There are many steps involved in creating a new web site. Lots of boxes to check in a seemingly endless to do list. To be honest, it can be down right intimidating if it’s something you’ve never done before. I hope this information helps in guiding you through the process.
It goes without saying that Planning is the first step in creating your new web site. You need to know your plans for the site, who is your target audience, what do you hope to accomplish with the web site. This article assumes you’ve already gone through that part of the process. What follows below are the actionable steps to take when you are ready to sit down and get to work.
It goes without saying, that I am happy to help with all of these steps. These are the items that I help my clients with when preparing to launch their sites.
First things first – you have to register your domain name.
There are of course many domain registrars out there. I’ve recently taken to Google Domains as my domain registrar of choice. Let’s face it – a large majority of us already have Google accounts for Gmail (and you’ll need one to setup Google Analytics listed below, too) so might as well utilize this part of their services, as well. The prices are comparable with most other domain registrars (cheaper than others, as well). What ultimately convinced me to switch is that they offer free domain privacy, as well. This is an add-on cost for some registrars, so it’s nice to have it included in the price of the domain registration, itself. On a related note – while many web hosts offer domain registration, as well, I personally like to separate the two. I’ve found that you are more likely to switch web hosting companies over time. Doing so makes for an extra hassle, as you will inevitably want to move your domain registration along with the hosting. By keeping these items separate, you’ll know your domain registration can just remain in place.
As with domain registrars, there are equally as many web hosting companies out there, as well. While you can’t necessarily go wrong with a registrar, things can turn sour quickly if you select the wrong host. Not to name names, but there is one host in particular that I’ve had more than one client come to me with hacked WordPress sites that I’ve had to fix. Not an ideal situation! I’ve been with other hosts who were initially reputable, but over time service has gone downhill greatly – both in terms of downtime (there was a point my site would be inaccessible multiple times a week for hours at a time – unacceptable for a business web site), and also huge increase in wait times to speak with tech support if there was ever an issue.
For the last few years, I’ve switched myself, as well as many of my clients to SiteGround. No complaints so far! They offer a variety of hosting plans that meet the minimum requirements for WordPress. They offer a free basic level SSL / Secure Certificate, as well – crucial today, as browsers such as Google Chrome now make it glaringly obvious if a site is not secure, and Google search results tend to prioritize secure sites, as well. It’s no longer an optional feature, but a required one. I generally recommend the Grow Big middle-tier plan, as it’s robust enough for most sites. In fact, if you are a serial entrepreneur, you can create multiple web sites on a single hosting account with this plan.
For those who need more robust web hosting, WP Engine comes highly rated. Full disclosure – I have not used them myself personally, as my site is small enough that it doesn’t generate the traffic needed to justify the extra cost. However, for large sites, they are often referred to as one of the best. They specialize in WordPress hosting, and have partnered with StudioPress which is the company who created the Genesis theme framework that I’ve been using exclusively to build sites since 2014. I trust that StudioPress made the right decision to partner with StudioPress, and that is a good enough endorsement for me.
To date, approximately 30% of the internet is run on WordPress. It