There are several steps in the website development process. This blog is going to start you off with two topics: Domain and hosting. You can find professional video tutorials on website creation on my FREE Software Training page. Now, a few things you should know before getting started:
You’ll need to purchase a domain name: A domain name is the name of you website. For example, the name of my business is CL Consulting Group. When I decided to create my own website, I selected a name and then conducted a search to determine if the name was available. You can do that here for free (scroll down to the bottom of this page). Once I determined it was available, I bought the domain name from HostGator. The name I chose was CLConsulting-Group.com. On the web, it shows up as www.clconsulting-group.com
Hosting: The information you put on your website, text and images, needs to be stored on a computer. Hosting is basically a computer that is on 24/7 that will hold the entire contents of your website. Without hosting, your website pages will be blank. There are many hosting companies, but the two I prefer are HostGator and BlueHost. They offer customer service and video tutorials, which my clients find to be very helpful.
Fees: A domain name will cost roughly $13 per year; Hosting will cost roughly $10 per month. You can buy the domain and host your website all in the same place: HostGator. The total cost is less than $25.00. If you use their discount code, GiveMe25Campaign, you’ll save 25% making your total cost less than $20.00. Feel free to cut paste and share the code with your friends. The promotion code is good for the rest of 2016.
Why HostGator: Through our Website Learn & Do Program, I’ve been training small business owners on website development and management. Having them know how to get the help they need when they need it, is key to their success. HostGator’s customer service is fantastic. Their support staff is available 24/7/365 to assist via Telephone, LiveChat, or Email with any hosting-related issues. They also provide tutorials right from their site.
Ready to get started? It’s easy!
STEP 1: Is your domain name available? Check here for free:
STEP 2: You can purchase your domain from various companies. I like HostGator and BlueHost. I use them for my websites and I’m an affiliate for both. Say you want to buy from HostGator (click on the image to the left
to get there), you need to select a plan. If you’re only planning on creating one website, the Hatchiling Plan works, but if you think you might want to create other websites or think friends and family might like to use your hosting plan to create their websites, then the Baby Plan is the best. Personally, I use the Baby Plan. Most of my clients select the Hatchiling Plan. HostGator lets you upgrade at any time.
STEP 3: Once you’ve selected your hosting plan, click on it. That will take you to a page where you can insert the name of the domain you’d like to buy. If it is not available, you’ll know by the red “x’s”. If it is available, you’ll get a green checkmark. You’ll get all sorts of choices, such as .com, .club, .co, etc. I use .com or .org for my websites and for clients. You can select as many as you’d like, but the more you select the higher the fee. You’ll also get multiple offers to buy more than one year of hosting for a lower price. I normally buy one year. If I change my mind about the domain, I just don’t renew it when it comes due.
You will also be offered Domain Privacy Protection. When I first started my website, I had the help of a consultant. He didn’t recommend buying Privacy Protection. It’s an optional feature. Personally, I like privacy protection, so, roughly a week later, I went back into my HostGator account and bought privacy protection.
STEP 3: Re-select the Hosting Plan you want to buy. You’ll be prompted to select a billing cycle. Normally, HostGator will offer additional discounts. You’ll also be prompted to create a username and security pin.
STEP 4: Enter your billing information.
STEP 5: You’ll be given additional options to buy. You can always research these later to see if you’d like to add these features in the future. I normally don’t buy these. Make sure they are not selected – if you do not want them.
STEP 6: Enter Coupon Code: GiveMe25Campaign then hit “validate” so that your total cost will be reduced by 25%.
STEP 7: Review Order Details and then check the box at the bottom once you have read and agree to their terms of service. Then hit the “Checkout Now!” button.
You’ll see a new page informing you that your order is complete. At this point, go to your e-mail account. There, you will find a message from HostGator that provides you with all the details you need to start building your website.
You’ll need two more things:
- View the website development tutorial I posted on my FREE Software Training page. It was developed by the experts at HostGator and it walks you through the website creation process.
- Also, remember, HostGator will help you with hosting issues, so, if you need help, contact them via phone, chat or e-mail.
You don’t need to use HostGator, but for the sake of writing out steps, I used them as an example. BlueHost is a good company as well and they tend to have lower prices. See below for details. I’ll be posting more videos on my FREE Software Training page, so, stay tuned!!