How to Make Money with a Website: Building a Site
After choosing a niche website topic, it’s time to build your website and get it set up and ready for your first pages of content.
There are two ways you can go about building a niche site. You can build it from scratch, or you can use a website builder to make your site. I’ve done both. I started my first niche site with a website builder, SiteBuildIt!, which was also an incredibly educational course in website content and marketing. Using SiteBuildIt! was the absolute best way for me to get my feet wet authoring an online content site. I learned so much through the program, and continue to use it for my first website hosting and marketing. I also use the tools there for working on some of my newer niche sites.
- Huge time saver: no html code to write or pages to upload.
- Very easy to set up and begin writing your content pages.
- Very helpful forums are an incredible resource for any webmaster.
- Great tools for brainstorming topic site ideas and keywords.
- Support and tools for building links and promoting your site.
- Pricey: $299/ year (sometimes initial purchase is on sale).
- Additional domains/ site builders are also $299/ year.
- Limited templates mean you might end up designing/ buying one anyway.
Overall, I highly recommend SiteBuildIt!, especially for those new to site building or who have no html experience and little knowledge of site creation, SEO (search engine optimization) and website marketing. I plan to keep my site at SBI! to take advantage of the great forums and resources available through the program. If you have never built a website, or if you have spent frustrating hours working on coding and set up without being pleased with the results, my advice is to go with a website builder and realize the extra cost is a small price to pay compared to the time and frustration saved.
For my next websites, I purchased domains for $10-$15 each via HostGator and host them all through HostGator. I pay $9.95 a month right now for hosting. If I have a site really take off with traffic and hits I may need to upgrade my service, but for now the basic account works very well for me. I think there is an even cheaper plan, if you only have one domain.
- Inexpensive — aka super cheap.
- Can host multiple domains under one account.
- Has Fantastico for five-minute installation of WordPress and other programs/ applications.
- Good customer service and support.
- Learning curve for html, ftp client (for uploading pages to your site) and other technical aspects of site building.
- Website builder is not very good (in my experience) with few templates.
- No community forums.
- No tools for website promotion or link building.
For my HostGator sites, I chose templates through BuyTemplates and DreamTemplate. I like both of these sites because you pay one fee and can download unlimited templates for the duration of your subscription. I don’t have a huge amount of website building experience, but have learned enough basic HTML over the years to put together what I need.
Setting up your website hosting and lining together the tools you need — whether it’s a website builder or templates and an html editor — has a small learning curve. Once you’ve done it a couple times, it’s pretty simple.
In my next post, I’ll discuss writing website pages and putting them together to make a niche site.