In today’s world, having a website is becoming not only the new normal, but also necessary to set yourself apart.
You can use a website to:
- Share your bio and resume with potential employers
- Advertise your teaching studio
- Start a wedding musician company
- Sell a book or digital product
- Blog about concerts
- Create an online community for Arvo Pärt lovers (or any niche)
Fortunately it’s never been easier to make one, or cheaper.
In this tutorial, I’m going to show you 3 ways you can create a website with advancing levels of creative control.
There are many places online where you can create a page, and they will host your website for free (Facebook.com, Wix.com, Weebly.com, WordPress.com, blogspot.com, etc.). With each of these options, you can create a page, or a blog, however the catch is that you have to have their domain name in the title (i.e. http://www.joesmith.wordpress.com, or http://blogspot.joesmith.com, http://facebook.com/joesmith) If having their company name in the tittle doesn’t bother you, than congrats you’re good to go.
$0.99 to $15 per year:
If you’d like own your own domain, a really clever idea is to buy you domain name from a domain registrar (such as www.GoDaddy.com ) and simply forward your domain to the site of you choosing.
You could purchase “http://www.joe.smith.com” (or whatever name you like that is not already taken) and have it forward to “http://www.blogspot.joe.smith.com” or http://bandcamp.com/joesmith
This way you have a nice clean domain name that you can tell people on a whim, and it only costs a few dollars for your first year, after that it’s about $15 a year.
The problem with using these “easy-site builder” websites, that I mentioned (Facebook.com, Wix.com, Weebly.com, WordPress.com, blogspot.com, etc.) is that you’re going to have some extra ads, or logos from those companies on your site. You are still advertising their site.
$85-100 per year:
If you’d like to go all in, (your own domain, no ads) which is what I personally recommend. There are a few options.
Squarespace.com is an “all in one” option that has a some very beautiful templates, and with a little bit of tinkering around you can have a website for as little as $8/month. The down side here, is that you don’t have complete control over every element of the site, and you can only host 1 domain with each plan.
The most professional way to do it however, is to purchase your own hosting and domain. I personally use and highly recommend Bluehost to host all of my websites. Hosting is kind of like the shelf upon where you’re going to set all the domains you own.
After you have that in place, you can install a variety of website builder applications, such as Drupal, or Joomla, but I personally use and recommend WordPress. You can use the built in themes, or you can easily search the web for “Free WordPress Themes,” and find tons of examples. Although sometimes paying a few bucks for a premium theme can be worth it.
You don’t have to know how to write code or speak Klingon, it’s about as difficult as using Microsoft Word.
Running a WordPress site does take a little bit of time to figure out, but it’s not any more difficult than learning a Strauss tone poem. For me, having a website has more than paid for itself, and has opened all kinds of opportunities that I never would have had without it.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.