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Episode 95 – How to Build Your First Website With WordPress

Apr 29, 2019

This Episode

Mark Stephenson & Marc Vila

You Will Learn

  • How to build a website with WordPress
  • How to purchase your domain and hosting
  • How to pick & install your website theme

Resources & Links

Episode 95 – How to Build Your First Website With WordPress

Show Notes

WordPress makes up a huge portion of websites… way more than you would expect. About 25% of all websites are build on the WordPress CMS (content management system)

What is WordPress?

  • WordPress is an online website creation tool. It allows you to create and post web pages and blog posts without needing to know any code. AKA a Content Management System

Who should use WordPress?

  • You want to build a website with limitless possibilities that can be altered or changed to your personal preferences at any time.
  • You aren’t sure if you want an ecommerce store
  • You are considering posting articles / blog posts
  • You’d like to manage your own pages / blog posts without knowing code
  • You don’t want to pay the huge fees and maintenance costs of custom coding an entire site.

What are the downsides?

  • WordPress will require some maintenance. You are going to have to update the websites software regularly.
  • When doing updates, there is a risk you can ‘break’ something. So have help handy.

How to build your first website with WordPress:

Step 1 – Pick a place to search and purchase your domain

  • There are plenty of places to register and purchase your domain name. Its actually a bit more like leasing it… you have to continue to renew it or you lose it.
  • We will focus on two for the podcast for reasons explained later
  • BlueHost.com
  • Godaddy.com
  • Once you are here begin to check if the domain you want is available. The #1 you should go for first is yourbusinessname.com
  • If that is not available, consider other options
  • Yourbusinessname.net
  • Yourbusinessname.co
  • youtbusinessname.biz
  • yourbusinessnameonline.com
  • if you have a very common name, you may have to get creative. Just make sure its something that makes sense and your customers can find easily.
  • Purchase the rights to the domain now… this should be about $15 a year. (buy more years, save more money)

Step 2 – Get your Hosting set up

  • Hosting is essentially where the data for your store will live.
  • GoDaddy and Bluehost both have ‘WordPress Hosting” – this means its all set up for a WordPress page. You don’t have to hire a web developer to set it up for you.
  • Choose your plan – monthly or annual fee (usually about $80-150/yr)
  • Essentially the lowest cost option is probably enough to get you started
  • Look at the list and see if upgrades make sense to you
  • If you aren’t sure call the company and tell them about your site, they will advise the right plan.
  • Here’s where you also get your business email address – you can get Google suite or Office online with a domain email for $5-$15/month

Step 3 – Initial Site Set up

  • This step will be easy if you used GoDaddy or Bluehost. In a few clicks they complete all the steps for you.

Step 4 – Picking a Theme / Template

  • The theme is the overall look and design of your site that has been pre-build by a developer. These are going to be from Free up to $100.
  • Going with a prebuild theme is one of the benefits of WordPress. A lot of the work to set the site up is done, you just fill in the blanks
  • Under THEMES in your WordPress Dashboard you will see an option to add new themes. You can search from tens of thousands of themes.
  • Free themes are tempting, but they are free for a reason. Paid themes usually come with tech support and have more options.
  • You can also check out Themeforest.net – this is a marketplace for themes. They are known for having great themes for a reasonable price. $50 will usually buy you a very good quality theme.

Step 5 – Install and Set up your theme

  • Installing is easy, its right under that ad theme area of the WordPress dashboard. There are 100 YouTube videos on how to do this
  • Once installed follow their instructions / documentation to the T! Start at step one and finish at the end. The theme has this set up for a reason.

Step 6 – Begin customizing

  • Now that your site and theme are set up, you can begin to add your own text, images, menus and posts.
  • TIPS:
  • When uploading images make sure they are the right size. e.g too small will look BAD. Here are examples of sizes
  • Small image within text / Logo 150-300 pixels wide
  • Large featured image – 500 – 1000 pixels wide
  • Background image – 1500 – 3000 pixels wide
  • If the page/post doesn’t look like it should in the theme, contact support for the theme. Include screenshots and they can tell you if you missed a step.
  • Work on one thing at a time – don’t try to build the entire site in a night.
  • Basic frame should be
  • Home Page
  • Contact Page
  • About Page

Should you hire help?

  • If you are struggling with some of the above steps, you might want to hire some help to get the job done. You can find WordPress experts for a fairly low price on places like upwork.com or fivrr.com.
  • Hire someone to help you with customizing, designing and getting things right. Since you are working with a WordPress theme, you likely aren’t going to have to pay a ton.
  • When hiring someone go to USERS in your WordPress dashboard. There you can give them a login, that you can later revoke if you no longer need their help.
  • If you aren’t a good artist yet, get some help with the images are your site.
  • You don’t always need custom images, check out places like Shutterstock, or iStock photo and you may be able to purchase some nice images for a professional looking site.

The next step is to continue watching videos online and reading about WordPress. You can get pretty proficient at updating and designing your site with practice.

Eventually you will figure out what parts you like, and which parts you want to always hire out.

Transcript

Welcome to the Custom Apparel Startups podcast, your best source for information, news, tips and tricks to get you off the ground running, and earn success with your custom apparel decorating business. So, get ready to soak up some knowledge!

Now, here are your hosts, Mark and Marc!

Mark S: Hey, everyone! Welcome to episode 95 of the Custom Apparel Startups podcast. My name is Mark Stephenson, from ColDesi.

Marc V: And this is Marc Vila, from Colman and Company. Today, we are here to talk about how to build your first website, with WordPress.

Mark S: And we’re doing that from very far away, it looks like. I’m looking at the camera. Hello! Hello!

Marc V: Yes. I’ve got more swag, new swag brought to you by Digital HeatFX again, similar to last week.

Mark S: It’s a printed koozie. You should really see it.

Marc V: It’s a printed koozie. What’s great about this is the water that I had was room temperature already, when I opened it. It’s going to stay room temperature, no matter how hot this room gets.

Mark S: I don’t have any swag, but because I don’t, Marc Vila said he’s going to do close-up magic for us.

Marc V: Oh, thank you! Thank you! Next time, I’m going to bring in a magic trick. I’ve got a really good one.

Mark S: I’m ready. I’ll be out that day.

Marc V: So, WordPress.

Mark S: WordPress. First of all, we’re picking WordPress, because almost everyone chooses WordPress.

Marc V: It’s huge.

Mark S: Yeah, it’s the default. There’s a lot of great services out there. Most people use WordPress. I must have done two or three dozen sites in WordPress.

Marc V: I was trying to consider how many I’ve done. I’m just forgetting more than I’m remembering.

Mark S: I’ve done at least a dozen for ColDesi.

Marc V: Yeah. So, some stats on this; about 25% of the internet is on WordPress, which is fascinating. Then, WordPress is a content management system, and we’ll talk about that. But of the content management systems, I was reading that WordPress is 60% to 65% of all content management systems.

There’s a handful of them out there that do the same thing. WordPress is more than half of all of them that are this style of build.

Mark S: Let’s talk about what CMS is. How about that?

Marc V: Sure.

Mark S: CMS, content management system, is just a friendly interface, to build a website with WordPress. Before, what you had to do is you had to be a programmer, to make the logo show up in the upper left-hand part of your screen, to make this box be text. And a lot of the evolution, before you get to WordPress, was varying degrees of that.

