More and more people are setting up their own businesses either as side projects or full time. 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 (or godaddy.com or any other URL provider). This should preferably be www.yourbusinessname.com – but you can look at other, relevant, memorable option. The DIY chain B&Q has the URL www.DIY.com, which is much better than www.bandq.com
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 email@example.com
(When you have more than 3 people in your organisation we would recommend upgrading to a paid gmail account, but when it’s just you stick with a standard, free account).
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.
If you want to go for the hosted version, which is better but more complicated, many sites like names.co.uk and godaddy.com offer a ‘one-click’ install of wordpress. Just follow the instructions. It’s pretty easy!
If you are looking to set up an e-commerce site I would suggest looking at shopify.com or amazon webstores.
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 ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ 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 email@example.com the email will go to your gmail account.
5) Set your email to send from firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com and follow the instructions.
I would change the settings to make the firstname.lastname@example.org 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.