Making a website to support your new business is almost essential. Consider it similar to a business card, though. You might invest a lot of time and energy into making it just right (subtle off-white coloring, the tasteful thickness), but at the end of the day, no one but you actually wants it.
A note for the non-technical, like us, (feel free to skip this if you would say that you “get how websites work”): there are three main steps to consider when you want to set up a website. Fear not, we know you can do this.
(1) Think of buying, or registering, a domain as buying a plot of ground… in Asheville except on the internet. When we bought makingitinasheville.com, nothing what there. It was a vacant lot but we owned the rights to build. (2) Buying hosting for a site is like saying you now have the permits to build something there. Based on the host you can build big, fast, and secure internet homes. (3) Choosing a platform to build your site with, is where the metaphor gets a little loose. It’s either like choosing an architect or maybe the design with which you’ll build your house. Except, unlike a house, you can make massive changes to the design in seconds, minutes or days any time you’d like.
Most places will allow you to do all three of those steps on the platform but while it’s convenient our friends who are better with tech say it’s not the best choice for security and redundancy.
Domainr.com — When someone mentions a project or product, the first thing Tony does is check to see if the domain is available. Domainr makes it really easy to see if your business name is available as a domain and provides cool ideas for ways to create something similar. From there they link you to all the places you might buy and register the domain.
Namecheap.com — Out of habit, we use NameCheap.com for our registration. We started using them years ago and they have a clean interface for purchasing and managing website registrations (and hosting).
Dreamhost.com — It’s considered best practices to split your registrar from your hosting provider. Dreamhost comes highly recommended from friends and peers. This is the first site we have hosted on DreamHost and, so far, we get the hype. It’s a clean UX and they’ve been great with support questions. This DreamHost Shared Starter package is a great place for most people to start. If you’re running a site that will get a lot of traffic, consider starting with Dream Press for wordpress.
WordPress — We can’t know what type of business your running/building. If it’s a services business with a focus on blog and podcast content, WordPress is best in class. Depending on your specific business and comfortability with tech, Squarespace or Shopify might be a bitter fit.
G-suite — This is Google’s cloud software offering for business. While using G-suite is optional, creating a professional business email is not. We support G-suite and rely heavily on Google for the infrastructure of our business. You’ll see more on that below.