Expanding the Basic Business Website Later by Customizing and Adding a Blog Is Easy
Start a website by choosing a domain. The word domain is defined as the name of the site that is in the address bar.
You might be planning to use the default WordPress theme or a custom or premium WordPress theme. The steps and concepts will be the same or similar. You can view the dashboard of your custom premium theme to check for differences.
Start a website and later you can expand it. You can extend, customize, polish, tweak and tune-up your website later as much as you wish. Use plugins to add features, add a blog, ecommerce, digital downloads, shopping carts, custom menus and so on. The important part is to first get the basic website up and running.
This online tutorial series has 8 chapters. At the bottom of each chapter posted you will click on the link to go to the next chapter.
You can start here at the beginning and go step by step, click by click, to start your first site using WordPress.
Whether you plan to use a free theme or premium theme, a static site or blog, or both, you can start with these steps and customize later.
You can also view a “5 Step Site Set Up” article on this site with videos.
Start a Website Plan Includes:
- Domains – Choosing a domain name, registering it
- Web Hosts – Signing up, logging in
- Installation of WordPress – One click Install, not using FTP’s
- WordPress Dashboard Settings – General, Reading, Discussion
- Headers – Titles, Taglines, Header Images
- Pages – How to Create the Pages – Home, Products or Services, FAQ’s, About, Contact
- Visitors – How to Start Online and Offline Marketing
Costs of Setting Up and Maintaining the Website
The costs of setting up this basic business website using WordPress and maintaining it are very low.
- WordPress Software – Free
- Domain Registration – About $10-$12 a year
- Web Hosting – Less than $10 per month
- Labor – Free when you create your own site
- Maintenance – Free. You can create the site and forget it if you wish. Later you can also expand it if you choose to do so. It is easy to add a blog, custom menus, multimedia, ecommerce, digital downloads or whatever you wish.
Choosing a Domain – Registering the Domain
What Is A Domain?
Definition: A domain is the name of your website that shows in the URL. The URL refers to “Universal Resource Locator” and this is the address of your website. The url begins with “http://” and the domain follows. The domain has an extension such as “.com” or “.info.” The complete address of the website will look like this: http://(insert your domain here and the extension).
What Makes a Good Domain?
Guidelines for choosing a good domain include the following.
Keeping Domain Name Short.Keep the domain name as short as possible. There are many places on the internet where the number of characters are limited or where space is limited. A shorter name is also easier for people to remember and easier to type.
Using Keywords for Domains. Use keywords related to your website topic if you can. Search engines are fairly literal and they will be confused if you use complex metaphors or unrelated words to describe your website. You can also use the name of your business if you wish and add a tagline in the Settings of the WordPress Dashboard that describes what your website offers. The search engines will index the site in a type of category. Your goal is to let the search engines know what the site is about so it can be listed where people can find it.
Choosing Keywords. Choosing keywords that have a high demand and a low competition helps because if you can get our site listed high in the rankings then visitors will find you. Ideally your site would be in the first three results as these get the most clicks.
Goals for Domain. The goal is to get the site listed “above the fold” so that it shows on the computer screen automatically without someone needing to scroll. Most of the time when search engine results pop up people just click on one of the results already scrolling because they are in a hurry to browse and find what are seeking.
Google Keyword Tool. Find keywords that have a high demand and a low competition by using the Google Keyword Tool. This way your site will be more likely to rank high in the search engine rankings. The Google Keyword Tool is free and you just type in a keyword or phrase related to your website topic and see the list that pops up.
Getting Ranked on the First Page. If your site is listed on the second page or farther back in the results then it may get very few clicks. There are other ways to get found on the internet in addition to trying to get high search results rankings. This explanation is to explain part of how domains and getting found on the internet are related.
Google Places. Later we will talk about the free Google Places for Local Search. Choose a domain name that will describe what the site business is about so when it is listed in Google Places local search results in a list people will choose to click on your site.
Domains Ending in “.com.” Try to get a domain that ends in “.com” if you can to make it easiest for visitors to remember. This is not a crucial issue but just a suggestion. Here are the reasons why. There are many other extensions. But if someone remembers the name of your website but not the extension then they can get confused and land on someone else’s site. Sometimes people automatically type in the “.com” because it is used so frequently. But they may land on your competitor’s site then.
Business Names As Domains. Another approach to choosing a good domain is to use the name of your business plus the name of the town or city. If you are providing a local service then this will help people find you on the internet. For instance the domain might be GroverBeachTheater.com or SalemRealty.com.
Finding Domain Registrars. There are many good domain registrars on the internet. You can search for reviews of domain registrars, ask friends for recommendations, or search for reviews.
Other Services Offered by Domain Registrars. The domain registrar may also offer web hosting, software installation, ecommerce, security, email, and a variety of other services.
Starting Domain Registrar Account. At the domain registrar there will be a button to click to start an account. Registering an account simply means you will type in your name, email address, and some other basic information.
Domain Availability. There will be a text box and a button for you to type in domain names you want to check to see if they are already in use. If the domain does not already belong to someone else a screen will come up notifying you that it is available. There will also be suggestions listed below for other similar sounding domains in case you want to try something else or purchase related domains.
Domain Purchasing. Then you start purchasing the domain. Frequently there are a number of what is called “upsells” where screens pop up because the domain registrar company is offering additional features you can add on.
Domain Registrar Upsells and Add Ons. For now just keep clicking “no” and keep things simple by purchasing your domain. Later if you need something added you can go back to the domain registrar website and browse what they offer.
Other Ways to Choose Domains. Sometimes all of the good keyword domain names are already taken. The name of your business may also already in use by someone else on the internet. There are some other ways to choose a good domain.
Abbreviations as Domains. Abbreviations or initials are sometimes used. For instance the site might be called “kmgcomputerservices.com” or “hsconstructionsacramento.com.” These are a little long but many of the good more obvious domain names may have already been purchased in your niche.
Related Keyword Versions. If you keep thinking of related keywords you can probably come up with something related to your site that has not been used. Try using other versions of a word. For instance instead of website use the word site, or try using create instead of build.
Find other words that refer to the same concept or meaning. Exact matches to a keyword are the goal but different versions of it might be used if all the exact matches are already used.
Domain Confirmation. Once you click “Finish” at the domain registrar you will be sent a confirmation email with a confirmation number. The username and password for your site will be in your registration confirmation.
Username and Password at Domain Registrar. To keep this email in a safe place where it is easy to find you can click the create a fold in your email to save it. This way if you are deleting messages you will not accidentally delete it.
For instance in gmail there is an icon above the messages to click to create a folder with a name. You might also want to save it somewhere else on your computer or write it down on a rolodex or address book.
Domain Registrar Telephone Support. If you do accidentally delete or lose your username or password just go to the domain registrar website to get the free telephone support phone number. You can also go and try to sign in and use the sign in help box that will ask for your email to help you setup a new password.
Congratulations. You have chosen a domain, signed up with a registrar and registered a domain.
Click here to go to Chapter 2, Web Hosts – Start a Website – Complete Plan and Steps