service that lets you decide what information to give out rather than just blurting your home or business address, phone, email and name out for all to see (and use) as they wish.  The other hundreds of services out there are probably just fine … but remember, you don’t want to host you website at the same place you purchase your domain name at.

Next, you’ll need to write your content.  Putting that in notepad is best, since it doesn’t have any stray formatting, or even html coding in the background that could intefer with the final appearance of your web pages.  If it’s a personal site … the normal “hello world” post you get with wordpress will be just fine to get you going.

However, if you are planning to make your own website for business purposes … I’d recommend spending some time making sure you have quality content about you site ready to go before you publish it on the internet.  Sure, you can put up an “under construction” page if you like, I just personally think it’s better to have a good deal of the site written-up first.

More on this to come soon …

Make My Own Website

December 7th, 2010

Where to Begin
Make my own website. Sounds good – right? Unfortunately, many individuals never even start. They simply decide it is all too complicated. All too ‘techy’ and quite intimidating, regardless of the original goal the site was intended for. That’s where these posts come in. Hopefully, some of that fear will be removed and you can finally get started. At least that’s the goal. Whether for business, family or simply personal pleasure, we hope you’ll be able to say “I know how to make my own website for free” (or at least at minimal cost) very soon.

So to start with … why would we want one?

Business Websites
If you own a business, getting the word out is important. What better way than to put your name, brand or product line in front of the millions of people that search the internet every day. But if you try to have someone build a site for you, it can be quite costly, never mind that you’ll be about as involved in getting it to show what you want as well. That’s why you might want to consider … I’ll make my own website. Good plan!

Personal Websites
Ok, you don’t own a business, and you don’t really want to join facebook. But you still want a way to post photos, or to get the “annual Christmas letter” distributed without the hassle of making copies, addressing the envelopes and paying for all that postage. Yup – if you said I’ll make my own website, I’d say you’re definitely on the right track.

Educational Websites
So what if you don’t have a business, or even want to keep the family up to date with all the local happenings. If you said you wanted to make my own website just to learn how … there’s certainly a place for you in all that as well.

So Why This Site?
Well, my first website was based on an educational theme, and it had (still has actually) three purposes – 1) to learn how to use html, 2) to provide free science projects to grade school teachers and 3) to maybe, possibly, someday perhaps make a small profit from it. That was a while ago now (how things work in case you’re interested), and it certainly wasn’t free.

But now I know how, and I also know how to make my own website free, or at least inexpensively if you decide (like me) that you want to actually own the domain yourself.

Final Thoughts (Or should I say final thoughts before we get started)
Simply this … stay tuned. Make comments as desired, ask questions and let’s see what we can do. I’m not an expert html or wordpress coder, but I do know a thing or two about getting websites published and at least a little about getting them noticed. So … hopefully you’ll be able to say you also know “how to make my own website free” soon as well.