So, WordPress and others, like Wix and GoDaddy, has their own site builder, a bunch of them. They’re now almost exclusively just drag and drop, and what you see is what you get, and all of these things are already built for you. So, you don’t have to be a programmer. That’s what I’m trying to say.

That’s what a CMS is. It means we have to think of something that it stands for, that is not programming.

Marc V: Yes. A content management system can be considered like a lot of different things I’ve thought about, what it’s like.

Mark S: Okay. What is it like?

Marc V: It’s like baking cookies, or it’s like buying a box that’s got all of the ingredients in it for you. It’s like paint by number versus painting.

Mark S: It’s the meal prep that you order, when you order a box.

Marc V: Yeah. It’s like a meal prep. What it is, is it’s built in a way that you don’t have to know how to do everything. You don’t have to understand the science or the development behind all of it. It just gives you the ability to make a website on your own, with little knowledge.

Now, I would consider WordPress to be, on a scale of one to ten, ten being the hardest, like you have to know all of the development, and one being a Facebook page. I consider WordPress probably would be somewhere in the middle. Five?

Mark S: I was going to say a six.

Marc V: Six. It’s not super easy. That’s why we have this podcast today.

Mark S: It’s not super easy, but it is comparatively easy.

Marc V: Yes. It’s much easier, and once you understand it, you’ll be able to build dozens of sites.

Mark S: Yeah, you can do it. It also will help you just to know, like listen to what we’re talking about. So, you get familiar with what a CMS is and all of the steps and everything. So, if you do – and we’ll talk about that, too – if you do end up hiring out, and getting somebody to do your website, you know what’s going on. Maybe you can get in the back end, and delete stuff.

Marc V: And you might go through this – and we talk about it at the end – you might go through this and say “Eh, this is not for me.” Like some people in embroidery, they go “Digitizing is not for me. I just send that out. I can run the equipment and sell. Digitizing is not for me.” This may or may not be for you.

But once you’ve done it yourself, and you realize “You know what? I did like it. I did all of this in three hours.” Then, somebody quotes you $1,000 to do what you did -.

Mark S: Or ten.

Marc V: Then, you could say “I did it myself before, in three hours. I just don’t want to do it again,” and you’ll know.

So anyway, I’m going to start off with, I’m going to sell you on why you should use WordPress for now, and you can join in. I’ll start with you want to use WordPress, when you want to built a website with limitless possibilities, that can be changed by you or just about any web developer out there, at any time.

Mark S: I think that’s the biggest commercial, because I talk to people that have sites custom developed, or they’re using something very niche-specific, like it’s a website that only does custom t-shirt design uploads for screen printers. Those all have advantages, but one of the disadvantages is the number of people that know how to fix it and use it, and make it great.

And the number of people who know what to do, if it does bust. So, I love WordPress, because I know what to do. But if it breaks, I can probably find 500 people in about ten minutes, that are perfectly willing to help.

Marc V: And silly things all of the time. Somebody will say “There’s a typo on your website.” With a WordPress site, even if you didn’t build any of it, if you know the very basics, you can go in there and fix that typo.

Mark S: Right. As opposed to if you have a website that somebody else did right now, and you can’t do anything, you know what it’s like. You have to fill out a work order and get on their schedule, to have them fix there versus their.

Marc V: Yes. And they charge in 15-minute increments for $125 an hour, so that one letter deletion might cost you $25.

Mark S: “We’re just going to leave it. That’s just the way I spell that.”

Marc V: The second reason is if you aren’t sure if you want an ecommerce store, yet. You know right now, you’re not building one, but you’re not sure in the future, because you can always add one to this. You can easily do it.

Mark S: One of the biggest benefits to WordPress is that it’s kind of – I’m going to use an example that’s going to tick off probably 75% of you. It’s kind of like PC versus Mac.

There are a million people that can write an app or write a plug-in or software for Windows. It’s an open platform. There are not that many people that can do it for Macintosh properly, because it’s a closed platform. I mean, you can go through the process, but there’s just not the volume. It’s not as easy.

WordPress is similar, in that there are all kinds of people that spend all day trying to figure out cool stuff that you can plug into your WordPress site; things that will do pop-ups, and that will play music, and that will allow you to embed a podcast into your WordPress site, that will do all of that stuff.

There’s a lot of development going on, and it makes it very easy to add new things.

Marc V: Yes. And I would say, like part of what you said, and Apple responded by making their latest version of their development is this open source type of development. But what they don’t have is the numbers. WordPress has the numbers, like the PCs do, and like the Windows-based systems do.

Mac OS is what, 10% of computers out there? So, if I have to develop a program, do I want to develop it for 90% of the people or 10% of the people? That’s how it is. If somebody goes on there and they have an idea, one of the first places you develop for is a website, because I just made something for 25% of the internet.

Mark S: That’s a good way of looking at it.

Marc V: So, if you’re considering posting articles or blog posts, or doing a podcast or a blog, that’s a great reason to do it, because it’s built to do that.

Mark S: That was the actual original purpose of WordPress, was so you could publish a blog. Strictly that. So, you’re in, and I recommend that you do that, that you have a least a few good blog posts or good articles, and it’s very simple to do in WordPress.

Marc V: Yeah. If you want to just say “You know what? I want to write a little story about this customer,” and you took a few pictures, it’s really easy to add that on. Just upload a couple pictures, write a little story with your signature on the bottom of it, and boom, you’re on the internet.

If you want to manage your own website, that’s the next reason. If you want to be able to manage it yourself or have the freedom, like we said before, for anyone to manage it, WordPress is the way to go.

Mark S: What does that mean, “manage it?”

Marc V: Just do whatever you want, at any point in time, I suppose. Meaning that if you want to delete something off, if you want to change images on the site, if you decide you’re changing the color scheme, any of these things. If you want to be able to have control at any point, and you want to play, tinker, change, have somebody in your company or business do it, WordPress is the way to do it, because there’s a million ways to learn it.

Mark S: I get it.

Marc V: The last one we have is you don’t want to pay huge fees and maintenance costs of custom coding a site.

Mark S: Let me tell you, if you see these big web development companies, they’ve got a beautiful website, they’ve got 35 people on staff, and they have words like Python on the front page, and that’s not the name of their company, then what happens is that they will build you an amazing website to your specifications.

They’ll help you develop those. It will cost you a lot of money, ,and when you need to make a change, you’ve got to find the guy that did the original code, to make that change.

At ColDesi, we do some pretty intricate customizations. When one of you contacts us, we want the following things to happen, and that takes coding. What we find is that because it’s so complicated and so customized, it’s hard to get three people that can identify and know what to do; how to add to it and how to fix it.

If you have a WordPress site, it’s much less likely to be like that. It’s more like “Oh, you’ve got a WordPress site and your pop-up won’t come up, or you want to change the colors, no problem. It will take me about ten minutes.”

Marc V: Yes. And what else is interesting about it is, if you’ve ever done work on your house, or you hired a contractor, or your car or something like that, and if you’ve ever heard a contractor say ‘Whatever the last guy did in here is a mess!” If you’ve ever heard that with like electrical or plumbing or whatever, “Oh, this is a mess!” Developers feel that same way.

