Starting a new site is always tough and there are a ton of online resources that attempt to be helpful.
But even if this is not your very first site you are starting, you are likely to find yourself lost when trying to locate a guide that would be easy to follow.
Most of those start-your-site guides go into much detail making it an extremely overwhelming process.
I surely see the value in in-depth tutorials on launching a new site but I wanted to put together something simpler and clearer, something that would be a good starting point.
With that in mind, here’s what I always start a new site with:
Your domain is your site name and these days it is quite affordable to register a domain, i.e. about $10 a year to have your own unique domain name.
It is not easy to find an available .com domain though as there are so many sites on the web. But you can still grab a great name, especially if you come up with your own word.
A Hosting Solution
Hosting is the foundation of any website, and in many cases it is the only investment I start any new site with.
Of course, free hosting options exist but I have been shying away from those since I did my first site over at blogspot and lost it. The problem with free hosting is that you don’t have real control over your site. So you can lose everything overnight.
So I suggest investing in a reliable hosting solution, and research backup options too. Lots of hosting services offer secure backup solutions for you to keep your work safe. And WordPress offers free and paid backup plugins which make it easy to archive your work in case of any catastrophic situation.
WordPress themes can be free or paid. I usually go with a minimal free theme until I figure out my branding. WordPress’s own default theme is a nice start. It is sleek and provides good visibility, so this is a good start.
Once you are ready, you can pick a premium theme for your site to match your newly identified brand identity.
If you don’t plan to have a large mailing list then MailChimp is the best choice. It’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. This means if you max out your number of subscribers, you can send six emails per month.
To keep your plan free for as long as possible, be sure to regularly prune your list for inactive subscribers.
I don’t use too many writing tools but there’s one that I cannot do without, and it is a paid one. Text Optimizer is my go-to tool that helps me create a better-researched and more optimized copy by suggesting related topics and entities that are associated with my chosen writing topic.
Text Optimizer uses semantic research to extract related concepts and names for a topic of your choice, as well as helps you build sentences around them. The tool will also evaluate your current article to measure how close your copy to the target keyword is, how diverse your vocabulary is and how well you covered the topic.
There’s also this writing checklist which helps me write better blog posts and keep my quality consistent.
Other premium tools that you may want to invest in (going forward) include:
- Ahrefs: An awesome keyword research tool I am using to find topics to cover, as well as monitor my rankings
- Viral Content Bee: A social media promotional platform that allows you to get your content shared all around social media. There’s a free option if you have free time and established social media accounts to share other people’s content and earn credits.
If you are looking for affordable resources for a variety of tasks, Fiverr can be a great resource. You will find gigs for logo design, video creation, content ideas, local business marketing advice, and pretty much anything else you can think of.
While the premise of the site is everything costs $5, be sure to read each gig description carefully – some offer the bare minimum for $5, but you have to upgrade to get what you really want.
What are your favorite simple and affordable website creation resources? Please share in the comments!