To add to my most recent blog post about success online and growing the empire, I thought I would include some of the necessities and a couple of the other useful programs, hosting services, and plugins that make life easier online.
I only use WordPress to create my websites, as it is super flexible, easy to use after the learning curve is over, and can be integrated with some great plugins and widgets that make any page look like it was produced for a Fortune 500 company. The best part about WP is that it is free for anyone to use, and most hosting companies will install it for you easily.
A domain is important as that is the address that people will come to visit you at. You NEED a domain, and it NEEDS to be applicable to what your company does, or what you are trying to promote. You can build a brand around a bad name, but a bad name makes it a lot harder. I would take time to brainstorm what you will call your website. Indexing services also like simple names so forget the hyphens, the odd spellings, and the addition of unnecessary letters.
There are also analysis tools online that help you to find the best (and available) domains for the purpose of whatever your service is and within whichever location you run your business. Simply Google “Domain Analyzer” and there are tons that are free to use and help a lot.
After you buy a domain, a hosting account is just as important. This is where all information will be backed up, and you can get vital information off of the backend, change a ton of small PHP code to make your site have larger storage, run better, execute commands, etc etc etc. I won’t pretend to know the first thing about this stuff, but YouTube is a great help in fixing your online problems (hint hint). When you go to Host Gator, make sure to get the “Baby” hosting account, because this website stuff is addicting, and you don’t want to be paying for individual hosting accounts for multiple sites. You may think you only want one website, but all of sudden, you own 16 domains like myself and are getting pressured by your hosting company to get a dedicated server because you’re using up too much disk space. That will be my next investment of around $900-1400 a year…
After you have a domain and hosting, you can easily install WordPress via your host account and get rockin and rollin. The combined time for doing all of this is about 5 minutes (plus the time you take to brainstorm the best domain name) and about a $15 investment. Hosting is recurring every month, and domains need to be renewed after a year (if you don’t renew, that domain becomes available for anyone else to buy.)
Some things to consider with WordPress is that there are multiple plugins and themes that are probably worth buying. However, when you first start, using one of the free themes will serve you fine as you grow on this online journey and learn as you go. That being said, I would advise you to look at Themeforest (affiliate if possible) for stunning wordpress themes that require no coding knowledge and that you can build sites that as said before, look like they are worth a hell of a lot more money than you paid to create it.
Necessary plugins for your site will include a mail service like Mailchimp and a few of the free plugins that WordPress offers (I would simply look at the most popular plugins and utilize those). SEO by Yoast is vital to ranking articles and your site as a whole, and you can get a ton of other great plugins that build Automatic Terms of Service pages, Link pages to eachother more efficiently, cache and backup data, secure your site from phishing and spam, and pretty much anything you can think of. If you have any plugins that you use on a regular basis, post them in the comments below! If you also want to know which plugins I use for these functions, I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.
That’s pretty much all you need to get rolling with online business. A nominal investment for a web address and a hosting account, and then the rest is up to you. That’s why there’s tens of millions of websites, but only a handful of those grow to be great. Anyone has the money to start it, it’s the work that is needed to continue the growth of your business that most people are afraid of or avoid.
Until Next Time.