How To Create A Website (A Beginners Guide)
From choosing the right domain name, to picking a reliable web hosting provider, this beginners guide shows you how to create the perfect website for your personal brand, business, or side hustle.
Whether you’re a small business owner advertising your product or service online, or a student looking to make some cash from a side hustle or two, knowing how to create your own website from scratch is an essential skill that you need to master.
Sure, the idea of building your own site can sound a little daunting, but trust us, it’s a lot easier than you think, and the skills you’ll learn along the way will give you a huge advantage over the competition. Here are just a few of the reasons why:
- Web design costs money. If you’re trying to grow a business, you’ll save a ton of cash that can be channeled into things like advertising and branding, especially when you consider the ongoing costs of modifying your site over time.
- You’ll be able to react quickly to market trends and stay ahead of the competition, because you’ll be able to update your site without needing to wait for a designer to help you.
- You’ll learn a valuable skillset that you might even be able to use to turn a decent profit.
If we’ve piqued your interest and you’re keen to get started, carry on reading this handy guide that will walk you through the process of creating a website from beginning to end:
Get Yourself A Domain Name
Before you do anything else, you’ll need a domain name for your site. There are literally hundreds of domain vendors out there, and they’re all pretty similar in terms of pricing and features.
Some companies offer free email accounts with domains, whereas others are more spartan in terms of added extras, but extremely cheap to use.
We’d recommend one of the big-name vendors like GoDaddy, Namecheap, Bluehost or HostGator for ease of use and competitive pricing.
Registering your domain is as simple as adding it to the cart and paying at the checkout. Once the order is processed, you’ll see your shiny new domain sitting in the admin area of your account.
Are Some Domains Better Than Others?
There’s a lot of misinformation out there about domain choice. SEO gurus used to be adamant that you had to get a .com domain, which ideally used your exact brand or site description in Its title. These days, most of that advice is out of date, and the domain you choose (and its ending) make very little difference to how your site will rank in Google. With that being said, if you can get a region specific domain, all the better.
Purchase Some Web Hosting
Once you have a domain name registered, you’ll need to get yourself some web hosting. When you buy web hosting, you’re essentially renting a space on a computer server. That computer server is online 24 hours a day, and when your visitors type your domain name into their address bar, or click on a link to your site, they’re directed to the server where all of the files are stored that make up your website.
When it comes to selecting web hosting, you have a couple of options: It’s entirely possible to buy a domain from one company and web hosting from another. However, for ease of use, beginners might want to purchase their domain and web hosting at the same time.
All of the companies mentioned above (GoDaddy, Namecheap, Bluehost and HostGator) offer good quality, cheap hosting as well as domain names, so purchasing both at the same time makes a great deal of sense.
Some Advice On Hosting Costs
Many hosting companies offer extremely cheap deals for the first year’s hosting, as the industry itself is extremely competitive in nature. Just make sure you read the small print and check the renewal price, or you may get a nasty surprise when you get auto-billed at year two.
Setting Up Your Domain & Hosting
These days, setting up your domain and hosting is a mostly automated process, and every major company has in-depth beginner guides to get you up and running. With that being said, there are a few things to remember:
- Make sure your domain works with and without the WWW. prefix. This is easy enough to manage in your control panel, and is often already in place.
- Check that your domain is “pointing” to your hosting package, so that when visitors use your domain, they’re directed to the right place. To do this, most companies’ control panels will have a setting listed under something like “name servers”. Here you’ll have an option to point the domain to your hosting.
- Make sure your domain and hosting are set to “auto renew”, if you intend to keep the site running after the first year.
- Check the privacy settings if you want to hide your domain’s registrant details from the public records.
Log In To The cPanel
cPanel is the administrative area of your web server, and although it sounds scary, it’s really just a simple interface where most tasks can be completed in a few mouse clicks. Usually, when you buy web hosting, you’ll get notified when your server space is ready with an email, a link to the cPanel area, and the log in details. This usually happens within 5 minutes after purchase.
Once you’re logged in to the cPanel, you’re ready to build your website!
WordPress is an open-source, completely free piece of software that allows you to quickly build a beautiful looking company website or blog. It’s by far the easiest way for beginners to setup a website and you can install it in just a few clicks.
To get started, you’ll need to be in the admin area of the cPanel. From there, find an icon named something like “Softaculous” or “Software” and you should find an option to install WordPress.
Select a domain, name your site, make a note of the login details and then click “install”. After a few moments, your website will be ready to go!
When your site is installed, navigate to YourDomainName.com/wp-admin.php. Enter your login details and you’ll be directed to the dashboard area of your new WordPress install. At that point, you’re ready to add content to your new site.
It really is that simple!
Customize Your Theme & Pages
Now, although your WordPress website should display correctly when you visit your domain name, you’ll probably be pretty disappointed with what you first see when you arrive at the site.
