There are three stages of creating your website with HostNowNow. These am going to summarized it as follows
- Choose a platform you are going to use e.g, Joomla, Drupal, WordPress, etc. In Our case, we are going to use Worpress
- Get a domain and web hosting to get started
- Setting up our WordPress website
HostNowNow is our choice of web host and that is what we are going to be using for both domain and web hosting
They are great for small businesses and for beginners, and they include a bunch of perks when you first sign up (free domain, free SSL, and much more ).
1. Choosing a platform for your website
There are a bunch of website builders available for you to choose from when creating your website. It is important to do your research before choosing one because it’s a pain in the ass to change website builders after you’ve launched.
Website builders include: WordPress.org, Wix, Shopify, Weebly, Squarespace, and WordPress.com.
WordPress.org, also known as “self-hosted WordPress” is the most popular website builder ( 26.9 percent of all websites on the web now use WordPress). It is hugely popular because it is easy to use, has an amazing range of features, and is free.
Some of the other sites I mentioned do not require you to be “self-hosted” but that means they have limited features. The self-hosted WordPress can pretty much do whatever you want it to do.
You can also purchase some awesome WordPress themes to properly customize your site the way you want to!
Why You Should Use WordPress For Creating Your Website
I prefer WordPress for a number of reasons.
- User Friendly & Newbie Friendly
The WordPress platform is so easy to use. It’s intuitive and if you know how to use standard Microsoft programs such as Word or Excel, then chances are you’ll already know how to publish your own content on the site you’re about to build.
Another great thing about WordPress is that it can be easily customized with plugins, that can pretty much do anything to your site and make it exactly how you want it. You might want just a simple small business website or a complex e-com site with hundreds of products. WP can handle this.
WordPress is extremely powerful and can run most types of sites. It’s a trusted platform for many of the busiest websites in the world. It can handle pretty much anything.
- Responsive & Mobile Friendly
With more and more people viewing sites on their phones and other mobile devices, it’s really important to have a site that is responsive to these digital demands. With WordPress, most themes come mobile friendly as standard.
- It Won’t Cost You A Thing!
WordPress is free. All you have to do is buy your domain and hosting and then you’re up and running before you can say “www.”
- Plenty Of Lovely People To Help You Out.
WordPress is blessed with a vibrant and helpful community of developers who will be happy to help you out should you get stuck with anything to do with your WordPress site.
2. Get A Domain & Web Host
Buying a web hosting is the first step to getting started online
Typically, hosting with HostNowNow will cost you approximately 2,500 – 20,000 Naira per year. It’s worth it, really it is!
If you’re serious about building your own website then you need your own hosting and domain name.
Go to hostnownow.com and click on the “Hosting” then Shared Hosting as shown below
You can get the basic hosting package for an incredible N2,500 a year but for a start, I will recommend PIGEON Hosting package and above. Limitless Package is best if you have capital to invest in your new business website
Here’s what you get with HostNowNow PIGEON Plan:
- Free .com.ng domain name
- Free SSL (for security)
- 8GB Storage Space
- 24/7 support, etc
This is enough to get you stated.
Note: You will need both a domain name and hosting package to get started, in our case, we are buying a hosting together with a domain name.
This is super useful as everything is under one roof! No hassle with having to configure name server.
Registering a Domain Name With HostNowNow
What Sort Of Domain Name Should I Choose?
Thinking of a decent name for your website can be the toughest thing about building your own website.
In short your domain should be… Catchy, Unique, Easy to remember
However, I have put together some quick tips for thinking up a really good domain name for your site.
You can also use my strategy of brainstorming new domain here
- A unique Domain name is the way to go!
Don’t buy a name that will be confused with another website. Be unique, otherwise it could mean your website falls flat before its even started. Never buy a domains that are simply the plural, hyphenated or misspelled version of an already established domain.
- Go for Dot-Com available Domains or a country code Top Level Domains
There’s no shortage of domain extensions now a days with dot this and dot that at every turn. But only a few are really worth having.
Dot-Com domains are considered the most valuable and important if you are going to be building a brand.
If you want to target a worldwide audience with your site, go for a .com .org or .net, in that order of preference.
Local domains such as .com.ng for NIG or .co.uk for UK are preferable if you are going local like in our own case.
- Make it easy to remember and easy for people to find your website.
Although people tend to find your site through a branded search in Google, it’s still important to make your domain easy to spell / type out. If it requires a lot of effort to type correctly, due to trying to spell it, the length or the use of un-memorable words or sounds, you’ve probably kissed goodbye to a good portion of your branding and marketing value.
