In this Bootcamp update, we’re taking a step back and looking at one of the very basics required for any kind of online marketing: setting up a website.
The reason we’re adding this tutorial video is so that we have something to refer beginners to, if they come across the site. The other reason is that we will be going into detail on how to optimize the settings of your site for SEO purposes, how to structure your content, how to add traffic-boosting features etc. Since we will do all that, it only makes sense to start from the very beginning, which is what this video is all about:
Note: video can be viewed in full-screen mode for better detail
Hi, I’m Shane Melaugh and welcome to this SwissMadeMarketing Bootcamp video.
This video is the first one in the series of videos where we are going to talk about how to build a website starting from scratch. This is something that just needs to be covered at some point for anyone who is new to this whole thing and if you don’t have your own website yet this is where to start.
So, what we are going to do is we are going to start from scratch and I’m going to show you how to build up your first website, how to get it online and show you the whole process from nothing to a highly optimized perfectly set up website that puts you in the position where you are ready to start optimizing it for keywords and to start SEOing it and to start getting that Google traffic coming in.
In this first video, we are just going to look at the basic setup, how to get a website out there and how to get it set up. In the following videos we will go into more and more detail on how to optimize it, how to do the basic SEO settings and so on for that website.
It all starts with a domain name. The first thing you need is a domain name, which is the address where your website will be accessible and you want to get your domain name from Namecheap (that is my personal recommendation). Namecheap is the best domain registrar and just as a side note, you will need domain name - that is the address of your website – and you will need hosting – that is where you store your website online.
Note that usually, when you register a domain you will also get an offer to get hosting as well with the domain name registrar and when you go and register for hosting you will usually get an offer to also get a free domain with your hosting. Let me just tell you, you don’t want to do that. You don’t want to register your domain with your web host and you don’t want to host your website with your domain registrar. I don’t want to go into a long discussion of why that is but just trust me: you want to get your domain name with Namecheap and you want to get your hosting with Hostgator that I’m going to talk about in just a second.
So, we’re starting off with a domain name. You go to Namecheap and I recommend the first thing you do is you go here and then click on sign up and you register your user account. You just fill out these forms, you confirm your email address and then you come back and you login. Once you have done that, once you have logged in, you can click on “domains” here and you can start searching for a domain. So if you have an idea for a site and you want to call it— I don’t know— myawesomeblog.com for example, you do a search and what Namecheap will do is it will go and find out whether this domain name is still free for various domain extensions.
As you can see myawesomeblog.com is already taken; it is no longer available but you can have myawesomeblog.co or myawesomeblog.me or .org or. The .net extension is also taken and so on. My recommendation is that you always try to get a .com, .net, or .org domain. This is simply because three are the most trusted and most commonly used domain extensions.
An exception to this is if you want to do a website in a language other than English. Let’s say you want to do a website in German, then you definitely want to go and get a .de domain name, which means you have to go to a German language domain registrar. Or if it is a French website you want to go with .fr and so on, because those websites with those domain extensions will rank better in those local search results than if you have a .com or .net or whatever.
For this tutorial, I’m going to assume that we are building a website in English so you want a .com, .net or .org. This might mean that you have to get a bit creative with your domain name, you might have to try several different ones because often, domain names are already taken. Once you found the domain name you want to go with and let’s say that is myawesomeblog.org, you add that to your cart and you go through the checkout process and you know the drill here. You checkout, you add your payment details and then the name is transferred to you and you will find it inside your account.
So when you go to “my account” you find it listed when you click here and view your domains, you will find that new domain that you just registered listed in your account. By the way, I don’t think I have mentioned that yet the link to Namecheap is down below the video.
The second thing we need is hosting. My recommendation there is to use Hostgator. I have used them for a long time and I have been very happy with them, particularly support has been absolutely phenomenal with these guys. There have been very few times where I have had some kind of a technical problem and when I did, I have always been able to get live support with these guys, within minutes. That is why I am very happy to recommend Hostgator. The pricing is also great, it costs next to nothing to get hosting here.
If you click on the link down below it will take you straight to this page which is the right kind of hosting for when you are starting out. We want to get a shared hosting plan which is a very affordable hosting and it is good enough to start out. It is only once you get absolutely massive amounts of traffic that you have to think about transferring to more powerful and more expensive hosting, so shared hosting will really take you very far with your online business.
There are three plans, three shared hosting plans: hatchling, baby and business plan. I recommend you take the baby plan and that is because the hatchling plan only allows you to have one single website on one single domain whereas the baby plan gives you unlimited domains which means you can have as many websites as you want, with just one hosting plan, which is pretty awesome.
So, you select whatever payment period you want here and you click on “order now” and then again it’s the same drill, going through the checkout process. What is important here is what I was talking about before: they ask you to register a domain with them and that is what you don’t want to do. What you want to do is enter your domain name here so in this case it would be myawesomeblog.org and then you continue to step two.
Now you go through the sign out process, you fill out these fields, you fill out your payment information and all that. You create your account and once you sign up here you will get an email with your receipt confirming your order. Inside that email, and that is important, you will find the information about your name servers. You will get two different name servers. Name server one and name server two and it will look something like this here. It will be “NS” followed by four numbers, followed by .hostgator.com.