By default, WordPress is installed with a couple of demo pages and a very basic, vanilla looking theme. You’ll need to customize your site with a theme of your choice and of course, all of your own content and branding.
What Is A WordPress Theme?
WordPress itself is the background “engine” that runs your website, but the overall layout, design and branding is controlled by swappable templates called “Themes”. There are hundreds of themes to choose from, enabling you to customize your site to suit any type of blog, product or business imaginable.
Adding A Theme
To add a new theme to WordPress, all you need to do is look for the “appearance” tab on the left-hand side of the admin area, and navigate to “themes”.
From there, you’ll see the themes that you currently have installed, as well as an option in the top left corner to “add new”. Clicking this button will take you to the WordPress theme directory, where you have access to huge selection of great looking themes.
To install a theme, simply click “install”. Once a theme is installed, you’ll see a button appear inviting you to “activate” the theme. Click this, and you’re all set and ready to go.
To get your site up and running, you’ll need to create pages for your content. At the bare minimum, you’ll need an “about” page, a “contact” page and a “home” page. To add these pages to your site, simply click on the “pages” tab on the left menu of the WordPress dashboard. This will reveal further options to add more pages to your site, or view and edit the pages that already exist.
Customizing Your Website
Once you have your theme, pages and content in place, it’s time to customize your site to your taste. To modify the look and feel of a WordPress site, head over to the “appearance” tab to the left of the dashboard, and click “customize” on the next menu. Doing so will reveal a wealth of different options and settings for altering your theme to your requirements.
WordPress itself can be as simple or as complicated as you wish, and there’s a virtually infinite range of plugins and add-ons that can turn your site into a fully featured online store, a hotel booking site and everything in-between.
Other Options For Building A Website
We’d always recommend taking the time to learn how to set up a WordPress website, just because it’s such a flexible and versatile option. We’re rapidly approaching the point where the majority of personal and business websites on the internet are running on the WordPress platform, so there’s a huge amount of knowledge and information out there to help you along the way, and a massive variety of themes and plugins to choose from.
With all of that being the case, there are a couple of obvious alternatives to WordPress, especially if you have more specific needs in mind:
WIX is very much a beginner option, and can’t compete with WordPress for customization options or versatility. Where WIX does score points is in its ease of use: When you sign up for WIX, you essentially don’t have to worry about domains, hosting, setting up the cPanel or any website software. Everything on WIX is done for you, and the drag and drop page builder is much easier to use than the WordPress dashboard.
Shopify, as the name suggests, is aimed squarely at businesses looking to setup an online store. For a monthly fee, Shopify allows you to run a fully featured retail website, complete with custom themes, a shopping cart and much more besides.
If you plan on selling physical products online, then Shopify is probably a better choice than WordPress, as although plugins exist to turn WordPress into an online storefront, it can get complicated very quickly, especially if you’re a raw beginner.
Squarespace is much like WIX, in that it’s a fully featured website creation tool, doing away with software and hosting, and using a bespoke page builder and templating system instead. Squarespace is just as easy to use as WIX, but is aimed more towards personal and portfolio sites for creative types, priding itself more on aesthetics and visual beauty rather than outright versatility.
Weebly blends elements of all of the above services to create a product that has the ease of use of WIX, the aesthetic appeal of Squarespace, and the online store elements of Shopify. There’s a range of great looking templates to choose from and the site builder is very easy to use.
This guide only scratches the surfaces of what’s possible with WordPress, but we hope it goes some way to demonstrating just how easy it is to get a site up and running quickly.
With a little time and perseverance, it’s possible to customize a WordPress install to fulfill any role or function imaginable, and for those of you that don’t feel confident tackling the entire installation process, it’s perfectly possible to use one of the other options like WIX or Squarespace to quickly and easily create a website and start your online business in less than a day.
Have you been wanting to create a website for your personal brand, business, or side hustle, but just didn’t know where to start? We hope this guide helped give you some insight on the entire process.
How To Find The Best Remote Work Opportunities In The Middle East
Because remote jobs offer many attractive benefits, the demand for them is so high that it can be difficult to find the best opportunities while they’re still available. This guide will give you the edge you need to find the remote job of your dreams.
The Middle Eastern job market looked a lot different before the pandemic disrupted established work routines in 2020. Back then, remote work was associated largely with low-paying jobs and independent freelancers juggling multiple contracts.
Now, there are ample remote work opportunities available to job seekers across the Middle East. Because they offer many attractive benefits, the demand for them is so high that it can be difficult to find the best remote jobs while they’re still available. This article is here to give you the edge you need to get the remote job of your dreams.
Benefits Of Working Remotely In The Middle East
Before we tell you where you can find the best remote work opportunities in the Middle East, we think it’s only appropriate to go over some of the biggest benefits of saying goodbye to the office life.
