Are you looking to get started online?
If yes, it’s faster, cheaper, and much easier than ever before.
Sixteen years ago, when I got started in the web business, building a website was difficult. The technology was immature (anyone remember baud modems?) and the pricing was expensive (domain names cost $100 for 2 years).
But things have changed. The costs have become affordable, even cheap, and the technology has gotten a million times better.
Yet, for some reason, both technology and price hold some aspiring Web entrepreneurs back. Not anymore!
Is the Technology Causing Paralysis by Analysis?
I know, I know, you’re probably not a tech person, so when it comes to choosing a web host, CMS, and domain, you often are unsure about your decision and end up doing nothing. It’s a big problem and it’s called paralysis by analysis. The problem is, being successful online is all about doing. So let’s get you doing right now.
You can find inexpensive website hosting now. Good hosting too. If you’re just starting out, a simple $10-20/month plan will be way more than you’ll ever need. Plus, you can always upgrade very easily when you need it.
Personally, I use Liquidweb because they have a nice blogging package you can purchase that comes with a domain name too. [editor’s note – other great, inexpensive web hosts include: VPS.net, Dreamhost, and Hostgator].
Speaking of domain names…
You NEED to have your own domain name. If you’re running a business or creating a personal site, your own domain name, coupled with web hosting, gives you complete control and ownership over your information.
Sure, there are free website services out there, but c’mon, at Godaddy, you can pick up a domain for $7.95 today. If you don’t want to use Godaddy, you can use any registrar, and pay similar prices.
Read my complete, free guide on domain names for more information: Build Your Brand For Less Than The Price of a Pizza.
Tip: If you don’t have your www.yourname.com, why not? You should. If your name is common like “Mike Smith” then, chances are, it’s unavailable. However, consider what David Meerman Scott has done. David wasn’t going to get DavidScott.com, so he branded himself as David “Meerman” Scott. Why can’t you do the same?
WordPress (or any other CMS)
Back in the day, I used to build websites by hand in notepad. It stunk.
Today, I don’t have to do that. Every site I build now is done in WordPress. Why? Because it’s easy to customize, and I can easily tweak my design with theme frameworks like Thesis.
Sure, I can hand code pages if I wanted to, but that takes time. Things like WordPress save time and allow me to focus on marketing my business and brands instead of worrying about coding web pages.
If you don’t like WordPress, there are other free Content Management Systems available, too. Drupal is one, Expression engine is another.
It’s Not That Expensive
The costs to getting started online are negligent and you can’t avoid them, or go cheap on them. Imagine if you built a water slide park. What would be the one thing you need to run your business? Anyone? It’s water. Consider the things I talked about (web hosts, domains, CMSes) the water in your water park… you HAVE to have them.
Your Brand Is On The Line
Perception is reality. If your website won’t load because you have horrible hosting, you’ll look bad and lose customers [read all about that in the Nonverbal Website Intelligence report].
When your website is ugly and outdated, you look bad. Today, with theme frameworks and WordPress skins, it’s easy and inexpensive to run an awesome looking website.
When people can’t find your website because you don’t have a domain name that is memorable, you look bad. Sure, there are free web hosting services, but adding things like .blogspot to your domain name makes it harder to remember.
The question is, what are you waiting for? Get out there and spend a little bit of money and start doing!