So you're ready to be online!
The whole process can be fairly straightforward.
You need to be focused, forthright and willing to learn a few new skills.
The links are in the order that I recommend you proceed.
I am, of course, willing to do any or all of this for you.
Full disclosure: If I do it, you will pay a reasonable fee; if you buy via any of the links below, there’s every chance I will make an affiliate commission (thank you).
The Process in a Nutshell for The Go-Getter
1. The Domain Name: that’s the URL – what you type into the search bar to get to: https://CreateADigitalLife.com. I like to capitalize the first letters of each word to make it easier to read – your browser won’t mind.
Write your choice out carefully and look at it. Can it be read any way you don’t want it read? For example, if you have a resort on Pen Island and decide on mypenislandresort.com you may get some unexpected visitors.
And don’t, just DON’T try to pirate a common brand: Koke-A-Koala.com is plain bad taste.
I recommend Hover as they offer registration privacy. If anyone checks out who owns the site, it shows as Hover (dba Tucows) and doesn’t show my name and address.
2. The Host: that’s where you park your domain and yes, there’s a nominal fee. Often, the domain registrar where you buy your domain name will also host but I believe in keeping your eggs in separate baskets so I’d recommend hosting elsewhere.
Whoever you choose as host, they will give you two nameservers – you will go to the registrar and follow the instructions for changing the nameservers. It could take up to 24 hours for the change to take effect.
I recommend HostWithLove as they offer a free SSL certificate for your site and installing WordPress is a simple process. You can also have several email addresses for your website too. (Concerning WordPress, there are lots of opinions about whether to use WordPress or not as your building platform. Unless you want a really steep learning curve or have a lot of money to pay a developer, I maintain it is still the simplest way to get started.)
3. Your theme is the look and features of your website. There are themes that come with a WordPress installation and there are many free themes available through WordPress.
I recommend Divi as, even though you pay for it, it is, hands down, the simplest and most user-friendly theme I’ve encountered in my 10 years online. They also update the theme with almost every update of WordPress.
Addenda: You will learn about “plug-ins” as you go along and you will use the plug-ins that you need.
The two I feel strongly you must have are security: I recommend WordFence and back-up: I use UpdraftPlus. They’re both free for basic usage.