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How to Set Up a Website Quickly & Cheaply

Posted on August 10, 2020

by Adam Justice

category: Web Development,

If you have a business or project a website is one of the first steps in creating your brand and initiating commitment. Thunderbolt Host builds websites at a great price, but for some people $500 isn’t in the budget. So how do you set up a website yourself as cheaply as possible?

Pick Your Domain Name

The first thing you want to do is find an open domain. You could pay a couple thousand dollars for the perfect domain for your business, but since you’re trying to do this without investing too much money you should name the business based on the domains you can find that are available.

Thunderbolt Host offers a domain selection service for only $35 we will send a list of between 10-50 domains related to your niche that are currently available. Just use our contact form and let us know you need help!

Purchase Website Components

Technically all you need to set up a website is hosting and a domain name. However browsers are now blocking websites that do not have an SSL certificate and it’s important to keep your website secure.

I personally recommend getting a Standard SSL certificate and Website Security Essential. There is really no use in investing in a website if you aren’t going to invest enough to make sure it can be successful.

  1. Set up an account on the Thunderbolt Host Hosting Dashboard
  2. Add your preferred domain to your cart by searching for it and selecting it in the domains category
  3. Add WordPress Basic Hosting to your cart in the hosting category
  4. Add a Standard SSL Certificate to your cart in the SSL category
  5. Add Website Security Essential to your cart in the website security category
  6. Add Personal or Business Email to your cart in the Email category. If this is a serious business website you will definitely need a branded email address.

Go to checkout. Run through each product and make sure the terms are set for 12 months (you can choose longer terms but most people are going to want to go year by year). Before you checkout look for the tab under your Domain that says Full Domain Privacy and Protection. It looks like the photo below.

Domain Privacy
It is very important to add domain privacy and protection. If you don’t your email and contact information will be published in the Whois registry and you will receive a ridiculous amount of spam and hackers will target your website.


Be sure to add this product. This will hide your contact information in databases that hackers and spammers use to identify new website owners.

With all of the essential products in your cart the total comes to $289.73. This covers your website for 1 year minus email (email will be in your cart if you have it added at an additional cost). When you pay someone for website development these costs will usually be in addition to their price.


Website Setup Cart
Your cart should look like this once all of the essential products are added. Be sure to add Domain Privacy and Protection.


There are cheaper hosting options through CPanel and you could risk setting up your website without security, but in my opinion the services offered through these 2 products are well worth the investment.

Basic WordPress hosting includes daily malware scans. However if you have Essential website security added to your website you also get free professional malware removal.

Complete your purchase by filling in your billing details and payment information.

Setup Your Website

Now that we have everything you’re going to need go to your products page and setup your hosting, email, security and SSL certificate. Setup hosting first.

During your hosting setup it will ask you which domain you want to use for your website. Select your domain at this time. It will take a few minutes and your WordPress website will be generated. Look through the available themes and select one that matches your intended use.

Select manage next to your website under managed WordPress header on the my products page. From this page select “edit site” in the top right corner. This will log you in to your website and take you to the WordPress Dashboard. You can reach the Dashboard at any time by going to http://yourwebsite.com/wp-admin/ , this is where you will primarily work on your site.

WordPress Dashboard

Now that everything is set up in the backend it’s time to turn the template website that was generated into a bespoke website that represents your brand identity. You need to follow a few basic steps before you begin diving too deep.

  1. Delete the auto generated posts, pages and comments
  2. Under settings select general. If it’s not already correct fill out your site title, email address and timezone.
  3. Under settings select permalinks. Make sure that is set to post name.
  4. Figure out which part of the editor will let you edit your home page (usually the ‘customize’ link on the home page).
  5. Upload your logo and icon. Make any important edits.
  6. Go to Pages in the WordPress dashboard and create an About Page, a Contact Page, a Terms of Service, a Privacy Policy.
  7. Go to Menus under Appearance and set up your primary menu to display the links that are important to your visitors.
  8. Go to Plugins and download the essential plugins for WordPress websites.
  9. Install, activate and setup your plugins.
  10. Go to Posts and select ‘Add New’. This will be your first blog post and will set the tone for everything to come.

At this point your website is pretty much ready to go. You still need to connect your social media platforms, set up Google analytics, link your site maps to search console, set up a portfolio and market your website.