The first steps towards getting online are:
- researching your market
- finding keywords
- choosing and buying a domain name
- purchasing hosting services
Market research is a huge topic in its own right, and something that is worthy of study if you expect to sell things online. But don’t worry about researching your market or finding the perfect keywords right away — as it is far more important to just learn your way around the internet and to learn how to put up a basic website.
Buying a domain name from a company like GoDaddy or Namecheap is pretty straightforward, and Namecheap is a better bet for a number of reasons — including long term security and built in privacy protection.
Once you have a domain name, you will need to have it hosted somewhere so that people can find you. We offer a rundown of all the best hosting providers, to make your choice easy. Once you have a hosting account, you need to choose between a regular website or a WordPress site.
A regular website can usually be built with some kind of automatic software from your hosting provider, and this might be a good way to get your feet wet. But, chances are, the results will not be terribly impressive. For a better looking site, that is easier to manage, WordPress is really the way to go.
To install WordPress, you just go into your hosting account and look for the Fantastico function on your hosting control panel. You’ll see the WordPress option, and you click on install. Make sure that you note how to access your hosting control panel and your WordPress control panel, as you will be working in those areas on a regular basis.
There are many free themes and plugins to make your WordPress site more attractive. If you appreciate having a lot of control over how your site looks, I can definitely recommend the Atahualpa theme, because it is highly customizable.
After you have installed WordPress, added a theme, and adjusted your settings and colors — it’s time to write a few articles to let people know what you have to offer.
It normally takes about a week before the search engines begin to notice your site, so don’t get concerned if your site is not indexed immediately.
Finally, you will want to keep adding more content for your new website. And you will need backlinks, which are links to your site from the sites of others. Backlinks are extremely important because they really help you rank better with the search engines.
These are the basic steps you will need to get going. And it’s really not that difficult to learn all the little details as you go along. The internet is like a huge, interactive library — so it’s usually pretty easy to find answers to any questions that might come up as you create your next online masterpiece!