Five easy first steps to set up a website

The mystery, the mystique, the wonder and awe of watching a domain name become a website used to enthrall me. It still does in fact.

Someone buys a domain name for £7.19 and within a week it’s a living, breathing digital presence.

I used to think that was beyond me and the average person, but sorry web designers, it’s not. It’s a process, a series of steps to take to get a website live from domain purchase to sitemap being submitted for search.

Here it is in 5 steps:

STEP ONE – DOMAIN

You can find many domain sellers online and I personally don’t waste time shopping round as 99p ones that appeal for year one are often inflated for year 2. I go to tsohost.com and buy domain names for clients there. Invariably they cost £5.99 plus VAT for the year. Because I have payment set up in tsohost, it’s a three click operation.

STEP TWO – HOSTING

You cannot have a website online without hosting. Repeat. Your domain name with a WordPress theme installed does not become an entity without hosting. You can buy it from the domain provider as many web designers insist you do or you can find a web designer who includes it free (me). I don’t go all Go Daddy in Year 2 either and demand £8 a month to continue hosting it. It’s £3 a month or £30 for the whole year, otherwise I remove hosting and that domain and website you’ve had for 12 months disappears. I give warning of course. But £30 for a year is hardly onerous, I don’t think.

STEP 3 – INSTALL WORDPRESS

I do this via hosting, mine is with Siteground. I have access to a control panel where I can add on your domain, point your nameservers to my hosting packing and install WordPress. The website then invariably appears on a default theme of Twenty Seventeen – your website has that ubiquitous cactus showing until I login to the back end and begin.

STEP 4 – DESIGN WEBSITE

I then go into the back end of your website so to speak and install themes and plugins. I tend to use Generate Press, GP Premium, Elementor, Elementor Pro and Avada. Avada costs $60 to purchase with a year’s support from the theme provider. In my early days, I thought buying the domain and installing a theme was all there was to it. There’s far more to it of course, but when you’ve designed 90 in 6 months, the process becomes second nature.

STEP 5 – CREATE CONTENT

The hardest part of web design, trust me, is not putting the pages in a menu, sorting out a logo, setting up sliders, headers and footers, it’s the content. If a web designer (ie, most of them) rely on clients to provide all the copy, there are delays. Some web designers cannot write and most clients are reluctant to. This is one of my USPs – that bloody dummy Latin text doesn’t faze me. I see it as my forté. I love writing. I love web design. A marriage made in heaven. But don’t be fooled. Writing content, that is engaging, accurate, relevant is not a walk in a park. But I do it for all clients, even when they’ve given me copy, I improve it. Teacher in me. English teacher from 1987 to 2013. I can’t help but help.

In my next post, I’ll explain more about themes, plugins, site maps, caching, etc and become quite a nerd.

If you need help with content, web design, blah de blah, contact me now.

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