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Make a website for 99¢

A great way to promote yourself, make extra cash, start your writing career or display your photography or art work is building a website. However, if you don’t know anyone who has built a site before it is hard to know how and it is also hard to find a way to do so without digging deep into your bank account.

I built my first website in first year university during late nights when I couldn’t sleep as I had an idea and I wanted to start my own business. Now years later, I keep getting asked how to make a website for low budget, how to get a domain and if I can build them a website. Now, building website is time consuming. Starting a business and building a website, you need something simple so you can put your focus on all the other aspects of your new venture.

Most of those asking me want something incredible affordable others had a little more of a budget. But most of us have little to no budget. Now when you have a low budget unless you are a web designer your website will always reflect this fact. But there is a way to make it a little less low budget looking and with a hint of character and professionalism.

Firstly, you need web hosting! Hosting in easy terms is where all of the information for your website will be stored. However storing cost money and if you need to stay low budget you must stay away from a hosting package. Free hosting! A great place to get free hosting thanks to blogging being so popular, is using Tumblr.com or WordPress.com. Both are great choices. However, I am asked more for Tumblr. Most likely because there isn’t a hosting limit to how much you can store in comparison to WordPress and more importantly for zero dollars you can have a visually better looking website without paying hundreds of dollars for a theme. Another great fact is if you have no idea how to manage a website, Tumblr has simplified everything.

WordPress is also an option but for now we will stick with Tumblr and head to WordPress another time although it is similar just a different layout pretty much the same concept if you’d like to give it a try.

Let’s get started.

  1. Visit Tumblr.com, sign up and create a username which will be your blog url.
  2. Your new blog will load, click ‘Dashboard.” Now here we have the dashboard which shows your feed of current blogs you follow or recommended for you to follow and options of styles of posts you can make. Text, Photo, Quote, Link., Chat, Audio, Video. [Or  click “edit theme” If you want to dress up your new website. In your address bar type http://www.tumblr.com/themes/tagged/free. 3I had to scroll for many days until I found a theme so I thought I would save you the time and show you a few of my favorites. Here is a list of free themes I recommend. (Belfort, Colette, Elemental, Candice, Voices, Explore, VA and VHX. For a full list of themes I recommend click here (always updating). 4Depending on your business or what you want to create you choose a theme.
  3. Let’s open a new tab so we can get a domain name. First choose a domain name, the shorter the better. We are going to use 1and1.com today because it offers a great price. 99cent domains (US and Canada) for new users with a free email address and private registration! I know I’m shocked too! Can you hear all that cash you get to keep rustling around for other things for your business? Click to sign up.
  1. Choose the name. Type it in the box and see if it is available. If it is, purchase and fill out your information and follow the instructions. 11
  2. Great, now we have to get this address to send us to Tumblr. Go to your Control Panel.
  3. Click “Domains”
  4. Click “Manage Domains”
  5. Click the down arrow to show more options.12
  6. Click “Edit DNS Settings”13
  7. Scroll down to A/AAAA and CNAME Records, select Other IP address
  8. Type in in both IPV4 and IPv6 Address.14
  9. Scroll down and click “Save.”
  10. Click your Tumblr tab and let’s test it out.  Click the man icon at the right.
  11. Click “Edit appearance”15
  12. Click the pencil at the end of your Tumblr URL. 16
  13. Click the option Use Custom Domain so it turns green. Type in your new address http://www.yourwebsite.com. Great, now click test domain to make sure all is well and then click save.
  14. You’re all set start customizing your website!

Now if you hate the idea of doing all of this I can do it for you just like this post and I’ll make an option in my store. I am considering making this a video so it’s easier to understand. Comment ‘Make a video!” and I’ll probably make one!

Themes used in header: Candice and Voices

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