Saturday, May 28, 2022

Weekend Favs May 28

Weekend Favs May 28 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but I encourage you to check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from an online source or one that I took out there on the road.

  • Keyword Insights AI – is a fast and easy way to discover precisely what people are looking for online. Helping you to analyze the popularity and opportunity of keywords that are relevant to your business.
  • Community CXL – Marketing can be a difficult field to get into and one that is constantly changing. CXL helps new and expert marketers learn on the job with their community-driven education platform.
  • Uprise – Personalized online wealth management. Uprise recommends the best financial options for you based on your personal financial goals (credit cards, investment opportunities, loans, benefits) and helps to keep you on track with real human experts reviewing your portfolio.

These are my weekend favs; I would love to hear about some of yours – Tweet me @ducttape

from Duct Tape Marketing

Friday, May 27, 2022

Best Outbound Call Center Services

Want to jump straight to the answer? The outbound call center service for most people is Nextiva or Five Star Call Centers.

Imagine if your outbound call agents were engaged, able to handle customer rejections, and consistently hitting their connection rate targets. Moreover, your business has a steady pipeline of qualified leads and is continually innovating based on your outbound market research findings. All this is possible, even without an on-premise outbound call center.

We’ve reviewed the five best outbound call center services to take your strategy to the next level.

The Top 5 Best Outbound Call Center Services

Here’s a full breakdown of the best outbound call center services and where each service shines. We also have a handy section for choosing the best call center service at the tail end of this post.

Nextiva – Best for Most

  • One-step agent login
  • Works with PBX
  • No equipment required
  • Starts at $18.95 per user per month
Try for 7 days free

Nextiva is a cloud-based Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) call center solution. It presents a simple solution for creating a call center from scratch. You don’t need to invest in expensive hardware or prolonged agent training.

Nextiva home page

Your agents simply log into the platform and start initiating outbound calls at the click of a button. The setup process is also straightforward and doesn’t require technical skills. It’s as easy as downloading the Nextiva software and setting it as your default calling app. You can also lease VoIP hardware from the company if you’re interested in building a full-fledged professional call center.

Nextiva page with boxes to invite users or add a user manually

The platform also works with your on-premise Private Branch Exchange (PBX) phone systems. Nextiva PBX SIP Trunking service eliminates physical phone lines in favor of an internet-powered phone system. This service starts at $14.95 per month for a metered connection and $24.95 per month for unmetered connections.

Nestiva SIP Trunking in a VoIP Business Phone System

The Nextiva VoIP call center solution supports inbound and outbound communication. It comes packed with essential features, including:

  • Call monitoring
  • Call recording
  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
  • Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)
  • Call routing
  • Dashboards & Reporting
  • Live call status
  • Call disposition
  • Queue whisper announcement

The service is also affordable, with three pricing tiers. These include:

  • Essential – Costs $18.95 per user per month
  • Professional – Costs $22.95 per user per month
  • Enterprise – Costs $32.95 per user per month
Nextiva pricing with options for Essential, Professional, and Enterprise plans

The Essential plan is good enough for small businesses only interested in sales or marketing outbound calls. You get all the critical features, including unlimited video and voice calling and Google and Outlook contacts integration. There’s even unlimited internet fax, one of Nextiva’s most popular features.

Please note that unlimited calling only applies to U.S. and Canada inbound and outbound calls.

Larger organizations can upgrade to the higher tiers to enjoy advanced features like dashboards, management alerts, and scheduled reports. In addition, there are unlimited voice and video conference calls for internal sales meetings or product pitches. 

On the downside, Nextiva’s most prominent features lean towards inbound calling. As a result, it’s a good solution for most businesses that juggle between inbound and outbound strategies. This means the feature set may be limited if you focus more on outbound efforts like B2B lead generation, collections, appointment setting, or sales and marketing. And if you don’t have much in the way of inbound calling needs, Nextiva may give you more than you can use.

Still, Nextiva is a solid choice for most people. It is affordable, easy to use, robust, and scalable. The service is particularly suited for small businesses wanting enterprise call center functionality on a budget.

Five Star Call Centers – Best for Custom Plans

  • Fully outsource outbound calling
  • Gets you qualified leads
  • Choose only the services you need
  • Shared and dedicated agents available
Request a quote

Nextiva is a great overall choice for a business that prefers a balanced approach to its call center. But if you have more specific needs in mind, Five Star Call Center is a terrific alternative. The platform lets you outsource your entire outbound calling campaign if you prefer to take a hands-off approach.

Five Star Call Center home page

Some of the noteworthy outbound campaign features include:

Product and service sales – You can outsource your sales department to Five Star. Its agents will take over telemarketing calls.

