So you are starting a new business. You are full of gusto and ambition, only lacking the trust fund necessary to finance all your endeavors! This has left you searching for options for the most efficient way to get online and connect with customers.
Professional custom websites cost anywhere from $5,000 to 20x that, depending on what added functionality you need as far as ecommerce, mobile responsiveness, etc.
Don’t worry, there’s a simple answer to get you started.
If you are new to running your own business I would suggest starting with something less expensive and easy anyways, as this allows you to learn what your prospects are wanting in an online presence from you. Use this first website as an opportunity to learn the type of content customers like to read and what types of interactions they like to have with your brand online.
Ok, so let’s get started.
I recommend using WordPress as the majority of sites online now run on WordPress. This leads to a very large development community that supports and grows the product organically. Think of WordPress as a global project that some of the world’s best developers all contribute to and give you access to most of their code, for free. This makes adding different features extremely easy. Think of an iPhone and how easy it is to add different apps to your phone and everything just works- that’s WordPress- for the most part.
There are 2 ways to launch a custom WordPress site:
- go to wordpress.com
- Click the big orange button
- Create your account and pick a domain name.
- Once your site is launched, customize the look of it by going to the WordPress Theme Directions Page.
- Now add some pages and Blog posts- see here how to do this.
- Poof! You are online!
Want more functionality like social media, video players, image galleries, SEO tools? Try the next set of instructions.
- goto godaddy.com
- Buy a domain name that you like.
- Buy a WordPress hosting package .
- Create your account and sign up for the $8.99/month plan—that’s all you really need.
- Follow the instructions here for how to connect your domain name to your WordPress install.
- Now login to your WordPress site by going to www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin and using the username and password you chose when setup the hosting site.
- Customize the look of the site by navigating to the Appearance>>Themes tab and the searching for themes by typing in keywords such as, “News site, ecommerce, blue, green, etc,” whatever you want. Select the theme and click to install it.
- Now add some pages and Blog posts- see here how to do this
- Now further customize the capabilities of your site with plugins. Plugins are like apps for an iPhone. They are small applications that can really extend the ability of your site with image galleries, SEO tools, Social Media capabilities, and all other sorts of features.
- To get here goto plugins>>Add New
- Search for what type of functionality you are looking for
- Check to make sure the plugin you are using has been updated in the past 12 months- if not- PROCEED with caution.
- Click install
- Navigate to the new plugins settings and begin using it.
Poof! you are online. Congratulations!
Go ahead and start publishing content and interacting with customers and see what they like. There are literally thousands of blog posts out there on how to do anything with WordPress that you want to do. Just Google “WordPress (whatever you want to do)” and it will show you how.
The major difference between WordPress.com and Godaddy is that you are able to customize the godaddy site a WHOLE lot more. It is a little trickier to set up, but well worth it. Their customer support is pretty good in that you can actually get someone on the phone. Best of luck on your new venture and Congratulations! Once you’ve grown your busines and are ready to take it to the next level, drop me a line and let’s talk about building something even greater!