Build your own website

build your own website How to build your own small business website - for less than $90

You don't have to pay a website designer $1,000 to create a website for your small business. Instead you can build your own website yourself. All it will take you is a few hours of your time - and less than $90 

Now this may not appeal to everybody - but there are plenty of people when they are starting out in business who want to keep their start-up costs to a minimum - and are more than willing to experiment with DIY.

If you haven't dome something like this before, it may seem at first a little daunting. But the YouTube video clip near the bottom of this page takes you right through the entire process, in a clear step-by-step manner.

Before commencing, you will require an email address and a credit / debit card for making two online purchases - that could amount up to $90. Remember, you can pause the video while you digest and action any step, or while you think about whether you want to proceed (a brief written summary of the video steps are listed here)
  1. Decide on your preferred domain name - then you will be shown in the video how to check it's availability (it's best to have decided on your preferred domain name before watching the video - it's probably going to be your business name anyhow)
  2. Purchasing and registering the domain name - this will cost you somewhere around $15 per year, depending upon who you purchase through. The video uses Host Gator, who are a large, well established and fairly well respected provider in the U.S. But there are many other firms from whom you can purchase online, your domain name (eg. Go Daddy, NetRegistry, CrazyDomains, etc). NOTE that you will also need to pay this figure as an annual fee to renew your domain registration.
  3. Select a host for your website - and a hosting plan. The video selects HostGator as the host and selects a basic hosting package which costs around $70 per year. But again let me emphasise to you that there are many hosting service providers available - just ensure they are well established, because you don't want to lose business by having a hosting provider who is always crashing or being hacked into!! Also, please note your hosting fee is an annual cost that you will be required to pay. Online payment when registering your purchase can be done with either your credit card, or with PayPal (I personally prefer Paypal, for security reasons ........ Too many instances of credit card details being stolen)
  4. You should receive an email confirmation of your purchase - together with login details for your HostGator account which has now been set up
  5. Log in to your account and install WordPress from the CPanel "dashboard" (WordPress is one of the most popular website platforms used around the world)
  6. Select your preferred WordPress design - the beauty of WP is the wide variety of themes and templates that you can choose from (and there are many that have a professional look and are suitable for business)
  7. Add your content to your website and publish.
Let me forewarn you, the video is over an hour in length. The process will take you a few hours in total - you will probably be needing to pause the video whilst completing some of the steps. But by doing this yourself - you will be saving yourself a lot of money. And another important benefit, is that you will have control over your website - so you can in future regularly update or make changes to the content, or even the design of the website for that matter.

Remember there is an online help service available with HostGator, if you get stuck. And don't rush things - take it step by step - and take a deep breath every so often. You can do it!

Once you have your website up and published online, then the next step is learning how to get traffic to your website

  • Getting online for free - set up a blog 
If you want to get online for free, then you can easily set up a free blog and not worry about additional hosting expenses, at sites like , , and

The only limitation is that your URL, which is your online address, will not be listed as purely your business name.  In other words, let's say the business name for your site will be "Example", and you have set up your blog through Google Blogger - then your URL would be listed as www."example" (this is not a real address)...... Whereas, if you buy a domain name for your business and pay for hosting, then your URL (ie. the internet address) can be www."example".com - which is shorter and appears more professional by not having the extra word blogspot in the URL.

However, if you don't want to pay for a domain and hosting, then a free blog can still provide  you with an online presence, which you can advertise on your leaflets and business cards. And you can upload your promotional material onto your blog. So if your small business is not currently marketing on the internet with a site, then at the very least - set up a free blog. Here's a simple guide with some good tips that will make it easier for you "How to set up a free blog with Google blogger"

About the author
Brian Carroll is the founder of a leadership training company Performance Development, based in Melbourne, Australia.  He is a qualified psychologist, experienced leadership coach and an engaging presenter, with a passion for helping people develop their full capabilities. You can find out more about Brian at his Google + profile