If you are new to creating a website here’s a quick list of starter tips to get you going.

  1. Register your own domain name!
    logo-godaddyWe can help you decide on the best domain name to choose from, yet you should always register a domain yourself to insure retention. Sometimes web developers might hook you by registering the domain name for you – and then if you want to move on either they hold the domain name (and website) hostage, or if they are cooperative you’ll still need to jump through hoops transferring the domain name to your ownership. Avoid this trouble from the outset by registering your own domain name.Currently we recommend using www.godaddy.com because it currently has decent pricing – but we do NOT recommend purchasing the many options they will try to up-sell you during the sign-up/registration process. It should cost around $5 per month; make sure auto-renew is enabled so you don’t accidentally lose it after your annual registration fee expires. If you need help, call Joseph at 503-391-4801.

    Before you register the domain – see item #2 below.

  2. Hosting:
    All domain names (websites) need a place for their website to reside, this is the only other recurring fee necessary to run a website besides the domain registration fee. You can either host with us and we’ll setup everything for free including email addresses, or you can choose any hosting company that suits you. At present, again GoDaddy is an inexpensive solution starting at about $5 per month. We’re not associated with that company and they, like many large companies, may have some questionable business practices; namely their current “unlimited” bandwidth plan which sometimes sends you notices that attempt to scare you into purchasing more robust plans. Contact us if you have questions about that; but don’t let it worry you. Often the simple solution is the PHP/cPanel hosting plan, which works perfect for WordPress or any other non-ASP driven site.
  3. Email:
    After you’ve registered your domain name and purchased a hosting plan, nearly all hosting accounts come with free email accounts – so you don’t need to buy additional email plans, though many hosting companies will try and sell this as an extra service. Login to your hosting account control panel, look for the email icon and click it, then add any emails you might want such as info@yourwebsitedomainname.com. If you are on a plan with limited hosting space, such as our own, you may wish instead to setup an email FORWARDER instead. To do that look for the email forwarder icon and click it, add the info@yourwebsitedomainname.com as a forwarder and set it to forward to your Gmail account for example, or whatever email you use for your business. You’ll need a Gmail account anyway if you want to take advantage of Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools, which you should.
  4. DIY Website:
    If you want to create your own website – it’s EASY! Even if you don’t know web coding nearly every hosting account (including ours) comes with a “one-click” WordPress installation that will install this excellent content management system. Be sure to use a very complex, long password including random characters because there are legions of scriptbots out their scouring the web attempting brute force attacks to try and hack into weak passwords. If they get in they will promptly insert malicious code which can cause you lots of trouble and cost you lots of money to fix. WordPress automatically installs a “theme” which is basically a skin for this database-driven app, and there are many free themes available online starting with the official WordPress site. But – we recommend Elegant Themes which are inexpensive but excellent, especially the Divi theme which has a visual, drag-and-drop layout editor. Read more about WordPress near the bottom of this post > Here are a few starter links to get you going with WordPress:

    Getting Started with WordPress
    A beginners guide to using wordpress
    WP beginner videos

    ALSO: If you do use WordPress be sure to install the following security plugins ASAP:

    Limited Login Attempts (typically can be selected during your “one-click” install.)
    WordFence Security
    Anti-Spam

salem oregon web design & development
About the author: Joseph Hill has over 20 years experience in hands-on web & multimedia development, interface design & architecture, production management, search engine indexing and marketing efforts with a list of over 200 web projects he has worked on including GE, FinishLine, Levi's, MTV, Sony, HBO, Showtime, Wrigley, Williams-Sonoma, Starbucks, YMCA and the San Diego SuperBowl Host Committee.

He has an Associates Degree in Graphics Communication and refers to his metal detector as his "search engine". His favorite hobby is gardening and favorite pastime is swimming and drifting across rivers and lakes exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.

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