Whether you want to start website to make money or share a particular expertise or knowledge you may have, starting a website is easier than you think, even if this is your very first website. Just follow these simple steps to get your site launched in no time.

  1. Select a Domain – The domain is the address or URL of your website (e.g. www.mydomain.com). In order to get a domain name (which must be unregistered, meaning someone else has not already picked the domain), you must pay an annual fee to a registrar (such as GoDaddy, a popular domain name registration service) for the right to use that domain. The domain you choose should be relevant to what will be on your site. And remember, just because you select a particular domain doesn't mean the entire site has to go by the same name as well.
  2. Select a Web Host – A website needs somewhere to reside on the Internet and web hosting provides just that – think of it as renting office space for your site. When you sign with a web hosting service, your web pages are hosted on the company's servers so anyone in the world can connect to the Internet and view your site. Web hosting can typically be purchased monthly or annually.
  3. Design your Site – For individuals with no web design experience, there are a few options to choose from when it comes to this step. First is hiring a graphic designer to build the site for you; while this can be more expensive than other alternatives, you are more likely to get exactly what you want. Another option is to purchase a site template and customize it. A template has all the pages already you built, you simply plug in your own information, pictures, etc.
  4. Select a Shopping Cart – If you plan on selling products or services on your website, you need to select a shopping cart service. A shopping cart essentially allows customers to browse your site and select the merchandise they want to buy and put it in a virtual shopping cart until they are ready to check out.
  5. Select Payment Processing – In conjunction with a shopping cart, you will also need a payment processor in order to accept online payments (like credit card payments) through your site.
  6. Start Marketing – Once your site is built and live, you can't expect visitors to come flocking; you have to market your site to get it noticed. Pay-per-click advertising through Google, search engine optimization, and networking through social media are just a few of the many ways to market your site.