When building an online business, as with anything else, the first and most important step is to establish a strong foundation. Unfortunately, in the case of home businesses this step is often overlooked altogether. This is because much of the home business industry, internet ventures in particular, is heavily focused on marketing. Marketing is important, but it’s not the first step.
First you need to have something to market and a cookie cutter “turn key” replicated system will only take you so far. If you put in the effort to build a brand and claim a piece of internet real estate early on it will propel you in the right direction from the start and you will be in a much better position later on.
This set of tutorials is intended for home business entrepreneurs and is designed with the beginner in mind. We will take you step by step through the process of building and optimizing your own unique website using the free and robust WordPress blogging platform.
Let’s get started!
Go Daddy – Go Daddy is the go-to service for buying domains. They are cheap, professional, and provide you with all the tools you need to manage your new domain. We will be using another service for hosting so do not sign up for hosting with Go Daddy.
1) Click on the Go daddy button below and sign up for a new account.
The link will open in a new window so you can navigate back and forth easily.
2) Choose your domain name.
You will want to spend some time to come up with the right name for your website. If you are wanting to create a branding website for your name you can look for domain names like “yourname.com” or “whoisyourname.com”.
If you are going to be focusing your website on a specific product try a domain like “yourproductreview.com” or some variation thereof. If you are considering creating a company name, spend some time developing some keywords. Just remember to strike a balance between a keyword rich name and a name you actually like.
If at all possible choose a .com as apposed to a .net, .org, etc.
2a) Do some keyword research.
Google provides one of the most useful keyword research tools available, free of charge.
Find it here: Google Keywords
Once there you will see two boxes: “Word or Phrase” and “Website”. We will be using the first one.
Click on the “Word or Phrase” box. Type in one of your possible website names. You will see that Google returns statistics for the exact term you typed as well as many other suggestions related to your search. Ideally you are looking for a keyword phrase that has low to medium competition but a decent number of global and local searches.
Don’t get greedy. A keyword that has 500,000 global monthly searches is going to be nearly impossible to rank for. It is much more advantageous to rank #1 for a keyword with 1,000 – 3,000 monthly searches than to be on page 50 for a term with 1,000,000 monthly searches.
You can use this criteria later on as well when doing keyword research for posts and articles.
Now that you have chosen and purchased the perfect domain name, it is time to move on to hosting!
The next step is to sign up for a hosting package.
Host Gator – Host Gator is the website hosting service we are going to be using.
1) Click on the button below to go to the Host Gator website.
Once there click on the button that says “View Web Hosting Plans”.
Host Gator has three hosting plans: Hatchling, Baby and Business. The plan you are going to want to sign up for is the Baby Plan, which should be somewhere around $6-$8 a month.
You can click on the compare button if you like to review all of the differences between the three plans. The Baby Plan will provide everything you need for your website including unlimited domains so that you can have multiple websites hosted on the same account. Not bad for $8 a month!
2) Click on the order now button.
Host Gator will ask you to either register a new domain or enter one you already own. In the box labeled “I already have a domain name” enter the domain name you purchased earlier from Go Daddy, excluding the http://.
After that, simply fill out all the information and create your new Host Gator account!
3) Once you have finished signing up for Host Gator check your email account for the confirmation email Host Gator sent to you. It is important to put this email in a safe place as it contains important account information that you will need to refer back to.
Open that email and look for the section titled “Your Nameservers”. These nameservers are what is going to connect your Go Daddy domain to the Host Gator hosting account you just created.
Log back into your Go Daddy account and navigate to the domain manager. Click on the new domain you created earlier and scroll down to the section titled “Nameservers”. Click on the link in that section titled “Set Nameservers”
On the screen that pops up check the option “I have nameservers for my domains”. Next enter the two nameservers listed in your Host Gator confirmation email into their respective slots.
That’s it for that. You will want to wait until everything is all finished connecting between Go Daddy and Host Gator before moving on to the WordPress installation phase to avoid any unnecessary complications. You can check the progress by typing your domain name into the browser. When you stop seeing a Go Daddy page come up, you know it is finished.
Now that everything is all set up we are ready to install WordPress and start building your new website.
The first thing you will want to do is log into your Host Gator control panel for the first time. You will find your login information in that new account confirmation email that Host Gator sent to you. Open that email, click on the control panel link and enter your login information. Once there a new user set up window will most likely pop up. Just go ahead and close that for now.
2) The next thing you will want to do is set up an email account. This is not a necessity but it is a nice touch of professionalism to have an email address that is unique to your website as opposed to a standard gmail, yahoo, etc.
To do this scroll down in c-panel until you find the email section. Click on the icon “email accounts”. This will take you to the email setup screen.
Type in whatever you want the first part of your email address to be (your name, admin, support, etc.). You can create as many of these as you like.
Create a password, click on “unlimited” for mailbox quota and click create account.
2a) Now you can at this point go through the process of setting this email account up on your computer using pop 3 but we find it easier to just forward it to an existing email account, preferably Gmail.
To do this make sure you are still in the email section and click on the “more” arrow next to the email account you just made and click “access web mail”. Click on the “forwarding options” icon. Click “add forwarder”. Enter the email address you would like to have mail forwarded to and click submit.
All mail will now be forwarded to the address you specified. You should test that it is working by sending an email to your domain email address.
Finally you will want to configure your Gmail so that you can send mail as email@example.com. To do this log into your Gmail account. Click on the gear in the upper right corner of your screen and select “mail settings”.
Once in the settings section of Gmail select the tab marked “Accounts and Import”. Find the section “send mail as” and click on the button marked “send mail from another address”. Follow the prompts choosing the easy setting and entering the verification code to finalize the process (if your forwarding is working the confirmation email with verification code should forward back to your Gmail).
Now go back to that same section of your Gmail settings and make your domain email address the default address. Also change the “when replying to a message section” as desired.
3) Installing WordPress.
Scroll down to the software/services section and click on a little icon called Fantastico De Luxe.
This will take you to the Fantastico home page. On the left hand side you will see a list of services. Find where it says WordPress and click it. Now in the window to the right click on “new installation”.
Next there will be a list of options. The first is asking you which domain you would like to install WordPress on. You will probably only have one domain at this time so you don’t have to worry about that.
The next option is “Install in directory”. Simply leave this blank. the only time you would fill this out is if you were installing WordPress onto an existing website and were assigning it to a specific section. Since WordPress will be your website you can leave this alone.
Next up is the “admin access data” area. This is where you set the username and password you would like to use to log into WordPress once it is installed.
Now you need to fill out the “base configuration” section of the installation process. Your admin nickname will be the name that will be displayed when you make posts. This can be your name or anything you like. “For admin email address” use the custom email address you created earlier. “Site Name” should typically be the same as your domain (minus the .com). And “site description” should be a short description of what your site is about preferably using the keywords you have chosen.
Click on install, finish installation, and then pay attention to the final screen as it will contain your login details as well as the url to access your new website. The url to login will be http://yourdomainname.com/wp-admin for those who may have missed it. You can also email the details of the installation to yourself if you like.
And that is it! Congratulations you have successfully installed WordPress and are ready to start building your new site.
Take a minute to login and take a quick look around if you like. In the next tutorial we will be getting familiar with the WordPress dashboard, adjusting settings, discussing themes and just generally getting you acclimated into the wonderful world of WordPress.
We hope you have found this tutorial helpful and we’ll see you in the next one!