It’s time to begin gathering all the things! And trust me, that’s a lot of things when it comes to a website. Here’s your quick overview of the stuff you’ll need, why, and how to get it all. Warning, you’re going to have to pull our your Type A organized side for a bit. Trust me, it’s worth it. And don’t worry, I got your back. Download the website checklist to keep track of all the things for your website! Whether you run into a website malfunction or you decide to start working with a new developer, you’ll have everything in one place, ready to go!
Odds are that you already have a Gmail account, or maybe you even use Dropbox for your household or business. Great! Now, let’s use that to help get files where they need to be and get them there in less than a complete mess.
Start gathering all your photos, notes for pages and content ideas. Put these all in one place. Do not put half on Dropbox, a third in an email, and the rest on Google Drive, you will drive yourself nuts!
Just as a refresher, a website is a compilation of a bunch of different files. These files have to be stored somewhere. In the same way, your family photos, and business word documents are stored on your computers at home or work. We want our website files to be stored on a computer that is powerful, and accessible to anyone. If you had website files on your computer or laptop, unless unique permissions are changed, you can’t send a link to your business partner to see those files. That’s why we essentially rent a small part of a powerful computer storage managed by a hosting company. Bluehost, DreamHost, and GoDaddy are a few common hosting companies for WordPress websites.
Wait, what’s WordPress? We’ll get there.
Your domain is the letters/words typed into a URL (not search) bar that takes a user to those files that are stored on the server that is hosting our website files. For example, I can type into the URL bar bouldencreatives.com. Upon hitting enter, I will be taken directly to the home page of my website. The domain I own is bouldencreatives.com. I could also type in the search bar “boulden creatives websites.” I would get search results returned to me, in which case I may make a selection to go to my domain at bouldencreatives.com. Today, most browsers have a combined URL and search bar. Older versions of browsers (Chrome, Firefox, IE, etc) had these separated.
Domains are typically paid for on a monthly basis, around the $20 dollar mark, depending on the availability of your domain, and the uniqueness of it. This is an account you’ll want to be sure you keep safe in the files of your website information. Domains can be purchased by through most hosting companies as well, but it’s not necessary. Do a little research and make sure you get the best price.
Once your hosting and domain are set up, you’ll have another account, that allows you to access and exchange your files via FTP (File Transfer Protocol). This account information would be used with a program like FileZilla or Cyberduck, which are both FTP Clients. To use these FTP clients, you’ll need some detailed information which typically is sent to you via email by your hosting provider.
Having trouble finding your FTP credentials? Be sure you get them before you need them. More often than not, FTP credentials are crucial if the site is accessible through the WordPress dashboard, which means there’s a problem. The last thing you want to do when your website is down is fiddle with accounts and password attempts. If you’re using a larger standard hosting company, here are the articles to get you started. If you’re still running into questions, give them a call, they’d be more than happy to help, you are paying for the service after all!
Now, on to WordPress. This open-source software is the most powerful and flexible website creation tool that exists. The website you are reading on right now was built with WordPress. And 32.2% of all websites online are powered by WordPress. This tool allows the website files to be accessed through a dashboard with menus and different settings. You can access your site to change and update content easily. Those features make WordPress a content management system (CMS) that can be customized with unique design, functionality, and experiences, then be maintained by someone focused on content. The best part, WordPress is free!
Divi is the last big piece of the puzzle. This is a premium WordPress theme that is recognized throughout the WordPress community as the most versatile and customizable theme to date. This theme is not like the ones you may have come across if you tried to create a WordPress site yourself and picked a theme you liked the style of, for a plug and play situation. This theme is pretty basic, to begin with, but the options are endless. Divi is the theme I recommend to all of my clients because if you’ve seen it on a website, we can make it happen in Divi. This theme contains a powerful front end page builder, where thoughtful and intentional design decisions can be made with an instant preview.
You have nothing to keep track of when it comes to Divi, although some developers request clients to create and pay for their own theme, I do not. As your developer, I’ll provide a license code to you included in your services which will allow you to have continual lifetime updates to this theme, which keeps the site safe and secure!