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I want to start a website (or few) but I am a bit new at this - advice needed

Discussion in 'General Business' started by PetraFs, Jul 2, 2020.

  1. #1
    Hello everyone.
    SEMrush
    So, I want to start few websites. Of course, my main idea is to eventually make some money with it, but I do understand that it needs work before that and I am willing to that.

    I want to start with the simpler site since I am a little new at this, and then get to affiliate websites and etc. This first more simple site, which I would also use for teaching myself everything, would be some type of a blog/content website, like general knowledge or news, or specific topic and niche.
    But, the main thing is - I am new at this so I have a tooon of questions really. I don't even know where to start with them.
    So my first questions would be:

    - Would it be alright if I start with website builders and free themes to create the website? (I can't hire a web designer right now)

    - How to make my website secure for visitors, and just generally secure? (I know that many website builders already have some security features and possibilities but I want to know if there is anything else I could do along with that)

    - Any other useful advice for a beginner? Where and how can I learn more?

    (I apologize if I posted this in a wrong section - I'm new here)

    Thank you all :)
     
    PetraFs, Jul 2, 2020 IP
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    SEMrush
  2. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #2
    • Buy some hosting that will allow you to host more than one website without an increase in price - often called "reseller accounts"
    • Use the hosting's admin panel to install WordPress (or DIY) and find a theme that suits you - WP makes that easy.
    • Be picky about the plugins you use, check their ratings. Because you're not a programmer you don't have the luxury of looking over the code for security issues.
    • Get Loginizer to protect your site.
    • Use Google Analytics - no need to pay for JetPack
    Be realistic about the low traffic you'll get initially.

    Running blogs is hard work.

    I've had friends I've helped set up websites for and they invariably fail because... running blogs is hard work. We'll get the steps above done and I'll send them off with "homework" to write content, get great photos. Crickets... as they discover that's harder than all the tech stuff. One guy is an incredible DJ, he knows lots of talented people, everyone who meets him is a friend for life. Get a photo of him working a gig, but it has to be high quality and it's going to go here (I point to a generic image that came with the theme). Get photos of this, of that... it takes more effort to get than you realise.
     
    sarahk, Jul 2, 2020 IP
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  3. IAmTheAnswer

    IAmTheAnswer Member

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    #3
    You can definitely use website builder with free themes to start - just do a bit of customization. Do you have any choices?

    For the security of your website, you can ask your hosting for their recommendation on how to secure your website.

    Try to read/watch training videos/courses about seo and backlinks. Just put in mind that blogging is not easy, it needs effort, dedication and a lot of time to succeed. Just enjoy and learn as you grow!
     
    IAmTheAnswer, Jul 3, 2020 IP
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  4. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #4
    lol, never met a hosting company who want to have that conversation with you.
     
    sarahk, Jul 3, 2020 IP
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  5. PetraFs

    PetraFs Greenhorn

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    #5
    Thank you for your answer and advice :)
    I do realize that it takes a lot of work, and I do have some experience with creating content so I am aware of that, especially the part with gathering images, other content and so on.
    I just haven't done it yet for a website that I would like to monetize once it grows a little.


    Do you think having a social media accounts for that website as mean of marketing and gathering traffic is a good idea?
     
    PetraFs, Jul 3, 2020 IP
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  6. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #6
    In general yes, but it really depends on the site and it's purpose.

    I'm seeing a pool guy do really well on tiktok and who would have thought people would be into that?
     
    sarahk, Jul 3, 2020 IP
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  7. JEET

    JEET Notable Member

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    #7
    @PetraFs
    If you are in a hurry of some sort, then you can use a wordpress installation, most hosting providers provide one click installation of this, but this will not be the best choice in the long run.
    You will "definitely" feel its drawbacks later.
    If you just want to use it as a simple blog for yourself and for now, then may be, but I personally will not use it for even that.

    HTML is really easy to learn, really easy.
    I'd suggest start with that, you can have your first webpage built in minutes.
    Then learn some CSS for giving a design to the webpage, also easy.
    Later on if you feel the need then you can learn some PHP plus MYSQL and make the HTML generation work easier for yourself.
    This entire thing took me about 6-7 months when I started.

    Depending on pre-made CMS or frameworks at the very beginning will limit your scope a lot.
    Most people never learn anything beyond maintainance of that CMS alone.
    With a pre-made CMS, you certainly have the benefit of "plug ins", if the CMS supports it, wordpress does.
    This means that someone else has probably already coded a quick PHP script which does the change in core CMS, whatever you want, and you simply have to upload the PHP script to your server.
    But then again the problem comes, what if you need to change some functionality in the plugin itself. You got no option now, except hiring someone and paying them.

    Another problem, 1000 other websites using the same plugin, they all look same as your website. No uniqueness.
    In your web career, you will definitely feel the importance of "uniqueness".
    This is what seperates you from those other 1000 websites working in the same niche as yours.
    This is what tells search engines that you are doing something different, something unique, and helps you get ranked in search engines, and gets you more traffic than those other 1000 websites.
    It could be just unique content (of written article), it could be a unique feature, some different kind of analysis which only you can provide, anything unique.
    If you are not hiring someone to bring this uniqueness to your website, then your only option is to do this yourself.
    Can only do if you understand the basics, isn't it?

    It will take longer to learn and do things, but it pays in the long run.

    By the way, don't go with godaddy hosting.
    Use hostgator or some other host which provides free SSL certificates.
     
