1. Am I A Match?
The first step is to think about what you’re looking for and if I’m a good match for your needs. I set up sites like the samples on the home page of this site. I can help you figure out if I’m a match if you don’t know after reading about what I do and don’t do, or if you don’t want to take the time to read it 🙂
I do these things:
- Help with brainstorming domain names
- Domain registration
- Design and creation of websites in WordPress
- Set up of custom email address(es) based on your domain that you can access through your regular email account
- Write or edit copy for sites
- Edit pre-existing WordPress sites
- Host websites on my server space at SiteGround
- Give clients access to their sites so they can make changes once a site is created
- I can also make changes for an hourly rate
- If I don’t do what you need, I can help you define the scope of your project and help you find people who can help.
I do not do these things:
- E-commerce – I don’t set up online stores, track online inventory, or work on already-created websites.
- Marketing. I do not do SEO work. SEO is Search Engine Optimization and it is the art of getting you to show up in Google Searches. For example, if you’re starting a new pizzeria and you want it to show up when people type in “pizza in Louden county,” that’s something for a professional marketer to work on.
- Graphic design. I use Photoshop and can do color work, typography and some image work, but if you need a logo designed, for example, I’m not the right person for that. I do know graphic designers I can refer you to.
1. Domain Registration
The first step in creating a website is to pick and register a domain. The domain is the address of your spot on the internet. This is the .com part of a web address. It’s a like a phone number – people use it to find your site. People often talk about “buying a domain,” but you don’t actually buy it, your register it for an annual fee. There are different places where you can do this, and it is something I can do for you, but best practices would have you register your own domain so that if something happens to your web designer, you will retain control of it.
I use Google Domains for domain registration. They charge $12 a year, which is about as good as it gets, and since most people have a Google account, it becomes part of your Google world and it won’t get lost. Google Domains allows you to register domains of all different types. There are hundreds available now. You can get .dog or .gifts or .company. Some are more expensive than others.
It’s easy to go crazy picking a name. There are so many options. One thing to remember is that most people are now finding websites by searching, rather than typing in the actual name. So, you don’t have to have the perfect name. Here are some things to think about:
- Keep it short. I think my domain name “intentiondesigns.com” is really too long, but it’s two words and it’s easy to say, so I went with it.
- Avoid using dashes and other punctuation to get around the fact that every single domain name in the world is taken. For example, if catclothes.com is taken, cat-clothes.com is a pretty good alternative. But, cat-clothes-by-jen.com is not. Say the domain out loud because you’ll be doing that and you shouldn’t have to spell it out or “explain” the domain to people.
- There’s no difference between capitals and lower case letters in web addresses. IntentionDesigns.com is the same as intentiondesigns.com. For printed materials, the capitals can help.
- Make sure that the words in your domain don’t spell different things when they are together. This can be a serious, non-funny issue, so look your domain name over carefully before choosing. I do a lot of sites for therapists and you really can’t use the word therapist in a domain name because of how it can be read when blended with other words, for example, bobsmiththerapist.com.
Here’s an article from Forbes about picking a domain name.
If you’re coming to this process with a domain in place, that’s fine. You can leave it where it is or transfer it to Google Domains from the front page of the site. The link to transfer is right under the box where you type in a domain to see if it’s available.