Webdesign

Squarespace SEO Myths De-Mystified: How to Optimize Your Website for SEO

Squarespace SEO Myths De-Mystified: How to Optimize Your Website for SEO

I am very excited to have Britt Hyatt from Home Sweet Hyatt Studios on the blog this week talking about Squarespace SEO myths and how to optimize your website for SEO so that you are getting as much attention for your website as possible!

I will let Britt dive in, but just in case you don't know what SEO is, it stands for Search Engine Optimization and this essentially measures how easily your website or blog will be found on search engines like Google and Pinterest.

Many of you would know that I am a big fan of Squarespace, well so is Britt and she really helps us in this post to dispel the myths surrounding Squarespace when it comes to SEO. Some say that Squarespace puts you at a disadvantage with SEO but as you're about to see, that's simply not the case!

So I'll hand over to Britt and don't forget to download the freebie for this post: Squarespace SEO Keywords - it will make all the words and phrases we use make sense!

Adding Google Analytics to Squarespace

As you might know, I switched from Wordpress to Squarespace a while ago now and the move has made me really passionate about sharing how simple, yet dynamic Squarespace is! Quite some time ago, I shared a guide to adding Google Analytics to Wordpress and so today, I will be walking you through the same thing on Squarespace.


STEP 1: FIND YOUR TRACKING CODE

In Google Analytics, you will find a unique tracking code which is essentially the key to successfully tracking your metrics. So before you even open Squarespace, you will want to navigate over to Google Analytics and find this snippet of code. Signing up for this is free, and once you are signed up and inside the dashboard, find the Admin tab at the top. You will see Tracking Info in the middle column and once you click on that, a further menu will open where you will find Tracking Code. Click on this.

Once you have opened this page, you will see your unique tracking code that will start with UA and is followed by a series of numbers. You can see an example of this page below, but I have blacked out my tracking code, so it should give you a quick visual reference where to find your own code:

Now that you have that tracking code - I recommend copying it to your clipboard (Command + C on your keyboard) so that you can easily paste it in when you need to.


STEP TO: ADD GOOGLE ANALYTICS TO SQUARESPACE

So you have your tracking code copies. It's time to log into your Squarespace site. Once your are in the backend of your site, you will want to click the Settings tab on the left hand side dashboard and then scroll down around half way down the menu. You will see there an Advanced tab. Click on this and select External Services.

See where it says Google Analytics Account Number? Well that is where you paste in that tracking code. Since you copied it with your keyboard, you will just need to paste (Command + V) the code into the field and it's all done!


Note that it will take a day or two before your Google Analytics populate, so don't be alarmed if it flat lines - especially if you are transferring your website from a different platform over to Squarespace! Furthermore, remember that Squarespace does offer it's own metrics and sometimes they can be different to the metrics Google Analytics give you. This is because Google Analytics and Squarespace measure things a little differently to one another and this will impact on your numbers.

But that's all! You've successfully installed Google Analytics on your Squarespace site! 

Is there something you would like to learn when it come to Squarespace? Pop in a comment below and I will schedule a blog post! So tell me, what do you want to learn next? (And don't forget to leave your URL so I can visit you too!)


HOW TO: Create a FAQ Accordion in Squarespace

Does your contact page have a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs)? If not, it should. FAQ lists should be a staple on every contact page and it can save you a heap of time.

FAQs are questions that your customers and blog readers often ask you. They might ask you on blog posts, via emails or on social media. Their questions could be on a range of topics from product and service specific questions to questions about how to collaborate with you. To anticipate their needs, you can create a list of the questions that they have either asked or you think that they might ask and answer them for your customers and readers so that they don't have to ask you individually.

FAQS WILL SAVE YOU TIME

Having a FAQ list will save you all that time that it would have taken to type up individual responses for customers and reader that ask them. Having them in one central place means you wont get those questions via email as often and when you do, you can quickly respond by copy and pasting your pre-written answer along with a link to your complete FAQ list.

