You’ve done all the research, read all the info, and now you want to start building your blog. That’s great, but it won’t happen overnight. So, how long does it take to launch a website? And when you do launch it, how do you get it to the top of the search engines?
There are a few steps you need to take before launching your website. Those include finding your target audience, doing search engine research, figuring out whether you want a regular blog, a business website, or an e-commerce store, and creating a launch plan. While it sounds like a ton of work, the whole process can actually take less than 90 minutes.
Let’s get into the specifics and break down the process.
First, choose your domain name
Everyone in the blogging and marketing world will tell you that this is one of the first and most important steps you have to take. Think of a catchy domain name. Why? Because you want to grab readers’ interest right away. This applies both to a blog and an online store. The name should represent your brand and be the same on all social media accounts associated with your site. Make sure to choose a name that your audience would understand.
This step can easily take 30 minutes as you brainstorm and come up with a good idea. Check if the name you want is already taken by clicking here – name.com. Test different options until you find one you like that’s available. Some tips on choosing your domain name are to go with something that’s clear and easy to understand. It could be a name that describes your business, for example: “vintagebookstore.com,” or “avocadorecipes.com.”
You can also go with a catchy name that won’t necessarily describe what the site’s about but will be easy to remember (think of “GoDaddy” or “Zalando.”)
Next, sign up on a hosting platform
The second step you have to take is to choose a hosting platform for your site. A host is a space that keeps your site. This is basically the online equivalent of a physical store. Signing up on your hosting platform shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes.
Choose a design for your site
Now that you’ve chosen a domain name and signed up for a hosting company, it’s time to choose a design for your site. Assuming that you’re using WordPress.org (which we really recommend by the way), you have a few options.
You’ll find both free and paid themes out there that you can choose from, but we’re not going to go into the details. Choosing a theme is a very simple task which will take you about 20 minutes to complete.
That’s more than enough to choose a decent design.
Wait…we’re not done yet
Your site should be up and running by now. It should have taken about 80 minutes to launch your website.
Now, let’s talk about the more advanced stuff. If you’re a blogger, then you need much more than a simple web page to get the most out of your web presence.
Most blogs have e-mail opt-in forms and sharing buttons for social media. Let’s see how much time it takes to set up all of this.
E-mail opt-ins and your email marketing platform
If you like to retain the reader or client, in case you’re running an online store, you should set up e-mail opt-ins. All you have to do is sign up to your chosen e-mail marketing platform and then set up some e-mail opt-in forms on your website. It’s nothing too difficult. This shouldn’t take any longer than 30 minutes from start to finish. There, that’s one more thing crossed off your to-do list.
Adding sharing buttons to your site
As a content creator, you want your readers to share your content right? That’s exactly why you need to install sharing buttons on your site.
If you use Addthis, you’ll be able to install these sharing buttons properly in less than 10 minutes. It’s really that easy.
Writing your first post
Let’s get to the good stuff – writing your first blog post. The amount of time you’ll need here will vary from one blogger to another, depending on the type of content you’re creating and your writing skills. Generally speaking, writing a blog post can take from one to four hours. This includes the time you need to look for an image for that post, proofreading it and properly formatting your content.
Adding Google Analytics
So you have your site, some content, and you’re ready to go. But how can you know who’s visiting your site? Well, you can use Google Analytics. It’ actually very simple. First, create an account, then copy a piece of code to your website, and you’re done.
All in all, this should take no more than 10 minutes to do.
Now that we’ve covered the basics let’s look at some frequently asked questions.
What if you want to use coding languages instead?
First of all, I wouldn’t recommend you do that in the first place. Coding your website is harder, takes more time, and will generally require you to have some kind of technical background.
If you’ve never tried coding before, it will take you a lot more time to get the grasp of the different programming languages before trying anything on your website. You’ll also need to find a hosting platform for coders, and become a good problem solver because you’re likely to face a number of issues.
It’s difficult to give an estimation of the time you need here because there are a lot of factors that will change, from one case to another. For example, your skills as a web developer, the complexity of your site, and many other things will come into play.
You should expect to build your website in a time frame ranging from several months up to a year if you already know how to code.
How about hiring a web developer?
