5 steps to set up a quick/cheap business email and website

More and more people are setting up their own businesses either as side projects or full time. Obviously we would recommend that you come to Flint for help with all your design and marketing need, but if you want to get going quickly you need to have a proper business like email address and a website. These can be set up very quickly with very very little cost by following the 5 steps below:

1) Buy your URL

Buy your URL at www.names.co.uk

This should be www.yourbusinessname.com (see http://flintcreative.wordpress.com/2010/01/15/businessnaming/ for direction on choosing your business name).

2) Set up a webmail account

If you don’t have a webmail account any webmail account is OK, but we recommend Google Mail mail.google.com – make sure you choose a sensible name, such as yourname@gmail.com

3) Set up a wordpress site

Go to www.wordpress.com

Create an account, then create a blog. Choose the URL  yourbusinessname.wordpress.com

Then use the wordpress dashboard to add pages to your site, chose widgets (the bits at the side), chose a theme for the site etc

This is the simple/free version of WordPress that doesn’t require hosting etc. There is a more advanced/ hosted version that is more complicated to set up, but the wordpress.com version is a great starting point and very quick.

You will need to play about with WordPress to get the hang of it, but it is very easy and flexible.

4) Redirect to your URL

Login to names.co.uk

click on ‘control panel’

click on ‘domain names’

select your domain, click on ‘www.yourbusinessname.com’

click on ‘Email & Web forwarding’ (on the left under ‘Domain Names’)

And you will get a screen like the one below:

In the ‘URL to forward to’ box put your new WordPress URL:  yourbusinessname.wordpress.com

In the ‘Email forwarding’ put your name in the ‘alias’ section and you gmail address ‘yourname@gmail.com’ in the ’email address to forward to’ box and in the ‘catch-all addresses’ box.

Then click update.

Now when someone goes to www.yourbusinessname.com they will go through to your website and when then email yourname@yourbusinessname.com the email will go to your gmail account.

5) Set your email to send from yourname@yourbusinessname.com

Log in to your gmail account.

click ‘settings’ in the top right

click on the ‘accounts and import’ tab

Under ‘send mail as’ click ‘send mail from another address’

In the pop up window put yourname@yourbusinessname.com and follow the instructions.

I would change the settings to make the yourname@yourbusinessname.com your default email, and tick the box ‘Always reply from the same address to which the email was sent’.

Thats’s it. You are now ready to go… all you need now is some business cards with your email and website on – and Flint can design those for you.

And you can start driving traffic to your site with google Adwords, but that is too much to cover in this post.