So you’re just getting started on this new adventure and you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing? Friend, you are not alone! Many many people just like you walk this road every single day and the key is to just take it one step at a time. It wasn’t that long ago that I was sitting right where you are, and have since learned everything I can get my hands on regarding design, code, and everything else involved in website creation. I’m here to help guide you through this one baby step at a time. Imagine me sitting right along side you at my coffee table and we are doing this together… because my big fat God dream is to absolutely do that!
STEP ONE: LET’S DECIDE ON A NAME
Choosing a name for this big adventure you’re embarking on is no easy feat. It takes time and patience to find that perfect name that fits your hearts desire. It also takes time to find the perfect name that isn’t already taken! That my friend, is the hardest part of this process. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come up with some brilliant business name and then I go check to see if the name is available and sure enough it’s not. Before you let your heart get too settled on a specific name, you’ll want to do 2 things: Google it, and search to see if the domain is available.
So what is a domain? A domain is your address on the internet. Just as you would give someone your mailing address for them to mail you a letter, you’ll want to give your friends a domain address to be able to find your online home. You can search domain names right here to see what is already taken and what is available.
Why do we need to google the name? If you want to name your new business Gold & Silver, but you google these words and several other businesses come up, you’re not only going to be competing for google ranking alongside those people with the same business name, you also may run into trademark issues depending on the nature of the other businesses with the same name. Trust me, you don’t want to get months down the road and get a Cease & Desist letter because your business name is conflicting with someone else. Think of a unique name and take your time!
Once you’ve decided on a name and have discovered the domain is available, it’s time to actually purchase that domain. You can use a service like GoDaddy to purchase your domain but more than likely you’re going to be ready to get your website started immediately, so I recommend moving to the next step and doing your domain and hosting all at the same time.
STEP TWO: PURCHASE DOMAIN & HOSTING
The next thing we want to do is secure that domain name that we’ve spent so much time thinking up. There are a few hosting companies that allow you to get 1 free domain when you sign up for a hosting package, so I recommend doing this step all together. If you’ve already purchased your domain elsewhere, don’t worry… I’ll cover that as well!
So what is hosting? Let’s think of this like we discussed above with your domain being your address. If you give someone your address to your home, your home is sitting on a piece of land. The hosting is like the land for your online home. It consist of servers, files, and databases that keep your site visible and on the internet. No website exist without hosting.
The two hosting companies that we recommend that give you 1 free domain name are SiteGround and Bluehost. Both of these companies are great so you’re free to choose whichever one you’d like to work with. For the sake of this guide, I’m going to be working with SiteGround because I’ve found that their process is very simple and easy to understand for someone just starting out, just like you!
When you go to purchase hosting, you’re going to be asked which hosting package you’d like to select. I recommend that since we are going to be using WordPress (more on this later) that we choose on of the WordPress Hosting Packages. These packages get you started for very little start up cost, and again, includes your domain in the setup process.
DIFFERENCES IN THE PLANS:
StartUp – This package is good for one site and up to 10,000 visits a month and is the most basic plan they offer.
GrowBig – With this plan you are able to host multiple websites within one account, get a free SSL Wildcard for 1 year, and their Backup and Restore service which I find to be very very important especially as a new site owner. Another great benefit that starts at this plan or higher, is their SuperCacher option which will greatly increase the speed of your site.
GoGeek – This place includes all that you see above, as well as more storage space, allows for more site visitors, and offers 1-click WP staging which is also a helpful feature if you’re one to change your site often.
So you’re just getting started on this new adventure and you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing? No Problem. Friend, you are not alone! If anytime you need our help or have questions we’re just one contact form away.