- Make it stick in peoples’ heads
Keep your domain name snappy and memorable. Word-of-mouth and search engine prominence are both reliant on easy to remember domain names. You don’t want to have an amazing website that no one can ever remember to tell their friends about because they can’t remember the name of the damn site!
- Short Domain names go a long way!
Really, short is great! Short is the way to go! It’s easy to type and easy to remember. It gives the possibility of using more characters in the URL in the SERPs and a better look and fit for offline marketing material.
- Watch out for copyright infringement
A rare mistake to make but one that isn’t made that often. But if it does it can blow a great domain and a great company out of the water! Check that you’re not infringing on anyone’s copyright with the name of your website.
- Don’t use ….Hyphens or Numbers
Hyphens and numbers suck! Simple! It makes it really difficult to give your domain name verbally and it fails the easy to remember or type test.
Note: only ccTLD like .com,ng; .com.net, is offered for free with HostNowNow Hosting Packages, if you want a .com domain or any other domain extension, you will be requested to pay for the domain as well.
Once you’ve chosen a hosting package and a domain name, head over to checkout and make payment. Meanwhile, i will suggest you pick atleast a year for the hosting.
You might not really have to purchase any addons, you can do that later.
3. Setting Up Our HostNowNow WordPress Website
The process of installing WordPress via HostNowNow Cpanel is simple and goes as this
1. Login into your web cPanel
Any of the below links will enable you access your HostNowNow cpanel
3. Locate the section that says “Softaculous”
4. Locate the “WordPress” icon and click on it
5. On the next page, click on “install” as shown below(“a”) and specify the URL prefix ( choose https:// or https://www. depending on you choice) and a name for your WordPress folder.
Note: leave the part “d” as shown in the diagram blank to be able to have a content on your domain otherwise your website will be on a sub domain like https://yourdomain.com/wp
6. Change the database settings (or use default settings). Choose a username, password and email (where the login details will be sent to)
7. Click “install”.
Softaculous will now automatically create your WordPress database and configuration files. You will receive an email that contains your WordPress admin info.
When WordPress is installed you can then access your WordPress backend by typing yourdomain.com/wp-admin in your Web browser.
How to customize WordPress
The first thing you’ll notice about your new website is that it’s looking very plain. You can remedy this by installing themes.
A WordPress theme is a collection of files that to a great extent determines not only the look, but also the feel of your site. For instance, there are many themes that turn a standard WordPress site into an image or video gallery. Other themes create a smooth magazine or newspaper-type feel. Here’s how to access free WordPress themes:
- Log in to your WordPress admin page.
- Click “Appearance,” and then click “Themes.”
- Click “Search” and then insert a search term.
- Select a theme you would like to preview and then click “Install.”
Note: if you’re installing a free or premium theme you’ve downloaded from the Internet, the theme must be in a zipped (.zip) format. Otherwise, WordPress won’t be able to process it. Additionally, you can change themes at any time by clicking “Appearances,” “Themes,” and then selecting a new theme.
While free themes can certainly provide you with all the features you need, commercial themes can open you up to a new level of functionality. For instance, you can buy themes for between $30 and $50 that allow you to create fully-customized pages, complete with shopping carts and other widgets.
WordPress plugins are small programs or pieces of code that add new functionality to WordPress. There are thousands of free plugins available, but like themes, the best plugins cost money. Here’s a few things that plugins can do:
- Block comment spam
- Improve SEO
- Add a forum to your site
- Add an email autoresponder to your site
- Integrate social media buttons into each post
- Create on-the-fly image and video galleries
- and many more
If you find a plugin you would like to use, you can install it in a few seconds.
1. Log in to your WordPress admin page.
2. Click “Plugins,” and then click “Add new.”
3. Click “Upload.” incase you have it on your desktop or insert keyword to browse through, incase you want a free plugin
4. Select file and click “Install”
WordPress will then automatically process the plugin. If it is compatible, you will then be prompted to activate it.
Note that all WordPress plugin files must also be in a zipped (.zip) format if you want to upload
Top Free Must Have Plugin For Your Business website
These are must have WordPress plugins if you are just starting out blogging:
- Akismet Anti-Spam: This plugin helps stave off comment spam and even has the ability to delete all the junk comments
- Google XML Sitemaps plugin is one of the top WordPress plugins for giving your site just what it needs. By creating an XML sitemap, your site is much easier for Google to crawl and read, thus helping your site rank higher.
