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How to create an internet business from scratch – Full website development

You are probably here because you decided to create your own business on the Internet. Whether you are starting a new business or simply moving a business from a forum/another website/marketplace/eBay to a website. At WebDevote we believe in the “big picture” approach. Providing the tools and services to develop your business from start to finish. Most website owners either have to learn everything from scratch or lose a lot of money and time during the errors they make. Sometimes they contract freelancers to do only part of the job.

Most freelancers only understand a portion of the whole process, creating a chaotic website that either looks bad, has bad SEO, or runs poorly. At WebDevote we understand the entire process as we have built many businesses in the past. You don’t have to pay for everything though. Depending on your stage, we can provide you with the necessary services to move your project forward.

1. Finding a domain

Finding a domain is one of the most important tasks that presents itself when you start/move your business on/to the internet. Not only you cannot change it at your whim, but by changing it you lose all the SEO and brand-ability that comes with it. It is very important that you choose the correct domain at the beginning and stick with it!

These are the most important things you have to look out for:

  • There is no need to get an exact keyword match domain name (eg. if you sell bread the bread keyword does not need to be in the domain)
  • Make sure the domain you get has no past penalized history
  • If possible get a domain with SEO, preferably one that aligns with your business

2. Creating your website

Decide on the platform/CMS and features

There are many platforms, programming languages, and frameworks that are used to create websites. When you hire a developer, in most cases that freelancer just uses the one that he is most familiar with, irrespective of your needs. If you make the wrong decision your website might scale poorly or it will be too hard to manage it. We believe the best options are the simplest ones. These options are easy to scale, easy to change, and easy to manage.

HTML: A simple HTML website with no back-end is the simplest and fastest solution for any kind of landing or informational page. It’s also fairly easily edited by non-developers, while being extremely low maintenance. New MYSQL, PHP, and other updates don’t impact it as much. You can see HTML websites made 20 years ago working just fine. That being said, a simple HTML website is also very limited in functionality as it can only be used as a front-end.

HTML+PHP: If you make the front-end with HTML, then making a simple back-end with PHP is a good choice. It is fast, highly customizable, and generally low maintenance as well. As PHP gets updated it might be necessary to update some of the code every couple of years though. One disadvantage is that creating a back-end or script with PHP can take a lot of time and money, as in most cases you have to start from scratch. It’s also easier to edit PHP code for a newbie than, then let’s say Python or C.

WordPress: WordPress is the most beginner-friendly and easy-to-use CMS. While it can have performance issues at high traffic and it can get bloated with features, it’s still the best option for any kind of new business, without a dedicated web developer to maintain the website. Updates come out periodically for free for both WordPress and the Plugins. It’s also easy to change without any coding, both the front-end and the back-end. You can also add or remove features fairly easily. If you strike a good balance between features, website speed, and front-end elements you will get a very powerful website for your business.

Why we don’t recommend Drupal/Joomla/Python/Others anymore: Drupal and Joomla are also CMS platforms, however, since they are less popular, they have fewer features and updates by default. Aside from extremely niche uses, there will be no benefit that they offer over WordPress for the average user. You can also make websites in Python, C, and all their frameworks. The issue is, it would be extremely hard for a non-developer to make any edits or fix smaller issues. Also hosting requirements and maintenance are much more demanding in these cases.

3. Get hosting

The type of hosting you get will determine many factors for your website. They differ in how hard it is to manage them and pricing as well. You want to pick the type of hosting that best suits your website/business.

Shared Web Hosting: Shared web hosting is the smallest and cheapest option. It divides the resources of a Dedicated server or VPS to host websites and web applications specifically. In this case, you don’t have access to the operating system (SSH access), however, you get access to cPanel, DirectAdmin, or other website management platforms. Shared hosting is usually enough for 95% of the websites out there and it is also easy to maintain. Management of the server usually falls on the hosting provider rather than the customer.