Lead generation and qualification – Five Star actively generates new leads and qualifies them based on their likelihood to purchase your products or services. The company also offers consultation services to help you develop a targeted marketing strategy for your leads.

Market research – The company initiates market research activities such as customer polls and surveys on your behalf. You can use this data to inform your business operations and marketing activities.

Appointment and payment reminders – Five Star Call Center agents follow up on outstanding payments or upcoming appointments. This service is crucial for reducing no-shows and non-payments.

Other outbound services you can outsource to Five Star include product awareness drives, quality assurance, customer retention programs, and membership renewals. The company also offers multiple inbound call center services, including order management, live answering, message taking, help desk, and customer service.

The best part is Five Star doesn’t bundle its products like most call center services. Instead, you choose the specific services you want. You can even negotiate a lower rate for high call volumes.

You can also customize the service delivery model. For example, you can choose shared agents who work on other accounts. Alternatively, you can pay more for a dedicated agent who only works on your account.

Five Star Call Centers message box page

Five Star pricing depends on the specific services you choose. However, it costs an average of 80-90 cents per minute for shared agents and $26 per hour for a dedicated agent. There is also an agent training fee averaging around $20 per hour.

Five Star Call Centers is an excellent option if you have specific outbound calling services that you want to outsource. The pricing is also very flexible, so you only pay for the services you need.

On the downside, the service may be too expensive for most small businesses. You’ll also get into a long-term contract, and it takes time to train agents before deploying your outbound calling campaign. So the costs can add up quickly, even with shared agents.

TeleDirect – Best for Prepaid Packages

  • Per-second pricing
  • Prepaid minutes never expire
  • Outbound and inbound services available
  • Only pay for services you use
Request a quote

TeleDirect has a similar business model to what Five Star offers. You can outsource custom outbound calling services for a fee. You only pay for the services that you use.  The platform also provides similar outbound call center services, including:

  • Customer retention
  • Lead generation
  • Appointment setting
  • Market research
  • Telesales and upsells
  • Scheduled callbacks
  • Surveys and feedback
  • Seminar and event registration
Teledirect home page

The main difference is that TeleDirect lets you purchase prepaid minutes. So your minutes do not expire and roll over to the next month if you don’t exhaust them. Furthermore, the service charges per second. So you pay precisely for the time you use, down to the second.

TeleDirect pricing plans include:

  • $387 for 300 minutes
  • $1,100 for 1,000 minutes
  • $2,970 for 3,000 minutes
  • $5,580 for 6,000 minutes
  • $8,800 for 10,000 minutes
  • $15,000 for 20,000 minutes

The platform also favors bulk purchases, so businesses with high outbound call volumes can make extra savings. For instance, purchasing 300 minutes computes $1.29 per minute. But, conversely, you’ll pay 93 cents per minute if you buy the 6,000 minutes bundle and 75 cents per minute for the 20,000 minutes bundle.

The pricing model is even more attractive when you consider that you aren’t locked into a contract. For example, you can end your subscription as soon as you exhaust your minutes at no charge. TeleDirect will even refund you up to 80% of your remaining minutes if you aren’t happy with the service.

The only caveat here is the 29 minutes of monthly usage required to maintain your account. However, it’s a reasonable target, even for a small business. Finally, the extra costs, such as agent time spent after your call, are pretty transparent.

TeleDirect also offers inbound call center services. These include customer service, order processing, help desk services, and reservation services. In addition, you also get premium inbound call center services such as Tier I tech support, overflow, and after-hours support.  

Again, you can choose between a shared agent who works on multiple accounts and a dedicated agent working only on your account. You’ll need to contact a sales rep to get your exact pricing based on your services and agent choice.

The only major downside with TeleDirect is the extra costs required to keep tabs on the agent’s performance. For instance, you’ll need to pay extra to access text message notifications and call recordings to monitor agent performance.

Otherwise, TeleDirect is an excellent option if you’re in the market for a prepaid service. It’s easier to keep an eye on your budget, and any unused minutes roll over to the next month. It’s also a terrific solution for enterprise users with high call volumes. 

Signius Communications – Best for Appointment Management

  • Call script development included
  • Integrates with Calendly and Google
  • 12 locations in the US
  • Starts at $42 per month
Request a free consult

A small practice may not need a full-fledged call center. Signius Communications fills this niche market by letting you outsource your appointment management. It’s a particularly great option for solopreneurs who want to focus more on the day-to-day running of the practice.

