I’ve decided to take a step back and write a quick guide for the complete beginner. My ebook “Up and Running with Niche Sites for Beginners” was written for internet marketing beginners. I was making the assumption that you already had some knowledge of how to set up a simple website.
This post is for the complete newcomer to the world of website development and website setup. I’m going to go through the initial steps that must be completed in order to purchase your first domain name, purchasing web hosting, and setting up your first basic WordPress website.
Side Note: This post is in response to recent feedback to my ebook.
I lived in hope that you would have a step by step approach for getting the web site up and running before looking for the niche to put in it.
I was wrong, Again you guys do not break it down enough and expect a level of understanding that I and lots of others have not got its so frustrating
Yep I like others are trying to glean all we can on a shoe string budget, and its OK you guys saying you need to invest in the future but what you haven’t got you cant spend. Sorry for the moan but remember how little we know!!!
A little harsh, I’d say. But I’m here to help, so here is the information that you requested…
Keep in mind that you cannot really start a niche website with absolutely no money unless you go with some kind of free web hosting solution. But in that case, you will be severely limited and you will have a much tougher time making money. If you truly are trying to start with $0 then I suggest you get a day job first and save up a couple hundred dollars to work with before you get started.
The following steps are just my suggestions. You can always purchase hosting first and then purchase a domain(s). It doesn’t really matter what order you do the first 2 steps. This is just a general guide.
Purchasing Your First Domain Name
I buy all of my domain names from GoDaddy. This is just a personal preference. There are several cheap domain name companies on the market today, but the first one I went with back in the day was GoDaddy, so I’ve stuck with them. You can usually find a coupon online to get you 20-30% off of your purchase, so it’s not a bad deal.
The steps to purchasing your domain name are pretty straightforward and simple.
- Follow my link to the GoDaddy homepage.
- Assuming that you’ve already researched your niche, just type your desired domain name into the search box and press Go. In general, you should probably stick with a .com name, but I’ve had limited success with .info names – and they are much cheaper. GoDaddy will tell you whether or not the name is available and will suggest alternate names if the name is taken. If you have not yet researched your niche, I suggest you do this before you buy a domain name. Read my article on researching your first niche.
- Once you are happy with your choice, click the button for Continue to Registration. You can skip all of the ads. GoDaddy does try to sell you additional items such as web hosting and domain name privacy (in some cases you may want to purchase the privacy I guess). Don’t worry about setting up the nameservers settings yet. We’ll do this after we purchase hosting.
- At the final checkout screen, you can enter your coupon code. I normally get my coupon from Fat Wallet.
That’s it. You are now the proud owner of a new domain name!
Purchasing Web Hosting for Your Website
What is the best web hosting company?
For my web hosting, I’ve always used HostGator. Again, this is just a personal preference. If you already have to host with someone else, feel free to use that hosting account.
Hostgator has always been great to me. The cost is cheap. You can host unlimited websites, with unlimited databases, and email addresses – all on one account. The speed is quick. I’ve never really noticed any downtime with any of my sites. And the few times that I’ve needed to email support, they’ve been fast and accurate with their help.
The following are the steps to buy hosting and set up your first domain on the hosting account.
- Follow my link to the Hostgator website. Click the link for View Web Hosting Plans. If you plan on having any more than one website in your life, then go with the Baby Plan.
- Follow the online instructions, giving your payment details, etc. That should really be it.
- If you just completed the above steps then you really don’t need to do anything else with HostGator yet. If you previously had an existing account and you are looking for instructions on how to set up an addon domain (2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc domain within the same account, I think I’ll save that for another post. For the time being, this is a fairly good explanation).
You now own your very own web hosting account. For about $8 a month, you can run as many niche websites as you like.
Configure Your Domain Name to Point at Your Hosting Account
Now that we have a domain name and a hosting account, you need to point the domain name to your hosting account. In your welcome email from Hostgator, they should have sent you your name servers. This will look something like NS123.hostgator.com and NS124.hostgator.com. If you cannot find your name servers, contact HostGator support.
Now login to GoDaddy and follow the link for Domains -> Domain Management. Choose the domain that you want to modify by clicking in on it.
Halfway down the page, click the Set Nameservers link. In the popup, choose the last option and set your name servers for #1 and #2.
It could now take up to 48 hours for your domain name change to propagate so that it actually points at your hosting account. But in my experience, it usually only takes a few minutes. Keep refreshing your domain name until you no longer see the GoDaddy generic parking page. Eventually, you will see an empty page with a link or two to some subdirectories on your new hosting account.
Setting up WordPress on Your New Domain
This step is optional and assumes that you want to run your niche website on WordPress. If you are not familiar or comfortable with WordPress, there are a few other ready-made script template packages that are specifically designed for creating niche websites – both of which I use on several of my sites.
Niche Site Platform – I’ve talked about this one in other blog posts. Great package for setting up niche sites.
Build a Niche Store – No longer as popular as it once was, but it still works and I still use it on some websites. This is what got me started with niche websites.
If you decide to go with a WordPress website, then HostGator makes it very simple to install wordpress. Simply login to your new website’s control panel (cpanel) – you’ll want to login at yournewdomainname.com/cpanel.
Once logged in, look for the link to Fantastico De Luxe.
Now click the link for WordPress -> New Installation.
Choose your domain and leave the directory blank (unless you want to install WordPress in a sub directory). Fill in the other required information, such as a login username and password, site name, and description, and press Install WordPress. Fantastico will do the rest.
That about wraps it up. You should now be able to login to your WordPress website (if you have chosen to go with WordPress). If you decide to promote eBay products, I suggest that you also take a look at the PHPBay plugin.
If you are now ready to move on to creating a niche website, then check out my Getting Started guide or sign up to download my free ebook.
- Start Researching Your First Niche Website
- Effectively Monetize Your Niche Website
- Promote Your Niche Website for Better, Targeted Traffic