How to Start Your Website
Now that you’ve decided on a topic for your new blog and chosen the perfect name, it’s time to get started. To get your blog up and running you will need to choose a hosting service and page builder. We recommend using GoDaddy Website Builder.
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GoDaddy Website Builder
GoDaddy Website Builder is a simple and affordable option that offers a high-quality product and service. It is free to start, with a 1-month trial. After the first month, you can purchase the personal plan for just $5.99 per month or the standard business plan for $9.99 per month.
In addition to hosting your blog, the GoDaddy service provides you with a number of design tools and security features to make sure your blog looks great and loads quickly and smoothly with every click.
Setting Up Your Website
Getting your blog set up with GoDaddy Website Builder is easy and straightforward. Their website offers an informative and intuitive step-by-step process to get you started.
Sign Up For an Account
When you start your blog with GoDaddy Website Builder, you will not be billed for your first month of service. This gives you the opportunity to try out the service and be sure you’re happy with the results before you commit. You will not need to enter your credit card and can cancel any time within the first month at no cost. To begin, review their options and select the one that best fits your blogging needs.
The Personal plan, starting at $5.99 per month, includes the following features:
- Editing tools
- Mobile functionality
- SSL security
- 24/7 support
The standard Business plan, starting at $9.99 per month, offers all the features of the personal plan plus the following:
- A PayPal button
- Search Engine Optimization
GoDaddy also offers a Business Plus plan for $14.99 per month that adds the following features to the above offerings:
- Email marketing
- Google My Business service
- Yelp listing
- Social media account integration
- Online appointments
If you want to operate an online store, GoDaddy Website Builder has an even more comprehensive eCommerce plan for you, starting at $19.99 per month.
For this course, we recommend the Business Plan.
Customize Your Site
Once you’ve chosen a plan, GoDaddy Website Builder offers a number of tools to help make your blog look great. Even if you’re a novice designer, the tools are straightforward and easy to use, giving your blog a well-designed, professional appearance. These features and tools include:
- Drag and drop page building
- Customizable themes
- Image editing
- Page backup and restore
- Drop-down menus
- Promo banners
- Contact forms
- Image library
- Password-protected pages
Publish Your Site
After you’ve designed your site and written your first blog post, you can publish it with just a few clicks. Once your blog is online, GoDaddy Page Builder offers a number of useful features, including:
- Mobile device compatibility
- Search rank tracking
- Pinterest analytics
- Order tracking
- Online comment monitoring
Add Content and Features
GoDaddy Website Builder makes it easy to add new content and features as your blog grows. You can edit your blog at any time from anywhere. Over time you may want to add additional features, such as an online store, custom menus, and more. This can be done easily at any time.
When you first get started as a blogger, you may consider using a free hosting platform to save money. While there are several free options available, they come with a number of disadvantages;
- Unprofessional appearance - When you use a free hosting platform for your blog, your URL will typically include the name of your hosting service. Rather than mynewblog.com, your URL will be something like mynewblog.wordpress.com or mynewblog.blogger.com. This may not bother you initially, but something as simple as a URL can limit the long-term growth of your blog.
- Less search engine traffic - Free blogs do not include the search engine optimization features that paid hosting services offer. This means that your blog is much less likely to show up in a Google search for your topic when you opt for a free option.
- Low monetization potential - In addition to decreased pageview potential, there will likely be restrictions on advertisements on a free blog site. This can severely restrict or eliminate the earning potential of your blog.
- Limited design and functionality options - Free blog hosting services offer a far less robust package of design and functionality tools. This generally means a less attractive blog with slower loading times than one hosted by a paid service.
- Limited storage - Free blog platforms also offer less storage space than paid hosts, and the cost of increasing the storage can sometimes be more expensive than simply opting for a paid hosting service from the start.
If you are serious about starting a blog that reaches a large audience and has long-term growth and earning potential, choosing GoDaddy Website Building over a less robust free hosting option is the way to go.
In some ways, setting up your blog is the easiest part of the whole process. After spending a great deal of time and creative energy choosing the right topic and name, it can come as a relief to simply follow a short list of steps to get your blog online. Of course, you’ll still have decisions to make in terms of the design and style of your blog, but a tool like GoDaddy Website Builder will help streamline the blogging process so you can focus your energy on publishing interesting content.