Hiring a developer isn’t super easy either. You see, when you’re hiring someone else to do this, you’ll take a lot more time than just doing it with a website builder or WordPress. This is because you’ll constantly have to revise their work, deal with the late deadlines, and sometimes with people not understanding what you want.
The advantage here is that you’ll save time with the actual coding because you’ll have a skilled coder who’s doing the work for you. At the same time, prepare to spend good money because it’s expensive to hire programmers.
You can expect your site to take at least a few months to be launched if you use this approach.
What if you hire a WordPress developer instead?
Maybe you’ve heard of them. Some people with good experience in WordPress can host your site and build it for you. This seems very convenient, doesn’t it? However, WordPress is simple enough for the average blogger to use. There really shouldn’t be any need for a professional developer.
In addition to that, you could easily build and launch your site from scratch using this platform in just about one hour and a half so why waste your money for something that you could do yourself?
Don’t forget that you’ll be using WordPress to manage your website anyway, so you’ll have to learn using it sooner or later.
What platform should you use to launch your website ASAP?
Go for either Weebly or Wix. This should be simple; however, there’s a catch.
Sure, you’ll be able to launch your blog in 15 minutes, just like that but these platforms are not the best option in the long run. Why? Because they are limited in terms of customization. You see, using WordPress gives you a lot of flexibility and freedom to modify your website in ways that you can’t find on those website builders.
Professional builders, obviously, cost more money. If you still want to use them, then it won’t take you more than 15 minutes to get your website up and running.
Blog vs. online store vs. company website: which one takes more time to launch?
Before you launch your site, you first have to know what type of website you want to build. There are some distinct differences between different kinds of websites. For example, whereas blogs are primarily geared toward providing content for their readers, online stores are essentially created to offer products online.
Launching a blog is probably the least time-consuming. That’s because you can launch your blog when it’s empty or just has a few blog posts, while it’s different with other types of websites.
For example, you can’t launch a corporate website that has no content, no description and nothing on the homepage. These sites tend to be well-designed, so you’ll spend some time adjusting and perfecting the look and feel of the website as well. On the other hand, you need to have products up on your e-store so that people can buy them, right?
You can’t launch an empty online store. That’s why it’s usually faster to launch a blog then to launch an e-store or a company website.
How much time will you need to learn WordPress/a website builder?
If you’re using WordPress, then it will take about 10 hours to get a basic understanding of the platform. It’s easy to set up a theme, publish new blog posts, and do the basic stuff. However, it can take you from several months to 2 years to master the platform.
If you’re using a website builder, then it’s the easiest thing in the world. Those platforms are built to be really user-friendly, so you don’t have to worry about learning how to use them at all. If you’re using something similar to Weebly for example, you’ll easily learn everything in a week if you use it every day.
What if you’re not a tech person?
You’re still going to learn this stuff pretty fast. All of the website builders are really intuitive and easy to use. WordPress might be a little bit intimidating at first, but once you start to use it, you’ll quickly realize that it’s really not that difficult.
Nowadays, you don’t need to be tech-savvy to build a website. Anyone can do it. It’s just a matter of getting to know the tools you’re using and using them a lot. If you’re frequently using WordPress (or any other platform), you will inevitably learn the ins and outs.
How can you learn faster?
There are many blogs and tutorials on YouTube that will show you the different tricks regarding your chosen platform. Head over to YouTube and type in “build a website with WordPress,” you’ll see tons of tutorials pop up, showing you the detailed instructions on how you can build your site from start to finish.
How long does it take to grow your blog?
This last question can’t be answered with a specific number, and it’s obvious why. This depends on many factors, as you can imagine. However, it’s useful to notice that some people have been able to turn their blogs into full-time businesses in a matter of a few years, so it’s not impossible to pull it off.
Launching your website doesn’t take a lot of time. Once you have a concrete idea in mind, it will take you close to 90 minutes to have your site up and running. This includes taking the time to choose a catchy name, register a domain, choose your host, and create some content. With platforms such as WordPress, setting up a site isn’t really that difficult at all. You can master the platform quickly, and won’t even need coding skills or a professional developer.
Have you already built and launched a site? How long did it take you? What was the hardest part? Let us know in the comments below!