gears_80pxLooking back over the years I’ve been involved in Internet Marketing, it’s easy to become complacent about the obstacles we all have to cross before we can get our first website online. I’ve created this simple to follow tutorial for anyone new to web design who wants to overcome the fear of getting started.

Before your website can be bult by yourself or anyone else, you need a domain name and a hosting package. The domain name is the unique identifier that gives your website a named identity. Choosing the right name for your business online is a huge task. However, there are some simple rules you should follow to get this right from the start. If your business already exists it makes sense to name your website after your business or as close as you can get. Choosing the right TLD (Top Level Domain) is important too. This is the last segment of the name (.com, .co.uk, .org) are all examples of a TLD. If you have a UK based business choose the .co.uk TLD if it’s available. It will make it specific to your country and aid google when people search for you.

The name of your website can benefit from including the keywords that people search for when they go online and search for your type of business or service. If you own a building company in York and you’re called Smith & Co you could choose www.smithcobuildersyork.co.uk as a unique identifier. Or if you prefer a shorter name www.smithco.co.uk, but make sure you include the words builders in York when you give your website a sub title. This all helps the search engines find you and increases your chance of being found.

There are dozens of hosting companies who will store all your website files for you on secure servers. Every website is hosted somewhere in the world. Think of hosting as virtual storage space. There are different packages for different types of business but if you want a simple website with multiple pages to show off your services, have contact details and tell your story – a basic package will suffice.

Right now you can get some great deals on hosting for just a few dollars a month. The link here gives you some great discounts at Hostgator.com

When you click on the link above you’ll be taken to the window below. Click on the ‘Get Started Now’ button and you’ll see three options. For a single website choose the ‘Hatchling’ plan as see in the second window below.

screen 1 stepGo ahead and click on the ‘Get Started Button’ now to see how this works. Don’t worry, you wont be committing yourself to anything without realising it. This is what you’ll see next:

screen 2 step

At the time of this post going to press Hostgator have a special offer of 20% off hosting. If this has expired I will also give you a Coupon code further down the post to use with my compliments. Once you’ve clicked on the ‘Hatchling’ plan you’ll see this window:

screen 3 step

Step 3. It’s time to enter your chosen domain name. If the domain is already taken Hostgator will show you some alternative suggestions based on your first choice. Once you’ve settled on the domain and your hosting package it’s time to choose a username (step 4.) and a password/security PIN (step 5.) . Make sure you copy both these down and save them in a notepad document. I always create a desktop file and name it ‘Hostgator username and password) whenever I create a new account. It saves time searching or requesting the details when you need them again. If we are building your website for you we will need these details to upload your website files.¬†

The next step is to pay for the hosting plan and domain name. Scroll down the window you are still on and you’ll see this:screen 4 step

Fill in all the fields and scroll down some more to this next section:

screen 5 step

Three important things you need to do here. Un-check step 6. and step 7. and then go to step 8. if there is no coupon code here already simply add this code GUMMAR15 to get a discount.

Now scroll down to check the discount has been allocated and you’re ready to check out.

That’s it. You now have a domain name and hosting and are ready to get started online with your own website. Congratulations.

If you have any questions about naming your domain, hosting for websites that will process secure payments or anything else related to getting started online. Drop me a line via the contact page.

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and are excited about taking the first steps to getting online.