So, when you custom code a site, it might be a mess back there. And to get somebody to come in and clean it up, “If you want me to clean up this plumbing, I’m going to have to gut the whole bathroom!”

Mark S: Yeah. “You’re going to have to move. I’m going to tear down the house.”

Marc V: We actually just had that. We had an expert look at back web development. He basically said “This is a mess. If you want me to work on it, I could try to fix it. It may or may not work, but really, I’ve got to do it from scratch.”

Mark S: Yes. That was a long commercial for using WordPress, absolutely.

Marc V: That was fun! Can we do it again?

Mark S: Well, we can talk about what the down sides are. How’s that? A down side to using WordPress is just like the down side for using any CMS, that they are always updating and changing things, making things better. Which is why your phone has to reboot every three weeks, and why sometimes you’ll log into Skype or one of your software packages, and you don’t recognize it anymore.

WordPress has those kind of updates, and so do the plug-ins that you use. So, you do have to pay attention to it. You’ve got to manage it. You’ve got to work in it on a regular basis.

Marc V: Yeah, compared to if you use something that’s more purpose-built, like even Wix. There’s not as much stuff. Everything is built within this system. If you’ve got something like that, they build the whole system. And this is really kind like that Mac versus PC thing, because on the Mac system, everything is built for the system; the hard drive, everything is built so this little computer just works so well.

However, nothing works on it from the outside. But everything inside it is super clean.

Mark S: Try to hook that sucker up to your TV.

Marc V: Yeah, that’s the difference.

Mark S: I agree. And the other, other side of that is that something like a Wix application, you’re not going to get SEO tools.

Marc V: Not the same.

Mark S: You’re not going to get the industry standard kind of stuff.

Marc V: Like Shopify would be an example. You’re probably not going to have to go into that website and fix things very often at all, because it’s a system built just for itself. When you use WordPress, you’re going to have different companies and different developers who have all put in knowledge, to build one system.

Which means you can do anything you can imagine, but sometimes some things can break, and you’re going to have to fix them, one way or another.

Mark S: And by break, I’ll give you an example. That would be, let’s say that you’re using MailChimp to send emails, and you’re using a plug-in for WordPress to display a MailChimp form, to capture leads.

Marc V: A little form on the website that says “email,” the “contact us” email.

Mark S: When you go to “contact us.” Well, if WordPress and MailChimp doesn’t, that form might not work. If MailChimp makes a big update, and WordPress hasn’t caught up yet, or the plug-in hasn’t caught up yet, it might cause some issues.

Marc V: Somebody might, they fill out the email address, and it says “Error.” Then, you’re like “What’s wrong?” Then, you have to log into your site, and then you see a little “This plug-in needs an update.” You click on “update,” and usually it runs the update, and most of the time, it fixes it. It requires a little bit of work like that.

It’s definitely not overwhelming, but it exists.

Mark S: Right. It’s not a “set it and forget it.”

Marc V: So, there we go. Now that you’re absolutely convinced to do this -.

Mark S: I think we pulled back in the end there. I think they’re not going to do it.

Marc V: It’s a great platform. It’s one of my favorites. It’s easy to use. I’ve done a bunch of different ones, and there’s plenty of people that would give reasons to use other things, and those reasons are valid, but we’re going to talk about this one, today.

Mark S: But probably not as good as ours, because we pick WordPress most of the time.

Marc V: So, let’s start off with some steps. We’ve got six steps here, plus a little seventh bonus stuff. Let’s go through them. There’s a lot of notes, if you can see the pages here. It’s very small font. So, we’re not going to say everything that we’ve typed up.

If you really want to get into a lot of the details, go on YouTube, if you’re listening to this, or go to the Custom Apparel Startups website.

Mark S: Look at the show notes.

Marc V: Look at the show notes. We’ll put all of the details in here, along with links to the things we’re talking about.

Mark S: That sounds good. The first one, I really like, because it’s picking your domain name.

Marc V: Yeah. It’s the funnest part.

Mark S: It really is. It’s like picking a business name. You’re just going to torture yourself over it. What you do is – I hardly ever buy my domain names at -. First of all, domain name is when you look at the bar on top of Google, when you search. Www.markstshirtshop.com; that would be my domain and my URL. Those are ways to talk about that.

You can think of it as kind of, when you buy a domain, it’s like buying a sign. You don’t have any place to put it yet, but you’ve got your business name on a sign, and you’re just holding it in your hands. They only make one of these signs, so you might have to get markstshirtshop.net, instead of .com.

I know you’ve got some notes on that, but that’s what the – before you build any website, you’re going to need to have a domain name.

Marc V: Yeah. It’s really more of you’re paying a fee, whether it’s annual or every five years. You can choose how often you want to. But you’re kind of renting that name for a while, in a way. Generally, you’re talking $10 to $20 a year, depending on what’s on sale and what you’re buying, and how many years you buy.

But you buy it, and you own that website for that period of time.

Mark S: You own the name.

Marc V: You own that name. Not even the website. You just own that name, that spot on the internet. Then, you have to re-register it over periods of time.

Mark S: I think that the last domain I bought, I bought from Google. It was $12. It was a great deal. It came with some other stuff. But where I always look for domain names is GoDaddy. It’s GoDaddy.com, just like it sounds. If you wanted to open up markstshirtshop, that’s the first thing you do. You’d say markstshirtshop, and they would go to the universal URL registration place, and they would search for that.

They’ll say “Hey, it’s available. It’s $2.99,” or “It’s $8.00,” or “It’s already taken, and here are a bunch of options.”

Marc V: Or it’s for sale, and it’s always for sale at some ridiculous price.

Mark S: You’re never going to buy one for sale.

Marc V: The best one to start with is your business name.com. That’s the first thing you search for, because that’s what you want. If that’s taken, then you start thinking about other options. Do I want a .net or a .biz? Or can I add an extra word, like “the” in the front, or “online” at the end?

Mark S: You can’t do .comma.

Marc V: Or “of your city name.” If it’s MyFavoriteTShirtShop.com, and that’s taken, then MyFavoriteTShirtShopOfTampa.com. Get creative with it, and they’ll suggest a bunch of things for you. The big things are make sure that it’s spelled right, during every step of the checkout, because I own a couple that are not spelled right.

Mark S: I do, too!

Marc V: So, every step of the checkout, it says it. Read it again, spell it out loud, because that will be silly.

Mark S: And you are going to regret, by the way, if you have a super long domain name, like CustomApparelStartups.com, because I know you guys have tried to type that in, and screwed it up at least twice. There’s two P’s in apparel, right? And there’s one L. It’s bad.

Marc V: We also own CASPodcast.com.

Mark S: Which is much easier. I like that.

Marc V: They’re connected, so they go to the same place. And you can do that, too.

Mark S: So, spelling is good.

Marc V: Yeah. Spelling is good. Then, consider just different things. How easy is it to say? Some of these names of businesses, no offense, but I have no idea how it’s spelled. I can’t even imagine how it’s spelled. So, if it’s that hard for the regular person, if you have to constantly explain “What’s Mark’s last name?” Do you recall his last name?

Mark S: Stephenson?

Marc V: No, the other Mark.

Mark S: [inaudible 00:20:21].

