Creating a professional looking website on a DIY budget doesn’t have to be stressful.
Today, I want to tell you about an amazing FREE resource that will walk you through every step of setting up your website. From purchasing web hosting to designing and launching a professional, secure website. This free resource will have you up and running in 5 days and is perfect for those on a DIY budget.
I know firsthand that learning how to create a professional looking website on a DIY budget can feel like a massive undertaking, especially if you’re not tech savvy.
When I decided to start my blog I had no idea how to create a website (a pretty crucial part of blogging) and was on a strict $100 budget. Spending more hours than I’d like to admit googling, reading, listening and watching; signing up for all the freebies on ‘how to start a blog’ I was confused, frustrated and intimidated. The majority of the content I came across all started to sound the same:
1. Choose what you’re going to blog about
2. Decide on a blog platform
3. Buy a domain name and web hosting
4. Design your website/blog
Choose a Web Host
With many differing opinions on what the best blog platform is and who the best web hosting provider is I didn’t know who I could trust and who was going to be there when I had questions. I started my own comparison, reaching out to customer support reps for answers and analyzing mix and match services to get the best bang for my buck.
When all the comparison shopping was done I’d settled on purchasing a 99 cent domain name (+$9.99 for domain privacy) from GoDaddy.com, Web Hosting from SiteGround for just $3.95/month for 1 year and using wordpress.org as my platform. You can read a brief description on why I chose these providers on my resources page and I’ll go into more details in a future blog post but stay with me because we’re just about to get to the best free resource of all. One that will take you beyond what most ‘how to start a blog’ freebies cover.
With step 1, 2 and 3 of ‘how to start a blog’ completed, I was left with a blank WordPress site and no clue how to actually turn it into a blog. All of the content I’d read and research I’d done had gotten me through to this stage but then left me hanging. With $58.38 of my $100 budget already spent I wasn’t about to throw in the towel. I’d made it this far, the next step was figuring out how to take this blank white page and turn it into a functional and attractive blog.
I started asking people in Facebook groups if anyone was offering discounted web design services in exchange for a testimonial so they could build their portfolio. There was a lot of response but the least expensive offer was still out of my budget.
The Best FREE Resource to Create a Website on a DIY Budget
Then, since Facebook is a little stalkerish (thankfully in this case), an ad popped up in my newsfeed. A FREE 5 Day Website Challenge from Shannon Mattern your WordPress BFF. In all honesty I was pretty skeptical. Was this just another freebie that would leave me hanging when it came to the design part? Before signing up I checked out Shannon’s Facebook page and website – I suggest doing this for all freebies you consider signing up for. Shannon’s content instantly resonated with me, it was as if she was speaking directly to me, and her free 5 Day Website Challenge had some seriously raving reviews so, I signed up.
The Day 1 email arrived in my inbox and instantly I knew this wasn’t like any other freebie I’d ever signed up for. Part way through the e-mail it read “Over the next 5 days I’m going to take your hand and show you exactly what you need to do to build a website that helps you run an online business.” As I read through the rest of the email which explained what to expect and where to find support and ask questions my confidence grew and I was excited to tackle this project.
Each day’s video is broken down into easy to follow step by step tutorials. With this break down you can do as little or as much at a time and can come back and start from exactly where you left off, or easily go back to a step you may have skipped over. Shannon takes the overwhelm out of building a website, giving you only the details and information you need and not bogging you down with tech talk and jargon – this truly is a course for those who are not tech savvy.
Here’s a sneak peak of what you’ll do inside the of the 5 Day Website Challenge
• Build the foundation – install plugins for security, SEO, GDPR, Google Analytics and a FREE theme (to make your site pretty)
• Configure your WordPress dashboard and plugin settings (do not skip this)
• Set up an email list and connect it to your website using a free email automation service
• Design your site (or as I like to call it, the FUN stuff). Learn how to create a free logo and graphics, choose your brand colors and fonts and create your website layout
• Create content. There’s lots of great tips here, even on how to write the often dreaded About page
• SEO basics – if you want people to find your website don’t skip this tutorial
• Publish your site
By the end of Day 5 my website had gone from a blank white page to a professional looking website with an email sign up, security and content – all of which was covered in the 5 Day Website Challenge.
I was ready to launch my site. I couldn’t believe it and it never would have happened if Shannon hadn’t put her knowledge out into the world. This is why, even if it comes easy to you someone else needs what you have to offer.
What I love most about these tutorials was how down to earth Shannon is, not everything ran smoothly and she could have edited out errors but she didn’t. Leaving these errors in shows that things may not always work the first time, move on to the next and come back to it, don’t let one small detail derail your progress. Her Facebook Group offers amazing support with the ability to interact with Shannon regularly so be sure to join and ask questions.
Because Shannon provided so much amazing content for FREE I was excited to see what she had to offer in her paid content. I joined the Serious Side Hustlers membership program, this is definitely a membership you’ll want to get in on if you’re doing any type of online marketing. Especially in the early stages of starting any type of online business.
Sure, there are lots of other free and paid content on the internet that teach beginners how to start a blog but I have yet to find something as in depth as what Shannon offers. Shannon knows what it’s like to start from 0. I’ve been a fan of hers since before she left her day job and took her side hustle full-time (celebrating with an amazing online party). She is someone who I will continue to support and follow as long as she is in business because she is genuine, authentic and all of her content really does feel like you’re sitting with your BFF.
It’s time to stop letting what you don’t know hold you back from starting an online business. Sign up for Shannon’s FREE 5 Day Website Challenge here. You can also subscribe to Shannon’s podcast Pep Talks for Side Hustlers for more amazing free content.
The exact expenses I paid to get my website up and running
GoDaddy Domain – .99
GoDaddy Domain Privacy = $9.99
SiteGround Web hosting – $3.95/month for 1 year = $47.40
Creative Market Images = $20.00
5 Day Website Challenge = 0.00
Mailchimp Email Provider = $0.00
Canva Logo Design = $0.00
TOTAL = $78.38