Shared WordPress Hosting: It is basically the same as shared web hosting, except it has more resources allocated to a single shared instance. Since WordPress is more resource intensive it’s a good compromise before investing in a VPS or Dedicated server.

VPS Hosting: A VPS is a virtualized slice of a dedicated server or network of dedicated servers. We refer to the server where the VPS is hosted as “node”. A VPS comes with shared resources, albeit much more than a shared hosting environment. If you buy a VPS the management of the operating system (Linux) falls under your responsibility, however, you also get operating system access (SSH access). You will be able to do as much with a VPS server then you would be able with a local Linux or Windows system. It is not just to host websites, but to run any kind of program. A VPS is an excellent choice before upgrading to a Dedicated Server.

Dedicated Servers: A Dedicated Server or Baremetal Server is the biggest hosting you can get. Resources are not shared whatsoever, all the resources are yours alone. This is also the most expensive solution and it is only required if your traffic is extremely high or you run a very resource-intensive website/software. It also comes with a single OS like Linux or Windows.

4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the most important part of your business. It is not something that can ever be finished, it is an ongoing process. It’s not enough to reach a ranking, you have to maintain it as well.

4.1 SEO Research

Before you even start to do any SEO you have to research and make a decision regarding the keywords you will go for. Choosing the correct keywords is essential in maximizing traffic, ranking, and exposure. Once you decide on your keywords, it’s very hard to make changes later on as you, already made the investments. The first thing you want to do is keyword research. Once you identified your niche and the most commonly used terminology to describe your services, you need to compare the keywords in all combinations to see which ones produce the most traffic.

You have to separate 2,3 and 4-word keywords as it is easier to rank for longer tail keywords. If for example, a 3-word keyword produces similar traffic then the best 2-word keyword, then you want to rank for that 3-word keyword. The only way to be sure is to do rigorous SEO and keyword research.

4.2 On-site SEO

On-site SEO is SEO done on your website itself. This includes doing all the necessary things to make search engines understand your main keywords on each page. On-site SEO is usually only done on important pages, where you sell your products or have some unique informational purpose that pulls in traffic. SEO is usually not done on Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, Contact Us, etc.. pages to save on costs. This usually includes creating the correct meta information and adding your keywords to your content in a way that maximizes search engine visibility.

Another facet of On-site SEO is to create an architecture of pages that lets search engines know which pages are important on your website or in other words Siloing your website.

The third pillar is creating a strong blog section for your website. Not only does it pull in traffic and sales from search engines, but it also enables you to create an especially powerful Silo structure.

4.3 Off-site SEO

Off-site SEO is all the SEO that you do outside of your website. This includes link building, social media adverts, paid adverts, blogs, etc… In order for your website to rank well, search engines need to see that your website is linked/mentioned by other authoritative websites in your own niche. The best way to do it is to build quality backlinks that link to your website.

Free Link Building: Free link building involves adding your backlinks to forums, blog comments, Quora posts, and any other platforms that you can access for free. This usually takes some time as you might have to also add quality content so that your backlinks are not considered spam. You might also have to build standing or reputation in that community. The advantage is that you can control your backlinks and it is free, however, it takes a considerable amount of time and effort. An admin can still delete your content/account/backlinks or the entire website could cease to exist. This method drives both traffic and adds SEO value to your website/domain.

Social media: Social media can be an excellent way to drive traffic to your website. A big drawback is that it contributes absolutely nothing toward your SEO. Since social media is behind a login screen, search engine crawlers can’t see it. It can also be a lot of effort to build a strong social media presence so I don’t recommend it, if your website is new, as there are better methods out there.

Email lists: Buying email lists from a shady forum or website is illegal! That being said adding your offer to a mass email campaign that originates from a domain where the user/customer signed up is a good way of getting some additional traffic to your business. This is completely legal of course. While this method does not contribute any SEO and it will be hard for you to find another website/business to promote your business in this way, this is an inexpensive and low-effort way to gain traffic and customers.