- Contact Form 7: One of the best plugin. It’s a very simple and essential WordPress plugin for creating contact or inquiry forms.
- Jetpack Instead of going in search of a whole bunch of other plugins, Jetpack has a sort one-and-done idea that it is built on. There are over 30 modules that you can activate to help you run a tighter faster ship like:
- High-speed image and video content delivery network
- Lazy image loading for a faster mobile experience
- Site stats and analytics
- Automated social media posting and scheduling in advance
- Brute force attack protection
- Malware scanning, code scanning, and automated threat resolution. And quite a few more.
You’ll need a WordPress.com account to use and connect the plugin to your site, but it’s well worth the extra step.
- Wordfence Security: The Wordfence security WordPress plugin allows features like blocking malicious networks, scanning for vulnerabilities, monitoring various metrics that could make your site more open to attack, and much more.
- Yoast SEO: SEO is a big deal. And even though a lot of what we know about what SEO is has changed, a lot of things have stayed important — like creating content that is optimized for Google search.
If you use this one, you can skip the extra XML sitemap plugins, because Yoast takes care of that too.
- UpDraftPlus: This free plugin offers complete manual or scheduled backups of your site to Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace, FTP, SFTP, email and other services.
- Google Analytics For WordPress by MonsterInsights: is a free plugin to easily connect Google Analytics and WorPress site. You will be able to see all the necessary stats within WordPress dashboard, It means no need to login to your Google Analytics account.
- W3 Total Cache: W3 Total Cache improves the user experience of your site by increasing server performance, reducing the download times and providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration. It really word best if you use Cloudflare
- Shareaholic Plugin: allows you to add various social buttons. The default options include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, and Tumblr follow and sharing buttons.
- Pretty Links: Pretty Links enable you to shrink, track and share any URL on the Internet from your WordPress website. this is really good especially if you want to hide those ugly long url
Mind you, most of this plugins are what we use currently on our website: digitalwebng.com
Note: Installing WordPress is very easy as most web hosts (like HostNowNow) comes equip with software like Softaculous to enable you install WordPress at ease. However. Customizing your business website, finding the right theme and plugins might take you a bit more time.
How to Create A New Page In WordPress
Again, this is such an easy task, anyone can do it. Let’s say you want to create an “About Us” page on your site. All you have to do is…
In the WordPress Dashboard sidebar look for the section called “Pages” then go down to the option “Add New”.
You then land on a screen which will probably look to you a lot like Microsoft Word. It’s very similar in function too. You can add text, images, video, shortcodes and lots more.
Once you’ve added your text that you want on the page, click the “Save Draft” button on the right menu bar and then click “Preview” to see what you’ve actually created before you publish it to “Live”
How to Create Blog Post Pages
“Posts” are web pages where you’ll publish content via your blog. If your website is going to have a blog section, then “Posts” is where you’ll need to go to publish this type of content.
With posts, you can categorize the content really easily within WordPress, which makes it easier for the visitors to your website find your blog posts, especially the older pieces of content.
If you want to include a blog to your website, you can use different categories and posts. Let’s say you want to create a category named “blog”. To do so, simply add it to your menu and start making posts.
Here’s a quick step by step guide on what you need to do:
To create a new category for your blog, simply go to “Posts -> Categories”
Another way is to create a blog post by doing this…. “Posts -> Add New”. Then with your completed blog post, you just assign it the right category and you’re ready to publish.
How to Add Pages To Your Menu
To show your new page in the top navigation bar of your WordPress website, you’ll need to do the follow 3 easy steps.
Save your work. To make sure you don’t lose any of your content that you’ve created on your page, click “Update”
In the Dashboard sidebar Click “Appearance” and then “Menus”
The pages that you’ve created will be displayed in the “Pages” box to the left of center. Click on the tick box to the pages you want added to your menu, then click “Add to Menu”.In the “Menu Structure” section, you can move the order of the pages around by just clicking and dragging into position as shown below
The first step to get started online is by registering a domain and buying a web space. The next stage is actually creating a website.
Creating a website can be quite complicated and daunting for someone who have never learnt how to code or had any experience with creating a website. This guide helps people to get online quickly , effectively and without the need of a web developer.
If you have followed all these steps in this guide, then chances are you now have a website!
Sign Up with HostNowNow today and enjoy a free domain and a web host
Don’t Forget To “Pin It” For Later!