How to make a website (cheaply) - step by step instructions

So you want to make a website? Not sure how to do it?

Here is a suggested step by step instruction on how to do it, cheaply without compromising on quality.

Register a Domain Name | Create a Website | Customise the Theme

Register a Domain Name

1. If you want, you can register a domain name. My suggestion is to go to Namecheap to register a domain.

Why choose Namecheap?
a) It costs very little to register and renew a domain name compared to other domain registrars.
b) It has free WhoisGuard Privacy Protection. This means your details aren't visible to everyone on the internet on Whois Database. This added protection is a usually paid feature in other domain registrars such as GoDaddy which will add to costs.
c) Don't forget to search for discount codes for Namecheap which will cut costs too.
d) NameCheap has free DNS which other domain registrars may not have.

Create a Website

2. Once you have it, go to Blogger.com. However, if you choose a webhost to host your website, I recommend WebHostingPad as it is has good pricing for new purchases and excellent support and uptime.
But why choose Blogger?
a) It has free HTTPS for your website.
b) You can use a customise domain name for your site, a feature that is paid for in other sites.
c) Easy to use and customise.
d) It has many free 3rd party themes.
e) It's easy to implement Google AdSense which pays you for advertising space on your site.
f) Has basic statistics which shows referral sites, visitor statistics, as well as keyword searches.
g) It has an email list service via Feedburner which means you don't need to disclose your address but will need to if you use MailChimp.

Now, Create a New Blog. Choose a Title and an Address and theme (don't worry we can change it later) click Create Blog.

3. Set up the Custom Address for Blogger. Go to Settings on the right hand panel. Go to Blog Address in Basic section of Settings. Click Setup a 3rd party URL for your blog. Type in the URL of the domain you registered from Namecheap in step 1 above. Click save.

4. After that there will be an error with two CNAMEs
  • Name, Label or Host: Enter the name as the subdomain, for example: "blog." or "www." Destination will be "ghs.googlehosted.com."
  • Destination, Target or Points to: This is different for and is specific to your blog and Google Account.
5. Go back to Namecheap and go to your DNS. For instructions on how to change DNS entries see this page on Namecheap.
  • Under "Name, Label or Host," type the subdomain that you entered previously.
  • Under "Destination, Target or Points to," type "ghs.googlehosted.com."
  • Enter details for the second CNAME, specific to your blog and Google Account.
  • Wait for around an hour for your DNS settings to activate.
  • Repeat step 3. Your blogspot.com address should now redirect to your custom domain. It may take to 24 hours for this to take effect.
6. To add www. to your domain you may need to add the following:
  • Go to NameCheap and access the DNS
  • Enter your domain name in the following format example.com.
  • Add four A-records.
  1. 216.239.32.21
  2. 216.239.34.21
  3. 216.239.36.21
  4. 216.239.38.21
        • Go back to Blogger.
        • On the left, click Settings and then Basic.
        • Under "Publishing," under "Blog Address," check Redirect [mydomain.com to www.mydomain.com].
        7. Now you will need to turn on HTTPS.
        • Go to Settings and then Basic.
        • On the right, under "HTTPS" and "HTTPS Availability," select Yes.
        • Under "HTTPS" and "HTTPS Redirect," select Yes.
        You will then need to set up CAA Records on your custom domain, and add records for letsencrypt.org, or Blogger won't create or renew your SSL certificate. 
        • Go to CAA Record Helper. Enter your domain name. Choose Let's Encrypt in type of certificate, you can choose Wildcard or Non Wildcard.
        • Now that the CAA is generated, follow the steps here from NameCheap to add a CAA record.

        Customise the theme

        8. To get free themes you can do a general search on Google for "Free Blogger Themes"
        My suggestion is to go to GooYaabi Templates. Once you choose the template download the template.

        9.  On the left hand menu click "Theme" now go to "Backup/Restore" on the top right hand corner of the screen.

        10. Upload the theme (should be in XML filetype) and click choose file and upload.

        11. Now go to Layout on the left hand menu and customise to your desire.

        12. You can change the HTML of the theme by going to Theme > edit HTML.

        That's it! Now you have a website! Enjoy!

        Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 

        Popular posts from this blog

        How to make a chalkboard graphic for free

        Search widgets

        Make your own online library easily for free!