Frequently Asked Questions

Below are my answers to questions I get about building your website.

I will keep my answers for each question no more than a few sentences to keep this short, concise, and to the point.

The first group of questions are about building out a website. The next question group I tackle is about domains and hosting. On this page you’ll find my answers to the most common questions I get.

Hope it helps and if you have any more questions please contact me. I’m always happy to help!  It also gives me a good idea of what people are struggling with.

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HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

  • Answer: $80 a year, every year to get started MINIMUM. You could add in the cost of a premium theme, bringing your total cost to around $110. It’s not expensive.
  • You need a web host – that goes for about $70 a year when you’re starting out if you’re paying $6 a month.
  • You need to register a domain name – register for 3 years. That will go for about $10 per year.

HOW DO I GET STARTED?

  • Plan your site out first – what it’s called, what it’s unique selling point is, how it will make money, what kind of content will you produce, draw the layout of the site on a peice of paper.
  • Keyword research terms people search for that are related to what you want to make so you can get enough free traffic to grow your site and make an income. Take into account keywords when making your site but don’t build your site around keywords.
  • Buy a domain here (register a .com).
  • Buy web hosting here  (get the hatchling plan).
  • Change your name servers at your domain registrar to the name servers given to you by Host Gator in an email.
  • Install WordPress via a click install program.
  • Buy a premium themes from Theme Forest or StudioPress and upload them to your site.
  • Install WordPress plug ins – write about, contact, privacy policy, and terms of use pages. Design your site, set permalinks, set up mail, register your site in Google Webmaster, install analytics, configure W3 Total Cache (or your hosts cache feature if they offer one).
  • Start publishing!

Check out the how to create a website tutorial for more.

DO I NEED A WEB HOST?

Yes – they provide the space, power and the servers your site needs so it can be found and accessed by anyone from anywhere in the world.

I WANT TO BLOG, NOT JUST CREATE A TOPIC BASED WEBSITE

No problem, check out the this free tutorial on how to start a blog.

I WANT TO MOVE MY BLOG OR WEBSITE TO A NEW DOMAIN NAME. HOW?

Sometimes you need to rebrand, I get it. You thought you had a good domain name, but in reality you want to start over without throwing away all the work you did.

Most guides are still too technical. Not mine. I created the most simple and easy to follow guide for moving your website to a new domain name.

I WANT A FREE SITE – IS THIS POSSIBLE?

Sure. Use Blogspot or WordPress.com (not the .org) to make a site with no hassle. But let’s be honest…

You want website.com NOT website.wordpress.com. Right? So make your own website.

Wix is another popular option as well – but they are a flash based service which makes it difficult for search engines to index your said site as they index text and not flash images. Meaning people won’t find your site. They also offer a premium service with all the basic things you could get by simply making your own site.

The best alternative to paying a web host is to register a domain name at Name Cheap then use blogspot’s servers. You can follow these instructions to do that.  For Tumblr, Namecheap has a good  tutorial on that process.

DO I NEED TO KNOW HOW TO CODE?

NO – you can get started knowing nothing. My how to make a website tutorial assumes you have nothing more than basic computer skills; but it does makes sense to learn what you can about HTML and CSS so you’re not intimidated by programming language. It’s like a car and a mechanic. You don’t need to be a mechanic to drive a car, but it helps to know how everything works.

HOW DO I GET LISTED IN GOOGLE?

Build a quality site, with lot’s of unique quality content. Promote it in relevant places. Focus on the user and not the money. Get links from relevant sites and get shares on social media. If you’re selling tea online for example, it makes no sense to be getting a lot links from a dating site right? Get links from other tea and coffee related sites.

It’s not hard to get listed in Google, what is hard is to get a #1,2 or 3 ranking for a keyword that has a lot of search traffic.

HOW DO YOU MAKE MONEY ONLINE?

Sell products – advertising – donations – sell your services – be an affiliate for other people – make a membership website or product.

Normally payment is done through sites that host products like E Junkie, Click Bank, or individual affiliate programs and the money you earn gets deposited into your Pay Pal account which can then be transferred to your bank account. Check out how to make money online with your website to learn more.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SEE RESULTS?

That depends on how much work you put in – about 6 months to a year. If you have not achieved any tangible results by then, quit or change what you’re doing.

I FOLLOWED YOUR TUTORIAL, BUT HOW DO I UPDATE MY THEME?

To update a WordPress theme, you simply can’t install a newer version over the existing one. You need to delete your current version all together, then upload and install the newer version. I know, it sounds risky, but it’s how it’s done. Check out how to update a WordPress theme for more

Here are some questions about domain names and hosting

I love these sorts of questions. Most of them are people getting bogged down in the details instead of focusing on what matters, but people want clarification so here you go:

SHOULD I REGISTER THE  .NET AND .ORG OF MY DOMAIN NAME?

You don’t have to right in the start, but it’s something to consider long term. You’re protected by copyright laws so no one can just copy your domain name and do the same thing you do with simply a different extension. I wrote more about this here.

THE DOMAIN NAME I WANT TO USE IS SIMILAR TO ONE ALREADY REGISTERED. DOES IT MATTER?

If the domain name is too similar and your topic is the same as the topic already in existence then yes, you could have problems.If it’s similar to a domain that is simply parked, meaning it’s not being used then go for it. Again. Read, bad idea to use a domain name similar to one already registered for more clarification.

SHOULD YOUR DOMAIN NAME MATCH YOUR BUSINESS NAME?

It depends on WHAT the business is, WHAT the purpose of the website is and HOW people are going to find you online. Read the full answer here.

WHAT TO DO IF SOMEONE STEALS YOUR WEBSITE CONTENT?

With other platforms like YouTube, you can file a copyright claim against people who steal your content. But what about a website that steals your content? The beauty of owning your own platform with WordPress is that no one can take it away from you, but that still does not mean you can steal or be stolen from. Read, Copied Content & The Basics of Copyright & Copyright Infringement.

DO I HAVE TO PAY TAXES AS AN AFFILIATE MARKETER?

Yes. Any affiliate program will require you to submit your business information or your information as an individual. You’re then required to report income to your government.

Talk to a tax professional when you start to generate a significant amount of money online from your own products or service it’s time to talk to a tax professional.

For Americans, you will want to register or incorporate your website into a business. If you choose not to for whatever reason you need to register a DBA (doing business as) which will allow you to submit a schedule C under your name (instead of a business name).

This schedule C is submitted in addition to your 1040.

Rules to live by

Don’t worry about taxes until you have to cross that bridge (IE you’re making money from selling your own product or service).
When you need tax planning advice get it from a professional, not a random Google search.
Most information online about taxes is published by those unqualified to give advice OR is dated as the law changes year to year.
YOU NEED a tax professional to help you sort your business earnings out and guide you on how to keep track of what you’re making and how much you need to pay. You are unqualified to do this by yourself and will end up with a big tax bill and penalties.