How to Create a Website for Your T-Shirt Business Using WordPress
What is the first thing you do when you want to know something? Most likely, you search on Google. The same is true when you need to find a business. Your potential customers are doing the same thing when they need custom t-shirts or other apparel – they search online.
Every t-shirt business should have some sort of a website, whether it is just for information, or to actually handle transactions. That way, when someone wants to buy custom apparel, your business has a chance to be found. Even if you live in a small town and are the only custom apparel business around, there are still other online options people can buy from.
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It’s possible for anyone to have a website. It doesn’t matter what your knowledge or programming skills are, whether you have a lot of these skills, or none. It doesn’t cost a lot either. You can have a website for around $10 a month and not pay a single person to make it for you.
Right now, you may know nothing about creating a website. That’s ok. We will teach you everything you need to know, to set up and run your own website, in this post. The best part? It doesn’t break the bank! If you are in business, the benefits of having a website definitely outweigh the cost of $10 a month, if you use your site effectively.
It doesn’t take long to create your own site. To do this, you just need to use an online website builder. Most website builders use templates that you can pick from, and just customize it with your logo, photos, etc. These type of content management systems (CMS) have places for you to enter in your text in an area, a place to upload your logo and photos. It can be as simple as that, or if you want to go deeper, you can do that, too. If you know some programming, you can do much more with them as well.
Platforms to Build Your Site
There are several platforms out there to create a website. Some of these include: WordPress, Shopify, Wix, weebly, Squarespace, Joomla, Blogger, etc. You can research each one to find out which one you may want to use.
For this post, we will use WordPress as an example, and explain the process how you can set up your own t-shirt business website. It is easy to use and publish content about your business. WordPress is popular and easy to use. Since WordPress has a large community of users, it is usually pretty easy to find answers in an online search on the topic if you ever get stuck.
Basically put, WordPress is made up of a bunch of programmers and users supplying pieces and parts to create websites. These pieces are called themes and plugins. There are various versions for these, some are free, and some are paid upgrade versions. Most of the time, you can get away with using the freebies.
Themes are the overall design template you will use for your site. There are hundreds of themes to choose from. You can customize these to your own liking. We will show you how in a bit.
Plugins are the other component to WordPress. These add additional functionality to your site. You don’t have to use plugins if you don’t want to, but if you would like to use your site for more complex things, you can add plugins to accomplish this.
Plugins are useful because you don’t need to know any coding to add some really cool features to your site. You can add social media sharing buttons, collect email addresses, add search engine optimization (SEO), among many other things. If you see a site you like and want to copy one of the features, you can most likely find that feature using a plugin.
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So if all of these things are free, why will it cost me about $10 a month? When it comes to the costs of your site, the only portion you need to pay for, is the hosting. This is what will cost you around $10 a month. Hosting companies will provide a space on their web servers to place your website files. This is how your website will be on the internet.
There are a number of hosting companies out there. Just do a simple online search to find one that fits your needs. Most are pretty similar. Things to consider are your budget/cost, the amount of storage space they give you, if they offer you a free domain name, if they use cpanel as your user interface, along with other things like customer support availability. (Cpanel is your control panel. This version is pretty easy to use if you are new to websites.)
Bonus tip: Hosting companies usually give an introductory price, too, so you will only have to pay around $3 or $4 a month for the first set period of time, maybe 1 to 3 years! Now your website will only cost you as little as $3 a month for the first 3 years!
Setting Up WordPress with Your Hosting
If you decide to use WordPress, you’ll have to set up your WordPress account with your hosting account. Setting up your website with your hosting company is pretty easy. Most install WordPress with an easy 1-step process since it is so popular to use.
Once you decide which hosting company you want to use, purchase your plan and log in. You will need to choose your domain name. Your domain name is the address location where people will find your site on the internet. (Example: www.ExampleBusinessName.com)
Once you are logged in to your control panel, scroll down to where you see an option to install WordPress. Click on the option, and then follow the instructions to install WordPress.
You may need to fill in a couple of fields such as choosing a password to log in to your WordPress account, etc. WordPress should install very quickly. That’s it! Now you have your WordPress account set up with your hosting.
Tip: Once you choose your hosting company, you can get their help or try to search for a video on YouTube to find out how to install WordPress with your specific hosting company.
Customizing your Site
When you set up WordPress, it should have given you a link to where you can log in to your WordPress account. Usually, it is www.ExampleBusinessName.com/wp-login
Once you log in to your WordPress account, you will be at the WordPress Dashboard. When you want to edit your site, you will usually log in to your WordPress account here and use this area to customize your site.
If you want to set up your own email address using your new domain name, you will do that from your cpanel. (example: info@ExampleBusinessName.com)
From your WordPress dashboard, you can create pages, posts, add photos, and copy. You can choose and customize your theme and add plugins.
You will want to pick a theme for your site. Click on Appearance on the left side column of the dashboard. Click on Add New. Pick a theme you like and click install. Then, from your themes, you can choose which one to activate and use. Each theme is different, but you can customize them from the Appearance menu customization/theme options.
To add a new page, click on “Pages” in the left column of your dashboard. Then click on “Add New”. Give your page a title, such as Apparel Customization Services for example, and add the information you want to give your customers. When you are ready to publish the content, click the blue Publish button in the upper right corner.
To add additional functionality, do a Google search for plugins for what you would like to do. For example, if you would like to add SEO improvements, Yoast is a popular plugin for that. From your Plugins option from your dashboard, install plugins basically the same way like you would your theme.
JetPack is another plugin that gives you basic site statistics on visitors. You can see what pages they click on and how many times. JetPack also allows people to subscribe to your blog if you have one.
If you want to publish blog posts, it is simple! Instead of the “Pages” option from your dashboard, click on “Posts”. Enter your post title and content. Click Publish. That’s all there is to it.
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That is really all the basics to setting up your t-shirt business website. It doesn’t take long and doesn’t cost much. It’s super easy and if you get stuck, just search on Google or YouTube for what you are trying to do. Like I said above, WordPress is a large community of users, so there is a lot of information posted online for how to do just about anything on WordPress.
So there you have it – your own website for your t-shirt business for as little as $10 $3 a month! Every business can afford a website and you don’t have to worry about paying a marketing firm big bucks to make it for you.