    JEET, Jul 3, 2020 IP
  8. PetraFs

    PetraFs Greenhorn

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    #8
    Thank you very much for your advice, it is much appreciated.
    I actually tried learning HTML few years ago, and it went pretty good in the beginning, and then I stopped eventually for some reasons, and now I actually don't remember that much of it.
    Although I always had that thought that I couldn't be too good at something like this (coding and etc) since I am more an artistic type of person, and that coding is more like math (which I am not a genius for). Although, when I started with basics of HTML it didn't seem so hard. I just got the impression that it will take me more time to actually remember all the rules.
    Other thing with whole coding stuff that concerns me is - when I do something I always want to know how it works in depth, like really understand it in every aspect, that way I feel like I have more control over. And when it comes to coding, I always had the feeling it is something much bigger than me, something that I just won't be able to realize in whole. But I would so much love to do it, I would love to learn how to code, I would love to learn everything I can about it.

    But, for the first website I hope some premium website builder could work even with it's limitations, especially if I am going to learn everything about managing websites through it. I hope that could be a good start.
     
    PetraFs, Jul 4, 2020 IP
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  9. Benjamin Scott

    Benjamin Scott Active Member

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    #9
    I suggest you go with Wordpress. It's simple and customizable. Even though thousands of people are using it, you can personalize many of the designs such as headers and logo to brand yourself. I suggest you look at some of the authoritative sites in your niche to get a good idea of the type of content that attracts readers. Many bloggers start out believing they are producing quality content, however, their content is average. Your content has to be of high quality to gain loyal followers that look forward to reading your next post.
     
    Benjamin Scott, Jul 4, 2020 IP
  10. IAmTheAnswer

    IAmTheAnswer Member

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    #10
    Small web host will give you extra services and they are willing to help you, at least in my experience. :)
     
    IAmTheAnswer, Jul 5, 2020 IP
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  11. LadyStarc

    LadyStarc Greenhorn

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    #11
    Can you share the username, if you can recall?
     
    LadyStarc, Jul 6, 2020 IP
  12. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #12
    I accidentally followed him so easy to find.

    350k followers!!!

    upload_2020-7-7_8-20-32.png
     
    sarahk, Jul 6, 2020 IP
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  13. zoink59

    zoink59 Well-Known Member

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    #13
    Good grief! I'm starting an Instagram account. "The Overeater Guy". Something I can put my heart and soul into.
     
    zoink59, Jul 6, 2020 IP
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  14. PetraFs

    PetraFs Greenhorn

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    #14
    So what are his videos about?

    Honestly, I am totally convinced that you would get a really good following very soon. I noticed long ago that people really like weird this "everyday"type of content. And weird content too. Anything that makes them feel relaxed really
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 8, 2020
    PetraFs, Jul 8, 2020 IP
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  15. wildogre

    wildogre Well-Known Member

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    #15
    My advice would be start small focus on one niche and than expand.
     
    wildogre, Jul 10, 2020 IP
  16. LadyStarc

    LadyStarc Greenhorn

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    #16
    Woah! those numbers are really big. He must be making hell of a content. I must WATCH his content now. O.O

    Edit: Thank you! :)
     
    LadyStarc, Jul 13, 2020 IP
  17. jochurt

    jochurt Peon

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    #17
    Many ways to create a free website.. even with templates, SSL, and so on.
    My question would be.. What do you want to accomplish?

    Because a website is not meant to convert, a website is meant to inform.
    If you just want to provide information, a website is good. For making sales and converting leads into buyers, you better make a funnel.
    Or you use your Facebook profile to make money.. Both are more effective than a website.

    Reach out to me if you have questions.
    See if I can help.
     
    jochurt, Jul 15, 2020 IP
  18. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #18
    I'm not sure that Amazon, eBay, Wish and Aliexpress feel that way about their websites.

    My family business is there to inform but has a clear "call to action" on every page to get people to either pick up the phone or make an online application. I lose count of the websites I visit each week looking for info that's hidden behind a paywall, or reliant on the use of a paid service.

    Websites are definitely meant to convert.
     
    sarahk, Jul 15, 2020 IP
  19. FarrisFahad

    FarrisFahad Well-Known Member

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    #19
    Hi Peter, welcome to DP. The first advice I will give is to be patient with traffic. Don't expect to reach 1000 users a day in the first 6 months. I am assuming that you want to build this site with minimum cost. Also you should learn how to promote your site online. A good YouTube account would be ahrefs: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWquNQV8Y0_defMKnGKrFOQ

    Learn how to promote your site with out being spammy. Spamming other websites with links will not have a good effect on your marketing campaign. Just try to be helpful and promote your business where it's appropriate. I also suggest that you do the link building for your site and not hire someone. Please note that you don't need a lot of links to rank, you just need good links.

    Another thing people don't understand is that your business has to be awesome if you want to rank well on Google. And be patient with organic traffic. The average time a site reaches to the first page of Google is between 300 and 600 days give or take.

    If you are building a content site you must create awesome content. Creating awesome content or having a great website in general will make promoting the site a lot easier. So before you start a new website make sure that it's a great idea and not just an idea have.

    I also agree with you that you should start a blog. Your can choose a competitive niche but don't expect to get to the first page with mediocre content or idea. Try to offer something that is of value to people and help them out the best way you can.

    If you want more advice like this let me know,
    Farris
     
    FarrisFahad, Jul 17, 2020 IP
  20. wenbry

    wenbry Greenhorn

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    #20
    never give up remember the sky has no limit. try to do a lot of research
     
    wenbry, Jul 17, 2020 IP