I recommend just keeping that email open because now we need to connect your domain name with your hosting account and here’s how to do that. We go to Namecheap and inside your account, where the number of domains are listed, you click on “view” and from the list that appears here you click on the domain name in question. If you just registered your first domain, it’s going to be the only one listed here and you click on that. This will take you to an options screen that looks like this and from here you go on the right side to “domain name server setup”. You click on that and in these two fields number one and number two you select “specify custom DNS servers” and in these two fields, that’s where you copy and paste in this information, the name server one and name server two for your Hostgator account go into these fields here.
That’s what connects your registered domain with your hosting account. Once that is done you simply click on save changes down here and then you are ready to go.
Now what you can do is in your address bar in the browser you type in the address that takes you to your cPanel which will open a page that looks like this at first. Your cPanel address will be your domain name, followed by “/cpanel”. This takes you to a page like this and then you enter the user name and password that you set up while registering your hosting account and that you also got sent in your confirmation email, you enter that and you login.
Once you have logged in this is what you will see and this is your Hostgator control panel. This is where you will be doing all of your hosting related work, which is not a lot of work at all as you will see in a second. In this panel, what we want to do is we are going to set up a WordPress based website. We are going to use WordPress to create a website and the reason we are going to use WordPress is because it’s free and it is the best and easiest way to build absolutely awesome looking websites, even if you cannot code to save your life (just like me). I couldn’t possibly like create a website by actually coding it myself. I couldn’t do that at all, but I can make absolutely professional looking websites using WordPress and that is why we are going to use WP.
Now, if I scroll down here inside this panel down here, there is a tab that is called “software and services” and here there are two services that are interesting, one is called QuickInstall and the other is called fantastico. They are both basically the same thing. I don’t even know why they have both of them in here, but anyway, that is what we are going to be using. The easiest way to find that is to simply go to this, “find” bar here and you start typing in Fantastico and very quickly it shows up down here as with your only option left and you click on “Fantastico Deluxe” to get to that menu.
Inside Fantastico you will see a list of services that you can install very easily through this panel and right at the top here we have WordPress, you click on that and this is what you do to install a new WordPress installation so you click on “WordPress”, then “new installation”. In here you select your domain name and again if you have only registered one domain name it is going to be the only one that is available.
You can install the site in a subdirectory, but we don’t want to do that right now so you leave this blank and then you setup a username which his whatever you want that to be, you set up a password and then you fill out these other fields as well so you set a nickname that can be whatever you want. You set an email address and you give the site a name. In this case it might be “My Awesome Blog” and a description like “It is a blog. It is awesome”. It doesn’t matter since you can change these settings later, by the way.
Once you filled all that out you click on “Install WordPress”. On the next page it will show you the information you set up and ask for confirmation and then you select “finish installation” and it is already done; now you have a new WordPress website setup.
What I recommend you do is that you enter your email address here and click on “send email”, just so you have your login information for reference.
Now your website is already up and running, so if you go to your normal website address which would be myawesomeblog.org, in this case, (by the way: I didn’t actually register this domain, I’m just using this as an example but I installed a demo blog on a different domain just to show you what it looks like) this is what your new site will look like after you have gone through this installation process. As you can see it has a title line entered here and there is some generic content on here already.
The next thing you need to know is to now to start configuring this website, what you want to do is you want to type in “/wp-admin” after your domain URL and then hit enter. This will let you access the WordPress Admin panel after you log in on this screen. It looks like this and now you enter your username and password that you set up and that you got in the email you sent to yourself, you enter that to access your website’s dashboard and this is where you will be able to edit all aspects of your site.
Up here you can see right now there is a notice that tells me there’s a new version of WordPress available and I recommend keeping your WordPress installations up to date. The cool thing is you won’t have to do anything complicated, all you do is you click on the “please update now” link as soon as this message shows up and you click on “update automatically” and it will do everything for you. And the same is true for updating most plugins and themes. We will talk about those in an upcoming video.
One of the great things about WordPress: you can update all of the components without having to go through an installation process again.
Just to give you a quick overview, you will have the post tab over here, where you can add a new post and what this will open up is a simple editor here. You can give your post a title, you can put in any content you want and that is content that will appear on your site. There are also pages that work the same way and we will talk about the difference between the two.
You can moderate your comments when people come in and leave comments on your blog you can unapproved those comments or mark them as spam or delete them or edit them or whatever. You can change the appearance of your website by installing new themes and this is something we will talk about in the next video and this is the fantastic things about WordPress. You can add plugins and plugins as well andthose are part of what makes WordPress so amazing. There are plugins to add all kinds of functions and features to your site and themes that do all kinds of awesome stuff with your website. And this is the stuff that we will look at in the next video in the next bootcamp update. I will show you exactly what kind of plugins I recommend you install where you can get awesome themes for your site and how to do the basic setup for your new website.
For now, if this is the first time you have ever built a website I highly recommend that you just go and create a post or two, just to try it out. Go and create a post and see what happens, do a bit of trial and error with this site and see what happens.
Alright and that is it for today’s SwissMadeMarketing Bootcamp update!
In the next video, we’ll go through the settings and do some preliminare search engine optimization.
If you have any comments or questions, let us know by leaving a comment below!