The importance of checklists can't be overstated. We use them all the time whether we realize it or not: To Do Lists, Shopping Lists, Reminders on Refrigerators. They're all forms of checklists. And I'm a big believer in them.
Photo By Atomic Taco (Flickr: No Pants Light Rail Ride 2012)
Thinking about putting together a competent website is an area where a thorough checklist would ensure that everything gets done.
And so, this is my attempt at a Checklist for Starting A Website. I'm sure, like all good checklists, it will change over time. And if you have any suggestions, please email me.
1. Purpose of the website.
That has to be at the top of the list. Commercial? Shopping? Blog? Services? Once you figure the purpose, you can come up with a name.
2. Register name(s) of website.
Use instantdomainsearch.com to check for names. It's best website. Register alternative names to prevent competitors from encroaching on your territory. Don't wait to register names. Do that as soon as possible.
Since you're likely to be using Google for analytics, you might as well register the name with them. Just don't order any other services from them. Only register name.
3. Get a Web Hosting Account.
Now that you've registered a name, you need a place to host the files. Keep the name registration separate from the Web Hosting Account. That way if you're not happy with the company that hosts your website, you can easily switch. Transferring names can be a pain.
If you're somewhat of a tech nerd, consider hosting with digital ocean. For a few bucks a month, you easily host several websites on one VPS (that's what I do).
If you want more of a plug and play, SiteGround has good reviews and reasonable rates.
If you're looking for a template website, you should checkout Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, etc. to see if there's anything you like. Downside is there's a higher monthly cost and once you get in, it's almost impossible to get out. Just like The Godfather. But for a lot small businesses, the template web companies are a reasonable option.
4. Put up a Temporary Web Page until the design of the website is finalized.
Even a simple place holder is better than a website that is oftentimes inserted by the domain name registrar.
5. Change the DNS settings at the name registrar to point to your web hosting account.
6. Register your website with Google Webmasters.
Might as well let Google know that you're around.
7. Register the website with Google Analytics.
You can start checking if you're getting any hits (which is unlikely).
This is the end of Part One. There's enough here to get you started in the meantime. If you have any questions, please email me.
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