After working out numerous permutations and combinations, you’ve finally chosen that perfect domain name for your business and even gone ahead and made it official. Congratulations on your latest purchase; the excitement is palpable.
But – what next? Finding the best domain registrar and buying the new domain name was the easy part; it’s what you do with it that will set the stage for your online success, for years to come.
Frankly, a lot of newbie domain shoppers feel bewildered at this point, not knowing how to proceed and thinking they have bitten off more than they can chew. If you’re one of them, do not fret.
Follow these eight easy steps, and you’ll be well on your way to realizing success in your business venture or dream project.
Host Your Website with a Trusted Web Host Company
The first thing to do, now that you’re a proud owner of a new domain name is to get your website’s hosting done.
Think of hosting as a safe deposit box where you’ll be storing all your website-related valuables such as page and blog content, images, videos, files and folders, etc.
Just as you would keep your real-life valuables at a reputed bank locker, your website too needs a reliable and responsible web host, ensuring your website data is in safe and trusted ‘virtual’ hands.
Most quality web hosts offer a 99% or more site up-time. What it means is that your website is going to successfully load and be accessible to your users, at least 99% of the time.
So how do you choose the best web hosting for your domain? As you might have guessed, the internet has a vast population of hosting companies, and narrowing down to one can be a challenge. That’s why we’ve got you covered.
Our personal favorite is SiteGround which is not only a trusted web hosting company but also one that is known for its exceptional customer satisfaction, affordable rates and round-the-clock assistance.
Choose a hosting plan most suited to your needs, and you’re done.
Link Your New Domain Name to Your Hosting Account
At this stage, you’ve got both your new domain name as well as your hosting account setup.
Now let us move on to connecting the two so that the moment a user accesses your site, they will see the content as it’s pulled from your hosting account.
Here you have a couple of different options. Choose the one that applies to you.
If Your Domain Name is already registered with SiteGround
Changing the ‘A’ Record
You can choose to update your domain’s ‘A’ record and not your DNS records. In such a case, only your website will point to your host account. The domain’s DNS will continue to be managed by your previous host or DNS service provider.
If Your Domain Name is Registered with a Third-Party Registrar
If you have bought your domain name from a service other than SiteGround, for instance a domain registrar like Godaddy (that we will use as an example), you must update your domain’s Nameservers.
To find your SiteGround Nameserver credentials, go to Client Area – My Websites – Site Tools - Site Information - IP & Name Servers.
Next, Log in to your GoDaddy dashboard - (If you don't use GoDaddy, your domain registrar will have instructions for you available online by doing a search or checking their knowledge base. All good registrars will have a support chat so that you can instantly get help and they will walk you through the process.)
Find the Manage Domains section – Manage Domain Nameservers.
Change the name servers, so they point to SiteGround’s Nameservers.
Don’t forget to save changes.
If all has gone well, your domain name will correctly point to your hosting either instantly or within a maximum of 1-2 days.
Time To Install WordPress
You can now install the latest version of WordPress on your new website.
- Go to Websites – New Website
- Select a hosting plan
- Add New Website page
- As the website creation begins, you will see a prompt to select the
Application of your choice.
- Choose the WordPress application to install it automatically.
- Assign a WordPress Username and Password which you will use to login to your website.
At this stage, your website is close to becoming a reality, and you are probably feeling a lot more confident about the direction you are going in. Awesome!
With your WordPress installation done, let us move on to finding a suitable theme for your website.
Buy a Premium WordPress Theme
Before we get started, it is crucial to understand that there are numerous free and paid themes available online and finding the one that is perfect for you will depend on several factors.
These include the industry you are in, the look, feel and functionalities you would like your website to have, and your budget, etc.
Before you immerse yourself in theme shopping, you may also want to analyze popular and competitor websites in your industry to know what others are doing.
We highly recommend that you invest in a premium WordPress theme by Thrive Themes to ensure that your website not just looks good but offers the most superior user experience.
Their website mentions that theirs is the Only WordPress theme you will ever need (or want!), and we can confidently say that we agree!
All of the Thrive Themes’ WordPress themes and plugins are created to maximize your website’s conversions. What’s more, the Drag-and-Drop editor is intuitive and fun to use.
Click here to check out the Thrive Theme Builder.
Once you’ve purchased your chosen theme, you can move on to install the new WordPress theme on your website.
Configure a Custom Email Address Associated with Your Domain
If you want your website visitors to get in touch with you with ease, you need an email address for your website.
