When I started All About Biz I had no idea where to start or even how to start and I’ve had to learn as I went over the last few years. That’s why I decided to write this step by step article, so you don’t have to go through the frustration I did to start my own website. It guides you every way to start up so you don’t have to pay someone to do it for you, saving you hundreds of dollars!
The tech side of a website can be quite daunting but I’m here to show you that you can do it and I’ll help you do it!
All About Biz shows you how to start, develop, run and market your small online business in the comfort of your own home, with little money you can achieve great results. So let’s get started.
Starting Your New Website: Your Step-by-Step Guide
This tutorial will show you how to start a website using WordPress.org. I use WordPress simply because I find it to be the easiest to use and the platform is updated and improved regularly. It gives you the power to control your website without having to get expensive web guys to change content and themes when you want to change something. I’m also going to show you how to set it up using BlueHost for your hosting and BluChic for a beautiful theme.
To set up your website you must first have a domain name and a hosting package.
So let’s go:
Choosing your business and domain name.
If you are going to call your business anything other than your own name then you’ll need to register it.
Choosing a business name is an important step in the business process. The name will reflect what you want others to see and know about your business. Your business name will distinguish your business in its field. It can tell people what your business does and who you are. Using your personal name and a descriptive term is a popular way of naming a business eg; Carly’s Car Wash.
Your business name might also be used as your domain name if you have a website so select carefully.
If you intend to add your business to directories then you might need to be positioned higher than your competitors – this might affect your business naming.
Your name should have impact and be descriptive.
- Is it descriptive and memorable?
- Does it reflect your brand and image?
- Avoid obscurity – you want your customers to know what you do! Avoid rude and cute names
- Avoid acronyms and using any part of someone else’s business name
- Don’t limit yourself locally
- Have you checked for its availability online?
- Have you checked the domain name availability?
- Does it reflect and describe your business?
- Is it easy to spell? – Domain names are best if they are.
- Is the name appealing, does it relate to my customers?
- Don’t spend money on marketing materials until you have the registered business name
- Anyone can use your registered business name – Trade Marking it will solve this problem
- Is there room for expansion in the name eg: Amy’s Press Release Services (she does copy writing now too!)
Your first steps are to:
Apply for an ABN if applicable
Apply for a business TFN
- Register for GST and PAYG, if applicable
- Open business bank accounts
Register your business name
Register your business name in each state you will be trading in. If your business is a company then register also with ASIC
Register your domain name
If you choose to host through BlueHost they will register you a free domain name!
You can do this when you set up your hosting package and we will cover that in detail a little later but if you want you can certainly register your domain name on its own and if you do want to do this we can recommend MelbourneIT. This can give you an extra layer of security but really these days and with the hosting package we recommend you shouldn’t have any security issues. It’s much easier to set up the domain name and hosting together if you’re just starting out anyway and Bluehost offer a free domain name registration when you take out one of their hosting packages. I’ve always found it easier to keep everything as simple as possible when it comes to running a business from home.
A .com or .com.au will usually be the choice for small Australian businesses.
What business structure is best for you
Next you should consider these costs:
- Computer / Software / Office Appliances
- Stock costs
- Bookkeeping / Software
- Web design
- Web hosting
- Legals / Licences
- Domain Name
- E-commerce costs
- Bank fees
- Advertising costs
You must take into account these costs when costing your products or services. Your profit margins will suffer if you neglect this.
Decide which hosting provider to use.
As I recommend and trust Bluehost for hosting I’m going to take you through how easy it is to set up a website with them. Bluehost is a reliable service that has been in business since 2003 and power over 2 million WordPress websites! They also have a great support area where you can get any problem solved quickly and that is an important consideration when choosing a host.
- Go over to the Bluehost website by clicking here. You’ll see their homepage like in the picture below and then simply click on the big green “Get Started Now” button.
- Now it’s time to choose your hosting package. The longer you sign up for, the cheaper the rate will be so I’d recommend the “Basic – 36 month price” option. You’ll be prepaying for the entire 36 months upfront, so be prepared. (All hosting is usually paid in advance to get the best prices)
I’d suggest you also choose to take the “Site Backup Pro” option to protect your website if you aren’t confident with backing up the site regularly yourself or on another service.
The other options on this page can be purchased later if you find you want or need.
5. Since you have chosen your domain name you now need to register it with Bluehost. Simple enter your domain name in the “new domain” box and click “next.” So far, so good.
6. You will then be taken to the “account information” area where you can enter all of the required information.
7. Now you simply need to enter your billing information, tick the “agree to the service terms and conditions and agreements box”, and then click “next.”
You’ll be offered additional services at this stage but you can always purchase them in the future if needed so now it’s time to click “complete”.
Congratulations! You now have your very own Bluehost account.
Now it’s time to create your password.
8. Remember, when you are creating a password it must be as secure as you can make it because you are protecting your website from hackers. Keep a copy of the password and all your hosting account information in a secure place. You can’t afford to lose this information!
Now that you have your password, it’s time to login to your new account!
You’ll now be directed to a welcome message from Bluehost. Click the “log in to your site” green button..
9. You’ll now be in your website dashboard. Here’s where all the action happens!
Now let’s take a look at the dashboard.
And you’ve done it! Of course this will all look a little daunting and confusing to begin with but as you explore and click on the different links on the sidebar you’ll soon discover how great and easy it is to use.
Click the “Settings” tab then “General”. Here you can give your website a name or title and also a tag line. Set your time zone and time preferences etc. and then click “Save Changes” at the bottom of the page.
When you are happy with the look of your site you can make it go “live” or “launch” it by clicking the link.
10. You’ll receive an email from Bluehost that will include your WordPress admin account information. I’d recommend saving it even printing it out and adding it to your other website information file as it is very important. It includes your new WordPress admin username and password.
You’ll also receive an email from Bluehost to verify your email address for WHOIS Verification. Please note: This expires after 14 hours, so make sure you access it within that time. Simply click the link within that email.
If you have purchased the back up option you will also receive an email from “SiteLock Support”. Keep this email too.
Keep all this information safe, it shows everything you need to start using your new WordPress website.
Time to choose a theme
I love feminine themes, the theme is the style or look of your website. By that I mean the layout, colours, fonts, widgets, social media buttons etc. I choose to use BluChic themes as they are all gorgeous and so easy to use!
I can also recommend themes by Elegant Themes and App Themes, both I have used in the past and been very happy with but my favourite at the moment are definitely the themes from BluChic. This website currently runs with BluChic’s “Quinn” theme and I love it!
To get a theme onto your website simply follow these steps.
- Purchase the theme of your choice from BluChic
- Save it on your computer
- On your website dashboard click “Appearance” then “Themes”
- Click “Add New”
- Click “Upload Theme”
- Click “Browse” and then choose the theme file you have downloaded to your computer (It’s a zip. file)
- Click “Install Now”
- Then hover over the installed theme and click “Install”
That’s it! You now know how to start your very own website! It’s not as difficult as you may think and you can certainly do it by following these steps one at a time. As with anything new you’ll have to learn how to use your dashboard and install plugins to make your site even better and we can help you again with all that.
If you’d like to learn more about running your new website and how to turn it into a money making venture then you’ll be interested in our coaching programs.
If you sign up with BlueHost you’ll receive some great video tutorials to help navigate your way around your new website – happy blogging!