Signius Communications home page

The company serves multiple industries, including:

  • Healthcare
  • Property management
  • Contractors
  • Attorneys
  • Government
  • Universities
  • Fortune 500
  • Small business
  • Utility companies

The process is simple. Just get in touch with Signius to develop a script. Then, the company’s agents will be the point of contact for your clients. The platform also integrates with popular appointment-scheduling platforms like Google Calendar, Setmore, and Calendly.

The company is 100% US-based if you are worried about the language barrier. It has 12 locations, including Texas, Illinois, Indiana, Florida, and California.

You’ll need to contact Signius Communications to find out precisely what you get for each of their pricing tiers. But, you can get started for as low as $42 per month. Either way, you aren’t locked into a long-term contract and only pay monthly.

Signius Communications pricing, including options for Starter, Pro, and Premier plans

Finally, the company offers additional packages, including Inbound Call Center Services, Answering Services, and Technology Solutions.

The main downside is that Signius Communications offers limited outbound calling services. This isn’t a problem if you’re only looking for appointment management for your practice, regardless of size. However, you’ll need to look elsewhere if you need more services such as market research, lead generation, or surveys and feedback.

CIENCE Technologies – Best for Managed Lead Generation

  • Expert-qualified leads
  • Targeted audience research
  • Build a custom calling team
  • Detailed progress reporting included
Book a free call

CIENCE Technologies has a unique take on outbound calling strategy, focusing on lead generation. Its People-as-a-Service (PaaS) model means you’re paying for a team of experts to qualify leads on your behalf. It’s a terrific option if you don’t want to take any chances with your lead generation efforts.

CIENCE Technologies home page

CIENCE takes over your entire sales development process, so you may not need an in-house team. Instead, you’ll get a ready pipeline of qualified appointments without doing any of the hard work. It’s also an excellent option for enterprises that want to accelerate their time to market.

The service lets you create a custom sales development representative (SDR) team to study your target audience. The company also has a proprietary database with millions of records across numerous industries. So the only thing is to wait for an entire pipeline of qualified leads.

The company is also very transparent in its methods. The SDR team adheres to best practices, including playbooks, copywriting, precision targeting, lead qualification, objection handling, and appointment scheduling. You also get weekly reports, complete with details like the number of emails sent, number of new contacts, and appointments set. You can also choose the people you want on your team.

For example, some of the experts that might staff your team include:

  • Account Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Outreach Coordinator
  • Research QA
  • Caller
  • Messaging Specialist

Again, you choose who you want on your team based on your unique needs. Therefore, your specific price depends on the services and project staff you choose.

On the downside, CIENCE can be expensive for small businesses. It offers custom pricing, but most projects start at $1,000 per month. There’s also a three-month minimum subscription to qualify for the service.

Fortunately, the company website offers an ROI calculator so you can figure out if the service is worthwhile.

CIENCE Technologies pricing and ROI calculator

Otherwise, CIENCE is an exceptional outbound calling service for businesses that want to outsource the entire outbound sales process. Instead, you’ll be able to focus on core aspects of the company and have a ready market to sell to.

How to Find the Best Outbound Call Center Services for You

We’ve done our best to highlight where each outbound call center service shines. Hopefully, our review methodology helps decide which service matches your needs. It’s still okay if you aren’t there yet. There is a logical process you can go through before coming to the correct conclusion.

Decide on Managed vs. Unmanaged Outbound Calling Services

The first step in choosing your call center service is to decide how you’d like the service delivered. Most businesses prefer a managed service. That means outsourcing your outbound calling campaign to a third party.

A managed outbound call center service is advantageous for several reasons. First, if nothing else, you’ll rely on someone else’s expertise, infrastructure, technology, and staff to drive your outbound calling strategy. It’s also an optimal option for keeping your call center costs down.

Some of the basics costs you can avoid or at least minimize by outsourcing your outbound calling strategy include:

  • Hiring overheads
  • Technology stack
  • Full salary
  • Managerial costs
  • A dedicated customer success manager

All services featured in our review, except Nextiva, offer managed call center services.

Of course, we included an unmanaged service for businesses that would like to retain control of their call center strategy. This control is crucial if you’ve already invested in an in-house call center. In addition, a service like Nextiva will help you create a virtual call center, which is the direction most businesses are taking anyway.

You might not even need to upgrade your existing PBX equipment or purchase new VoIP hardware. Nextiva is incredibly flexible and will find a way to save you money, time, and effort. Finally, this service is exceptional for handling distributed call center teams.

A managed service is perfect if you need to build a call center from scratch. It will save you time, money, and effort. Plus, a managed vs. unmanaged service’s return on investment (ROI) is unbeatable if you don’t have the existing infrastructure.