FAQS BUILD CONFIDENCE

Outlining your answers to potential questions will build confidence for your customers and audience. There are a few reasons for this: firstly, taking the time to outline your answers to FAQs show your customers that you value their piece of mind; FAQs also establish a standard response, so their are no surprises for your potential customers and readers; and lastly, FAQs put their minds at ease, by answering questions your audience might not even know they have yet, you are making them feel confident that you are across all the things that could be a concern to them!

FAQS SUPPORT BRAND CONSISTENCY

Another great advantage of having a FAQ list, is that it actually supports brand consistency. By taking the time to answer these questions in a thoughtful and complete way, you are creating consistent standards for your business and blog. You are essentially saying the same thing, responding in the same way and giving people the same answers to their questions and it makes your brand consistently clear and stable.


Adding a FAQ list to your Squarespace page is easy and there are a variety of ways to do it, but one of my favourite ways is to create an accordion FAQ list. That looks like this:

Q1. THIS IS YOUR FIRST QUESTION.

Place your answer to the question here.

Q2. THIS IS YOUR SECOND QUESTION.

Place your answer to the question here.

Q3. THIS IS YOUR THIRD QUESTION.

Place your answer to the question here.

To add your own accordion FAQ list to your Squarespace site, follow the instructions below.


STEP 1: THE CODE

Put this code in a markdown block on your Squarespace site. So, this should be the page on which you would like to display your FAQ list. You can change the question and answer text accordingly and add as many questions as you like by simply including two hashtags before the question.

## Q1. THIS IS YOUR FIRST QUESTION.

Place your answer to the question here. 

## Q2. THIS IS YOUR SECOND QUESTION.

Place your answer to the question here. 

## Q3. THIS IS YOUR THIRD QUESTION.

Place your answer to the question here. 

STEP 2: JAVASCRIPT

Copy and paste the following code into the header code injection area of your page and click save. If your page is within an index, paste the code into the header code injection area of the Index, not the page.

<script type="text/javascript" src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1/jquery.min.js"></script>
<script>
$(document).ready(function(){
$('.markdown-block .sqs-block-content h2').addClass('ui-closed').css('cursor','pointer');
$(".markdown-block .sqs-block-content h2").nextUntil("h2").slideToggle();
$(".markdown-block .sqs-block-content h2").click(function() {

$(this).nextUntil("h2").slideToggle();
$(this).toggleClass('ui-closed ui-open');
});
});
</script>

STEP 3: ADD THE CSS

Once your code is installed in a markdown block on the specific page you want to show your FAQ accordion and you have included the Javascript to make it function, you will need to style it. To make it look like the example you will need the following CSS code and insert it into your Custom CSS field. You will find this in Design > Custom CSS If you have experience with CSS you can edit this code to change the way your list looks!

.markdown-block p {
margin-left:1.5em;
}
.markdown-block .ui-closed:before {
font-family:monospace;
content:"+ ";
}

.markdown-block .ui-open:before {
font-family:monospace;
content:"- ";
}

An extended version of this tutorial plus more amazing Squarespace tips and tricks can be found over here. I recommend you go and visit Colin!


2 Ways to Add 'Click To Tweet' Quotes to your Squarespace Blog Posts!

This tutorial isn't just for Squarespace, the codes will work for Wordpress and other platforms too! But I am going to show you how to create those 'click to tweet' quotes that you might have seen on other blogs! There are two ways to do this, one use a third party website called Click To Tweet and the other is using a snipper of code (which I found here). So let's get to it!

So I am talking about this sort of thing:

There are a few reasons that the Click to Tweet quotes are so effective!

  1. Firstly, as I mentioned in the above Tweetable quote, they remind your readers to take action and share your content. Often readers will love your blog posts but will absent-mindedly click away without sharing it. This is a little virtual nudge!
  2. By making a quote stand out and highlighting it as something shareable, you are also highlighting the main take aways from your content to ensure that your readers know what is really important on a given subject.
  3. It breaks up the content of a blog post. I am a serial long-form blog post writer. I don't write long posts instead of short posts due to any specific market research I have done, I just have a heap to say and so I say it all! Sometime all the text can get boring, and a reader might glaze over it. Well, Click to Tweets stop the eye and breakup the content by presenting something new and different. 

