Posted on October 30, 2012
Having your own website is cool.
Being able to send emails to your friends from firstname.lastname@example.org is even cooler.
(My favourite email address is MyFirstName@MyLastName.com. If you’re lucky to have an unusual last name, you can register this and set it up).
It’s far easier to set up than you realise. All you need to do is follow a few simple steps.
I’ll show you what those are below as well as showing you how you can access your email once it’s all set up.
Creating Your Email Address
1. Log into your cPanel
This will be at http://www.yourwebsite.com:2082 and your host will have provided you details when you set up your account.
Scroll down to the section called ‘Mail’ and click on the envelope looking icon called ‘email accounts’. This will take you into the section where you can add and delete email address for your domain.
Once the page loads, you’ll see three boxes sitting in front of you: Email, Password, and password.
In the email box, enter the name you’d like for your email. I’m sure you can work out what you need to do with the password section.
The mailbox quota is how much storage space you want to associate with your email account. I always set mine to unlimited but you can choose what you think is best.
After that, all you need to do is click on ‘create account’ and you’re away!
Accessing Your Emails
There’s no point in having a cool email address without being able to access the emails sent to you or reply to them. There are many different ways you can do this but the easiest and most convenient is running it through a Gmail account.
Here’s how you set it up:
If you don’t have a Gmail account already, register one. It’s very simple and very easy. You just need to do to http://mail.google.com, click on the large ‘Create an account’ in the top, right hand corner, and follow the directions
Log into your Gmail account. In the top, right hand corner, you should see a symbol that looks like a cog. Next to it is an arrow pointing down, click on it and scroll down to ‘settings’.
You’ll be taken to a setting page with a lot of details on it. In the menu bar, there will be a tab labelled ‘accounts’. Click on it.
3. POP time
There are two different kinds of email accounts you can set up: POP3 and IMAP.
POP3 downloads all your emails from your server and then erases them from your server meaning you don’t run out of room.
IMAP downloads all your emails from your server but leaves a copy there meaning that it’s easy to run out of space and you have to go back and delete old emails when you do.
I’m much more in favour of POP3 so we’re going to focus on that.
Scroll down to ‘Check mail using POP3′ and click on ‘Add a POP3 email account you own’
4. Details, details, details
Enter the email address email@example.com then click on ‘Next Step’.
Enter the password that you entered when you set up your email account in the section above.
If it doesn’t work, one or two of the settings may be off. Make sure the setting match the settings below.
Mail Server Username: yourname+yourwebsite.com
Incoming Mail Server: mail.yourwebsite.com
Outgoing Mail Server: mail.yourwebsite.com (server requires authentication) port 26
Supported Outgoing Mail Protocols: SMTP, SMTPS (SSL/TLS)
All those settings will make sure you can receive emails through your Gmail but not that you can send them. This is how you set that up.
In the ‘Accounts’ tab of the ‘Settings’ (where you set up the ability to send emails), there is a section labelled as ‘send mail as’. Click on ‘Add another email address you own’
Enter the email address firstname.lastname@example.org then click on select ‘Send through Gmail’. A small box will pop up. Click on ‘Send verification’.
Go to your email account and wait for a notification email from Gmail. When it arrives, click on the verification link and you’re ready to go!
And you’re done!
You now have a fully functioning email address that allows you to both send and receive emails.
Posted on July 30, 2012
When I first started buy domain names, I made a few BIG mistakes that cost me quite a bit of money (in the $x,xxx range). So, to help you learn from my mistakes rather than having to learn from your own, here are the 4 things I wish I’d known before I started buying domain names:
#1 Your TLD (.com, .org) matters
Try as hard as you can to get a .com. If one simply isn’t available, even with all the variations you can make to a domain name, go for a .net or .org. Don’t go be tempted by a .info or .biz. Your website will just end up looking cheap.
The TLD also has an effect on how easy it is for people to find you. Most people will automatically type .com into their search browser so if you don’t have it, people looking for you could end up on your competitors site.
#2 Memorable is better than meaningful
Meaningful names that accurately describe what your website does and how it functions are great. I chose one for this site and I’m sure that it made it easier for you to find it. But the easiest way to get people to remember your website name is to make it clever.
A clever website name sticks in someones mind far easier than a meaningful one.
A couple that I have registered are:
As you can tell, a great way to do this is to combine two words together to create a new word. It’s got a much higher chance of being available and it’s much easier to remember.