Improved Work-Life Balance
Improved work-life balance was among the top reasons why up to 81% of MENA professionals were seeking remote jobs in 2021. Without a lengthy and potentially stressful commute, remote workers can get straight to work and accomplish more than their office-bound colleagues. The time they save can be dedicated to anything from dropping kids off at school to jogging around the block to completing a chapter of an online course.
More Work Opportunities
The best work opportunities are naturally concentrated in the largest and wealthiest metropolitan areas in the Middle East, such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Tehran, Istanbul, Baghdad, Riyadh, Ankara, Jeddah, Amman, and Tel Aviv. For those who live far away from the hustle and bustle of city life, remote work is a great way to find a well-paying job without leaving behind the quiet and serenity of country life.
Higher Income & Lower Expenses
Better work opportunities and higher income go hand in hand. But remote work can also significantly lower your expenses. Just consider how much money you spend on transportation, work clothes, and eating out. Sure, remote workers also have their fair share of work-related expenses, such as IT equipment, but increasingly many employers are willing to cover them.
Less Office Politics
Remote workers are deprived of fun water cooler moments (unless they decide to buy a water cooler and meet at it with their family or roommates), but they’re largely spared of office politics and gossip. If you’re someone who despises this aspect of office work, then this benefit alone may be enough for you to fall in love with remote work.
Remote workers can work for companies from across the entire Middle East region, and they can do so from anywhere they want. Is there a cozy coffee shop close to where you live? Then why not make it your office for a morning or two every week? Or perhaps you would like to go on a long trip and wake up somewhere else every week for a year? Remote work can make it possible even if you don’t have enough money saved to live without a job.
Top Places To Find Remote Work Jobs In The Middle East
There are several thriving job boards in the Middle East where you can find life-changing remote work jobs. We recommend you cast a wide net and focus on multiple job boards at the same time. To make your life easier, you can subscribe to receive new remote work jobs straight to your inbox as soon as they become available.
Number of remote jobs at the time of writing: 903
Bayt is a great place to start your job search when looking for a remote job in the Middle East. The site was founded in 2000 by Rabea Ataya, and it now serves over 27 million professionals from its 12 regional offices.
At the time of writing this article, Bayt lists almost 5,000 jobs in Dubai, around 3,500 jobs in Cairo, and 2,000 jobs in Abu Dhabi — that’s just to give you an idea of how many Middle East job opportunities the site has to offer. To see only those that can be done remotely, all you need to do is click the “Work from Home Jobs” toggle.
In addition to helping you find great remote jobs by location, sector, or company, Bayt can also assist you with the creation of your resume. You can either create an online CV or take advantage of Bayt’s CV services to kickstart your career with a truly professional resume.
Number of remote jobs at the time of writing: 775
With over 45,000 active job offers, NaukriGulf is one of the largest job search sites in the MENA region. The companies that advertise job vacancies on the site include Salam Technology, Wipro, ICICI Bank Limited, Outrider, Al Barakah Holding, and others.
Unfortunately, there’s no filter for remote jobs, but you can use the search feature to display only jobs that mention the word “remote” in the job title. You can then refine your search by industry, required experience, monthly salary, and other criteria.
Number of remote jobs at the time of writing: 40
GulfTalent is an online recruitment platform where you can register if you want the remote job of your dreams to come to you. The company claims that 60,000 professionals get contacted by employers every month through its platform. Some of the top employers currently hiring on GulfTalent are Deloitte, Coca-Cola, Parsons, and Emirates.
Besides waiting for recruiters to contact you, you can also take the initiative and see what jobs have been posted on the platform by city, country, or category. There’s a handy filter option for remote jobs, and we were able to find 40 of them. That’s fewer than we expected, but at least most of them were posted fairly recently.
Number of remote jobs at the time of writing: 19
Tanqeeb is the biggest job search engine in the MENA region. You can use it to instantly see what remote jobs are available in different industries. Just like our second favorite place to find remote jobs in the Middle East, Naukrigulf, this site also doesn’t let you hide jobs that can’t be done remotely, so you have to rely on keyword-based searches.
To get the most accurate results, we recommend you click the settings icon in the search bar and choose to search in job titles only. Using this method, we found 19 job offers, the oldest of which was published at the end of August 2022, less than three months before we started working on this article.
Number of remote jobs at the time of writing: 6,372
When it comes to the number of available remote jobs, LinkedIn wins the race. By selecting “Middle East” as our location and applying the remote filter, we were able to find over 6,000 jobs. Best of all, LinkedIn was able to automatically suggest the most relevant jobs based on our profile information.
But quantity and quality are not the same thing, and that’s where things get ugly. The problem with LinkedIn job offers is that many of them are fake, created by recruiters who want to collect resumes just to expand their talent databases. Still, you should definitely give LinkedIn a try, especially considering that you most likely already have an account there.