To conclude, an unmanaged service like Nextiva is better for upgrading an existing call center. The company also offers consultation and agent training services if you need external help building or refining your outbound calling teams and strategies.

You can get your agents to the same level as the best-managed services, allowing you to rip the benefits of both worlds. You get word-class calling center agents while retaining control of your infrastructure and services.

Specify Your Outbound Calling Services

Most people associate outbound calling with lead generation. While this is a big part of it, it’s only one measure of success. Outbound strategies help meet numerous business objectives, including:

  • Market research
  • Prospecting
  • Telemarketing
  • Fundraising
  • Selling
  • Improving brand awareness

Each outbound call center service has its pros and cons. So it’s beneficial if you have a good idea of the objectives you want to meet. But, again, you can’t go wrong with Nextiva if you have an operational call center. You’ll outfit your team with everything it needs to deliver results.

Things are more granular if you are looking for a managed service. Most companies reviewed here offer similar services. However, some companies excel in particular areas.

For instance, CIENCE Technologies is a top choice if you’re most interested in B2B lead generation. The service is unrivaled for its digital ad platform, lead response, multi-channel prospecting, and premium sales data.

However, if you’re only interested in appointment management for a large or small practice, Signius Communications is a better option. You won’t overpay for features or services you don’t need. Instead, you only pay for a particular service you need.

Similarly, TeleDirect is a terrific option if you primarily use telemarketing for lead generation. Telemarketing is still a very effective sales tool despite getting a bad reputation. TeleDirect has this method down to a science.

Finally, Five Star Call Centers is a good bet if you need to outsource market research. The company conducts polls and surveys on your behalf. You can use the information gathered to streamline your decision-making or business operations.

It is also common to have multiple outbound calling requirements. For example, you may need market research, prospecting, and lead generation services. In this case, you want a company that can bundle these services together at an affordable price. Five Star Call Centers is an especially attractive choice for its custom plans and discounts to save you money.

Pricing Structure vs. Your Budget

Again, many of these companies offer very similar services. So the final choice may come down to how much you are willing to pay. Each outbound call center is priced differently. So you want the pricing structure that closely matches your budget.

A transparent pricing structure like Nextiva is perfect if you’re on a budget. You know exactly how much you are going to pay and when. So you can estimate your expenses accurately. TeleDirect is also an attractive option if you are looking for a managed service.

TeleDirect offers prepaid packages, so you can purchase only the minutes you need. The minutes also roll over to the next month, and you get discounted rates for bulk purchases. So again, the company is a solid choice for budget-conscious businesses.


We think that Nextiva and Five Star Call Centers are the best outbound call centers. Nextiva is a top choice for businesses that want to upgrade an existing call center. Five Star Call Centers, for its part, offers unrivaled custom packages, so you only pay for what you use.

There are still more options to consider. TeleDirect offers a unique prepaid model that suits small businesses with low call volumes. Enterprises can also maximize savings by purchasing more minutes. CIENCE Technologies stands out for its exceptional lead generation service, while Signius shines in appointment management.

from Quick Sprout

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

How to Create a Website in 9 Simple Steps

Want to just get started? Click here to sign up for Hostinger and create a website today.

It doesn’t matter if you’re launching a passion project or a business to make your first million dollars. You need a website.

Good news: creating a website today is easier than ever.

You don’t need to know how to code. You don’t need to hire a pricey developer. You just need to follow a few very simple steps to get your website up and running in less than 20 minutes. 

Top Web Hosting Providers To Create A Website

If you want to create a website, you’ll need a web hosting provider. Here are the best options.

  • Hostinger – Most affordable hosting plans overall
  • WP Engine – Best managed WordPress hosting
  • Bluehost – Best web host for beginners
  • DreamHost – Most affordable month-to-month plan
  • HostGator – Best for lean or minimal needs
  • GreenGeeks – Best eco-friendly hosting
  • SiteGround – Best for making your WordPress site speedy & secure
  • A2 Hosting – Fast and reliable shared hosting
  • InMotion – Best VPS hosting
  • Nexcess – Best for scaling and growth

You can read our full reviews of each web hosting provider here.

But to get your new website going right now, go straight to our Quick Start checklist. It will help you launch your new website in just two simple steps.

Quick Start Checklist To Create A Website

Want to just get your website running as quickly as possible? Follow these two steps to get your own piece of internet real estate up and running in 15 minutes or less. 

1. Sign up for Hostinger. Select their Single Shared Web Hosting plan for just $1.99 per month. It’s a four-year contract, but it’s the best deal out there and you get a free domain name, too. Follow the steps to create an account and purchase the plan.

