You want to get online and establish your brand but…
Buying a domain and setting it up on a host, like SiteGround, may seem out of reach for you right now, but by the end of this guide you’ll be able to accomplish it in under 30 minutes. Whether you want to grow your current business or create a totally new one, this guide will help you.
Get your business website or branded blog up in 30 minutes
There are a lot of reasons to create a site, no matter the reason, there’s one thing everyone I meet runs into…
Where the HECK do I start?
It get’s confusing fast when you’re trying to figure out…
- Social Media
- Website Hosting
- DNS Zones
- Lead Generation Software
- Email Marketing
…and still somehow stay motivated to take on your next project while mantaining your day-to-day.
It doesn’t seem like there’s enough time to figure it all out.
Now you don’t have to scratch your head or worry about what you’re supposed to be doing and how to do it!
Throw the learning curve out the window and let’s jump into this “no fluff guide” that will teach you how to build a branded website…
*for people and businesses that want to start a website without the learning curve or high costs
Resources I’ll Be Using for This Guide:
- Domain Name: CityofGrossePointe.com (purchased from GoDaddy for $0.99)
- Hosting: SiteGround (or Bluehost, it’s up to you, approx $3.95/mo)
- Framework: WordPress (Free and Awesome!)
- Lead Generation: Sumo (Free and Awesome!)
- Email Marketing: Mailchimp (Free and Awesome!)
You’ve heard of Godaddy I take it. That’s a registar.
You buy your domain name from these companies. I recommend Godaddy (shocking I know) for purchasing your first domain name, but any registar will do.
Here you can buy on price alone, there is no difference in domain name “quality” so it doesn’t matter where you buy it.
RobertMcMillin.com is the same at Godaddy or Namecheap. I like Godaddy for one reason…
Promo codes for days!
When you’re ready to scoop up your domain name follow these steps…
Step 1: Go to Google.com
Step 2: Search for “Godaddy Promo Code” if you’re not getting good results try something like “Godaddy Promo Code 2018”, you should get plenty of results though.
Step 3: Find the steepest discounts
Step 4: Go to Godaddy find your domain name, add it to your cart, enter the promo code and checkout! Congratulations you now own your own domain.
Don’t buy Godaddy’s hosting, everything they offer besides domains, is expensive.
If you’re really green when it comes to this online stuff, pay the little extra and go with Siteground.
They have hands down the best customer service in the industry and will fix most things for you within minutes.
Your hosting account is where the files for your site live.
In my opinion I always keep the Registar (where you bought your domain) and my Hosting (where your site and it’s files live) SEPARATE.
I don’t want one company holding all the cards for my online businesses and you probably don’t either!
For the purposes of this guide I will cover how to setup your Blog or Website with SiteGround and Godaddy.
Now, that we have our domain name purchased the first thing we’ll need to do is to setup our hosting account.
*NOTE you can skip this step if you’ve already purchased hosting. If so, proceed to Step 2 below.
Setting Up Your Hosting Account on SiteGround
Step 1: Click here and head over to SiteGround to sign up for your hosting account.
For most people the “Startup” package will be fine and allows for one website and is suitable for 10,000 monthly visits.
If you have more than one website OR think you’ll get more than 10-11k monthly visitors the “GrowBig” package will be a great fit.
Step 2: After you’ve signed up for your hosting account on SiteGround you’ll be redirected to your dashboard and Cpanel access. It looks like this…
The next thing you’ll need to do is…
Step 3: Click “My Accounts” then click the “Information and Settings” tab like in the image below.
You’ll see two DNS addresses. You’ll only need the part that looks like this:
*you can forget about the part in brackets with the IP Address (174.112.555.12) You’ll just need the DNS like the example above.
Step 4: Changing your DNS Nameservers on Godaddy to point to your SiteGround host. What that means is we’ll login to Godaddy and take the DNS information we got in step 3 from SiteGround and enter it into Godaddy. It’s very easy and should only take a minute. Check the image below for more details on setting up your Nameservers on Godaddy.
Step 1: Go to SiteGround and head over to “My Accounts” and click “Go to Cpanel”
Step 2: Once in Cpanel click “Addon Domains” type in the name of your domain (without www) like in the image below.
Step 3: Installing WordPress on your new domain in SiteGround. Luckily SiteGround has a oneclick install feature that we’ll use now. First go back to Cpanel in SiteGround if you’re not already there, I’ll wait 🙂
Using One Click Install in SiteGround:
- Go to Cpanel
- In the search bar on the left or under “Auto Installers” OR “WordPress Tools” click WordPress Install or WordPress (either will work) like in the images below.
- Setup your username, password and choose your domain. Everything else will be done for you automatically.
- Click Install! You’re now rocking a new site and a fresh WordPress installation. You’re ready to start building your site.
Once you get your site up and running, you’ll want to have a way to capture information from prospective clients or customers. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is to get started with SUMO. It offers several free tools to get your online business going and can generate results right out of the box. So let’s get started…
Step 1: Opening Your Free Sumo Account
The first thing you’ll need to do is head over to Sumo and sign up for a free account here.
The free account will have everything you need to add optin forms to your site and get your lead generation efforts moving. The most effective optin form, generally speaking, will be the welcome mat form. So that’s what we’ll use for this example.
Next you’ll have the option to install the code on your site manually or use the WordPress Plugin. We’ll cover how to do both. If you’re not sure what you’re doing install the Plugin that will be the simplest option. I prefer dropping the code in myself so I’ll do that as well in the example below.
Step 2: Adding the Sumo Code To Your Site Manually
After you’ve entered your URL into the signup form you’ll be taken to a screen that looks like this. It will have the snippet you need to drop into your site just before the closing
tag of your HTML.
In your WordPress Dashboard (located here yoursite.com/wp-admin) click Plugins –> Add New Plugins –> Search for “SUMO” –> Click Install and Activate –> Follow Sumo Prompts to open an account or login. That’s it. You’re done.
If you don’t already have a free account you’ll be prompted to create one, if you do have an account click login. The account creation takes only a second. In the video above I was already logged in so the plugin worked immediately, which is pretty cool.
Step 3: Creating Your First Welcome Mat to Collect Emails
Go to sumo.com and sign in or use the plugin or badge on your site to access the dashboard. Any of those three ways will accomplish the same thing. In SUMO navigate to Forms –> List Builder –> Add New –> 1) My Goal –> Collect Emails –> 2) Form Type –> Welcome Mat –> Have Fun and Start Designing Your Welcome Mat.
Step 4: Setting Up Visibility and Success Options
For some pages you may not want your welcome mat to display you can edit those options in this step as well as determine what happens after a user completes your welcome mat form.
For visibility: You can leave this on Smart Mode or switch to manual mode to exclude or include specific pages on your site. For example you may not want your welcome mat to popup on your privacy page or product page. You can change that under the “Visibility” section in “Manual Mode”.
For Success: Here you can set a redirect URL for your welcome mat. This would be where you want to send the user after they complete your form, maybe a thank you page, or upsell would be appropriate for this page.