While a domain name is like your website’s street address, hosting is like your website’s physical location—like the land it sits on.
When it comes to hosting, I highly recommend buying a yearly hosting package if you can afford to. Because it will probably take you a few months before you become profitable.
By paying for a year upfront, you won’t risk looking at that monthly hosting bill and the fact that you’re not earning much and saying, “Forget it!”
And if you don’t pay your hosting bill and your site goes down, any work you’ve already put in will be gone. Poof!
Don’t let that happen to you. Pay for a year upfront if you can possibly manage it. If you’re serious about this business, you’ll find a way. Remember, this is a business, and businesses require investment.
If you can’t swing a full year upfront, try to find the least expensive hosting package you can that has decent reviews. You don’t want to lose traffic because your host is unbearably slow, so it’s important to pay attention to reviews.
And be careful that the reviews are from legitimate users and not affiliates who are simply looking to make a commission.
It’s perfectly fine to buy your hosting through an affiliate link. Just be sure you read some legitimate reviews first.
Make sure you choose a hosting company that has an admin panel like cPanel and has one of the software installation packages like Softaculous. This will make it a breeze to install stuff like WordPress, even if you don’t have a lot of technical knowledge.
Some popular hosting companies include:
The design of your website is basically like the building that sits on your land (hosting). For this method, we’ll use WordPress, because you can get started without learning a bunch of coding.
If you have a hosting company that includes Softaculous or one of the other installer packages, it will be incredibly easy to install WordPress.
Under scripts, click on WordPress. This will bring up the WordPress installer page. Click on “Install Now”.
Enter the information requested. I usually choose https:// as the Protocol.
Choose your domain from the dropdown box. Leave the directory blank unless you have a different page on the root of your domain.
Enter your site’s name and a short description. Leave WPMU blank. Enter a username and password.
DO NOT use admin as your username, because it will make your blog easier to hack, and choose a strong password!
Enter the email address you want notifications to go to.
Use Limit Login Attempts should be checked. Then just scroll down and hit Install.
Once it’s finished, use your username and password to log in and get started!
If for some reason you close this page, you can access your admin login page at:
Just replace YourDomain.com with your own domain.
When you get logged in, there are a few things you will want to do to get your site set up properly.
Go to Settings in the menu on the left, and click Permalinks.
You can set your own structure here, but I usually use either Post Name, or a custom structure in which I add this text into the box:
This isn’t critical, but it does make your site more SEO friendly, because it gives the search engines extra keywords instead of just random numbers and such, which is how WordPress handles things by default.
Once you’ve done this, it’s time to add plugins and themes.
Install Themes & Plugins
There are plenty of free themes out there, so it’s not necessary to pay for them. However, there are themes out there that are built specifically for marketers, so you might want to look at a few of them.
One theme that is very good for marketing purposes is the Extra theme from Elegant Themes.
This theme is structured well, has many features that make it work very well for marketing, and works well with Elegant Themes’ marketing plugins, too.
Sometimes Elegant Themes has specials where you can get a lifetime license at a very affordable price, so it’s worth looking out for those offers!
Even at the current yearly access price of $89, or the current lifetime access price of $249, it’s a great deal for all that you get access to!
Plus, the Divi theme is excellent for making product sales pages and squeeze pages because it lets you create your own pages using modules. It’s very easy to use, even for a beginner.
Their documentation leads you through the whole process. So, if you think you might want to launch your own products later, this membership is even more worth it.
Don’t forget to download and install some of their plugins, as well.
For example, Bloom is great for creating amazing opt-in forms. Monarch is an excellent social media sharing plugin that adds social sharing buttons to all your posts automatically.
And the Divi Builder plugin will add the powerful drag-and-drop page building functionality of the Divi theme to ANY theme from ANY creator.
Don’t go crazy with plugins! Add only those you really need. Otherwise, you’ll end up slowing down your site, which will hurt your SEO.
I suggest adding:
- A social media plugin, such as Monarch (from ElegantThemes)
- An opt-in plugin, such as Bloom (from ElegantThemes)
- An SEO package like All-in-One SEO or Yoast
- W3 Total Cache for speed
- org Rich Snippets (for SEO, Pinterest, Facebook, etc.)
- A security program like WordFence
- A backup solution like BackupBuddy
- An analytics program like Google Analyticator or Clicky by Yoast
- An editorial calendar, especially if you have multiple authors
- A comment system, like Akismet or Disqus, to help combat spam
There are almost always free options available, but sometimes the paid options offer more features or work better.
Another great package you might want to consider using is SumoMe. They have many plugins that you can install from a single interface.
Just install the SumoMe plugin, sign up for an account, and you can install the various plugins from the interface.
They have plugins for social sharing, opt-ins, and lots more.