METHOD 1:
USING THE CLICK TO TWEET WEBSITE

For some, this will be considered the easy method. It is so very simple if you know exactly where to look! You will find the Click to Tweet website here and you just need to sign in with your email address.

Your dashboard will look like this and to generate a Click to Tweet quote, you simply enter the quote into the large text field and click Generate New Link. I recommend checking the Track Click Stats and Track Links to this Tweet, it is a great way to keep track of how these quotes are performing!

You'll be taken to the Link Details back and all you need to do is copy the Embed Code that they offer you. Head to your Squarespace page and find the blog post you would like to add the quote to. You will need to go into the blog post editor and hover over the location of the new Click to Tweet quote. Choose the code content block.

Paste the embed code into the code block. You will notice I added a little extra code. This is makes the writing appear slightly bigger than the rest of the text so that it stands out. You can use CSS here to change the way it looks!

And that's it!


METHOD 2: USING A CODE SNIPPET

Method two is arguably more difficult but if you have the code saved somewhere, it is a matter of copy and pasting it each time you need to add a Click to Tweet and simply change the details.

Use the normal link button on your blog post editor and enter this snippet of code:

http://twitter.com/home/?status=

Directly after the url add in your quote and replace each of the spaces between your letters with %20%

http://twitter.com/home/?status=Click%20to%20Tweets%20help%20to%20quickly%20grow%20your%20blog%20by%20reminding%20your%20readers%20to%20share%20your%20content!%20via%20@thebranditgirl

You will notice at the end I also include via @thebranditgirl <- this is my Twitter handle.

If you enter all this correctly it will look like this:

TWEET IT! 'Click to Tweet's help to quickly grow your blog by reminding your readers to share your content!

I also selected heading 3 to change the appearance of this text. It will open the tweet in a new page and allows users to add and remove any thing they like!


FORMATTING YOUR CLICK TO TWEET

Method 1, using the Click to Tweet website, is definitely easier that using the link. However it is up to personal preference! One of the neat things about this is that you can style your Clicks to Tweet in lots of different ways. I showed you one at the top of this tutorial but here is another, using the quote block in the Squarespace blog post editor.

‘Click to Tweet’s help to quickly grow your blog by reminding your readers to share your content!

To make your Click to Tweet quote look like this you will need to first enter your quote into a quote block.

Then, directly under the quote block, add a code block and enter your link generated on the Click to Tweet website from method 1. You could also do this with a normal link block, using method 2's code snippet.

You will notice the 'TWEET IT!!" is shown in a bar format and you might also notice that there is extra code in that code block. This is the CSS code below that I used to create that effect:

<p style="font-size: 15px; font-weight: 600; background-color: #dcc8b9;" align="center">
       <a href="http://ctt.ec/3tFRO">TWEET IT!!</a>
</p>

I will walk you through this:

font-size: 15px - This changes the size of your text. You can change the number up or down how you please. The lower the number, the smaller the font and vise versa, the higher the number the larger the font.

font-weight: 600 - This changes the thickness of the letters and likewise you can adjust it.

background-color: #dcc8b9 - This is what makes the background behind the words TWEET IT!! a different color. You can change the colour code to anything you like and match your branding!

align="center" - this aligns the whole thing in the centre of your content area.

This is just one great way you can format your Click to Tweet quotes, the possibilities are endless! Play around and choose your own style that will match your brand and personality!


So... I Made The Switch From Wordpress to Squarespace

It's been a crazy 2 weeks here at Brand IT Girl HQ. I decided after much consideration, research and umm-ing and ahh-ing to switch from a self-hosted Wordpress to Squarespace as the home for my website and blog.

It was a mammoth decision for me, but to be honest, the simplicity of the switch really showed me that this was a fantastic decision.

