Are you determined to finally start making money online? If so, one of your first questions has to be, “what’s the best place to build a website?” That’s because a website is an essential cornerstone of online success. So you’ll want to spend some time and find a place that’s a good fit for you.
But where to start?
I know this can seem intimidating because, let’s face it, most of us are not technical geeks. At first glance, heck maybe even second or third glance, a website can appear complicated. But the reality is, building a site doesn’t have to be complex at all, And that’s particularly true if you find the right platform.
As you may have already discovered, you have a bunch of choices for creating a website. My goal is to help you understand and navigate those options a bit better. Let’s see if we can clear up some of the confusion, put the website building puzzle pieces together, and start you down the path to success.
I will also explain why for me and thousands of others, the best place to build a website is an incredible platform called Wealthy Affiliate (WA). At the beginning of my online journey almost 4 years ago, I published my initial version of this post. Despite researching a multitude of site builders over the years since then, I remain firm in my conviction that nothing else out there offers the value of Wealthy Affiliate.
But the original post desperately needed some updating because so much has happened since 2016. Moreover, I’m super excited to share some of the innovations at WA that make creating an exceptional website something that anyone can tackle.
So let’s dive in, shall we?
Understanding the Website Building Puzzle Pieces (and How WA Can Help)
Building a website may just be a life-changing decision, and I want you to have the best chance of being successful in this venture. To be sure, there are a number of options available. Wix, WordPress.org, GoDaddy, and Weebly are just a few places you might select. They all provide the basic elements for constructing a site and all have advantages. But they’re a long way from the best. Based on years of research and personal experience, I recommend Wealthy Affiliate as the absolute best place to build your website.
There are a plethora of substantive reasons behind my recommendation. Fundamentally, Wealthy Affiliate is an industry leader offering all of the basics and a great deal more.
As we discuss the essential elements of website creation, this becomes the perfect context for introducing the amazing resources and tools that WA has to offer. So let’s begin with the following four core elements :
- Domain Name Registration
- Site Builder/Content Management System
- Content Creation
Domain Name Registration
A domain name is a unique identifier or Internet address. It’s not much different than thepost office address of your home or brick and mortar business. It’s the address for your virtual piece of real estate and the way your readers will find you on the web.
Domain names are a very personal choice and site owners will go in a lot of different directions. Oftentimes. domains are descriptive of the niche or focal subject matter of the website. Consequently, you will first need to address the all-important question….
What’s Your Niche?
By this what we really mean is, what’s the purpose of your website? A niche is nothing more than a group of individuals who share a common interest in a specific topic. Picking a niche should be the fun and exciting part of creating an online business. So, don’t let it stress you out because niche possibilities are endless!
Ideally, your website will reflect your personality and personal interests. You may have many hobbies and pursuits you’re passionate about and these topics are always a great jumping-off place. Doing something you love is always a powerful motivator, right? So, don’t get all hung up with choosing a direction solely because you think it’s profitable.
The simple reality is that with time, effort, and the right approach, any niche can be profitable.
You need to spend time brainstorming questions like these:
- What topics will your website address?
- Who’s your target audience?
- What useful information will you share?
- What questions will you answer?
- How will you provide value to your readers?
Recommended Reading: What is the Definition of a Niche and Why is it Important?
Examples of niche-related domain names abound. Sites like TheCateSite.com or The GuitarLesson.com leave little doubt as to their focus. But, of course, that’s not your only option. Many bloggers choose brandable domains that may include the name of the owner. NeilPattel.com is one such example.
Your domain name is an intrinsic part of your online identity. So, it’s certainly something you’ll want to put some thought into. Creating a list of possibilities and variations is also a good idea. With well over a billion websites on the Internet, choosing a domain name that’s not already taken can sometimes be challenging. But it’s easy enough to enter your choices into a domain name registrar and determine availability.
Perhaps the best advice when it comes to domain name selection is to make it easy to remember and type. Avoid things like numbers, special characters, unusual spellings, or overly long names. In other words, don’t make it hard for readers to find you. And, while you have a lot of choices of top-level domain names today, dot com still has the best recognition value.
Wealthy Affiliate is an all-inclusive shop that conveniently offers domain name registration using their SiteRubix platform. You have the option to build a site using a free subdomain or on a purchased domain of your own. The free option is perfect for complete newbies who want to try things out and experiment with site construction.
That’s the route I chose initially. When I first started this website, the name was retiredandearningonline.siterubix.com. But, I quickly determined that Internet Marketing suited me and I purchased my dot com domain. It’s not expensive (about $14 a year) and carries a far more professional image.
If you already own a domain name, or if you prefer using another registrar like NameCheap or GoDaddy, it’s very simple to transfer an existing domain to WA. But for those just starting out, it sure is helpful to find everything under one roof.
Web hosting services are essential if you want your website to be accessible via the Internet. Hosting providers own the servers where all of your website content is stored. You rent space and connectivity services in much the same way you might rent a storefront or office from a landlord.
The quality of your hosting service will make or break your website. Therefore, hosting decisions should not be made lightly and should carefully consider the following key factors:
Constant cyber attacks threaten the security of your website and personal data. Consequently. security technologies offered by your hosting provider that prevent hackers from succeeding are of paramount importance. An SSL certificate is also a must-have feature.
