Getting your business online for the first time can be confusing and frustrating sometimes.
I wrote this to help you cut through the avalanche of marketing and technical babble and we are only going to focus on the essentials.
1) An outline of what you will need to get your business online:
- A Domain Name
- A Web Hosting Account
- A Website
That's the essence of it. You can worry about security, SEO, SSL's and other stuff later, Don't worry. Focus on the basics for now.
2) You need to prepare.
- Why? You need to be ready to provide account details when you purchase your Domain Name and signup for the a Web Hosting Account.
- What details? A working email address and usually a street address.
- I have these details already. I'm ready! No you aren't. You just think you are.
3) Why am I not ready?
I have spent the last 3 years working with Domain Names and Web Hosting in a 20 year technical support career, if you only listen to one thing I say about getting your business online it should be this:
DON'T USE AN EMAIL ADDRESS THAT WILL DISAPPEAR!
- Don't use your work email address
- Don't use an ISP email address
- Don't use the email address of your partner/kids/dog
- Don't use an account you send cat pictures with
- DON'T USE AN EMAIL ADDRESS BASED ON THE DOMAIN NAME YOU ARE JUST ABOUT TO BUY!
I spend more time helping people regain control over their Domain Name account than ANY OTHER ACTIVITY because they used an email address that no longer exists or forgot the password for. If you think it won't happen to you then think again. It will. I promise. This problem is very painful solve.
Fixing this problem takes many days involving forms, faxes and photo identification. Please remember, if your Domain Name expires, your website won't be visible on the Internet until you renew the name, but you can't renew the Domain Name until you log into your Domain Registrar account. Which you cannot do because you lost control of the email address or forgot the password for the email address or the email address is based on the Domain Name that just expired.
4) Why should it be Gmail account?
I can go on and on about the all the reasons why I use Gmail versus the other ones from Microsoft or Yahoo, but in the end I'm pretty sure you don't care. Trust me and just get one. You can still choose your favourite webmail service if you want but I'm only going to document how to use Gmail.
One more thing, ONLY USE THE DOMAIN EMAIL ADDRESS FOR BUSINESS ACCOUNT SIGNUPS.
That's it for the introduction to getting your business online. The next article will be on the specifics of preparing.
Please feel free to ask me any questions.