Some of our readers may want to build their own websites, or at least understand the process from start to finish. If you’re an adventurous do-it-yourself kind of business owner, hopefully this guide will give you enough information to launch your own basic website.
Before jumping into this process, you should definitely put some thought and planning into the goals you have for your site. In this series, though, I’m focusing more on the technical steps than on the business side of things. We’ll save that for a future series!
I plan to write about this process over the course of a few weeks so that I can give sufficient attention to each step. I may even change the process as I go… Check back here for links to each of the steps as I post them.
- Register a domain name (i.e. something.com, mysite.net, find.us)
- Purchase hosting (the server where your files and databases will sit on the Internet)
- Set up Google Apps for email and more (the best of many options for email, and the only one I’ll cover)
- Upload files via FTP
- Set up databases with MySQL
- Install a content management system (highly recommended, but optional)
- Add content!!
- Next Steps – Google Analytics, Inbound linking, on-page SEO, social media, paid search, etc.
Because of the ease of use and wide availability of documentation and user-friendly support, I highly recommend sticking with the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP). My recommendations for most small businesses also include Google Apps for email (and other collaboration tools) and a content management system such as WordPress or Drupal. I will go into more detail on those in the coming weeks.
It is important to note that I am not covering all of the steps of starting a business, but instead just the steps for starting a website. There is a difference. Some of the most important initial steps for registering & starting a business are:
- Select a business name and legal entity (LLC works great for most small businesses)
- Register your business with your state’s Secretary of State (in Ohio, this costs $125)
- Use your state registration to apply for a tax ID number (EIN) from the IRS. You can apply online in minutes.
- Open a bank account with your tax ID number
- Plan, plan, plan, and execute! (Though you’ve hopefully done some planning before registering your business)
This is just the teaser, telling you what I will be covering over the next several weeks. You’ll see one post on each of the 8 steps I outlined above. Let me know if you’d like to hear more about starting a business, and I can cover those steps, too.
Stay tuned for more next week!