Included below is information you need as a current client in order to select different services or set up different aspects of your website prior to the commencement of the design process.  Please note this post includes some affiliate links for products we use.  Let us know if you have any questions!

Domain Name

Domain names can be purchased from many different websites and prices can vary.  A couple of the most popular options are Register, Cheap Domain Names and Name Cheap.

You can check to see if your desired domain is available and also purchase it there.  You will generally not need to purchase any of the additional add ons, just choose the desired length of purchase (generally the more time you purchase up from the deeper the discount).  Keep in mind that you will need to keep your renewals current to keep ownership of this domain.

Website Hosting

Your website needs a place to live on the internet.  Hosting services provide a home for your website and they handle the traffic and storage needs.

There are hundreds of options, so feel free to pick any that you feel comfortable with, just make sure that they service WordPress.  There are a few that we generally recommend avoiding, so if you have any questions be sure to contact us before setting this up.  Again, you can choose the length of your contract when signing up, and a longer time usually means a bigger discount.

A few of our favorite hosting services:

BigScoots – great option for fast hosting with great customer service. The shared hosting plan at $5.95 per month is great for new websites.

**PLEASE NOTE** When you click this link it will take you to the shared hosting, which you may need if you have established traffic to your site currently.  If you are starting a new site or don’t have significant traffic, please go to the top and click Managed Web Hosting / Shared for additional plans.

Siteground – for new websites the Start Up Shared Hosting Plan for $3.95 per month is generally a good option

**If we are assisting you with an existing site, please discuss hosting plans with us prior to purchasing**

E-Mail Marketing Software

Creating an email list is a critical part of an online business.  This will allow you to capture readers and leads, send out newsletters, RSS feeds, special offers and more.  Again there are many options of companies that provide this service and we are happy to discuss them with you.

Here are the two that we typically recommend:

MailerLite – up to 1,000 subscribers free and a great beginner platform
ConvertKit – much more expensive but tons of functionality. It depends on how aggressive you want to be with growing your email, but switching to this later is a fairly simple process.
*Please note that to be compliant with Federal laws, you must include a mailing address when sending out emails.  For this reason, we strongly recommend you set up a small P.O. Box so that you do not have to use your home address when sending out emails.  *

Color and Logo

Need some of your own color inspiration? We love the site, Design Seeds, for color pallet ideas!

Designing a logo can be as simple as something you do yourself in Photoshop if you are the creative type all the way to getting a fully loaded branding package.  This is a very personal choice and also comes down to your budget and business goals.  You can find logo templates on Etsy or budget logo designers on Fivrr.

If you would like to work with a logo designer and would like a recommendation of someone to reach out to, here are a few designers we’ve worked with.  We recommend talking with them and asking questions to see if they are a good fit.  If you choose to work with one of these designers, please let them know we referred you!

Batista Graphic Design

Birch and Ink

Grace and Vine Studios

Plug-ins

Plug-in are a necessary component of customizing a WordPress site.  They add function and design and are generally what makes your website user friendly.  We use many free plug-ins to set up your site but there a couple of plug-ins that you will need to purchase.

Social Pug – this is to optimize social sharing on your site

WP Recipe Maker – optimized plug-in for recipe data (only if you are planning to include recipes on your site).  We recommend the Pro Bundle.

Photography

Having professional headshots or a branding session will give your website a more polished look and also get you started with content to share on social media.  We recommend you set this up as soon as possible as it can take some time depending on the photographer you use and we will need the photos in order to set up your site.  If you are choosing to use stock or other photos, contact us to discuss.

Legal and Financial Matters

Now is also a good time to reach out to an accountant or attorney to go over any questions you have in relation to setting up your business.  While we can not advise on any of these matters, we are happy to answer questions you might have related to this process.