Starting a website for the first time can be time-consuming and a tedious process for someone who is new to the process. It’s important to make the right decisions when starting than get further down the process and realize you’ve made a mistake. This guide will point out what you need to do and why you need to do it. Make no mistake, I’ve seen people lose their websites to bad decisions they’ve made.

A Permanent E-Mail Address

Before you start purchasing domain names that will be used for your website(s) you need to make sure you have permanent access to your domain registrar (GoDaddy) by getting a reliable e-mail address. If you are to register a domain name on an email address that is associated with a domain name you own you are at risk of losing your domain name if you lose access to that domain name.

Step #1 – Get a Free E-mail Address

I personally recommend Gmail because it integrates well with a lot of things (2 Factor Authentication (2FA)) and provides services that you will later use such as Google Drive, Google Calendar. You will also need a Google Account to create a Google Analytics and Google AdWords account.

Step #2 – Domain Registrar

The domain registrar is where you will purchase your domain name (i.e, mrjamiebowman.com). I think GoDaddy is the best domain registrar but I do not recommend them for hosting. However, they excel at selling domain names.

Use your free e-mail address from (Gmail) to register your account at GoDaddy.com

TIP: Once you have an account you should purchase your domain name after you’ve had a web professional review your decision.

TIP: Once you own your domain name, NEVER transfer it to anyone unless you are selling your domain name or website. With GoDaddy, you can delegate access to other people to modify the settings of the domain name or even renew the billing of a domain name. I often ask my customers to delegate access to myself so I can help manage their website and make changes when necessary. A domain name is the most important thing to maintain when owning a website. Some web design agencies will take possession of your domain name to hold you hostage as a customer.

Step #3 – WordPress or Weebly?

WordPress is the way to go if you can afford design services and management services. This is a more robust solution that offers a lot of customization. If you are not willing to spend $100/month for management and $2-$5,0000 dollars then you should use Weebly.

Weebly is a great place for anyone who is looking to get started with a website. It is much more cost-effective to start here especially if you are new to owning a website or may lack content. The cost to start a Weebly website is $5/month. This includes a FREE SSL security certificate.

Just like WordPress Weebly has themes that you can choose from.

https://www.weebly.com

Step #4 – Google Analytics

It’s important to track your traffic and watch it grow over the years. WordPress and Weebly both have plugins for tracking Google Analytics.

Step #5 – Google Places

If you have a brick and mortar store you will want to register your business or update your existing Google Place page with your new website URL.

Step #6 – Social Media

If you are already using social media to promote your brand or business you should also update your social media account to include your new website URL.