#3 Keep it simple
A clever and memorable name is great but if you can’t say it to someone and have them know how to spell it intuitively, they’re going to have trouble finding it.
I could have chosen a bunch of different names for this site but, do you think anyone is going to guess no-one is going to guess http://www.howtomakeawebsyte.com or http://www.how2makeawebsight.com?
So make sure you choose a name that you can say to someone and have them work out how to spell it pretty easily.
#4 No-one remembers the hyphen
Just in the same way you’ll lose traffic if people can’t spell your domain name and if you use a cheap TLD, you’re also going to lose traffic is you include a hyphen in your name.
Why? Because no-one will remember to enter it into their browser when they type your domain name in. They’ll just type it without the hyphen and then land on your competitors site.
Stick to the hyphen free, .com’s, and you’ll earn yourself an extra 20% – 40% traffic every year.
Posted on July 28, 2012
Now you’ve got your domain name and website hosting, it’s time to start adding articles, videos, and pictures.
For that, you’re going to install WordPress.
Wordpress is a Content Management System (CMS). That’s a fancy was of saying it’s a program that lets you manage your articles, videos, and pictures, without knowing how to program a website.
This allows you to build your first website without spend thousands of hours memorising Java, HTML, or CSS so you can devote that time to making an incredible website.
Here are the 5 steps you need to follow to install WordPress:
#1. Go to Your Website Control Panel
Your website control panel (or cPanel as it’s more commonly referred to) is the page that allows you to manage the ‘backend’ (the part of your website that no-one sees. Think of it like a car motor) of your website.
All you need to do is go to http://www.YourWebsiteName.com:2082
Obviously, you need to replace ‘YourWebsiteName.com’ with your website name and TLD then just add :2082 to the end.
If I was trying to get into this websites control panel, I would go to http://www.howtomakeabrandnewwebsite.com:2082
#2. Enter Your Login Details
These details will have been provided to you by website host when you signed up. If you can’t find them, just log onto your webhosts website and get them from their technical support.
#3. Click on Fantastico De Luxe
Scroll down till you reach the ‘Software / Services’ section and click on Fantastico De Luxe. This is the program you’re going to use to install WordPress.
#4. Select New installation
When you enter Fantastico De Luxe, you’ll have the option to install many different CMS’s. Select WordPress and click on ‘New Installation’
#5. Enter Your Username and Password
You’ll arrive on a screen with lots of different fields to fill out. If this is your first website and first WordPress installation, you can leave all of them blank except for two: Username and Password.
Obviously, choose something memorable because these are the details you’ll need to login to your website and start writing articles.
Once that’s done, just click on ‘Install WordPress’ and follow the simple instructions to complete your installation!
You’ve just installed WordPress onto your website. You can see the results of your hard work by visiting your domain name.
If you want to start fiddling around in the Dashboard (this is what the WordPress management area of your site is called), all you need to do is head to http://www.YourDomainName.com/wp-admin (obviously replacing ‘YourDomainName.com’ with your actual domain name) an enter the username and password you just entered.
If you’re ready to start making your website look beautiful, check out our WordPress Design Guide.
And don’t worry, you don’t need to know any programming to make a beautiful looking website.
Check it out now: The Best WordPress Themes For New Websites
Posted on July 28, 2012
Getting a domain name is very important. But just because you have a domain name, doesn’t mean you can start your new website.
You still need to get storage space to store everything you want to put on your website. This is called hosting.
Here are the 4 steps you need to follow to get the best website hosting for brand new sites.
#1 Go to HostGator.com
HostGator are the hosting company that I use for all my websites.
Here are the 5 reasons I host my sites with them:
a.99.9% uptime guarantee
From time to time, your website might not be accessible because your hosting if offline. This is normal and just part of life when running oyur own website. The great thing about Host Gator is they guarantee that your website will be up and running 99.9% of the time. That’s as high as anyone in the industry.
b. 24 hour a day, 7 day a week, 365 day of the year customer support
If you ever need to know what’s going on, why your website is down, or just have a general question, you can contact thier support team by phone, live chat, or email, whenever you want. If you want to know the uptime ratio of your site at 4am on Christmas day, someone will be there to answer your questions.
c. Super fast customer service response time
There’s no point in having 24/7/365 support if you take 2 hours to respond. In the 2 years and 30 odd customer service requests I’ve made, I’ve never waited more than 3 minutes to talk to a customer service representative.