  • Best deal for hosting
  • Perfect for WordPress sites
  • Free domain registration
  • Starts at $1.99/month
Get started today

2. Install WordPress. You can install WordPress as your content management system (CMS) with just one click from your Hostinger control panel. You’ll use your CMS to control the look and feel of your website. It’s also how you’ll upload all your content.

Voila! In less time it takes to watch an episode of your favorite show on Netflix, you can have your new website live. But if you want to create a website that builds an audience and makes you money the right way, there is a bit more to do.

But don’t worry! Everything you need to know is covered in the rest of this post.

9 Steps to Create a Website

Here’s a summary of the steps to build your website:

  1. Choose the perfect domain
  2. Get web hosting and free domain registration with Hostinger
  3. Claim your free domain with Hostinger
  4. Install WordPress with Hostinger
  5. Access WordPress in the Hostinger dashboard
  6. Design your website with a customizable theme
  7. Build your website’s architecture
  8. Connect your web pages with menus
  9. Create compelling content for your website
How to create a website in 9 easy steps.

Feel free to use these links to jump around to the section you need as you create your website.

Step 1: Choose the Perfect Domain

Choosing a domain is one of the most important decisions you can make for your site. It’s the address for your site and the way people will remember your website.

While many of the best domains are taken, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find a perfect domain for your brand. 

When brainstorming good domain names, consider the following elements:

  • Easy to say and spell. Potential visitors should be able to say your domain name out loud to someone without them having to ask twice how to spell or say it.
  • Short and sweet. We recommend no more than 14 characters. You don’t want an overly long domain name that’s hard to remember and say.
  • Go with .com, .org, or .net. While there are plenty of domain name systems out there, it’s best to stick with the tried-and-true. You want people to be able to remember it, after all.
  • Use your name. A particularly great choice for a personal blog, website, or portfolio.
  • Avoid numbers and hyphens. This just makes it look weird in the URL. Plus it makes it harder for people to say your URL to others.

If you want to learn more about this topic, check out our article on how to buy the right domain name.

Come up with a few potential domain names in case your top choice is already taken. The Hostinger Domain Checker is free, and it will let you know if the domain name you want is available.

Hostinger domain checker example.

Type your desired name in to the Domain Checker. If it’s available, fantastic. If not, Hostinger will automatically provide a few recommendations that are close to what you are looking for.

Maybe one of the recommendations works for you. Maybe you have to try a different approach.

I recommend you brainstorm ideas and search until you find an available domain you like, rather than taking something that isn’t quite right just because it is available.

It’s possible to buy a domain that’s already taken—but I don’t recommend doing that because it’s very expensive. In fact, quality domains typically cost a few thousand dollars at a minimum. I’ve seen it go as high as six or seven figures for a domain.

My advice is to get scrappy, get creative, and be flexible. You will be able to find one that’s available at a reasonable price.

Don’t add the domain to your cart at this time–you can get a domain for free by signing up for their Premium Shared Hosting service, which is what I recommend.

I’ll walk you through that process next.

Step 2: Get Web Hosting and Free Domain Registration With Hostinger

A website needs just two things to go live: A domain name and a web host.

You just came up with your domain name. Now it’s time to put it to use with a good web host.

We highly recommend you use Hostinger for your website’s host. They offer a fast and reliable web host. Hostinger also allows you to register your domain free of charge.

  • Best deal for hosting
  • Perfect for WordPress sites
  • Free domain registration
  • Starts at $1.99/month
Get started today

You can get Hostinger today for just $1.99/month using our discount link. It’ll give you all you need to get your website up and running.

Start by going to Hostinger’s website. Then click on Start Now. 

Hostinger premium shared hosting page.

It’ll give you three options for shared hosting, which is the type of hosting most people want to create a new website.

Hostinger offers three options for shared hosting: Single, Premium, and Business:

I recommend signing up for Premium unless you already have a domain name.

My reasoning is that the Single Shared Hosting plan does not come with a free domain, whereas Premium and Business plans do. Since you need a domain name in order to have a website, the vast majority of users looking to create a site are going to want both domain + hosting bundled together.

Both Premium and Business plans come with the ability to create 100 websites, 100 email accounts, and other tools to keep your site at top performance.

The Business plan comes with more storage and bandwidth, so your site will be able to handle more traffic than with a Premium plan.

For most new sites, Premium will be more than enough, but if you are expecting a ton of traffic right away, Business might be a better choice. View a complete rundown of everything that’s included with each plan on Hostinger’s homepage.

Once you select the best plan for you, Hostinger will ask you how long you want to sign up. Here’s what that looks like if you choose the Premium plan:

I chose the 48-month period for my Premium plan so that I could max out the discount. As you can see, I’ll wind up paying less than $100 for four years of hosting!