Now let me be totally transparent. I was NOT a Squarespace fan. At all. I was actually kinda anti-Squarespace. And I honestly thought I had some pretty solid reasons. Things like the lack of flexibility and the fact you have to choose from the SS templates for your site. To be honest, it made me feel like a bit of a fraud. I mean, I am a web designer and I thought, in my very naive mind, that SS designs weren't 'real' web designers. I know, that's really harsh of me, but I want to be honest with you here and that's honestly what I used to think. But guess what: a week into my Squarespace trial and every single thing I thought was a problem or an issue was dis-proved. Squarespace literally sold itself to me!

So as I said, I created a trial page and I thought "Ok, you have the 2 week trial to create the site" and my goal was to recreate my old Wordpress site. Well I not only recreated the old WP site, but I made some great changes and totally fell in love with my website all over again. So let me share with you what I really love about SS!

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT SQUARESPACE

THE LACK OF ENDLESS CHOICES

It's funny because this was one of the major things that was keeping me away from Squarespace to begin with. I thought that the lack of choice was a huge issue, something that would stop me from creating the website of my dreams. It just isn't the case! The lack of endless choices makes it simple to 'get on with it' and stop procrastinating. Once I settled on my theme (which is the Hayden theme), I was able to create my website quickly and efficiently and this is largely thanks to the fact that I was not given endless opportunities and choices. 

CUSTOMISATIONS ARE POSSIBLE!

I was actually pleasantly surprised that pretty much everything is customisable and if you are a web designer who is thinking you won't get the opportunity to flex your coding muscles - think again! The custom CSS function makes it possible to customise and change pretty well anything on your Squarespace site. I changed so much of the Hayden theme by writing my own custom CSS.

SUPER EASY TO CREATE STUNNING PAGES

From a web designers perspective, Squarespace is a ridiculously dynamic tool for creating absolutely beautiful pages quickly. The drag-n-drop features make it really easy to build pages that look professional while also offering all the options you would find on the Wordpress editor.

SECURITY

Ok, so this is a huge one for me. My Wordpress was hacked on more than one occasion and let me tell you, what a freaking headache. So when I started to look into the security advantages of Squarespace, I must say, it was a huge draw card for me. I don't want to have to be concerned with the security of my website - I have plenty of other things to worry about - so feeling more comfortable in this department is a big plus.

BUILT IN SEO

I am pretty bad with the whole SEO thing, so having it all built in is a huge advantage. I love that I don't need a third-party plugin for SEO, honestly, trying to work out the best plugins for all my needs is a hassle, so having everything in one place takes the guess work out of it!

So there you have it - my big switch from Wordpress to Squarespace! I am so happy I made the change! But I do want to make something clear: I still absolutely LOVE Wordpress. I don't want to be one of those designers that diss one platform for the other. I am a huge fan of Wordpress and I will continue to work with, create and sell Wordpress themes. But there may just be an addition to the shop (hrm, think Squarespace kits!).

Introducing: The Brand IT Girl Resource Vault

Brand-It-Girl_The-Vault_Blog-Post

I am super excited today to introduce to the newest addition to Brand IT Girl: The Brand IT Girl Resource Vault.

I want to offer all of my readers exclusive, FREE access to this library that includes all of my blog post giveaways. So will find everything I have ever offered as a blog freebie plus anything I will offer in the future and you'll be able to access it all in one convenient place using a password.

I know you are wondering how to get hold of the password for vault page but first I want to give you a little sneak-peak at what you can expect to find in there!

Brand-It-Girl_The-Vault_Page-Screenshot.png

If that isn't enough to get you as excited as I am, you will find new additions to this library on a regular basis. The best thing is, you only need to get the password once! Worried about forgetting it? Don't be! I will include it at the bottom of all my eNewsletters so you will easily find it again when you spot a new freebie that you want!

HOW DO YOU GET ACCESS?

Your privacy is protected! Check out our Privacy Policy here!

IS THERE SOMETHING YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE VAULT?

