Small businesses are being born daily across the US. Most of these businesses seek a web presence, an interface to showcase their business and a means to communicate with clients. However, some small business owners are not proficient in website setup and configuration. That is where this page comes into play. I have created this as a means to help the small business owner set up a basic site capable of showcasing a picture gallery, embedding YouTube video, and offering a Contact Us page for approximately $25.00 annually ($12.00 for the domain name and $13.00 to map the wordpress.com site to your domain name). If you are looking for a website with more robust function, such as an online store, configuration of that site is more complex and cost will increase dramatically, depending on who you select to develop your site and the features you choose for that site. If you would like a copy of this page to print, scroll to the link at the bottom of this page.
ACQUIRING A DOMAIN NAME (YOURBUSINESSNAME.COM)
To create a website, you first need a name for your site, that is professional, that is minimal in character length, and that clients will remember easily. It should reflect the name of your business.
To begin, go to the GoDaddy site and create a free account by clicking the “Sign In” link in the upper right side of their page. The next screen will ask for personal information. Once you have completed the form, click the button at the bottom of that page. Make sure to retain records of your username and password for later use.
The next page will present a pop-up window displaying a lady with a laptop and the caption “Hi” in the upper left. Click the X in the upper right of that window. You should now see a screen similar to the image above. We will find and purchase our site name without assistance of the pop-up window you just closed. The window you just closed is primarily used as an attempt for GoDaddy to sell you other products. We do not want that if we plan to remain near the $25.00 annual budget. Click the green “Manage” button in the center right of the screen.
The next screen allows you to search for available names. The most common website names end in .com. Type your preferred domain name in the search field. Search results will tell you if your requested domain name is available. If the name is not available, try another search, modifying the name.
If your search is successful, you should see a screen similar to the above. Click the green “Select” button as shown above. A confirmation checkmark should replace the button you just clicked. Click the orange “Continue To Cart” button above the checkmark.
You will continue to click the orange “Continue To Cart” button until you arrive at a screen as pictured above. There are 2 critical points to this screen: 1) you want the info to remain public. It simply allows others to see who owns the domain name you are purchasing. If they are intent on purchasing that name, they may offer you satisfactory compensation to purchase the domain name from you. 2) Unless you want to pay in advance for several years to come, select the drop-down box and change “5 years” to “1 year”. Once you select 1 year, the screen will refresh and the $41.85 charge will update to approximately $12.17. Click the orange “Proceed to Checkout” button. From this point forward, you are going to submit billing and payment information to secure your purchase. Once you have completed those steps, you should receive a confirmation window as well as a confirmation email from GoDaddy.
CREATING A WORDPRESS.COM SITE
After you have purchased your domain name with GoDaddy, the next step in building your site is to create a free account at WordPress. A snapshot of the main page is displayed below.
In order to get domain name you previously purchased to work, you need a website where it will be attached. Go to WordPress and click the “Create Website” button in the center of the screen on the WordPress site.
The next 2 screens will ask you the category of your site. These screens are not critical to functionality of your site, but it is best to pick the closest association to what you are trying to achieve. By answering honestly, your site will be indexed according to the category. Simply put, it will make it easier for WordPress users to perform a category search and see your site in the results.
After selecting your category, the next screen is template selection. It is not critical which template you choose, since you can change the looks later. However, if you see a design you like, select it. You may find it to be desired look after configuration is complete.
The next screen determines your website address on WordPress. Although this address is not what will bring customers to your site, if you choose to terminate domain renewal with GoDaddy, this will be the new address to your site. My suggestion is to type your business name (no spaces or dashes) in the search window to see if the domain is available. It should be the same name you purchased with GoDaddy, leaving off the .com on the end. The format of this domain will be similar to the following format: http://yourbusinessname.wordpress.com.
If your search is successful, you will see the above screen. Notice below the search window how the domain name is free with the .wordpress.com extension on the end. We want to shorten that to a more professional name that only has the .com at the end. Scroll down to the bottom of that page.
At the bottom of the page is a “Map It” button that will turn yoursite.wordpress.com into yoursite.com, using the previous domain name that you purchased at GoDaddy. Click the “Map It” button. From this point forward, WordPress will most likely ask information regarding your billing and payment, new account info to be created on WordPress, and possibly settings to get your new site and your new domain name to communicate with each other. It has been several years since I have performed this function and WordPress has changed their site since that time, so the process from this point is unfamiliar. If you have any questions regarding setup go to my Contact page and I will respond as soon as I am available. Thanks for dropping by.