You can mention the email address on your contact page as well as place it in other strategic locations of your website so contacting you is easy.
While a lot of people use Gmail for most of their email communications, if you want to come across as a professional business owner, you need a professional email address – one that includes your domain name.
Using a domain-specific email address is a simple and cost-effective way to build trust and stand out as a professional brand.
You may be starting small, but there’s no better time to start getting perceived as a reliable business – and your custom email address that includes your domain name will help you do just that.
Moreover, from the customer’s point of view, receiving a transaction update from a business email is far more satisfying than one from a Gmail/Hotmail/Yahoo account.
Here’s the good news – All SiteGround hosting plans include an unlimited number of free email addresses you can set up at your domain name.
For example, for general site enquiries, you can opt for an email address such as email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
For order status and confirmations, firstname.lastname@example.org is a sensible choice. And if you want to personalize the address even further, you can add your name in it, say, for example, email@example.com.
To set up your custom email address on SiteGround:
- Client Area
- Select the domain you want to create an email for
- Click Site Tools – Email – Accounts
- Type the New Email address before the ‘@’.
- Now type a strong password that you will use to access the email account.
- Click ‘Create’, and in a matter of seconds, you will have your new email address ready for use.
- To adjust the settings, go into the Manage Email Accounts section.
Get Social with Social Media Profiles
Now that you have your website setup, the next logical step is to create social media handles, using your domain name.
Being active on social media websites such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn is an instant brand-recognition booster. There’s no better way to enhance your brand’s online visibility than social media.
A good practice is to maintain semblance across all your social handles by selecting a personalized username that matches your brand name as closely as possible.
Once you have your profiles ready, you can slowly start building up high-quality content and start reaching out to a greater audience.
After all, your shiny new domain name and website need all the promotion they can get, and there’s no better way to do these days than using the best social marketing strategies to build your social presence.
You can get a designer to create a powerful logo and high-quality visuals for your brand and use them prominently on your FB, Instagram and Twitter accounts.
Install Essential Foundational WordPress Plugins on your Website
Once you have launched your new website, you need to equip the website with some essential plugins which will improve and add to your website’s current functionality.
Though there are numerous WordPress plugins available online, here is a list of the most-recommended, foundational WP plugins for your newly launched website:
Thrive Leads and Thrive Architect from ThriveThemes.com
Thrive Leads is a great product to start building your website’s mailing list and connect with your audiences regularly. Thrive Architect is an intuitive drag-and-drop WordPress Page Builder you can use to design your website’s content and landing pages.
Ultimate SEO Pro from SeoUltimatePro.com
The Ultimate SEO Pro SEO plugin will enable you to make your website search engine friendly and direct more ‘organic’ traffic to your website.
Legal Pages Plugin by Wpeka
Contact Form 7 Plugin
The one thing your website needs, in addition to an active email address is a simple yet powerful ‘Contact Form’ so your site visitors can easily get in touch with you.
If you aren't using Thrive Themes, then you need this free plugin for all of your contact forms. Using the Contact Form 7 plugin, you can configure and manage multiple contact forms, all in one place.
WordFence (WP Security)
To protect your new website from hacking attempts, install the WordFence Plugin. It includes a powerful endpoint firewall and malware scanner for optimum security. There is a free version but you can get added security features if you upgrade.
Create Content Goals and Attract New Visitors
Your website is only as good as the value it offers to your most targeted audience.
So depending on the industry you are in, you should now move on to setting your content goals and creating high-quality high-value SEO website and blog content.
The idea is to publish useful content regularly to bring new customers and grow your newsletter’s subscriber list.
Since content creation is an ongoing process rather than a one-time task, consider creating an editorial calendar. It will help you to stay on top of your publishing deadlines and streamline all your content ideas in one place.
Configure Google Analytics and Google Search Console
Once you have completed the seven steps above, you must start measuring your site’s performance to know what is working and what is not working.
And the best ways of doing it is through your Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts.
Google Analytics provides insights on visitor demographics, traffic sources and most popular pages on your website, and more.
The Google Search Console is excellent for reviewing your website’s internal linking, backlinks, search performance, submitting your sitemap and checking security issues, finding keywords that were searched and more.
Use these two tools regularly to track your progress and make the necessary tweaks, as required.
Your Site Is Ready For Traffic!
The decision to buy a new domain name for your business or personal project is the easy part. However, once that is complete, do not let your shiny new domain name sit there collecting digital dust.
Follow these eight steps to start building your online success and don’t forget to keep an eye on your progress. We are sure you will enjoy the experience!