Okay so you have been doing some shopping and you finally have the perfect domain and hosting for your website. Now, what is the next step? Confused? Yip, I was too but before we dive in on do after purchasing the domain and hosting let me quickly explain what those 2 things are for those of you who don’t know.
A domain is simply the address people type into their search engine to find your website. So, for example, a domain would be something like neptunedesign.co.za. This domain will also append the end of all of your email names for example email@example.com. You can think of a domain like your special private address on the internet.
Yes, it’s necessary in most cases to have a domain and hosting. Hosting is just the server space that you rent from a hosting company. For example, at Neptune Design we have 4 tiers of hosting packages depending on the storage you might need? So how do you know how much storage space you need? Well typically speaking if you are starting out and you don’t have much email with a starter website a 2gb package should be enough in most cases and you can always upgrade later if that becomes too little.
Step 1: creating email addresses
You now have your dedicated domain and your hosting so what do you do next. The first thing I would suggest you do is to create an email address for every member of your organization. So let’s say you have 3 members of your staff you want to create an email for.
Here’s how you do it,
- Log into your Cpanel with your credentials (this will most likely be your welcome email from your hosting provider).
- Under the email section, you will a part that says email accounts.
- Here you will see a list of all the email accounts you already have.
- Let’s create three accounts for our 3 staff
- Click on the blue create button
- Type in the name in the username section, you don’t have to type in the @ part of the email address as that is already taken care of.
- Next, either type in the password or create a system-generated password.
- Choose the storage allocation, you can always modify the storage space at a later time.
- Click on create
- Now let’s send Sandra her new email settings.
- Look for the new email address in the email section
- Next to the address, you will see a button that says manage, click it
- Click on the connected devices link
- Scroll to the bottom, look underneath the email instructions heading and put the person’s current email address the one they already have for example an @gmail.com address and send them to their details.
- This email will contain all the instructions they need to setup their email addresses on various devices. If you still can’t access your email contact your hosting provider.
Step 2: Installing WordPress
WordPress is one of the most popular tools for building a website online the best thing about WordPress is it’s extremely flexible and there are no monthly payments for the software at its basic level.
To install WordPress follow these steps.
- Login to your website Cpanel once again and look for Softalious App Installer
- Look for the WordPress Logo under scripts
- Click on the Install now button
- Click on the blue install now button
- If you have a software security certificate choose HTTPS if not choose HTTP
- Name your website and describe service you will provide
- Next, choose your admin password
- Wait for the installation to run
- congrats you now have WordPress
- you can log-in to your WordPress dashboard at any time by typing in your domain name /wp-login.php at the end.
Step 3: Instaling a WordPress theme
Now that you have your WordPress software install if you go onto your website you will see it looks something like this. Not to nice for people visiting your website. So at this point, you can either install a WordPress theme or you can hire a website design firm to design a website for you with all the features you want. For example if you would like to hire us at Neptune Design you can find our contact details here. But let’s say you just want to install a generic website theme in the meantime.
- Log in to your WordPress dashboard
- search the left-hand side menu for appearance, then themes
- Click on add new, this will give you a selection of free and paid themes you can try out
- Let’s install twenty, twenty clicks on the blue install button and then click activate.
- Congratulations you have now successfully installed a WordPress theme you can spend hours customizing your theme, adding photos and customizing it.
- Make sure you set your reading options to show your website and not your blog section first. Go to your WordPress dashboard click on settings, reading and then select a static page and which website page you would like to set as the homepage.
Step 4. Install Recommended plugins
You can think of plugins like little apps for your website that help increase its usability and functionality. All of these recommended apps have a free version that you can get started with. You can search for the plugin link on the left-hand side of your WordPress dashboard menu.
Google’s site kit plugin gives you powerful tools to measure your website’s performance and it also helps you register your website on Google so you can show up on search results
Yoast is a great plugin that can help you with your website Search Engine Optimization. It will teach you step by step how to word your pages and blog articles so they can show up on google search results
If you have a website security certificate Rapid SSL can definitely make the install process simpler. It basically does all the hard work for you and your site will have a little lock next to the domain to show visitors that it is secure.
Step 5: Content
No website is complete without content, you need content to attract visitors to your website and turn them into clients. You can start by producing blog articles, white papers and having an email newsletter. It’s best when starting out to have a content marketing plan you can contact us at Neptune Design and we’ll come up with a content marketing plan for your business that helps you create content that your clients will love.