Marc V: No. That’s one I’m curious how to spell. But the French Canadian Mark.

Mark S: I don’t know one of those.

Marc V: We just talked about him! Mark is one of the folks and founders of Belquette.

Mark S: Mombourquette! Okay!

Marc V: Yes. He works with us. So, Mombourquette is his last name. And I was kind of saying if his was MarkMombourquette.com, there’s probably a hundred different ways people try to spell it. So, consider the spelling, and how you’re going to communicate that to your customers. Then, buy two, if you need a short version.

Mark S: The other thing I’ll say, that’s not on here, is write them down, or better yet, type them out on your computer, and look at them, and make sure that they don’t remind you of or spell different words, when the letters all run together. I wish I could remember the specific example, but I was buying another domain, and whatever it was, when you looked at it, it looked like Digital Sisters something.

But that’s not – like the S was supposed to belong to the first word, and it got put into the second word, so it was completely different.

Marc V: Yes. And there’s a few joke ones out there that are vulgar, and you don’t want that as yours. So definitely, yeah, write it out. Another practice you could do is type it out on your mobile device, because a lot of people are going to do that. And if you find it frustrating, like there’s a lot of switches between numbers and letters, and it’s frustrating to type out, consider that, as well.

You can purchase three, four, five of them. You can even have a really simple one, that’s just initials.

Mark S: And don’t be too afraid of things that aren’t .com. I always try for the .com first, just because it’s more familiar. But there are a lot of suffixes.

Marc V: Yeah. .Net, .Co, .Biz.

Mark S: .Marketing. There are tons of stuff.

Marc V: All of that’s fine, and people are getting more used to that now. Ten years ago, I would have said don’t bother.

Mark S: Right, because no one would go there.

Marc V: But nowadays, it’s fine. Once you’ve typed something in, and it says it’s good, it’s available, it should cost you basically between $10 and $20. If you use that Honey app on GoDaddy or Bluehost, if you’re familiar with Honey, it’s like a coupon plug-in.

Mark S: It sounds like a dating site. It really does.

Marc V: It’s good. So anyway, Bluehost.com and GoDaddy.com are the two we’re going to recommend. We’re both used these. They work well. If you have the little Honey app, if you’ve heard the commercials for it, usually if you hit that, there’s a coupon usually, for both of them. The last one that I bought, I got for $8.

So, don’t spend more than $20, ever, unless you really are itching to buy something very specific.

What do we have now? You’ve purchased the rights. You own it. You’ve done step one, complete, checkbox.

Mark S: Yes. So, what happens next? Because all you’ve got right now is you’re holding a sign that no one else can see.

Marc V: You’re not even really holding a sign. There’s a sign in a box, in your garage.

Mark S: Because you don’t have any place to put it.

Marc V: Yes. So, now you get your hosting set up. Why we recommended Bluehost and GoDaddy – by the way, if you notice their domains and URLs, you probably know how to spell those right away, and there’s no question about what the words are. They’ve done a good job.

Mark S: They’re both great examples, as well, because – Bluehost is a little bit – but you can’t tell what they do, by their name. Right?

Marc V: You can with GoDaddy!

Mark S: Don’t spell that one wrong, by the way. So, you can’t really tell. Really, if you can’t put T-shirt Shop or A to Z in your – which seems to be what everybody wants to name embroidery places -.

Marc V: I thought it was A Stitch in Time.

Mark S: Stitch – really, it’s not going to matter. You can have something close, or something not related at all. You’re going to make it about your business.

So, hosting. What is hosting?

Marc V: Hosting is the equivalent of renting an apartment, renting a storefront. It’s the place where all of the information is going to live. If you take a picture, where does the picture exist? It exists on your phone. That’s literally where it exists.

Then, if you upload it to Facebook, it lives on your phone, and then it lives on a computer somewhere in the world, that Facebook lives on. That’s what you need to do with your website. You’re going to take WordPress, you’re going to take this piece of software, and you’re going to design a bunch of stuff, and it’s going to live on a computer somewhere.

The reason why it can’t just live on your computer is because it lives on a series of computers throughout the world, so no matter where you are in the world, you can easily – that’s kind of the whole point of the internet, and hosting through something like that.

Mark S: So, it really is like you’ve got a name. You need someplace to keep the information. So, you pick a host; someone who is going to keep all of your digital information. All of the stuff that you put into your website, all of the business transactions that flow in and out, are going to be kept on someone else’s computer. And that’s what a host is.

Marc V: Yes. And these are set up to be secure, so there’s no hackers.

Mark S: Yeah, triple redundancy.

Marc V: If the building that it’s located in catches on fire, there’s another building with a copy of it, so you won’t even know that that happened. All of these things happen.

Mentioning GoDaddy and Bluehost, part of why those are mentioned – and there’s others out there that do the same thing – but they have WordPress hosting, which means that essentially, the very basic level of it is built and ready to go.

Mark S: I think the kind of description you’re looking for is butt simple.

Marc V: Butt simple.

Mark S: They’re ready for WordPress. Both of these companies, when you purchase your hosting, they like prompt you. “Do you want to start a WordPress site right now?” They’re ready.

Marc V: Yes. If you talk to your friend who’s a developer, and knows a bunch about the internet, they’re going to say “Don’t do that! You’re going to spend more money. I can just install it myself for you, on a place where you can do it. Instead of $100 a year, you can get it for $20.”

Well, who’s going to fix it when it stops working?

Mark S: And if that $80 matters so much, then you probably should not be investing in a website.

Marc V: Yeah. Just don’t. Just do a Facebook page.

These places have support for that, too. So, while you’re getting set up, when you get stuck, because you will, you pick up the phone, and you literally get a person that you can talk to, and they fix it.

Mark S: I was shocked, because I did a website like two weeks ago, and I was shocked at how easy it was. Literally, I chatted with someone from Bluehost, at about 1:00 in the morning, because it looked too simple. There were steps I was used to doing, that I didn’t have to do. I was just like “Am I doing something wrong here, or do I just hit this button, and answer these three questions?”

Marc V: That’s it. It’s great. So, you get support with these two, and you get support for that WordPress, which is nice. If you’re trying to manage this yourself, just the same reason why people purchase equipment from ColDesi, rather than finding a factory in Africa that makes embroidery machines or something like that.

Mark S: I don’t think there are any.

Marc V: Probably. The reason is because it’s hard to be left out on your own, when you don’t know about something. It’s hard to be left out on your own, when you have something that costs you a lot of time and money, and it breaks, and you’re not sure what to do. Similar to ColDesi, if you don’t own equipment from us, or if you do, you know that you have an embroidery machine, and if something funky happens, you can talk to somebody who can advise you on how to fix it.

Mark S: All the time. This is a commercial that I used to have to do more often than I do now. It used to be that when you mentioned you were doing a new website, the web developer or whoever you got to do it, would always want to host it themselves. What they were really doing is they were sending it to a computer farm, and they were making commissions on that.

So, their business really was like these little commissions that they would get from all of the hosting. The problem with that is – so, here’s what’s going to happen. You’re going to say “I want to do a new website” out loud, somewhere in a room full of people that you’ve met. Two of them are going to say “I’ve got the best guy. He did my website. He hosts it. It’s very cheap. He’s very responsive.”

They’re going to tell you that. Then, you’re going to remind them about the time that that guy went on vacation, and you couldn’t get him for ten days, and your website was down. Or he just turned out to be a jerk. He doesn’t work after 4:00 in the afternoon.

That’s why a company like Bluehost and GoDaddy, with 24/7 Chat and phone numbers, it’s very relaxing.

Marc V: It’s not one person. I had a friend of mine years ago, that the person who set up their website and everything, just went missing. I don’t know if they were actually a missing person, but their business email was out. Their business phone number was out. He had some emails with his first and last name, but it was like Mark Smith, so he couldn’t find it.

And literally, having to search through like business registrars, to get his address and mail him a letter.

Mark S: Forget about a friend. One of our biggest suppliers, their website, they had that happen to them. The one person that did everything, just disappeared.

Marc V: Yeah. I think he finally got a hold of the person, and he had said that he was being sued, so it was all this stuff. He was like “I just need the password!”

Mark S: That’s great. I think we’ve scared them enough.

Marc V: So now, when you’re setting up your hosting, you’re going to be given a long list of options and prices. Again, I said you can do it monthly or annually, or sometimes multiple years. Somewhere in the range of $100 or $150 a year. Maybe a little cheaper or more, depending on the options. Read what the options are.

Mark S: I paid $79 for mine.

Marc V: I think that’s what I just paid, too. Actually, I think I ended up, on the most recent one I did, I did monthly. And I think it was $8.99 a month. Annually, it’s more, but you’re only paying $9 a month on your credit card. So, you can choose how you want to do it.

I think that one, when I signed up that way, I got the domain for free. So then, the math kind of works out, where I did the math, and I said “Well, actually.”

Mark S: Here’s what I will say, is don’t spend a lot of time on it.

Marc V: Don’t spend a lot of time on it.

Mark S: Pick the option. If you want to try it for a year, get a year.

Marc V: Probably, the cheapest one is what you need. And if you’re confused and you’re not sure, you call their phone number, which is great about working with this. You say “Listen. I’m starting a website. It’s for an embroidery business. I only do local stuff. I want a nice clean place to post pictures, to post videos, and to share what I do, and put it on my business card.” They’re going to say “This is all you need.”

Or you might say “I want to sell things online. I’m going to have 100 products.” They’re going to say “This is what you need.”

Mark S: Let’s talk about some of the other things that they’re going to offer you, that you may or may not want. The first one I’m going to bring up is, this is where you get your email address, with your domain name. This is why it’s MStephenson@ColDesi.com. That’s where that happens.

If you didn’t know, you don’t have to use your Gmail address, but you can buy – the next option that I was going to talk about was you can either opt to have G-Suite or Office Online, from Microsoft. Both of those, for $5 or $10 a month, give you a suite of products that you can use, and an email address with your domain name on it.

Marc V: Yeah. I’ve always loved the Gmail one. I’ve always found it to be really easy. Plus, if you use Gmail already, the interface is the same, and it’s really easy to install on a phone or another computer. The Microsoft one, I have less experience with, but I think that’s what we use here.

Mark S: We do.

Marc V: So, I know how to use it through there. Both of them are easy. I would be wary of anything that’s not those two, because you’re going to have trouble getting it on your phone, and you’re going to have to log into a specific thing online. You just want it to be easy.

Mark S: Not even Yahoo. You go with one of those two options. I’m going to make a solid declaration there.

Marc V: Another thing they might offer you is if you want your website to be private or not. They can hide – you know what it’s the equivalent of? It’s like paying the Yellow Pages to not be listed.

Mark S: Yeah. It’s like paying for an unlisted phone number.

Marc V: Yeah, an unlisted phone number, which that’s not a thing anymore, right?

Mark S: God, if it was, I would definitely have one.

Marc V: But you could do that with your website. Here’s the answer for that. If your business is you, and everyone is going to know who you are and meet you, and know that you’re the owner, it doesn’t matter. If you’re selling offensive t-shirts online, and you prefer to have some anonymity, you pay the $10 a year to make it private.

Mark S: You’re saying if you’re a pastor, and you don’t want people to see what your website is all about.

Marc V: If you’re a pastor, and you’re selling atheist shirts, you want to definitely make it private.

Mark S: Go for privacy!

Marc V: So, we finished step two. Step three -.

Mark S: Wait. I just want to say that those are the two options that you should consider; getting an email address with your .com on the end, and whether or not you want privacy. Those are really the two that you want to take a close look at.

Everything else, there’s SEO services, there’s all kinds of other stuff. Just pass on that, for now.

Marc V: The SSL certificate – that’s like a security certificate. In the beginning, for your purpose, if you’re building your first site, for one, these things can be added. The only thing you can’t do later is the privacy one. Once it’s listed, it’s listed.

Mark S: I will say that Bluehost gave me SSL for free. They said “Do you want this?” And I’m like “Yes.”

Marc V: By the way, all of these prices and everything, they change like every week, when they have specials.

Mark S: Yeah. Don’t call us.

Marc V: They have specials all the time. They have coupon codes everywhere. So, take a look. If you call them up, they might even have a special you can get on the phone. I don’t know.

Alright, we finished step two. Step three is the initial setup. This is my favorite part, because like you mentioned, with Bluehost, it says “Do you want a WordPress site?” “Yes.” “Installing WordPress site on your server right now.” And done!

Go ahead. The next button is “Set up website.” Done! You’ve done your initial setup.

Mark S: It will walk you through it. “Pick a theme.” It will take you through the whole thing. It’s crazy!

Marc V: Compared to the other method, which would be like buying a cheap hosting service. Which yeah, it’s going to cost you a third of the price, but now you have to figure out how to get it on there. Is it a Linux server or a Windows server?

Mark S: You’ve got to download something into a zip file, and offload it to an FTP site. I’ve probably said three things that you’ll never really need to know.

Marc V: It’s never going to work right. I’ve done that a bunch of times in the past. I hated that! I dreaded that.

Mark S: That’s why we’re in love with these services, really.

Marc V: Yeah. So now, during this initial setup, it’s also typically going to ask you like “What’s the name of your website? You also own this domain you just bought. Is this website for that?” You’re kind of going to confirm, and it’s going to connect those automatically, which again, used to be a pain in the neck thing to do.

It might ask you some other things. “Do you have a phone number, an address, an email you want to assign to it? Who’s going to be the main user?” You can put in your name. It’s going to plug all of this stuff into WordPress, so in the back end, there’s going to be some things that can automatically be filled in.

Sometimes you can drag in like my phone number, and then that’s the field you filled out. These are things you can use later on, and by the way, you can change all that.

Mark S: That’s true.

Marc V: So now, another fun part would be picking your theme.

Mark S: This is really – everything that we just talked about, even though we’ve been talking about it for about 45 minutes, it’s 15 minutes. It’s very – it’s not a lot of time. This is where it gets into the time, is the theme.

Because it is a content management system, like we talked about, the theme is a combination of some sample blank pages, and the colors, and the way that it’s laid out.

For example, if we go through, you’ve got the sign. You get to take it out of the box, now. You get to post it on the outside of the building. Now, you have to build out the inside of your store. That’s what this is. You’re picking the paint, you’re picking the font that you like. Where do the windows go? Where are you going to show off this product? Where are you going to show off that product?

How you want people to approach the front desk; all of that stuff is exactly the same, digitally. But the cool part is it’s like if you could take all of your stuff and put it into a retail space, and just swipe, and see how it looks in all of these different environments. It’s very cool!

Marc V: Yeah. It’s a lot of fun. If you’re using like the sign example, it’s like “Do you want a matte black chalkboard style sign? Do you want a neon glowing sign? Do you just want a white corrugated plastic sign? Do you want a clear sign?” That’s kind of what these themes are.

What you would do, kind of in WordPress, there’s a section that says “Themes.” Or even GoDaddy and Bluehost are even going to kind of prompt you.

Mark S: Yeah. They’ll recommend.

Marc V: Then, when you’re looking through themes, you’ll kind of see them. They’ll do a little preview. Then, there’s usually an area where it says “See a live preview.” You click it, and it gives you a fake version of the site.

Mark S: That’s really what you need to do, is go through those live previews, and see which one. It doesn’t have to be exactly like you want it. Generally, you like the way it’s laid out, and you like the way everything works.

Marc V: Also, read within them, because within that preview, it will probably say “Here are your font options in this theme. Here are the color options.” You can do a dark theme or a light theme. They’ll tell you these things.

The themes are going to be free, up to $100. I think that’s the most.

Mark S: Yeah. I mean, you can pay more.

Marc V: Yeah, you can. Most of them are within that range. There are some that are a lot more, and they do more. I think definitely for themes, you get what you pay for. If it’s a free one, you’re going to get free. It’s not going to do much.

Mark S: It will probably look a little generic.

Marc V: Yeah.

Mark S: But also, this is the point where it really matters, if you plan on eventually selling something on your website, because there are themes that are designed to work with the product plug-ins for WordPress. For example, one of the really popular ones is WooCommerce.

So, if you buy a course from CustomApparelStartups.com, which I highly recommend that you do, because they’re amazing, if you do that, then those products actually exist on a WordPress website, with WooCommerce installed. That’s kind of the plug-in that handles “Here’s my product. Here’s the product description. Here’s how much it is. I can change the prices. Click the button. Take the money.”

Marc V: Yes. And typically, the theme will say like “WooCommerce compatible,” or other versions. So, picking the theme is great and it’s fun. Click through, and you can also change that, in the future. It’s work. You know, you’re basically going to start from scratch, like what you’ve done here.

But you won’t lose your website. So, all of the posts and the things that you’ve written all exist. They’re just going to be in a mess. You know what it’s like? Changing your theme is like moving from one house to another. You have all the same furniture. It didn’t go away. But now you have to figure out how to configure it, because all of the rooms are different shapes and sizes.

Mark S: And WordPress will actually give you a live preview. So, let’s say you build your site on something basic, and you don’t like the way it turned out. You can actually do a live preview of exactly what you’ve already done, and the way it would look in a different theme. So, it’s great!

Marc V: This is where the web developer person that you kind of know is going to sell you to build it all from scratch, which you don’t really have to do that. We’re talking about build your first WordPress site.

Mark S: I’m saying no. Don’t do that.

Marc V: Yeah. There’s no reason to, unless – and everything I go back to is just this. If you’ve got a grandiose business plan, with the money to back it up; a legit plan where you say “I’m going to do this and this, and this is my plan. I know it’s going to cost 10 grand. I’ve got the money,” then you have the dream. But that’s not the most common option.

Mark S: I’ve got to say I looked today at our podcast stats. We’ve got a lot of people in San Jose, California, that listen to us.

Marc V: Oh, yeah?

Mark S: So, for all of you that think a startup is when you only get $3 million in seed money, you guys do whatever you want! Do whatever you want! But for the rest of you, Marc Vila is absolutely right.

Marc V: The rest of the folks, where you’re trying to decide if you want to spend that extra $20 for the privacy, spend your money elsewhere, because themes take you really, really far. And you can even take a theme, and then hire somebody later, to say “I love everything but this one part. Can you make this do this?” And they can do that.

Mark S: And they’ll break it.

Marc V: Let’s see what else we wrote here. Again, there’s going to be free themes. They’re tempting, but typically, you’re going to get free. Also, the free themes usually have an upgrade within them, just like free apps. So, you’re going to get it, and then it’s going to say “Buy the premium, to get this.” “I didn’t know I was going to have to do that!”

Mark S: “Red is the only color that you can use, unless you give us -.”

Marc V: Yes. “You can buy blue for $2.99.” So, in WordPress, when you’re in the theme area, they’re going to have tons of themes. But I really like a website called ThemeForest.

Mark S: Oh, yeah. Me, too. It’s a good one.

Marc V: Envato Marketplace is what they are. Envato Marketplace sells all types of stuff that customers would like, like stock images and stock videos and stuff like that, and they sell WordPress themes. Again, $5 to $100 is most of them. You can see more, but for your first website, you probably don’t need to do that.

In my previous experience, anything below $40, I usually find looks generic.

Mark S: Okay. That’s fair.

Marc V: That’s kind of a decent number to start at.

Mark S: I see that you’ve got installations, and a little note about YouTube here.

Marc V: Yeah.

Mark S: I’ve found some amazing videos on using WordPress, on YouTube.

Marc V: It’s where I basically learned it.

Mark S: Whole classes! They’ll bring you through it step by step, for free.

Marc V: Yeah, because the people who make the videos often sell themes, sell artwork, sell a plug-in. And a plug-in is like an add-on. It’s like an app, basically, for it.

So, that’s why you can find a ton of this free stuff, is because so many people are selling the product. “How do I get a form on my website?” You find it on YouTube, and then there’s a company that sells a really cool form plug-in.

Mark S: Yeah. “By the way, if you use my plug-in.”

Marc V: Now that you’ve picked your theme, hopefully you like it. I’ve picked and bought a theme, and installed it and gone through the whole thing, and it’s been like “I really don’t like this.” Then, I’ve got another one.

You can also just say “I built a whole theme out. I hate it. I haven’t even done any work on it yet.” You can call GoDaddy or Bluehost and say “Can I just start over?” They’ll just say “Yeah!” Click, click, refreshed.

Mark S: Do you realize that you’ve got people searching for GoHost and BlueDaddy right now? And I don’t know where those go. It’s very important that you go to GoDaddy and Bluehost!

Marc V: GoDaddy and Bluehost, okay. Now that we’ve done that, we’ve picked the theme, and you’ve bought it. If you buy it, one way or another, you’re going to get a file. It’s going to be on your computer. It’s just going to be a file and it’s going to say “T-Shirt Site Theme.” Now, you need to install it.

Another favorite part for when you use GoDaddy or Bluehost is when you go to install your theme. You’re in there, and you hit “Install Theme,” and then it asks you for the file, and you hit “OK.” Then, a couple of things pop up and it says “Installed.” If you get a weird error or something like that, you can usually just call up and say “Hey, I got this error.”

They’re going to say “You have to do this instead. Did you unzip the file?” “No.” “Okay, unzip it. The file you install is in there.” Things like that.

It’s typically easy. Again, watch videos on how to do this, if you get lost. There’s a ton of videos on how to install your theme on WordPress.

Mark S: But step number six here is really where it starts to get fun again. That’s beginning to customize the site. Because even though, when you upload a site, depending on which one you get, some of them will have sample files, especially if it’s an ecommerce site. What you’ll do is you’ll upload a template that has kind of sample products and prices and everything already set up.

So, you’re just swapping pictures, and you’re changing the text, and you’re making the prices different. Sometimes that’s good, for when you just start out. Sometimes it’s bad, because you know, you sell t-shirts, and maybe the standard is for watches. And you forget, and you leave a couple of watches in there.

Marc V: Yeah. Or there might just be like the main header image might be, like you buy a store-themed one, and the main header image is a hand with a couple watches. That’s the main image. You definitely have to replace that, for a t-shirt store.

What’s cool about the images is when you’ve got that image, you’ll see it. You’ll see “Media,” and in “Media,” you’ll see that, and it will say “Main header image.” You’ll click on it, and it tells you what size the file is, how big it is. So, if you’re creating art yourself, or paying somebody to make the art for this big header art, you can say “Here’s the sample file,” and you can send it to them.

Mark S: Yeah. Tell them what the dimensions are and everything.

Marc V: Or you can tell them what the dimensions are, and then when you upload the new one, it fits perfectly.

Mark S: It’s a big win.

Marc V: Yeah. I talked about some sizes of images. This is what I find, when I’ve seen a poorly done WordPress, is when the images that get uploaded, whether it’s the images for the blog posts or the images for the products, or whatever it might be, they’re the wrong size. Then, they’re either blurry or they’re cut off in spots, or something like that, or they’ve stretched the page out.

Mark S: I run into that all the time, on Facebook especially.

Marc V: Yeah, so if you don’t know about online images, they’re usually measured in pixels. They’re going to tell you. Not usually. That’s the way they’re done. It’s going to say “Upload an image that’s 1000 by 1000.” That’s the exact size they want it, to fit into that spot.

150 to 300, that’s like an icon. That’s something little on your screen. If it says 150 by 150, that’s like an inch.

Mark S: I’ve got a good example. Like if you have a LinkedIn profile or a personal Facebook page, that’s about the size that your personal image is. It’s about 150 by 150.

Marc V: Yeah. So the next, there will be all these places that you’re going to see in WordPress, that say “Featured Image.” This is typically like if you go to a blog or anything like that, there’s usually one square or rectangle picture with the title of it. Usually, that’s something around like 500 to 1,000 pixels. That’s how big that needs to be.

Then, the background image, like a full page background, like 1,500 to 3,000 pixels.

Mark S: Right. By that, when you go to the websites, and as you’re scrolling, you can see there’s an image behind the boxes as you scroll, that is one graphic that is behind the entire page. It’s big.

Marc V: And that might be 3,000 by 3,000. Most of the time, the site is going to tell you what to put in there, or be in the examples. But it’s very important to not try to jam – you know, you can’t jam a couch that doesn’t fit on that wall. It looks silly, and that’s what’s going to happen here.

Mark S: Yep. Agreed. I like what you said here about two things. The first one is I like what you said in the notes about working on one thing at a time. It’s very easy, especially for me, to get scattered and try to – like I’ll be in the middle of editing a photo for the header image, and then I’ll realize I need to do the description for the page.

So, I’ll stop and I’ll go do that, and then I’ll realize this, and I never get back to the image. You really should just do “I’m going to work on images today,” or “I’m going to work on the home page today,” or whatever it is. Just pick something and work on it. You’ll be happier.

Marc V: “I’m going to work on the text. I know I don’t want the images of the watches on top. I want to brainstorm that later, with my business partner, on how we should have that on the top. I’m going to write the text underneath it, and kind of imagine that’s going to be there.”

One of the things, I don’t remember where I wrote it. Maybe I didn’t write it, I just thought it. But in doing all of this, when you’re working with your new theme and updating it and creating it and customizing it, there’s going to be some documentation, whether it’s video or written, that comes with your theme. It might be a document that you download, it might be on their website, it might be a series of videos.

Follow those 100%, in the beginning. Because it’s going to tell you. I just made this mistake the other day, I told you. There was one little step. It looked wonky, and I couldn’t figure it out. I missed one step, because I didn’t go step by step. I skipped. I don’t remember if I skipped on purpose or why. I don’t even remember seeing it.

I missed this one step, and it was checking a box. And the difference between checking the box or not, activated something. So, follow the instructions to a T, on that theme. They’ll be right in there. And if you pay for a theme, you get support, too, which I love. I love the support.

So, you pay for a theme, $75. You love it. Then, you get toward a step, it doesn’t look right, you get to email them, and most of them respond pretty quickly. Then, they say “Check this box.”

Mark S: Here’s the other thing. If you do find yourself in that situation; you’re eight hours in, you haven’t been able to figure out how to change the font color. Even if you have premium support through a theme, or you don’t, you can always chat with GoDaddy or Bluehost. Honestly, if they can tell you how to fix it, they will. And if not, they will tell you where to go get the answer. So, that’s great.

Marc V: Yeah. That’s great, too, about when you pay for a service like that. Then, the last thing, don’t try to build an entire site in a night. Take it one step at a time. Let it be a project that takes however long; a week, however long you need, depending on how complex you’re doing it.

But the basics that I wrote here are you want to have a home page, your storefront. You want to have a contact page, a place where the people can get your phone number or fill out a form, get your address, see a map, all of that stuff. People are going to be looking for that.

Then, some sort of About page, a place to tell your story. For one, we’ve talked about this from like a search standpoint.

Mark S: Google loves it.

Marc V: Yeah. If somebody is searching for a t-shirt shop in Tampa, you put that in your About, “We’re a t-shirt shop in Tampa.” You also get to maybe talk a little bit about your brand, which we talked about previously.

Mark S: “I’ve always wanted to start a t-shirt shop in Tampa. So, two years ago, I started a t-shirt shop in Tampa.”

Marc V: You get to say “We’re an edgy, urban company,” or “We’re a light and bubbly company that focuses on spirit wear.” You can describe your brand, so your customers understand who they’re talking to, as well.

Those three pages are kind of the must, and that actually can be just it. If you’ve got those three, then you’ve got – that could be your whole website.

Mark S: But I am going to add one more to that. Something else that Google really loves is for you to have a privacy policy on your site. It doesn’t have to be one of the big menu items, but it should be a link somewhere. Most of the website themes will have a link to one, as an example.

You don’t have to write anything special. You can just Google “privacy statements.” What this is, is it’s your promise to your customer that you will do the best you can, in protecting their information, and that you’re going to use their email address to spam them the rest of their lives. You’re not going to sell it, you’re not going to mistreat their information on purpose.

It’s not a legal commitment on your part. But what it does do is it demonstrates that you are kind of a real company, that is trying to do the right thing.

Marc V: You know the only person who has ever read a privacy policy, is somebody who is writing one or has to put one on their website. Nobody has ever read the privacy policy.

Mark S: Yes. Normally, what I do is – and I’m not saying this on the podcast – normally, what I do is I find a company like the one that I’m starting or working with, and I will copy their privacy policy, and change it  for me.

Marc V: So, Ctrl/F their company name, replace with my company name. Ctrl/F the city.

Mark S: Absolutely.

Marc V: So, you could do that. Don’t do that, but I’ve heard of people doing that. Realistically, there’s also little companies out there, which are cool. We use one on Colman and Company, that does that site security stuff. You can pay a really small fee, for an annual fee.

They put a little badge on your site, saying that you’re private and you’re secure, and they give you a privacy policy that’s legally written by a team.

Mark S: Yeah. That’s a great way to do it.

Marc V: Just Google search that stuff.

Mark S: Don’t bootleg it, like I do.

Marc V: So, the last bit, which isn’t a step, but is just a question, is should you hire help?

Mark S: I actually still do both.

Marc V: Yeah. Me, too.

Mark S: What I’ll do normally, is I’ll either have somebody else – I’ll hire somebody for a reasonable amount of money, to do all of the setup and the basics. Then, I’ll come in. I like to write. I like to provide the content, so I will do that.

On the other hand, I’ve had somebody do the entire site, and that’s all I do, is write. Or some combination of those.

Marc V: I’m not great with graphics. I know how to use Photoshop, and I can take a logo and fit it, to go on a shirt. But in like imagining what it’s going to look like, -.

Mark S: You guys are great at that. We’ve got some great customers for that.

Marc V: I typically will hire somebody who knows how to do that, who has visions. So, I’ll hire somebody to do the art. Now, we’ve talked about them before, but places like Fivrr.

There’s no E in that.

Mark S: And there’s two Rs.

Marc V: Just Google search “Fivrr hire someone.” Because if you put in the wrong one, it definitely sends you to like a weird site, that’s trying to scam you. But Fivrr is the company. Google search “Fivrr hire someone.”

Usually, you can get somebody to make that main image for your website, for $5, $10, $15.

Mark S: There’s also Upwork, where you can hire a professional. There’s Freelancer.net. There’s a lot of places where, if you think you’re going to need this kind of thing on an ongoing basis, what’s that one service? I used it and I really liked it, but you paid like $350 a month. Design Pickle.

Marc V: Oh, yeah. Design Pickle. I remember them.

Mark S: Design Pickle is really cool. You pay X number of dollars a month, and they assign you a graphic artist. You can’t use them all day, every day, but you get a relationship with somebody that will make the artwork for you. And it can be for a website or t-shirt.

Marc V: Yeah. You decide what you like. You can also do the opposite of what we said. If you’re great with the art and bad with the writing, you can hire somebody to write. You send them an email and say “This is the message I want to say. Make it sound nice.” They will write it for you, and they probably even know how to publish it to WordPress, and they can publish it.

Mark S: Or 27 hours in, and you can’t get it to look the way you want. So, you might just want to get somebody else to do it.

Marc V: That’s the beauty about this, is whoever you hire is going to charge you like $100, just to do what you did in that first hour. Like going to the GoDaddy, buying it, clicking the setup, installing the theme. All of the things that you basically can’t mess up, and if you do, you call up GoDaddy, and they help you.

You’ve done that, and the company is going to charge you $100 to $200, just to do that. Because it’s going to take you maybe an hour, and they charge $150 an hour. So, you’re going to pay $150 for that.

Mark S: That’s it.

Marc V: So, a few different things. You hire somebody to help you with -.

Mark S: I just Googled BlueDaddy.com.

Marc V: It’s safe!

Mark S: It looks safe. It looks like a Blues band. That’s not bad.

Marc V: They look pretty cool.

Mark S: I hope they get a million hits on their website, because we mentioned them by accident.

Marc V: Keep going! So, you can hire somebody to help you customize, design, get things right. You can hire somebody – you got through all of this, and you say “You know what? I like this theme. I really want to get it to look a certain way.” So, you end up finding somebody and you say “Hey, I have a WordPress site and a WordPress theme. I just want to hire you to make it look like I want. Just do it within the realms of the theme, so I can edit it a bit later.”

You can do that. You can even hire somebody on one of these websites, to do it with you over Skype, and teach you. There are so many things you can do.

Mark S: Do you know I really learned how to do WordPress?

Marc V: No.

Mark S: I found somebody on Craigslist, that teaches WordPress. I met him at a coffee shop, for like four weeks in a row. We spent like two hours a week. He just popped open his laptop, and taught me how to use WordPress.

Marc V: That’s basically how I learned tons of stuff in Excel. I went onto – I don’t even remember what site I went on. I went onto one of these sites. I found somebody. They charged $20 an hour. I think I did like two hours a week, for six weeks. I said “Here’s all the things I want to learn how to do.” And we did it over Skype. You could do that with WordPress, too.

Mark S: Yeah. Very cool.

Marc V: Let’s see here. Do we have anything else? No, that’s the stuff.

Mark S: Your next step is just – you don’t have to be in WordPress every day. Once the site’s all done, you don’t have to constantly do something with your website. I would probably urge you not to.

Marc V: I agree.

Mark S: Unless you’re contributing blog posts, and that’s where you’re going in. But don’t constantly change things, for no reason. Just because you’re tired of looking at the home page image, doesn’t mean anyone else has been there more than twice.

Just because you saw another website that you liked, doesn’t mean that it actually physically works better, and gets more people to call or buy things, than the one you already have.

So try – the technical term is “futzing.” It’s messing with something, just because you can. Just because you can. Do a good website. Make it solid. Make it attractive. Make sure that people can do what you want, and are led to do what you want them to do.

Then, after that, maybe once a month, you go into the back, and you see if anything needs updated, and then you get out.

Marc V: Yeah. I find that when it comes to this, the reason why you’ve made the website is because you listened a couple of podcasts ago, about whether or not you should have a website.

Mark S: Do you think people listen to more than one of these podcasts?

Marc V: A couple people have! You listened to it, and you said “What are some questions that I’m going to ask myself about marketing?” And one of them was “Do I need a website?” Then, you kind of made the choice and said “Yeah, I want a website, because I really want to step up my professional look. I don’t just want it to be a Facebook page. I don’t just want it a LinkedIn page. I want a website. I want a storefront on the internet.”

So, you’ve made these. Then, at that point in time, once you’re here – before you’ve started this, maybe even before step one, have a little bit of a plan on what you would like in the future. “In the future, I want to advertise on Facebook, to get people to fill out a contact form, so I can sell custom apparel. I plan to sell shirts online. I plan to have a lot of blog posts, so when people search this particular type of apparel, they’re going to find my company.”

Or “I plan on doing events locally, and I want to be able to post the events on here, and share it on Facebook, and people can come here and read it.”

Think about your long-term plan, and then start learning about how to do that on your website, if you’re going to manage it yourself. Or you’ve got a website up, and then you start planning, by finding out how much it would cost to get that custom thing made, maybe.

So, continue to research on WordPress. Watch videos, subscribe to some blogs or YouTube posts. Continue to learn, and you’re going to get inspired about what to do. Just always have that running plan of what the future of your website is going to be.

Mark S: Yeah. Never forget that where you make money is in selling t-shirts, not in making t-shirts. So, keep that in mind.

Alright, folks! You are definitely going to want to check out the show notes on this. There’s tons of information. We’re going to pack it full of good links. It’s going to be great!

This had been Mark Stephenson, from ColDesi.

Marc V: And Marc Vila, from Colman and Company.

Mark S: You guys have a good business!

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