How to Set Up a Simple Website For Your Home Based Business
By Mo Keithley
In this article, I am going to walk you through the 6 simple steps to setting a website or blog for your home based business. I recommend having your own website even if the opportunity you are associated with provided you an affiliate link.
The platform I am going to use is WordPress. WordPress allows you to set up either a blog, or you can create pages and close comments and just use it as a regular website - which is what I do.
I like the WordPress format because it is very easy. You don't need to know any html coding. For those of you like me who need a website, but don't have time to learn html or the money to pay someone else to do it for you...this tutorial will be very helpful.
Before we get started, you will want to open 3 tabs in your browser. On the first tab, login to your email. On the second tab, pull up GoDaddy.com. On the third tab, go to HostGator.com. Having these 3 tabs open will allow you to easily switch between websites as we go back and forth setting everything up.
- Decide on a domain name.
Ideally, you want your site to be the name of your business. This way, people will have a much easier time remembering the name of your website.
If you need a site that is not just for one business, but perhaps a set of affiliate products you are trying to promote, you will probably want to use your name as the domain name.
This allows you to brand yourself instead of just your business. In this case, it would be appropriate to include some information about yourself so that people can get to know you.
People Buy From People They Know And Trust.
- Register your domain name.
I personally use GoDaddy.com to register my domain names. Their service is easy and their prices are generally quite competitive.
On their homepage there will be a box that will allow you to search the availability of your domain name.
When setting up a domain, you always want to make it a ".com", NOT a ".info" or ".net". Dot com's are what most people will remember easily... and that's what we're going for.
I also would NOT recommend using any hyphens in your name (ie. Bobs-Toys-and-Treats.com). Hyphens make things easy to read, but they are harder to remember. When someone is talking about your site, they are not going to remember all the hyphens. They are going to tell their friends about Bobs toys and treats dot com (ie. bobstoysandtreats.com). Not remembering the hyphens could lead your customer to your competitor's website.
The registration with GoDaddy is very easy and straight forward. Once you select the domain you want, you continue through their process to purchase the domain. Once your domain is paid for, we are going to move on to hosting.
- Set up hosting for your domain name.
Hosting provides your domain name with a home. A hosting company is going to have many computers hooked up to the internet. When you place your domain name on their computers, you are making your domain available to everyone on the internet.
This would be similar to setting up a business in town. First you need to register your business with the county business license office (selecting a domain name). Then you would find somewhere to set up shop....perhaps a rented building on Main St. or a rented suite in an office building. This is what hosting is. You are renting a spot to put your website.
There are quite a few good hosting companies out there. I personally use HostGator.com. HostGator is easy to use. And that's what we're going for.... Simplicity.
On the homepage for HostGator.com, you will want to select "View Web Hosting Plans", and then pick which one is right for you. If you are just starting out, either the "Hatchling Plan" or the "Baby Plan" will probably suit you well. The only difference between the two is the number of domains that can be hosted.
Finish setting up your account (which is very easy...just follow HostGator's instructions) and then check your email for your confirmation email from HostGator. In this confirmation email, you will be given two nameservers: NS1 and NS2.
There may also be a Verification email from HostGator. If they need verification, the easiest way to do this is to call into their 800 number and verify your information.
- Changing your nameservers on GoDaddy.
So you have received your email and you have scrolled down to the part of the email that lists your nameservers. Login to your account with GoDaddy (if you are not logged in already).
On your main account page, you will see a section called "Domains". Your domain name should be listed in this section. On the title bar where it reads "Domains" on the left, there will be a "View Domain Manager" link on the right. Click on "View Domain Manager".
This will bring up your domain name under a title bar that lists various options like "Organize", "Locking", "Cash In" and "Upgrade".
Select your domain by checking the box to the right of it, and then click on the "Nameservers" option at the top.
A new window will pop up. There will be 4 options. The bottom option will read "I have specific nameservers for my domains." This is the one you want to select. Underneath that selection, will be boxes where you can enter the nameservers you received in your email from HostGator. Copy and paste the two nameservers into the appropriate boxes. (ie. The nameserver that follows NS1: in the email, you would copy and then paste into the Nameserver 1 box.)
Then click OK.
What we just did was tell GoDaddy that we don't need them to host the site anymore. This change can take between 24-48 hours to take effect, so when you type in your address directly into the browser, you will still see the GoDaddy advertisement until the switch is made.
- Fantastico De Luxe
In the same confirmation email that your nameservers came in, there will also be a link to your control panel for your website. Under that link in the email, there will also be a username and password that you will need to access the control panel.
Click on the link, it should open a new tab, and then enter your username and password. This will open up your control panel.
Your control panel has a lot of helpful features and information. For example on the left sidebar there is an option to see how much traffic your site is getting. Underneath the Domains section, you can redirect a website or create subdomains. After you finish setting up your website, I would recommend spending some time in your control panel and getting familiar with the different features.
Now, go down to the section called Software / Services. This section will be down toward the bottom of the page. In this section you will see a blue smiley face with the title "Fantastico De Luxe". Click on the smiley face.
This will open the Fantastico Home. On the left sidebar, there will be a list of scripts that Fantastico can install. We want to select WordPress. It will be under the "Blogs" section.
Once WordPress is selected, it will bring up a new page. We want to select "New Installation" on this page. Another page will pull up.
This is where we select which domain we would like to set WordPress up on: next to "Install on Domain", select your domain. Below that it will read, "Install in Directory". Leave this box blank.
In the next two boxes below, you will select a username and password to access your WordPress blog.
Then finally, in the last set of boxes, you will just put your email in the box next to "Admin e-mail", and then click "Install WordPress".
- Customizing your blog/website.
Like I said at the beginning, even though we are using a blog format, it is not necessary that you set this up like a blog. You can create pages and turn off the comments on each page and use WordPress to create your website.
WordPress is probably one of the easiest programs to use, and it is already included with the cost of your hosting, so you do not need to pay an additional fee (Bonus!!)
WordPress offers several different themes to choose from. It also offers a large selection of plugins. Plugins are computer programs that work with a host application, in this case WordPress, to provide a specific function.
For example, one plugin that I use in my WordPress site is "My Page Order". This plugin allows me to put the pages that I create in the order that I want them.
If you need a certain function, you can search plugins right from your WordPress back office, download the one you want and begin using it immediately.
Being such a popular program, you will find a wealth of information on WordPress when you Google it. This also comes in very handy if you run into problems or have questions.
I don't know about you, but I would rather run into a problem that I can have fixed in 5 minutes just by running a Google search for the solution, than to have a problem that I have to call my programmer or website designer to fix. (Not to mention, they are going to charge me - whereas the Google search was free.)
Well, with these 6 steps you will have a website up and ready to fill with content, videos and testimonials that will help your business grow. I hope you found this tutorial to be straight forward and easy, and I wish you the best of luck in your new adventure as a webmaster.
For more information on my business, or to see a sample of a simple website, you can visit me at http://mokeithley.com.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Mo_Keithley