That’s a phenomenal price, especially when you consider that many other hosting providers charge extra for things like SSL certificates, website builders, email accounts, and other critical features that Hostinger bundles in for free.

After selecting the length of your hosting agreement, complete the rest of the information on the page.

  1. Register an account with Hostinger. You can use an email address, or signup via an existing Google, Facebook, or GitHub account. Whatever you choose, make it an email or account that you check regularly, as this is how Hostinger will communicate with you about any issues that come up.
  2. Enter payment details. Hostinger accepts all major credit cards and a variety of online payment gateways, such as PayPal, GooglePay, and CoinGate.
  3. Click “Submit”. Once you submit your payment, you have 30 days to try Hostinger risk-free. If you are not happy with your service, cancel within the first month for a refund.

Once your payment goes through, and you confirm your email address, you’ll be able to begin setting up your site.

If you need an alternative to Hostinger or are looking for managed hosting (as opposed to managing your own), WPEngine offers fantastic managed WordPress hosting for those who want that option. As a managed host, WP Engine professionally maintains speed and security at the server level, so you don’t have to do anything and your site’s performance is optimized from the start. To learn more, check out our WPEngine Review.

Step 3: Claim Your Free Domain

Follow the instructions on the welcome email to log in to Hostinger.

Once you are there, you’ll answer a series of straightforward questions about the website you are trying to create:

Hostinger let us know what you are creating selection screen.

And it’s basically this easy throughout the whole setup, which only takes a few minutes.

You’ll have the option to claim your free domain as long as you signed up with Premium or Business Shared Hosting:

Hostinger claim a free domain option screen.

At this time you can also connect domains you already own (the walkthrough is very simple) or buy additional domains.

As you select from free domains, keep an eye on the renewal pricing. Your domain is free for the first year. After that, you have to renew, typically at a higher price. This is no different from any other host, but you don’t want to be surprised about renewal pricing.

Hostinger renewal price example screen.

The top example where the renewal price is more than 50 times higher than starting price is unusual. But it happens. The bottom example is much more within the normal range for domain name renewals.

Step 4: Install WordPress with Hostinger

Next, you’ll choose your content management system (CMS). I recommend using WordPress.

Hostinger will give you other CMS options, but unless you have a compelling reason to do otherwise, WordPress is the easiest, cheapest, safest play you can make.

Install WordPress with Hostinger example.

Create a WordPress account with a strong password, and choose from dozens of different layout options for your site. Different layouts are known as WordPress themes.

You just have to make a choice at this time–you’ll be able to change themes and customize the site later. We’ll go into all that in the next steps.

For now, just confirm everything is correct:

Hostinger finish setup screen.

Double-check all this, and if for whatever reason Hostinger has located your website in an incorrect region, adjust that by clicking the purple pencil edit button.

Once you are sure that the information is right, click Finish Setup. This takes less than five minutes.

Congrats! You now own a piece of the internet!

Let’s dive into using WordPress.

Step 5: Access WordPress in Hostinger Dashboard

Hostinger offers a very convenient dashboard for you to manage your site. It’s known as hPanel, and is very welcoming to new users, as far as website control panels go.

And if you have any confusion, Hostinger has tons of support about how to navigate hPanel.

You’ll be prompted to use WordPress to create your site. If you miss the prompts or skip them for any reason, you can always log in to WordPress using the left side dropdown panel in the dashboard:

Accessing WordPress in Hostinger dashboard example.

Enter the WordPress account password you created in the last step to log in and start customizing your new website.

Step 6: Design Your Website with Customizable  Themes

You already selected a WordPress theme to build your site, and if you are happy with the way it looks, great!

If you want to see what else is out there, you can explore tens of thousands of themes on A lot of them are free. There are also some you need to pay for.

Pro tip: Don’t worry too much about this section. It’s easy to get caught up with perfectionism and think that you need to get your theme right the first time. That’s not true.

The most important thing you can do is choose a basic theme and go with it. You can always change your theme later. 

Go to your WordPress website’s administration dashboard. You can do this through the Hostinger dashboard, or you can use the URL [your website name].com/wp-admin. Then simply use the username and password you got in the previous step.

Once you’re in the admin dashboard, go to your sidebar and click Appearance>Themes>Add New Theme. 

Adding a new theme example.

This will allow you to add any theme you want from WordPress’s library. Choose one now.

For this article, we’ll be using OceanWP. This is a free theme that’s very flexible. Whether you need a blog, ecommerce store, or whatever else, OceanWP can get it done.

OceanWP theme homepage.