I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you would like me to create for the Brand IT Girl resource Vault!

Adding a Custom Pin It Button to your WP Site!

BrandITGirl_PinITButtons_BlogPost.jpg

I have recently been exploring the incredible power of Pinterest and let me tell you - it is more powerful than you can imagine! Did you know that many bloggers are claiming Pinterest as one of the main drivers of traffic to their websites these days? Well that's 100% true and it's something you need to tap into!

I wrote last week about branding and styling your Pinterest boards and discussed why this practice is vital for growing not only your Pinterest following but also your business and website too. Today I want to talk about another key element in using Pinterest, but this time it's something you can do on your blog to help drive traffic back to your Pinterest.

The aim of the game is to get your pins and images noticed on Pinterest. The more people share your pins, the more their friends and followers will notice what you are doing and you will start to see a rise in your traffic. But you need to get them to pin your post images in the first place, right?

So in this blog post I am going to show you the easiest way to add Pin It Buttons to your Wordpress site! It's so painfully simple, you'll be like "Woah, Girl! Is that all there is?" and I will be there nodding. Yes, it's as easy as this:

1. INSTALL THE PLUGIN IN

Adding a Pin It Button to your blog is simple when we are using plugins on our Wordpress.org websites. All you need to do is navigate to:

Plugins > Add New and located jQuery Pin It Button For Images. Install and activate this plugin from the list. Other plugin results will show up too, just find this one and install it!

2. CONFIGURE THE PLUGIN

What I love so much about this plugin is that you can control how it works super easily, saving you time and ensuring you get exactly what you need out of it! To do this you'll need to navigate to:

SettingsjQuery Pin It Button For Images

This will bring up all the options that you have at your disposal to not only control how this plugin works on your site, but you can also customise the way it looks! You will notice there are three tabs: 'Selection' 'Visual' and 'Advanced'.

You won't need to worry about changing anything in the 'Advanced' tab, but let's talk about the setting on the other two pages:

Selection:

Leave the majority of the settings as the default on this page. However you might want to consider the 'on which pages the "Pin it" button should be shown' settings. I generally select only 'Single Posts' and 'Blog Pages' because I don't want the Pin It Button to pop up on my homepage and other internal pages. But this is totally up to you, play around with these settings as much as you like and you can always change them later.

I also change the 'minimum resolution that should trigger the "Pin it" button to show up' setting. This is the restraint that stops people from pinning super small images that you didn't intend for pinning. I set my minimum resolution to 400 x 500 and again, you can set this to anything you like, or even leave blank if you're not fussed!

Visual:

I then go into the visual settings and have a look at those settings.

Firstly I consider the 'transparency value'. This is where you determine if you would like to apply opacity to any degree on the image when your visitor hovers over it. There are pros and cons of this feature and it's really up to your personal preference if you want to change the opacity of your images on rollover. I am keeping my images as is, but if you do want a little opacity, try setting it between 0.1 to 0.3 so it isn't too extreme!

In this tab is also where you set the 'custom pin it button'. Check the use custom pin it button box and then upload your image using the upload button. Press refresh preview to make sure you are happy with it!

You can also play with the positioning of your pin it button by changing the '"Pin It" button position' and 'margins'. You will notice my pin it button hangs over the image slightly on the left. I did this by including a negative value on the top-left margin.

Hover over the image below and see for yourself!

Brand-IT-Girl_Pinterest_Download-FREE-PinIT-Buttons

To help you along with your new custom button, I am giving you 6 Pin It Buttons to choose from!

The six buttons offered to you here are completely free! You just need to download the zip folder and get started! I just ask that you don't resell or redistribute these buttons!

Using one of the Brand IT Girl Pin It buttons? Drop your link in below in the comments, I would love to see them in action!

Your privacy is protected! Check out our Privacy Policy here!

Adding Google Analytics to your Website

BrandITGirl_GoogleAnalytics-BlogPost

Adding Google Analytics to your self hosted Wordpress site is simple with the use of a handy little plugin in called Google Analytics by Yoast!

