This article is a good place to start if you’re unfamiliar with how hosting, websites, and the internet basically work.
Most of his article is based off a conversation I had with a mentee in a Mentorship Program and Group for Entreprenuers, Investors, Coders / Developers, and is structured in a student/teacher narrative.
1. Deciding on a CMS The first step is deciding on a CMS (content management software or system).
Most people use WordPress for this.
It helps and prevents people from hard coding the websites by being “drag-and-drop” friendly, so to speak.
This both has its advantages and disadvantages vs. hard coding, the major advantage being many other marketers and developers can easily work on this platform.
Now, before we decide if we are going to use WordPress, we need to decide how are going to need a “web host” for this… For example, a lot of people just use GoDaddy’s WordPress website deployment, or something similar.
2. Deciding Where to Host.
Ok, now, here’s the thing about GoDaddy: their hosting and WordPress websites are very easy to deploy. By deploy I mean setup on a server (cloud, which is just a computer server to begin with).
Downside? GoDaddy and these other builders are painfully slow,* and you can’t access the server directly; which means you are very limited on how you can further build your site with other additions (programs/apps/plugins/APIs/web-hooks and so forth).
*As in slow server. Slow page load, which means slow loading while you work on it too. (It’s not make you click back slow, it’s just not optimal by any means.) Because WordPress is hosted on a server, you can only work as fast as the server will allow you.
“Ok, so which one do you suggest?”
Well, I suggest GoDaddy and similar for Local Business and other smaller use cases.
I use AWS (Amazon Web Services) on sites with high usage, like Love The Network, and this site (mainly because we don’t want the public thinking we’re newbs hosting on GoDaddy, and yes you can find out where a site is hosted and by who).
I should note there are also other Cloud Hosting Platforms like Google, Microsoft Azure, and even a new company that is about the IPO this fall.
These cloud hosts allow you to pick and build your own servers, allowing for full customization. It ends up being extra beneficial with things like email, where you can create unlimited accounts and you’re only billed for your storage, vs. GoDaddy at $5/month per email@example.com account.
They also have basic cloud storage, and as you get into sending emails and using your own CRM (Customer Relations Manager), they offer email sending services. They also offer messenger and chat bot programming. And are continuously coming out with other new services. The sky is the limit really, as far as what you can digitally build!
“Ok, so I think for my case I would want to use AWS right?”
The downside to AWS is the work that is involved to ‘deploy’ or setup a WordPress website on these cloud hosts is much more work, which is why I still use GoDaddy for local customers and smaller use businesses.
– I will use a GoDaddy site or something similar until 1-2 years after a client initially launches, until their traffic becomes heavy and really slows down the speed, or they look to add their own custom-built CRM. (Why is this beneficial?) —–→ Because you do not have to pay a service like Constant Contact $45+ a month with limits on how many contacts you can add. It really allows you to customize your Customer’s Marketing Journey.
(Amazon charges fees for use of email sending and server, but they are generally a lot less).
A word of caution if you are thinking about GoDaddy for less than a year and transferring: it is not a fun or easy process. Many of the settings override when exporting the site and importing them into AWS, prompting lots of manual server work.
I have done two transfers, one here on this page and one with Love The Network.
“I know that you are a computer, technical genius. So, it’s best to go with AWS? I know that some of these sites do not like to let you keep your domain name either.”
Actually, I’m really not. I am continuously learning. I have some basics I learned as a teenager, but I didn’t study this in college. I worked construction for over a decade before I got back into it again.
“You know your stuff though.”
I am all self-taught, and not having a teacher or someone to ask questions that can be answered easier than by asking Google is tough, especially when trying to connect certain dots, or learn basic functionalities of programs.
I’m actually looking for a coding mentor, to help me solve some unique challenges for our app and some integrations I’d like to make.
Coding these days is a across hundreds of platforms, essentially that all follow similar guidelines. And don’t make any typos in it! It won’t forgive you like humans!
3. What is the importance of coding?
Well, that’s where WordPress is nice again because of their easy to use features, but I tell you it’s good to know some of the basics.
3a. Internet Color Code Selection Works.