Search for the theme using the search bar. Once you find it, click Install.

OceanWP install screen.

Once it’s finished installing, click on the Activate button. This will implement the theme onto your website.

OceanWP activate screen.

You can now customize the theme to your liking by clicking on the Customize button.

OceanWP customize screen.

You’ll now be able to change any aspect of your website you want. This includes things like your website’s colors, menu options, header images, and more.

After clicking on customize, you’ll see a look at your website as you customize it as well as a left sidebar with different customization options.

Each theme offers different options, but there’s a lot of overlap between themes. We’re going to go into more detail about what each option does—and whether or not it’s vital:

  • Site Identity. Important. This area will allow you to change your site’s title as well as a sub-head or tagline. In most instances, you’ll also be able to upload a site icon as well. This is the image that appears in new browser tabs when people are on your website.
  • Colors. Optional. Change your website’s color palette. For OceanWP, this section only allows you to change the color of the title text.
  • Menus. Very important. It allows you to create a navigation menu for your website. Your reader will use this menu to discover and navigate to specific pages of your website. You’ll also be able to choose where the menu appears (e.g. top, footer, sidebar).
  • Widgets. Optional. These are different tools you can place throughout your website such as archives, calendars, search bars, and more. Completely optional, but can be helpful depending on what website you have.
Widget examples.
  • Homepage Settings. Optional. This controls whether or not you have a static homepage, or if your website automatically shows your latest blog posts. Again, this is completely optional and dependent on your website’s needs.
  • Additional CSS. Optional. This is where you can add further customization options using CSS code. This can be incredibly powerful if you have the right resources and knowledge to change your website.
  • General Options. Important. This section allows you to customize a ton of different aspects about your website. It includes things like the size of your header, the icons you can use, the titles of your pages, the layouts, and more.
Customizing general options example.
  • Typography. Important. This is where you can customize all things font related. That includes the size of the font, what type of font you want to use, and where those fonts will appear. For example, you might want to go with Helvetica for your H2 headers, but you might want to go with Comic Sans for your title (please, don’t actually do this; it is just an example).
  • Top Bar. Optional. This edits the top area of your website. You can add social links here, buttons to other pages, and more.
  • Header. Important. Allows you to fully customize the header area of your website. Add images or logos, change the font and colors, or whatever else you want to do to make the website yours.
  • Blog. Optional. This allows you to change the layout of your blog as well as which posts appear on your website’s main page.
  • Sidebar. Optional. You can add a sidebar to your website. This is completely optional since your readers can just use the top navigation bar to get around your site.
  • Footer widgets. Optional. Add tools and customize your footer.
  • Footer Bottom. Optional. This is that part of the website with the copyright and contact information. It’s potentially important — especially if you’re running a business.

Now, customize your website to your heart’s desire. Once you’re finished, click Publish, and voila! Your website will update automatically to reflect your changes.

Your website’s still going to look a little sparse. We need to create some pages for it.

Step 7: Build Your Website’s Architecture

If your website is a house, it’s currently an empty lot. It has a solid foundation and it’s connected to essential utilities—but it needs the walls and rooms.

To build those, you need to create web pages. These are documents on the internet that readers access through your website.

But you should think of them as the rooms of your house. These are the areas visitors will see and get to know you and your website.

While there are a lot of different types of web pages that exist, the most essential ones are:

  • Homepage. This is the main page for your website. It’s what readers see first, so it’s very important.
  • Contact page. This page shows how your users can contact you. This can be vitally important, depending on your business.
  • About page. This page tells new visitors all about your website and/or business. Typically, businesses will put their “brand story” here about how they came to be.
  • Online store. This is where your readers can purchase products and services from you. Again, can be vitally important depending on your business.
  • Blog page. This page is where all of your blog posts go. If you plan on publishing articles for readers to read, this will be a very important part of your website taxonomy.

Creating pages on WordPress just takes a few clicks. Let’s jump into how you can create the most important page now for your website.

How to Create a Homepage

OceanWP gives you two different ways to create a homepage:

  • Your latest posts. Your homepage showcases your latest blog posts.
  • A static page. You create a page to become your home page.

The first option is straightforward: Create blog posts and the homepage will automatically show all your latest blog posts.

That’s why we want to walk you through creating a static page for your website. This can be especially useful for companies that just want a branded page to introduce their audience to the website.

It’s also much more customizable than a page showing your latest blog posts.

First, head back to your WordPress website dashboard and click on Pages>Add New.

Adding a new page example.

Now, you’ll be in WordPress’s page editor mode. This area allows you to create a page by adding text, images, videos, memes, or whatever else you want to showcase on your homepage (or any other page for that matter).

