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posticon Getting Started

Note: This page is for clients who have hired us to build their sites.  We need your domain name and hosting set up before we can begin, so we're asking you to complete a few simple steps: Every Web site needs an address (domain name like mywebsite.com) and a hosting account (a computer on the Internet where your site is stored and served to the public).  In the first two steps you must purchase a domain name and hosting account.  You pay for these by the year, and I feel it is important to use a credit card so they can be automatically renewed.  That helps insure you won't lose your Web site when they expire.

Scroll down to choose your hosting and domain name providers, or CLICK HERE if you just want to do it without having to read all that and make choices.

Typically the domain name and hosting together cost less than $ 100 per year.  The part I do is a one-time charge, although I am always available to make changes or add features if you want me to.  Once I have all this information I can build your site, usually quite quickly.  I do my best to make it as easy for you as 1-2-3.

 step1bttn step2bttn step3bttn

All Web sites need a domain name, a hosting account and the actual content.  One way to look at it is that your domain name is your address, your hosting account is your plot of land, and your content is your house and all it contains.  In steps 1 and 2 below you will purchase your "address" and "plot of land".  Once you do that I will be able to begin "building your house".

You In Control Of Your Web Site
I strongly believe in giving you total control over your Web sites by making sure you have all the log-ins, passwords and so on.  If you decide you don't like me (I don't know why you would!) or if I get hit by a bus I don't want your Web site to be held hostage.  You should have your passwords so you can choose to work with someone else without feeling like it is a hassle, or do work on the site yourself if you know how.  In most cases I will also train you on updating content in your site so you can just do it and not have to wait for a third party Webmaster.  Again, I am available for hire when you want me to do this, but if you want to do it yourself, you should be able to.

posticon Step 1: Get Your Domain Name

Namecheap.com - Cheap domain name registration, renewal and transfers - Free SSL Certificates - Web Hosting

A domain name is the address people type to go to your site. I have used both NameCheap.com and GoDaddy.com for our own domain names.  Currently my domains are all on NameCheap.  They were on GoDaddy, but I have about 30 domain names for my various sites and, as the name says, Namecheap names are cheap.  The interfaces are different, but let's face it - I'll be dealing with this for you once you get your account set up.  Support is good on either service.

Please click on the banner and purchase your domain name for at least one year.  There may be a price advantage in purchasing multiple years if you choose to do so.  Once completed, please e-mail me your account number and password.  I will need this to attach the domain name to your Web site.

Domain names incur an annual recurring cost.  You shouldn't be paying any more than around $15 per year for a dot com address.  Namecheap has the best price at the time of this writing.

Note: Inmotion Hosting offers a free domain name when you choose their hosting service.  I have not personally registered domain names with them, but I do use their hosting service. If you choose to register a domain name with them, skip this step and go to Step 2 (below) and choose "I would like to purchase a new domain" when you get to that step in the purchase process.

posticon Step 2: Get Your Hosting Account

A hosting account is the computer your Web site is stored on. It is specially set up so that people can access your Web site when they type in your domain name.


You sign up for hosting online with your credit card and I recommend that you keep it on file for autorenewal to insure your site is not taken down while waiting for your renewal payments each year.


I recommend inmotion hosting because it offers great features, including SSD drives (Solid State Drives run faster than traditional hard drives, and as a result your site loads faster), a free domain name and free data backups.  In my experience their technical support is second to none.  My business Web sites are hosted on a VPS account there, most likely much more than you will need  Instead, you will probably need one of their three 'Business Account' offerings.  

If you do not have a domain name, inmotion hosting includes one free.  If you used Namecheap or Godaddy be sure to choose the option on either inmotion or Hostgator that says you already own a domain name, and type that in the space provided. 

You get much better prices on if you pay ahead, so decide what you want and make the purchase.  Check the time periods and pricing options and choose the none that works best for you.  I recommend that you purchase at least one year ahead.

Signing up for an Inmotionhosting account:

  • After clicking the Inmotion Hosting banner above,  Click the "Business Hosting" button.  Then choose the plan you want:
  • If you will only need one or two Web site choose the 'Launch' Plan
  • If you will need more than two sites choose the 'Power' Plan
  • They also have a 'Pro Plan' if you think you will have more than six Web sites in the near future.
  • After choosing a plan you will come to a screen with two choices ("I would like to purchase a new domain" and "I already own this domain or will handle the registration separately").  If you have purchased your domain with Namecheap or Godaddy, choose the second one, and don't worry about handling the registration separately -- once you have purchased your domain name I will handle it from there!
  • Check out with your credit card.
  • This company calls you before setting up your account.  Please take that call!
  • When your account is set up, usually within an hour or so, Inmotion will send you and email with your account information, log-in, etc.  Please forward that email to me so I can begin work on your site.
Important: You will want Linux hosting.  Don't forget to forward me the email detailing a lot of technical information to me once you have signed up and paid.   I will need it to get your site onto the Web.

posticon Step 3: Tell Me What you Want On Your Site

In our initial meeting we will discuss what you want your Web site to look like.  If you have logos or other art or photographs, please have them ready.  It is best to have them in digital form, but I can scan art that is 8 1/2 x 11 or smaller.  Based on this information I will create a template that defines the look and feel of your site.

Remember the template is just a start.  I will put your art into it and adjust the look of it to best suit your needs.  It is just a starting point.  Once we have something to look at I will make any changes you need.

Some Web sites have thousands of pages.  Some have only a few.  We will talk about the skeleton of your site -- what pages you need and what menus you want to present.  I may ask you to create an outline.  Most sites have the 'Front Page', an 'About Us' page, and a 'Contact Us' page.  You will probably have ideas about other pages you want on your site.

Think it through -- you want the front page to be sparky, to draw the visitor in and make him or her look at the rest of your site.  It is the one place where marketing is most important.  Don't try to put too much information on it -- focus on a succinct message.

Also, you will be able to have your own email addresses such as This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Let me know what they should be (and a password for each).

After We Meet About Your Site

The next steps should be painless for you. 

  • I build the site.  Once there is enough to look at I forward you an address so you can send me notes on changes you want
  • You send me your "homework": emails or Word or text files containing the text you want to appear on each page, plus pictures you want me to use with notes on where to put them
  • We go back and forth, often in email, until you are happy with the look of the site.  I will make recommendations, but you don't have to take my advice.
  • Once we are done or almost done, I train you on how to log into your site and make text and image changes.

posticon Have Fun

Nothing on the Internet is ever written in stone.  So have fun thinking about what your site will look like.  If you don't like something we can change it.

And don't worry about the homework.  The text you send me doesn't have to be perfect -- it just has to be acceptable.  You can always change it any time you want.  I redo content on my sites all the time -- in fact that's what I am doing now as I type this.

Once I have the pieces I need I can usually get a site up and running within about a week if you are in a hurry, or sometimes two or so.  If your site has more complicated requirements it may take longer.  I can let you know that once we have talked about exactly what you need.  The more complicated the site, of course, the longer it takes.