Paid advertisements: Paid advertisements are when you buy advertisement space from Google Adwords or Facebook. They contribute nothing toward your SEO. They simply convert your money into traffic. Whether is it worth it or not largely depends on your niche. There are those who say it’s not worth it at all any longer if your website/business is small to medium size.

Private Blog Network (PBN): A PBN is basically a network of highly authoritative websites that look like separate real blogs from the perspective of the search engines, but are owned by a single person or organization. A PBN is a much cheaper and easier way of getting quality backlinks than getting guest posts on a “real” blog (although guest posts are easier to get and can have much bigger effects). Also, with a PBN you will be able to control every aspect of the backlinks. The duration, anchor text, the blog post, and the website itself. There is also no risk of the website going down. If the PBN is made well there is no good way for the search engines to tell that it’s a PBN. PBN backlink is the strongest form of off-site SEO available, not to mention, it can also generate traffic for you.

A PBN comes in two forms: Truly private or open. A truly private PBN is when only your own backlinks can be found on the blog. An open PBN is when links are sold without any restriction. Obviously, a truly private PBN is safer, however, it is not feasible to build it simply for a single website. Highly authoritative domains cost a lot and you also have to put in the effort to create the blog, and pay for the domain and hosting. Also, you have to have the know-how not to get caught.

5. Management

If you have a finished website and traffic starts to flow, you will finally generate some income from your orders. Even if you don’t plan on adding any additional features or improvements you will have to maintain your website. You want to focus on your business after all.

A website will not run on its own properly forever. You have to keep updating it, securing it, and monitoring its uptime.

Continuous updates to framework software like PHP, MYSQL, or CLoudlinux can make some of your code depreciated. Also, nasty bugs can appear seemingly out of nowhere, not to mention issues caused by hackers and the increased traffic. You either need to maintain your website yourself or contract someone who will do it for you.

Linux: Linux is the most popular operating system overall (contrary to popular belief). Linux is especially powerful in the setting of server management. Linux is generally lightweight and extremely stable. It has many distributions each specializing in different tasks. If you use a VPS or Dedicated Server you will most likely be using Linux.

There are many updates and possible issues that you have to keep track of and thus it’s not recommended for an inexperienced person to manage a production environment.

6. Additional improvements

As time passes your competitors might gain an edge over you by making the necessary investment in their platform and adding value to their customers by creating new features or quality-of-life improvements. You want to stay ahead of the curve to maximize your profits, but in order to do so, you have to plan ahead and start the development in time.

For WordPress, it means creating or upgrading plugins for your website. Plugins are code snippets hooked into your WordPress system. They can be activated and deactivated at will without affecting the other plugins and features.

7. FAQ:

Aren’t PBN-s black-hat and thus illegal?

By some people, it is considered black-hat, but it’s definitely not illegal. While search engines do try and find PBN networks, in our experience, they can only find the most poorly made ones. Even then they don’t penalize your website/business, simply reduce or nullify the link strength that comes from the PBN.

A well-made PBN blog should be indistinguishable from a real blog. What this means is that the difference lies in ‘intent’ rather than content. A good PBN will have the same effect as a real authoritative blog, but it costs less to get backlinks.

Can I upgrade/downgrade Shared, VPS and Dedicated hosting easily?

While you can upgrade/downgrade between shared and WordPress packages freely. It’s not as simple with VPS and Dedicated servers. This table will describe what is possible:









other Shared and WordPress packages

Automatic after placing an order




other Shared and WordPress packages

Automatic after placing an order




only to other VPS

Automatic after placing an order





As you can see you cannot downgrade a VPS server only upgrade it.

You also cannot move easily between categories. (It’s possible, but you will have to rebuild the whole server and transfer files/databases separately!)

You can only upgrade or downgrade a dedicated server if you reinstall everything on the new server and move the files directly, there is no way to do it automatically (Except in cloud environments).