*This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). For more information visit: My Disclaimer
By now, I feel like an expert at setting up a website for myself, I have done it so many times with so many attempts at finding my voice and sharing the content I feel called to share. Each time though it goes a bit differently- depending on where I register my domain and host my blog at.
This is what I have learned so far.
Blog or website? Which do you want and what is the difference.
One thing my mom didn’t understand when I would talk to her about having a blog, was, did she want a website or did she want a blog. You can have a blog on a website, but traditionally, a blog site is set up differently than a website. So, in simple terms, a blog is a collection of written content like so:
And a website is set up with a static front page where the content about the service or product is offered, like so:
What’s in a name?
My son, who is 12, and lacks website or business experience, told me, “just choose a name mom, who care’s what it is?”
However, after trying and trying and trying and TRYING for years to come up with a name, being wishy washy, and repeatedly changing the name, I can tell you, that a name for your website, blog and business IS important.
- Choosing a name that doesn’t resonate with you in the long-term, could be confusing to your readers if you decide to re-brand in the future. Do this multiple times and you may lose readers.
- Choosing a name that is too long will make it hard for people to remember where to find you
- Choosing a name that is spelled different or weird will make it hard for people to find you
- Choosing a name that is already taken on social media or by another business will mean you have to go back to square one to find your perfect name
- A Name really can make or break a business
But, there are tips that I found while trying to come up with my business name that I found very helpful. They include:
- write a list of words that resonates with you, your business, and your ideal name
- Group the words together in different forms to try to come up with a name (don’t worry, if you can’t, there are business name generators that you can try)
- If you think you come up with a name, check if someone is using the name as a domain or user handle on all the social media platforms and gmail (or wherever you might hold your email address at)
- Check to see if there is already a business with your business name in your field to avoid infringement
- Keep it short and sweet
Once you have a name….
Once you have chosen a name, you need to register it. For the purpose of looking up a blog name, I used Google Domains however, once I was ready to register my domain name, this go around, I chose Name Cheap. In the past I have registered the domain name directly with my hosting company, however, this time, I wasn’t sure which hosting company I wanted to use but I knew the name I wanted, so I registered the name first. However, I would recommend that you do your own research to decide which route you’d like to go.
Where to set up a website
You can choose to set up your website through an easy set up like one of the following, or you could choose to host your domain (Typically with wordpress) through one of the domain hosting companies listed below.
The following places offer easy to build websites, but, again, do your research to know which route you want to take.
Here are some of the hosts for wordpress blogs:
And the list goes on. With so many options, what is one to do and who does one choose? Again, I recommend that you do your research to find which company will be best for you and your budget.
Getting Your Site Set Up
Now, after you go through and purchase your desired hosting or website service, in my case, this go around I went with In Motion and it has been a breeze. On purchase I chose to have them install WordPress, so they got the back end stuff set up and I just had to point the nameservers from Name Cheap to In Motion and wala, it was done. If that sounds confusing to you, there are lots of tutorials that you can google or videos you can watch on You Tube. You can even find courses to purchase regarding blogging. I would recommend you go with what is going to be the best option for your budget and the best option for your level of understanding so you don’t cause yourself undue stress and decide not to go ahead with your blog!
Creating Your Logo
Once you have your domain and website hosting, you want to create a logo. The same thing that goes for your name, goes for your logo. This will represent your website and it needs to pertain to you and your name. You want something that is beautiful and clear and that you love. You can go through and create it yourself using photoshop, canva, picmonkey, etc, or you can have it created by someone in a FB group or Etsy.
I chose to have my name created by someone I found on Etsy and it was so easy and turned out so beautifully. You can check out her offerings on her Etsy page here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/sashkena
Choosing a Theme
For WordPress, choosing a Theme, or layout for your website/blog can be quite a task. You have the option of choosing a free theme or a purchased theme. You also have the option of upgrading a free theme to the purchased option. This can be quite a task in order to find the theme that has all the components of what you are looking for.
Before Your Blog/Website goes Live
One important aspect to do before your blog/website goes live is to make sure that your blog is legal. There are so many new rules and laws and important things that need to be on your blog mostly to protect yourself and your work, it is almost enough to discourage one from starting a blog/website. However, it doesn’t have to be hard.
A few things you want to have on your website are:
- Terms and Conditions
You need to be sure that you discuss the GDPR and CCPA Compliance.
I did find one place to get these 3 things for free, but none of it mentioned the GDPR or CCPA Compliance, so I ended up purchasing a legal bundle.
If you’d like to learn more about that, you can find it here.
I would highly recommend you take the time to research the need for these 3 things on your blog/website, because the last thing you want is a lawsuit.
Last Things to do before going Live
So, there are a few last things to do before going live, and that is, getting your website or blog set up before you go live. I would recommend having chosen your theme, having the pages complete and having a few blog posts posted so people have an idea of who you are when you go live.
You also want to add your website to the search engines. Here is a good article to check out:
Of course, this is just a sweetened condensed version of the steps I took to create my own website, but hopefully it will help!
What did you find to be the hardest part of setting up your website and what is the best tip you can give someone else just starting out?
P.S. Like the Image in the Featured Picture? It is from https://www.etsy.com/shop/MadeByKasiaShop