“I see it. So, coding assigns you a number and color so nobody else can copy it? Am I understanding correctly?”
Not exactly no, anyone can use any color, those numbers are what are used to identify the colors on a webpage or app.
Sometimes there are situations where you want a link or a button to open to an email, or initiate your phone to dial a number.
Those numbers are used to identify the colors on a webpage or app.
Telling the background of our messages to be blue on Facebook, the font color, every color essentially available to computers is identified by that these days.
3b. Links and URLS!
What’s a URL? It is the line in your web browser which points to a webpage or webapp, just like this one! https://www.websitename.com is a URL.
Generally speaking, you use what’s called an Anchor to represent a link with this HTML tag Awesome Website. That tells it to be clickable, however with lots of editors you will just need to highlight the text or click a Linking Button and enter the URL. When you put a link in, you know how to do it correctly.
There is also a difference between entering https, and http. Knowing the difference is important, but more on that during our deployment of a WordPress website on AWS.
Some Link Tricks to prompt a smart phone or computer to send an email or open the phone app with a number preset.
Now, I want to have a clicked link send an email. Well, because I know a little bit of coding, I know using “mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org” in place of the URL will prompt the phone or computer to open its email app with our email pre-filled. Want to add a subject line? Use this: “mailto:email@example.com?subject=This Email is Awesome!”
“Ok, I understand now. So, you can assign colors and links yourself?”
Yep, you can assign the colors and the links/emails yourself to literally anything. Whether they work, go to where you want, etc., well that is a different story.
You may be wondering how to do or learn specific things in WordPress, or any other software, website, code etc.. I just want to remind you Google and YouTube are still good resources for this, and be sure to check the content’s date for recent material!
It may be frustrating to watch videos or take time to find answers, but they’re out there.
4. Deploying Your WordPress with AWS.
“Ok, so I will check out AWS and try to set everything up that way. With the landing page, would WordPress be the best to use?”
Listen, AWS WordPress server deployment is hard. Its ‘dashboard/user administration panel’ is beyond confusing to even know where to start. If you google ‘how to install a WordPress website on AWS’ you may end up installing a LightSail version that is way bigger and scale-able than you need to start, that ends up costing you a couple hundred dollars a month vs. running a small or med EC2 server for $10-$20, at most!
But with a little guidance it is not that hard to learn. I just don’t want you diving in headfirst getting discouraged!
However, I do want you to create your own AWS account to start. Why don’t you work on that first, and then we will pick up on deploying a WordPress server afterwards.
There is one more requirement you will need in addition to the AWS account for the next step, and that is a domain name.
5. Selection a Domain Name and Initial Branding Tips!
– If you haven’t put thought into this yet and how it will pair up with your business name and/or brand, now’s a good time.
“I’m still thinking about it. I have a few names I’ve written down. I am going to get back with you on the name.”
The best way to do decide?
Write down as many as you can. Show them to people like me, or share them in Facebook Entrepreneur Groups, and have other capable people help you decide. This is how we picked Love The Network.
It is how Netflix was chosen (well not using FB Groups). They came up with around 10-12 names and crossed 5-7 off the first day. They slept on it, and all came in agreeing with Netflix the next day.
Also remember, the first name you choose, doesn’t have to be the name you keep forever. We branded from entertainmeguys.com to lovethenetwork.com (changed our concept too).
Even if your concept is solid, a name change is nothing if it comes down to it.
A good place and tool to check and use is GoDaddy’s Domain Search. After you start searching for a while it will suggest others similar names available.
Don’t register the ones you like. We will end up doing that through AWS, but it will help you see what is available. (You can Register them through GoDaddy and change the Name Servers to point to AWS, but I prefer to avoid this, if possible)
6. The Next Steps.
After we setup AWS, and have a domain selected, we’ll go over how to navigate the AWS Dashboard, more specifically how to register a domain, setup a WordPress site, and how to create other access users to your account. I think at this point it’ll be best we block off an hour of our time and do a Zoom, where we can share screens back and forth.
I didn’t want to go too far off subject, but blogging is where you use Keywords to increase your SEO (search engine optimization) on Google. This is an important for increasing your Organic Traffic!! – More to Follow!
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