Whether you have an idea for a business or just a strong interest in any particular subject, a website could be a great way of getting your name out there. But how do you go about creating a site, and what do you need to consider? Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know in our quick guide to creating your personal website. Read on to find out more.
Choose a Name
First of all, as you are creating a personal website, it’s highly advisable that you use your own name when looking for a domain. There are a few reasons why. First of all, your site is all about you, your interests, or the services you offer. And if you want to start getting a name for yourself, it’s your name that needs to be out there in the wild. Secondly, when people land on your site, they will feel it is more personal. There are millions of blogs out there that are impersonal, for example, and putting your name to it should win you a few fans.
Check for a Domain
Hopefully, no one else will have a website using your name, and it should be cheap – a few dollars or so – to buy the rights to use it for a defined period. Sites like GoDaddy are perfect for finding out if your preferred domain name is available. But what if it isn’t and somebody is already using it? It’s worth checking to see if the site is in use first off – perhaps the person in question will be prepared to transfer the rights over to you. Alternatively, think about your subject matter – could you use your name and your service or topic you intend to cover? For example, if you have a love of movies, perhaps you could use the domain name johnsmithmovies.com or something similar?
If you need more information on purchasing a domain name, check out this article I wrote on the Best Domain Registrars.
Look for Host and/or Website Builder
The next step is to find a web host and some kind of builder for your site. There are plenty of options available, although it’s worth bearing in mind that when it comes to hosting you tend to get what you pay for. Service quality isn’t that important when you are just getting started, but once you start getting traffic coming to your blog or site, it’s worth using a professional web host – packages vary, so get in touch with a few and find one that best suits your needs. With regards to a website builder, again, there are plenty of choices. You can use a service such as WordPress.com, and grab yourself a free WordPress theme to get your site off the ground.
Next, let’s look at some of your best choices for personal website hosting.
Personal Website Hosting Features
Searching for personal website hosting is somewhat easier that shopping for business web hosting since you don’t need some of the extra performance and security features that a business site requires. Likewise, you usually don’t need things like multiple domain hosting since you’re concerned only about your own personal website.
The main features you want to look for in a personal web hosting plan are:
A personal website doesn’t quite need as much resource power as say a business website. Likewise, you don’t need as many premium features such as website marketing tools or managed hosting. However, that doesn’t mean you want a low quality hosting plan. And fortunately, there are some low cost, high quality web hosting plans available.
Easy Setup and Installation
Most people that are looking to create a personal website want the easiest possible setup and installation. If you’re building your first website and aren’t an expert, there’s no need to worry. These days there are many options for easily and quickly getting your website up and running.
Many web hosting companies provide easy to use website builders with your hosting plan. And, if you prefer to use a platform such as WordPress or other software application to build your site, you can now find one-click installation options with your hosting plan.
Helpful Customer Support
While the process of creating a personal website is much easier these days, you still want to make sure your hosting plan includes accessible, quality customer support. What I especially like about traditional web hosting over website building companies is that you can obtain help via phone, email, or live chat—which isn’t the case with many website building companies.
Personal Website Hosting Recommendations
You’ve probably heard about website builders such as Wix and SquareSpace. Certainly, these are options you could use. However, be aware of a few things first. Although Wix and SquareSpace may seem like cheap options, you usually have to pay extra fees to have their ads removed from your website. Also, you don’t have as many options with these website builders as you do with a web hosting plan. And, in order to create comparable websites with Wix and SquareSpace, you’ll usually have to pay for a premium plan—costing even more money.
Here are three example of traditional web hosting plans that we feel are perfectly suited for personal website hosting.
InterServer is one of the most economical personal website hosting solutions. Not only can you purchase a quality hosting plan, but with their price lock guarantee you don’t have to worry about skyrocketing renewal costs.
InterServer’s basic hosting plan includes many features often found in more expensive web hosting packages. Their cPanel hosting interface gives you access to all types of web applications that you can choose from.
With GreenGeeks, you get their all-inclusive web hosting plan that provides not only everything you need to get started with your personal website, but also gives you plenty of room to grow and expand your website.
GreenGeeks also includes features such as automatic data backup and solid state drives for faster performance. They also feature cPanel hosting—allowing you to select from many web applications including WordPress.
And, as their name implies, GreenGeeks is the industry standard for Green Web Hosting—powered by 300% renewable energy.
A2 Hosting provides easy setup, helpful customer support, and fast web hosting. Although A2 Hosting is ideally suited for business or other advanced types of websites, their Lite web hosting plan is great for starting a personal website.
A2 Hosting specializes in optimized WordPress hosting. So, if you choose to go with WordPress, you can get their outstanding WP features along with their impressive data center, hardware, and security features.
And, A2 Hosting has some of the best, most responsive customer support in the industry.
Finally, it’s time to get started on creating some content for your site. It’s up to you what you write about, of course, but there are a few things to consider. First of all, always think about what your audience wants – after all, they are the people that will be checking out your site. Secondly, make sure you have a basic understanding of SEO – it’s how people will find your work. And finally, have some fun – there are millions of websites out there right now, and if you want to get noticed you will need to do something a little different. Good luck!