If you have a great business idea (or hobby project) and want to make a complex website, it can seem like a daunting challenge. It would be very time-consuming and expensive when hiring developers and marketing agencies.
While hiring help might seem necessary for such a big project, such as to mimic a site like Yahoo Answers, there are simpler and more affordable options.
How to create a site like Yahoo Answers
As websites have evolved, the rise of website templates and pre-built software has made it possible for just about anyone without a background in coding to launch their own site.
That’s right, even if you’ve never seen a line of code, as long as you’re somewhat familiar with computers, you can follow these simple steps and make your own website like Yahoo Answers.
The first steps will involve a little planning for the sake of your business and its future. You will want to pick a name that is easy to remember, while also being unique because this will impact your website, branding and marketing, and of course your domain name.
Buy a domain name
The first thing you’ll need is a domain name – the URL or website address that people use to get to the site.
There are many companies that sell these, and they can range from $10 per year to $1000’s. The reason for the price range is that most perceived “good names” have either been taken by another business or registered by someone who wants to make money by selling it to you.
If you already have a business name and the .com is taken, you can consider another domain extension like .net or .org. A lot of companies will also add an additional name to the domain. For instance, getwordpress.com or wordpresscms.com
That said, it’s ideal to pick a “.com” over the other options for now because consumers view them as more trustworthy. This may change in the future, as many others have recently become available such as “.tv” and “.music”, and the average internet user is slowly becoming accustomed to these new addresses.
Purchase website hosting
To have your website visible on the internet, it must be stored on servers. When someone types in your website address, their browser connects to these servers which is how the site is displayed.
So, it’s important to find a hosting company that has quality equipment, a good reputation, and the capacity to not only handle your site but keep it running with minimal downtime. Good tech support is a must too in case you have any issues with your site’s uptime.
There are loads of hosts available, but I always recommend Bluehost. My first site was created with Bluehost more than 8 years ago and they’ve only gotten better with time.
You can click here to get your site online now with Bluehost.
The next step is to get your basic website up and running using WordPress. There are other companies that provide simple websites, but WordPress has been around the longest and has a massive support community behind it.
For years there have been developers constantly building new themes and plugins to stay on the cutting edge of development and design. The most popular niches are saturated with themes and due to the competitive nature of the industry, even much more specific types of sites like Q&A websites have a lot of options available.
Sidenote: An advantage to using BlueHost as your hosting company, is that they have an auto-installer for WordPress, which makes your installation process quicker and easier.
To sign up for WordPress is completely free, which is one of its main advantages. Not only this, if you ever have any questions, the community of friendly users and developers is always willing to help a fellow WordPress-er in need.
Follow this complete guide to install WordPress before moving further. Then you’ll be able to access your site anytime at yourdomain.com/wp-admin.
Install the Discy Theme
With your WordPress site online, the next step is to transform your basic site into a full Q&A platform.
For all the functionality and design of a question-and-answer website like Yahoo Answers, the Discy theme is your best choice.
Discy can be installed in just a moment like any other WordPress themes. You’ll get a zip file you can upload from the Appearance menu in your WordPress dashboard. If you want to see this process first, here’s a detailed beginner’s guide that will take you through the steps.
Discy Theme Features
This theme is packed full of features that will make your Q&A website stand out amongst your competitors. The design team also keeps it updated with a modern style, so you can stay at the cutting edge of visual appeal. Of course, the site is also fully responsive, so your mobile and tablet users can use the website fully and easily.
The tech support provided by this team is rated at five stars and does a great job answering questions and solving any issues that come up. There is also a professional customization service available to take advantage of and extensive documentation to help you along in the customization process.
Some of the many features in this theme include:
- Detailed question page: This includes the ability to add filters and sorting capabilities, tags, social media sharing, best-answer voting, and more
- Poll page to get people talking
- Built-in points and badges system
- Unique user and profile pages: Includes how many best answers each user has provided, badges, questions asked, points, etc.
- Easily manage questions and set rules for your members to ensure your community stays within the appropriate boundaries you want to set
- Unlimited sidebars and color options
- Lots of custom widgets (24!): Includes social media sharing, subscribe, and comments
Alternatives to Discy
If you’d like to see other options and compare them to Discy, here are a few recommended themes that also have great reviews and work well.
QA Engine is also great for building a Q&A WordPress website, providing a clean design, easy question posting, and discussion abilities. Question filters are provided to easily find an answer, and the “best answer” can be picked by users. There’s a premium option for your users as well – they can pay you if they want to push their questions to the top of the site to be answered more quickly.
There are also “expert privileges” you may set for users who have become trusted members of the community.
Answers is a simple Q&A portal similar to Yahoo and Quora. It includes a one-click option to transform your theme to look just like the demo right away.
This site is simpler as far as design goes, but if that’s what your users want, it could be a good option. You can charge for question submissions on this theme and translate answers with a language feature. Tutorials are provided for installing these extras.
Ready for takeoff!
Once you’ve made it through all the steps above, you should be ready to launch your new website!
It’s incredible how far website design and development has come, so much so that you don’t need a large budget or even need to know how to code to be up and running online very quickly.
To summarize the steps:
- Pick out an available domain name
- Signup with Bluehost
- Install the theme of your choice (we recommend Discy)
After you install and customize the theme on your site, you’ll just need to prepare for launch and get your first users on board. With all the modern tools available, you can make this site a reality with a tiny budget and a dedicated individual or team of entrepreneurs.