I have had many people request my help on setting up a website or blog since I have had some success on WomanlyWoman.com. I also previously owned and operated a sole proprietorship web design business where I coded the sites myself.
I am writing this post so that I can refer people to it when they are ready to set up their own site. These are my opinions and suggestions. I believe this is the BEST way to design a web site. They also include affiliate links meaning that I may receive a commission for referring you.
Step One – Hosting
The first step is to find a host. I recommend FatCow hosting. They are eco-friendly and just plain friendly all together. They have 24 hour support. You can chat with people online or call on the phone. I’ve used them for a total of two years – for another business and for my blog. I have had a really good experience.
Click here for more information about hosting and to purchase a plan. I recommend purchasing 1 year of hosting.
Step Two – WordPress and Genesis Framework
If you have ever tried the free version of WordPress and you are like me you probably thought it wasn’t all that. That’s because it wasn’t. The Genesis Framework provides you with so much more to make your site amazing including built-in tools for Search Engine Optimization. (If you don’t know what SEO is, read this for an overview: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine_optimization) I STRONGLY recommend Genesis.
Not only will you purchase Genesis but you will also purchase a professionally designed site. These are called “child themes” and you will install them on WordPress later.
Just purchase the framework and your design. At the time of this post, it should be around $80.
Click here for more information about Genesis and to purchase the framework and child theme.
Step Three – Install WordPress
Contact the host that you chose and ask them how to install WordPress on your site. It may be very easy to find this information yourself in the Frequently Asked Questions section of their site or on your dashboard.
Step Four – Install Genesis Framework and Child Theme
Login to your site using the WordPress login page that should have been provided to you through the process of installing it on your site through your host. If you need help installing the themes, visit this page: http://www.studiopress.com/tutorials/install-genesis-child-theme
Step Five – Begin setting up your site
You can work on this before you even do any of the other steps. You can begin to write the content for the site and decide what the links on your menu will be.
You may need help with this part. If you need help with the copy (the words you are writing), I suggest contacting a marketing consultant. I have personally worked with Elaine at Beyond Being in the past. She is very good with this. If you aren’t in Cincinnati, she may be able to work with you virtually.
If you need help with working in WordPress, I suggest hiring a blog designer that specializes in WordPress. You can find a list of them at this page: http://theblogdesignernetwork.com/blog-designers/
Lastly, I strongly recommend that you familiarize yourself with how to use WordPress regardless of what choices you make. It is your site. Designers and marketing consultants do not typically operate your site, they just help you set it up to start using it yourself. Websites should be updated at least once per week. They are not intended to be static and never were. The easiest way to keep things moving on your site is to actually write a blog post at least once a week and allow your clients to subscribe to receive the posts via email.
There are Meetup groups and classes all over the world on how to use WordPress. There are Youtube video tutorials with tips and ideas. There really are no excuses for you being able to use it yourself and not having to hire someone to make simple changes.
… and if you are completely overwhelmed… then don’t do any of this! Just create a free site using Weebly.com. If you don’t want it to say “free site” on it, then pay for the hosting through them. Fat Cow also offers Weebly as an option so you can still have the eco-friendly
web hosting and their awesome customer service while using Weebly as your platform.