The Simple Steps To Setting Up Online

I had a Skype conversation this week that has inspired todays post.

I had assumed that everybody knew how to setup and establish a website for their online business.

I guess because I have been doing this for years, and it is easy for me, that it was the same for others.

…I was wrong

Lesson #1: NEVER ASSUME…

I had forgotten lesson #1…

So with that in mind I set out to list the 6 most basic steps you need to take in order to get yourself setup online.

In the following steps I also recommend you go the premium route rather than the free services.

I feel it is always best to go with the paid route as with the free services, you never actually own or fully control them. Whereas with paying for the services gives you more flexibility, customisation and additional options.

Plus you do not have the threat of someone closing or banning your account.

So where you can, use premium options. They are not as expensive as you might think!

Domain Name

At the end of the day your business needs an address online. This is the address where people find you online. For me it is

To get your own domain name you will need to register this and pay for it. I personally use a service called Namecheap, and can tell you I have been with them for years. I love their simple secure service.

Simply go there, search for a domain and if it is available purchase this and you now own the domain name registration for the next year (or more).

The Cost: Typical domain name registration costs $10 per year

Once you have your domain name in place, you can then point this address or domain name towards your hosting.

Simple to do with Namecheap.

Web hosting

You are going to need web hosting if you want to have a website online. In it’s simplest of terms, it is where all of your files and content are stored online.

I understand they do offer more scripts and functionality, but you need somewhere on the internet to store all of those pages, files, images and content you have created for your business.

I recommend you also seek out web hosting that has a Cpanel (control panel) and will allow you to install WordPress as this is what we are going to be using.

The Cost: Typical web hosting can be as low as $5 (or less) per month


WordPress is a content management system that I recommend you use within your business. If you have selected the correct hosting, then installing WordPress is a simple 2 minute installation.

The installation wizard will step you through the setup and within a few minutes you will have WordPress installed on your hosting.

What is WordPress?

This is a CMS or Content Management System that will enable you to manage your content, it allows you to create posts (like this) or separate pages.

Typically the posts are part of a blog (like this one) and the pages are separate pages, but still within the same installation. My Podcast is on a separate page here:

The Cost: WordPress is a Free install.

Customisation of WordPress pages and posts.

If you consider that WordPress is the content management system (CMS) and this is a framework that will support most external covers, then you will understand the idea of a WordPress Theme.

Typically a Theme is a new skin or new clothes put on over the framework.

It changes the look and feel.

it can look totally different

but essentially the framework below has not changed.

This is what WordPress themes are.

They allow you to create a different look or feel on your website. They give you additional customisation options.

I use themes and page builders all the time. The theme I am currently using to skin this website is OptimizePress. The beauty of themes is I can also change the look of my site by changing out my WordPress Theme in a few minutes it can look completely different.

A side note: I also use a fantastic page builder called Thrive Architect. This is not a typical theme as it does not have the blog element and more of a page builder plugin.

This allows me even more functionality. It is for building many different styles of funnel pages including:

  • Lead Generation
  • Webinar registration pages
  • Webinar delivery pages
  • Thank you
  • Sales Pages
  • Download Pages
  • Plus any style of page I wish to create with total drag and drop functionality.

This is at a premium, but one I highly recommend you consider this if you wish to build any of the above pages for your business..

An Email marketing service

If you are conduction any form of business, then you are going to want to follow up with your customers, leads and prospects.

You can of course do this manually if you only have a small amount of people.

Imagine needing to send the same email to 1000+ people

Or having 1000+ people at different stages within your business

Or delivering the access information or invoice manually to all sales

How do you manage this?

This is where your email marketing service comes in. You are then able to automate many of the tasks to ensure your business runs smoothly.

The services you can look into are:

  • Aweber
  • Get Response
  • Active Campaign
  • Infusionsoft
  • Constant Contact
  • Mailchimp

The Cost: Prices will vary from service to service and also upon numbers of customers you wish to store within your database. Likewise some offer different or additional functionality that you may wish to have, but they can also charge more for this.

My advice is to research and find one that fits your needs and budget.

External Plugins

Adding external plugins will power up your WordPress installation. Essentially plugins are bolt on elements of code that offer functionality and integrate with WordPress.

They are also typically from external providers and not always from the creators of WordPress.

Some plugins I use and recommend are:

All in one SEO – I use this plugin to set and define my titles and descriptions for the search engines. This is for SEO purposes and simple to do when I create a new page or post. (Cost: free)

Contact form 7 – This is what I use for my contact form. If you go to my contact form here, you have the option to leave me a message that is delivered directly to me. (Cost: free)

Google xml sitemaps – I use this for the search engines spiders when they crawl and index my site. this builds a map that they can understand and navigate deep into my site (Cost: free)

Pretty links – I use this to my easy to remember URLS that I tell people to visit. It then will redirect them to the address that I meant for them to go to, but the address was long and hard to remember, so I created a shortened or pretty address for them to remember. I use this every week within my Podcast.

You can also use this plugin for affiliate links or redirects off site. I could create one that is ‘’ and set this to go via my affiliate link to an offer. It makes it pretty and easy to remember. (Cost: free or premium)

Google Docs

We all create content, brainstorm and need somewhere to create or write our content. You can of course keep this on your PC/Mac at home. But that means you then need to have the relevant software. It also means you may only be able to access it from that one PC.

My reason for recommending Google Docs is that it saves you from purchasing external software to create documents, presentations or spreadsheets.

It also is online and stored within the cloud. Meaning you can access this when on the go, or from a different location.

Get the Accounts you require

This is simple. You are wanting to conduct business. Then you are going to need relevant accounts. They will vary from one business model to another, but here are a few essential accounts you may need to create.

  • Paypal
  • Amazon
  • Facebook
  • Instagram

Affiliate marketing accounts:

  • JVZoo
  • Clickbank
  • Warriorplus

The Simple Steps To Setting Up Online

If you follow my steps above, and are at this stage, then it is now up to you to explore, learn and grow your business. I would love to hear any questions or feedback you have, if you have any at all, then leave your comments below and I will get back to you.

About The Author


Chris Cole is passionate about online technology, video and audio. He is from Northern Ireland and has been working online since 2009. He likes to write about his marketing journey online and is also a lover of all thing Video and Podcast related. Follow Chris' journey and while you're here - Watch out for the new Broadcast Geeks Podcast that is coming soon. If you like this site, then why not come and join Chris over inside the Broadcast Geeks Facebook Group (Click Here)

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