Internet users are notoriously impatient and will not hang around for a slow loading website. Your site must load efficiently to create a positive user experience. The speed at which files are served up is also a key ranking factor for Google. Achieving fast loading times requires optimization and caching techniques at the server level.
The Internet is open for business 24/7. One very essential feature of quality hosting is minimal website downtime. Achieving high-reliability scores require redundancy (mirroring of your site content on multiple servers in case one goes down) and also regular backups of all data.
As a hosting client, it’s imperative that you have direct and rapid access to server administrators. With software updates and the like, it’s inevitable that technical issues will arise occasionally that requires expert assistance.
Hosting is an area where Wealthy Affiliate excels. They have a highly sophisticated, proprietary hosting platform where continuous innovation is a hallmark and huge priority. Wealthy Affiliate’s mission is to lead the industry in managed WordPress hosting and great strides are evident in each of the four categories discussed above.
Rest assured, you will experience lightning-fast page speeds, minimal downtime due to built-in redundancies and a site support team that typically responds in less than 5 minutes.
Site Builder/Content Management System (CMS)
This is the software or website building platformthat allows you to
- design an attractive and appealing site
- add great content in the form of text, images, video, or audio information
- organize content to provide a user-friendly experience for your visitors
- publish your content on the web
Numerous proprietary site builders exist in today’s market. Many are quite intuitive to use and allow for the creation of a very attractive and functional website. However, they also have significant limitations when compared with the most popular CMS on the Internet which is WordPress. WordPress is an open-source software solution that offers thousands for free or premium themes. Furthermore, you have access to hundreds of robust plug-ins that extend the functionality of the core program.
Proprietary site builders can’t even begin to offer the capabilities and versatility of WordPress. But I think the real advantage of WordPress is its portability. There are many hosting platforms where you can relocate your WordPress website if you find you need additional services. Conversely, sites built on proprietary platforms cannot be moved and would have to be redeveloped elsewhere. If your intent is a successful online business that’s an enormous consideration.
The SiteRubix platform at Wealthy Affiliate leads the industry by offering a front-end site builder that lets you create a fully-functional WordPress website in minutes. WA stands out by combining state-of-the-art technology with amazing simplicity.
The heart of your website will be the quality articles you create to inform and address the needs of your readership. Content creation is how you will begin to attract viewers (aka traffic) to your fledgling website. We can’t really emphasize enough the incredible importance of writing for your audience. People hop on the Internet in search of answers to their questions. So, it’s critical that you look at things from the perspective of searchers and understand their search intent.
Wealthy Affiliate offers members some fantastic resources to help you create relevant and effective content. Content creation resources have seen brilliant growth during my four-year membership through the addition of the SiteContent platform and the incorporation of a Jaaxy membership.
SiteContent is an exceptional writing platform that makes content creation and publication directly to your website far more efficient. The tool is “feature-rich” including spell-checking, grammar-checking, and more than 1 million free images. Optimization and compression techniques are also incorporated to help with faster loading times.
Jaaxy is a keyword research tool. When I first joined WA back in 2016, we had a proprietary keyword tool. But the extended capabilities of Jaaxy represent a significant improvement. Remember, your task is to get your content in front of the people who have questions. To accomplish that you need to use words and phrases (keywords) that people are typing into search engines. Jaaxy offers amazing insights into the most relevant, low-competition keywords that you can use to garner traffic.
The Best Place to Build a Website in 2020 and Beyond
There is a world of opportunities in the online space for those willing to embrace the challenge. Moreover, WA is perfectly positioned to help you explore and gain access to those opportunities.
They offer training that is second to none and the support available through a huge community of both aspiring and successful online business owners is incredible.
As a former educator, I can assure you that the WA training modules appeal to all learning styles including visual, auditory, and tactile. Every lesson includes a video tutorial and hands-on exercises.
But here’s the best part. Wealthy Affiliate is so confident in their program that they offer a 100% free Starter Membership. No credit card is required to activate your membership, and a Starter Membership is not a trial. You may stay at the free membership level for as long as you choose to do so. A Starter Membership includes 1 website, hosting, and 10 lessons to get you started on your path to success.
As you can see, by the time you finish Level 1 of the Online Entrepreneur Certification program, you will have your own website live on the Internet. Even better, you’ll gain invaluable experience and insights into what it takes to create and operate a website.
Naturally, WA also offers a premium membership that includes a substantial amount of additional training. In total. there are 5 Levels and 50 lessons in the Certification Program that will have you blogging like a Pro. A premium membership is $49/month or $495/year. But I strongly recommend that you join as a free Starter Member first. Take your time exploring the WA site, build your website, and complete the free training. You have absolutely nothing to lose and the potential benefits are enormous.
WA has been a stellar experience for me which is why I continue to recommend it as the best place to build a website in 2020 and beyond.
The WA community is expansive and global. Member profiles are fascinating. You can spot members from 16 – year olds launching websites as school projects to 80 somethings finding on-going purpose (along with some extra income). The Internet is a level playing field like no other in history.
In these current days of pandemic craziness, I can think of no better time to embark on an engaging learning experience from the comfort of your home.
I look forward to reading your profile!
Over to You
What questions do you still have that I failed to answer? Please leave them below! I respond to all comments and look forward to hearing from you.
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