Number of remote jobs at the time of writing: 200,000+
Indeed is the highest-traffic job website in the United States, and its availability extends to over 60 other countries. The website was founded in 2004, and it now employs more than 12,000 employees — that’s more people than the number of jobs available on many smaller job websites.
Because Indeed lists over 200,000 remote jobs from companies around the world, it’s best to specify the desired location of the employer before applying the remote job filter to narrow down the number of search results. This way, we were able to find over 200 remote jobs in Dubai.
Number of remote jobs at the time of writing: 160,000+
Glassdoor is first and foremost an employer review site where former employees leave anonymous company reviews. You should consult it before applying for a job at a company you’re not familiar with to see how happy those who have worked there before were with their jobs.
Besides its growing database of company reviews, Glassdoor also runs a job board with over 160,000 jobs offers that include the keyword “remote.” Just like with Indeed, it’s best to narrow them down by employer location otherwise you’ll spend a lot of time sifting through offers from the other side of the world.
In-Demand Remote Jobs To Consider In The Middle East
It’s only natural that some jobs are better suited to remote work than others. After all, we still don’t have the technology that would allow construction workers to lay bricks from the comfort of their living rooms and most theater attendees wouldn’t be happy to see a bunch of holograms instead of real actors.
But even as far as white-collar office jobs go, some are much easier to do remotely, and such jobs tend to be in the highest demand as far as the number of available job opportunities goes. Here are some of them:
The demand for software developers, information security professionals, data science experts, and other IT employees is relentless, and it’s still growing. Because IT employees are already deeply familiar with the technologies that make remote work possible, they seldom struggle with the transition from in-office jobs to remote jobs.
Long gone are the days when large sales deals used to always end with a firm handshake. These days, it’s perfectly normal for sales representatives to communicate with existing and potential customers only via phone or email. The nature of remote sales jobs makes them suitable for people who do well under pressure and are already striving to break their own records.
Customer service is the backbone of every successful business, and there’s no shortage of customer service jobs across virtually all industries. Such jobs are great for people with no experience as the first rungs on their career ladders. They make it possible to gain useful industry experience and learn about the most frequently encountered issues from the point of view of those who encounter them.
The global digital marketing market is forecast to reach a value of around $807 billion by 2026, up from $305 billion in 2020. Given this huge growth projection, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the demand for digital marketing professionals, including remote copywriters, SEO specialists, and content strategists, is similarly enormous.
Graphic designers have it great because their modern tools of trade (Photoshop, Illustrator, Figma, and other graphic design software) are already digital and can run on any sufficiently capable computer. The logos, posters, website layouts, animations, and other visual content they produce with them can be effortlessly sent as email attachments and instant messages, so working remotely couldn’t be easier for them.
Essential Skills For Remote Job Seekers
Regardless of which remote work career path you decide to pursue, there are some essential skills you need to have to succeed:
- Organizing and planning: Remote workers typically enjoy a great deal of freedom to plan their daily agenda in a way that allows maximally efficient use of time. To do so successfully, they need strong organizing and planning skills.
- Written communication skills: Email, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and other text-focused communication channels dominate the world of remote work, so it’s important to have good written communication skills. This includes the ability to switch from formal language when writing an email to a superior to informal language when planning an after-work event with colleagues.
- Teamwork and collaboration: Contrary to what some people believe, remote workers are not lone wolfs, isolated from their colleagues and reliant on friends and family members for social interaction. In reality, teamwork and collaboration are part of the remote way of working, and those who have mastered these necessary skills have a huge advantage over those who don’t.
- Self-motivation and focus: Without a manager breathing down your neck and watching your every move from across the room, you need to find an internal source of motivation and develop the ability to focus even when distractions are in ample supply.
- Adaptability and problem-solving: Remote workers depend on digital technology, which is evolving at a rapid pace. They need to get quickly used to the tools provided to them and independently solve minor software and hardware issues to remain available and ready to work at all times.
If you feel that you already have these skills, then there’s really nothing stopping you from pursuing any remote job opportunity you want.
The number of remote work jobs in the Middle East has grown significantly in the last two years alone, and most experts predict it to keep growing even in the future because the benefits remote work offers to employees and employers alike are too good to ignore. If you’re interested in them, then the job sites listed in this article can help you find the ideal remote job in no time. Good luck!
Bonus: If you’re looking for the top VPN services for the Middle East, check out this guide here.
The best job sites for finding remote jobs in the Middle East include:
If you have no work experience and would like to work remotely, then we recommend you look for entry-level sales or customer support jobs in your desired industry.
No, remote jobs don’t generally pay less than in-office jobs. In fact, you might end up with more money in your pocket at the end of every month because the expenses of remote workers are lower.