How to Build any Type of Website Like a Pro: Part 1
If you’re a a blogger, own a website, or are just into passive income or making money on the side. You probably know a little about building a website, you know it’s really easy to get a WordPress blog up and looking awesome in a matter of hours or even minutes if you’re a real pro but what about eCommerce? Premium Video Content? How about community sites with premium memberships and tiered pricing? The sky is the limit here if you have just a little bit of knowledge and know how. Did I mention that it really doesn’t cost that much more than your blog did? For the non-blog owners, thats real cheap. we’re talking a 10 dollar domain and 4 bucks a month for hosting.
So how do I know all this? Well first of all my non-blogging job, the one that pays the bills is Web Developer. That means I spend all day, everyday, building various websites, mostly wordpress, and it also means I know the ins and outs of the industry better than most. I’ve been doing this for six years and I wanna teach you most of what you need to know to get exactly what you want, no matter how complex, in a very inexpensive manner.
The basis of it all is WordPress. I’m not gonna go any further than that statement because you all know what it is and you probably don’t care how it works. WordPress is extremely powerful, anyone who tells you that it should only be for blogging is still stuck in the early 2000’s.
First thing you need to know is that any website you build should look professional. Most of you are thinking about how my website looks a little weak, I have a pretty weak logo and a decent, but not great theme. That’s fine with me because it took me less than an hour to create the logo, install wordpress, and find and install this theme and all of that was free. But since your websites are going to be overnight sensations you need it to look incredible and you need it to support anything and everything your entrepreneurial spirit can dream into existence.
Themeforest is THE site to get a premium wordpress theme and some of you are thinking “I have to pay money for a theme???!?!? WTF??!?!” Well yes, trust me on this pleaseee. This is an absolute must. Why?
- Most good authors have 24/7 Support and forums dedicated to any problem/customization/fix you could possibly have.
- Most of these themes have built in support for Ecommerce/Forums/Buddypress(Community)/Multi-language/Analytics
- Customization options are insane, you can usually make a site look like anything you want.
- Updates – Free themes are not responsible for making sure that your theme works on the next update of wordpress and you really don’t want to get hung out to dry especially if your running an ecommerce shop or if your income depends on it. Themeforest authors almost always push updates, especially for popular themes so that if something breaks the theme, they know and can update it quickly.
- Documentation – These themes come with very detailed documentation on how to make everything work and function, how to customize your theme, how to get ecommerce/ buddypress/ bbpress up and running, etc… It is super helpful and most free themes do not have it.
So now you know why you need to get one there, let me guide you on what you need to look for.
- Downloads/Ratings – This two usually correlate pretty strongly. A theme that has a lot of downloads will have a high rating. This means you don’t have to worry about it not working and you are sure to get some updates if something breaks the next time WP core sends a major update.
- Functionality – Make sure it supports your business idea. If it’s a community look for Buddypress/BBpress. If it’s Ecommerce look for WooCommerce.
- Customization – You need options to make it what you want and differentiate it from others who may have bought the theme, most of themes come with that out of the box. If you really want granular control of all the details look for themes that have Visual Composer built into them. It allows you to control and build pages from the ground up without a predefined layout. It is incredibly powerful and popular. Just look at the download numbers in the link.
Some of you are still doubting why you should pay for a theme. If you don’t have any technical knowledge to be able to repair and update an unsupported free theme then you absolutely need this. I cannot tell you how many horror stories I know about of people who have lost hundreds of dollars in income on their site/sites because they went free and WP updated and it broke major components in their theme causing it to go down. This doesn’t just hurt immediate business, it will destroy your SEO rankings, especially if it is down long enough to get crawled by google.
Some final notes and references:
A lot of professional web companies buy themes and sell them back to their clients, They charge them thousands and it cost them $50. The client is none the wiser and is happy because they look incredible. I’m not kidding when I tell you that hiring someone to build your website is a terrible idea. It will not look as good as the themes on Themeforest. Your average mom and pop web shop won’t have designers that are capable of things like this and if they do, your not likely to have any control over the content and functionality once it is live. (unless it’s a blog).
- If you’re thinking about going ecommerce, or selling anything on your site you will need an SSL Certificate that can be purchased through your hosting provider.
- I didn’t mention hosting because it has been done a billion times, but I use Hostgator and it is awesome, it is easily one of the biggest players and has fantastic support.
- Some of you are wondering why I didn’t mention all of the things I talked about in the first paragraph. Well, it’s a series so that will be part 2.