Because they’re one of the largest hosting providers in the world and have their own data centers all over the world, they can afford to give you the best prices possible. With unlimited plans starting at less that $4 / month, you can’t go wrong.
e. Discount coupons
Not only can you get your hosting for less than $4 / month, you can also save money on your first invoice. Just scroll down to the bottom of the host Gator page and click on the link in the footer that says ‘Hostgator Coupons’. It’s at the top of the second row from the right.
#2 Choose Your Website Hosting Package
Once you’ve landed on Host Gator, it’s time to choose the package that best suits your needs.
If you’re just going to host one domain, start with the Hatchling Plan. It’ll give you enough space to be able to upload all your photo’s, articles, and movies whilst not having to worry about running out of storage space of bandwidth.
If you plan on hosting more than one domain, sign up for the Baby Plan. It’ll allow you to put as many websites up as you want in the future whilst still having all the space you need to store all your information.
If you’re unsure whether you’re going to stick with one site or add more in the future, I recommend the Baby Plan because once you see how easy it is to build you own website, you’re bound to start adding more.
How long should you get your hosting for? Well, only you can say. But with long term hosting being almost half the price of month-by-month, I know which one I would choose. Also, if you get longer hosting, it’s going to make you more committed to making your first website.
#3 Follow the Simple Website Hosting Registration Steps
Now that you know what you want
a. Enter your domain name
Enter the domain name you just registered at GoDaddy under the ‘I currently have a domain name’ heading.
b. Enter billing information
I don’t think I need to explain this one to you…
#4 Set Your Nameservers
Now that you have your domain name and hosting, you need to link them together. The way you do this is through ‘Name Servers’. These are simple website URL’s that join your hosting with your domain name.
When you sign up for your hosting, you’ll be sent an email with your name servers. They’ll typically look something like: http://some-code.some-obscure-doman-name.com and there will be at least 2 of them.
Keep these aside for a second and follow these steps:
a. Log into your domain name account
This is the account you set up wen you registered your domain name. GoDaddy will have emailed you your login details.
b. Access your domain
Once inside your account, click on ‘Domains’ and then click the ‘launch’ button that appears opposite your domain name.
c. Select ‘Set Nameservers’
This is a small button in the middle of the page, under the heading ‘Nameservers’
d. Enter the nameservers
First of all, select the box ‘I have specific nameservers for my domains’. Then go back to your hosting account and find your name servers and enter them into the first two fields provided (in red below).
You’ve just set up your website hosting and you’ve linked your domain name to your name servers. Now, any time someone tries to visit your site, your domain registrar (GoDaddy) will know exactly where to point them to find the information they want.
Now, it’s onto the next step: Install WordPress on your new website
Posted on July 14, 2012
Getting your first domain name is simple.
Here are the 4 steps you need to follow to take the first step in making your first website: getting a domain name.
#1. Go to GoDaddy.com
Godaddy makes it the simplest and easiest to select a domain name with their domain name search features so if you have trouble getting the right name for you, they’re the best to use.
#2. Enter the domain name you want
It’s nice and easy, right on the front page.
Leave it set as .com for now because these are the most recognizable domain names
#3. Buy it if it’s available
If you get the big, green light to go ahead, click on ‘add’ and you’re away.
#4. If it’s not available, look for alternatives
If you end up with the dreaded (and not all that uncommon) ‘…is already taken’ then the best piece of advice I can give you is to move on and find another name. You can go down the lengthy (and potentially VERY costly) path of trying to purchase the name off it’s owner, but unless you’ve got $xx,xxx up your sleeve, it’s better to just find an alternative. This is where GoDaddy really comes into it’s own.
Not only does GoDaddy.com show you whether or not you domain name is available, but it also gives you a list of what other tld’s (the three letters after the domain name eg. .com, .net, .org) are available and other potential domain names that are similer.
Check out the picture below:
You can scroll through their suggestions and see if there’s anything you like. If you can’t find the perfect name, just get a close as possible. There are over 200,000,000 registered domain names already and there’s a good chance that someone already has the one you want.
If your website starts to go really well and you start to make some decent money, you can always buy the one you really want and then redirect your current site to that name. It’s nice and simple.
Try and stick with a .com but if all you can get is a .net or .org, then that’s fine as well.
I HIGHLY recommend staying right away from .info, .biz, or .us because they just look really cheap.
Head to GoDaddy.com now and register your first domain name. As soon as you’re finished with that, I’ll show you how to get storage space for your website so you can upload all your articles and pictures.
If you’re ready, you can check out the How To Make A Brand New Website hosting guide here: