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Ten Things We Figured Out Starting Our Website - Without Breaking Our Budget

Biz To-Do: Get A Website (Part ONE) by Dana


Squee!  Did I just write that?  I did.  I totally did.  I'm Dana, and today I am gonna share a little part of our Yourdori journey. 


THE WEBSITE    

I think for non-technical people, folks who don't like  confusing directions, or anyone who has never tried it before, making a website can be a BIG, even HUGE step.  Some people might think it requires a big ole pot of money to get something pretty and usable.  

Your Own Website Does NOT Have To Break The BIZ Budget

 WE are doing it ON A DIME.  (okay,  a wee bit more than a dime.  A pile of dimes, but for a lot less then you'd think!) And we are getting a professional looking site that come with a lot of super cool possibilities. 

Some folks might also think that in order to have to a free platform for your website, you have to have someone else's ugly commercials posting on your page. Also not true. Do you see any ugly ads?


A free website/blog will require a basic platform to run it. I wouldn't even suggest trying to build that from scratch, because that is way out of my brain power zone. When you pick a platform for your new website, there are lots of helpful how to's that go with it, and some of it is so easy it's self explanatory.  Since many of these are free (with additional options to buy) you might just want to type "start a website" or "start a blog" into google search and check out what pops up.

You Can Hire Someone To Do Everything For You

Website developers often charge by the hour for their work. From what I can tell, their rates start at $30 an hour and that is on the low end of the scale. There are many companies also, that will "build" the website with you.  Be careful, because there can be lots of little fees that add up.  

I have a friend who has an established website and shop.  Currently, if she wants to change anything, a color, or a drop down menu - I think she needs to pay $50 to get it done.  (Could be wrong, but I totally remember her mentioning an outrageous amount!)

I'm just sayin' buyer beware! 



You Can Do it Yourself! 

While you can hire someone to do everything for you, setting up your own website should be easy peasy, plus, when something isn't working, you can usually google a tutorial (or ask your teenager, which I admit to doing from time to time.) 

Nancy and I have gone with Blogger Blogspot,  a Google company. We tried Wordpress.  She did a lot of research. We came back to Blogger. ♡

There are other companies beyond Wordpress.  But, yeah.  We are parking our biz future here at Blogger.  

You'll want a Domain Name

Your Domain Name is your unique internet address.  This will cost less than $25 dollars a year.  If you hop on a promotional sale, like we did, it will cost even less than that! So look for good bargains and ask lots of questions.  Without your personal domain name your address will have someone else's info as an additional type in.  We had: http://www.yourdori.blogspot.com and paid Godaddy (a domain host) a total of .99 cents for one year of: www.yourdori.com


And now you should be able to type in Yourdori.com and come right to our website.  

See the difference?  How more likely are you going to remember Yourdori.com verses - www.yourdori.blogspot.com?

Get A Template

While the blogger platform has free customizable templates, we wanted something a little more unique.  A template is what creates the look and feel of your website/blog. It's set up with something known as Hyper Text Markup Language or HTML CODE.  We wanted something with a few more bells and whistles than the free versions.

We went with a template from Mairagall.com  She has some lovely and very reasonably priced templates for both Blogspot and WordPress.  We paid $20.00 and are thrilled with it!   I think it's one that we'll be able to grow with beautifully.

I took out the existing code in the blogger template, copied all of the code from Maira's file, saved, and WOW. Clean, streamlined beauty just waiting for all our photos, links and content. 



You don't have to know anything at all about code to set up a website.  

If you can copy and paste, you can do this.  (That is what I did)  Sometimes you might need to find a place in the code to insert some more code, ( like I did when setting up our Pinterest board) but there are usually directions for doing this.  I had to find the place in blogger where it says TEMPLATE and EDIT HTML and find the one group of words where the instructions tell you to place code after this.  

It is a bit like putting a giant puzzle of tiny pieces together. If your don't loose your nerve, you can do it!  

Make A Pefect Copy and Set It Aside 

Make an original copy of your template.  Have something to fall back on if you mess up.  You can not break your computer by setting up a website. But if you accidentally scramble your HTML code and can't find that one tiny symbol that is out of place, it's good to have a back up saved.  

Check Your Work

You have the domain name.  You have the platform.  You have a template.  In the do it yourself world, you are putting all of these things together. Between our domain host, Go Daddy, and Blogger, there is a set of instructions to integrate them.  I'm gonna admit, these instructions are not actually perfectly clear. Blogger has instructions here and I got a little lost at step 6 and kind of fell down the rest of the steps as if they were made of concrete.  OUCH.  

Okay.  It wasn't that bad.  What I did was match words, like cname and DNS and Afiles with their corresponding space in the Go Daddy dashboard.  (Puzzle pieces) When I was finished I checked to see if it worked as planned, but you really need to wait 24 hours to know for sure. 


Ask For Help

Everything looked okay.  BUT, oops, one thing.  I had the wrong IP address and didn't know it. (Because, like I said, not a technical person here.)  So I went to Go-Daddy hit that help chat button, asked for help and Presto, BINGO!  We are perfect. 

These are the ten things we figured out, all by ourselves, (with one useful teenager) to launch our website and begin our online story.  It was not too difficult, really inexpensive, and gave us beautiful, customized results.  

You can do it too!



There is no reason you can't just go for it.  If you don't try, you don't start.

So get started!  

We'd love to hear about the up's and downs of your online story.  Do you have a website?  (Or want one?)  How did you set it up? What worked for you?  What didn't?  Please feel free to share in the comments. 

xoxoxo
The Yourdori Girls
Nancy & Dana

6 comments

  1. Two posts, and your rolling! I wish I would have seen an article like this when I was starting out! I'm on WordPress, but I think I would have saved tons of headaches just going with Blogspot.

    But... onward for all of us. We're getting there!

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    1. Many people love wordpress Nancy and I have both messed with it and come back to blogger. I don't know if it's because it's just familiar after 10 years or what! I do know there aren't as many updates that change everything around! I'm glad you enjoyed the post Lucy, thanks for visiting!
      Be blessed,
      Dana

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  2. I have wanted to start my own blog, susansheart, for over a year and freeze in fear! My parents, daddy mostly, started a blog all about their life on Sanibel Island using Wordpress and he said it was super easy only he is a computer programmer and has been writing code for years! Thanks for sharing your process and I think I will look at Blogspot too.

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    1. Let me know if you need any help at all. We might be able to figure it out together. It can be overwhelming when you look at all the options, but it's not complicated. Something I enjoy about blogger is there are no confusing gadget adds or suggestions in the dashboard and also Google owns it so goigle tend to favor its own products via SEO.

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  3. Love this post, Dana! I especially appreciate how you dismantled fear and make websites accessible to everyone. I have Wordpress, and had a multitude of questions along the way (but that allowed me to meet Lucy!). You're so right though... step by step - and it's not so hard. In fact, I ended up really loving the learning process. I am head over heels for Yourdori! What a gift to us all!!

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    1. Thank You Sas! I know so many who are afraid to start a website because it seems like such a big mountain to climb, But, step by step it can be done.

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