Page editor mode in WordPress example.

In the Add title box you can create the — you guessed it — title for your home page. This will display a big piece of text at the top. Below that is the content box where you can add text or media.

On the top left, you can click on the + button to add new content blocks.

Adding new content blocks in WordPress example.

This is a very important area that allows you to easily add media, quotes, pull quotes, new paragraphs, headings, and more.

On the top right, you’ll see five buttons:

  • Save Draft. This allows you to save your progress as you edit your homepage.
  • Preview. This gives you a look at what your page will look like once you publish it.
  • Publish. This actually publishes the draft.
  • Settings (Gear Icon). This area allows you to do a number of things including edit the font size for each block (under Block section). You’ll also be able to set the visibility for your homepage, schedule a time to publish the page, change the URL, set the featured image, and allow for comments (under the Page section).
  • Extra tools (Three Dots). This menu includes a number of extra tools you can use to change the visualization of your page editor.

Create a basic homepage now by adding a title and content. It doesn’t need to be fancy. We’re just doing this as a test run. You can always change it later.

Once you’ve done that, click Publish in the top right. The website will now be live!

But that doesn’t mean it’s your homepage yet. Go to Appearance>Customize on the sidebar.

Customize appearance in WordPress example.

Then go to Homepage Settings. You can now click on A static page underneath your homepage displaying settings. This will allow you to select the homepage you just created in the dropdown menu underneath Homepage. 

Homepage setting options example.

Select that page, then click on Publish at the top.

Congrats!! You just created your very first homepage.

How to Create an About, Contact, Landing, or Any Other Page

Creating any other page for your website will consist mostly of the same steps as your homepage.

First, head back to your WordPress website dashboard and click on Pages>Add New.

Adding a new page in WordPress example.

And in the page editor create the page you want to create. It’s really as simple as that.

However, if you allow your readers to easily discover that web page, you’ll have to create some navigational elements for them.

Step 8: Connect Your Web Pages with Menus

Creating menus is going to vary from theme to theme. However, in OceanWP it’s fairly simple.

From your WordPress dashboard, click on Appearance>Customize. 

Customizing appearance in WordPress example.

Then click on Menu>Create New Menu. 

Create a new menu in WordPress example.

Here you’ll be able to give your menu a name and choose where you’d like it to appear.

For now, we’re going to go with the very creative name “New Menu” and choose Top Bar for the menu location. You can always change this later. Then click Next. 

Menu location options example.

Now it’s time to add some links. Click on + Add Items to start building your menu.

Adding items to menu in WordPress example.

From here you can add pages via the pages that you have already created, custom links to different websites, blog posts, categories, tags, and more.

For now, we’re going to add our Home, Contact, and About page (which we created in the previous parts) onto the menu.

Click on the pages under the Pages section to do so.

Image highlighting the pages section when adding new items in WordPress.

They will now appear in the top bar menu of your main website.

Image showing new items added to a menu in WordPress.

One thing to note is that you can create drop down menus for bigger categories you can think of.

For example, let’s say we want to add our Contact page into our About section. You can do so by dragging the Contact menu underneath the About section when customizing the menu (see below).

Rearranging items on the menu for WordPress.

Your About menu will now include a dropdown where visitors can access your Contact page.

Dropdown in the about section of a menu on WordPress example.

Once you’re finished making the menus, click on Publish at the top.

And you’re done! You just created your very first website.

Check out your new website in all its glory:

Example of a new website on WordPress.

Okay, we admit: It’s a little underwhelming right now—but that’s because you haven’t gone about branding it or adding any real content yet!

We showed you how to get your website up and running. Now it’s YOUR turn to make it with content.

Step 9: Create Compelling Content for Your Website

What you ultimately choose to include in your website for content is entirely up to you.

However, there are two areas that we’ve found to be the most important when it comes to successful websites: design and content.

Below are our best resources for leveling up both:

Designing Your Website

Writing On Your Website

You Just Made Your First Website! What Next?

  • Best deal for hosting
  • Perfect for WordPress sites
  • Free domain registration
  • Starts at $1.99/month
Get started today

Congrats on creating your first website! Seriously, you should pat yourself on the back.

Now that you’ve signed up for Hostinger and installed WordPress, there’s still some work to be done once your website is up and running—the journey has just begun.

You’ll still need to tweak and make adjustments to your site regularly to optimize its performance and ensure it’s meeting your audience’s needs. If you want to put your website to work for you and make some extra cash, check out these excellent resources on monetizing your site:

All of these guides are beginner-friendly and easy to follow. Enjoy and good luck!

from Quick Sprout