Install the Google Analytics by Yoast plugin by navigating to Plugins > Add New and searching the plugin name. Activate this plugin and then in a new tab, open Google Analytics. Sign up for a Google Analytics account and you should see this page. Fill in your site information and hit Get Tracking ID at the bottom of the page.

BrandITGirl_GoogleAnalytics-1

You will now see a page that displays your Tracking ID and Tracking Code. Go back to your Wordpress dashboard and on the left panel you'll see the Analytics tab. Click on this and you should see this page:

BrandITGirl_GoogleAnalytics-2

Click 'Authenticate with your Google account' > a popup will appear, follow the steps then copy and paste the code into the authentication box. Otherwise you can select 'Manually enter your UA code' and enter the Tracking ID number on the Google Analytics page. It will start with the letters UA.

And it's that easy!

It may take a few days to start seeing your data and may also say that it's not installed or not receiving data. Come back 24 hours later and you'll see Status: Receiving Data next to your UA code.

What is the Genesis framework?

BrandITGirl_BlogPost_What-Is-The-Genesis-Framework_BlogPost

So you have been hearing about the Genesis framework on a bunch of blogs that you admire. You have even seen the words pop up on this website, but you don't know what it is and you're not quire sure how to work it out. Let's demystify it all for you!

The Genesis framework, created by Studiopress, is a powerful platform that you can use to build your website. It has a range of features that make it highly dynamic and versatile:

  • Genesis is great for SEO (search engine optimisation) meaning that your website will be picked up by search engines like Google much more efficiently.
  • Genesis themes are responsive across all devices, so you don't have to worry about which device your visitors are viewing your site on - it adjusts to work perfectly whether you are using desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
  • Once you have purchased Genesis you get unlimited (and fantastic!) support through the forum and support tickets and also unlimited updates.
  • Genesis is harder for hackers to penetrate, so you have peace of mind!
  • Themes are highly versatile and easy to customise. It's optimised to use widgets, plugins and advertising - making your life a whole heap easier!

BUT HOW DOES IT ACTUALLY WORK?

1. WORDPRESS

One of the big things that confuses people is how you actually run Genesis. It's super simple. You need a self-hosted Wordpress site (unsure about installing Wordpress? Read this guide!) and the Genesis framework is uploaded as a zipped theme.

Appearance > Themes > Add New

Studiopress (the company that makes Genesis) describes your website as being a car. Wordpress is the engine! It is the inner workings of your website.

2. GENESIS

The Genesis framework is body and frame of your car. It's the structure.

When you upload your zipped theme to your Wordpress site, it can be used on it's own. You would get a clean, simple website but your customisation options would be extremely limited. Similarly, your car would be basic, simple.

But if you use Genesis with a Genesis Child Theme, your options are infinitely more!

3. GENESIS CHILD THEME

Think of the Genesis Child Theme as the paint job, the bells and whistles.

Think back to the websites that first introduced you to Genesis. You may have noticed the colours, the images, the unique layouts and functionality. Take a look at this website - the way the homepage is laid out, the areas in the sidebar and the elements through the site. All of these things are a result of a Child Theme.

There are an array of Child Themes on offer around the web. Studiopress, the creators of Genesis, offer a range of themes or you can choose to purchase one from an independent designer, like Brand IT Girl!

And the best part - using Genesis and Genesis Child Themes don't require knowledge of code. You can get a gorgeous website up and running in no time without needing to know any advanced coding at all. However, if you do know how to code, there are also endless opportunities for code customisation.

BrandITGirl_BlogPost_What-Is-The-Genesis-Framework_CarLine

NOW THAT'S POWERFUL!

Check out our range of Genesis Child Themes and get your copy of Genesis today!

Just Starting Out: Installing Wordpress

BrandITGirl_JSO_Installing-Wordpress_BlogPost

There are a bunch of blogging/content management systems you can pick from but my favourite is Wordpress. It is a dynamic and flexible platform and is appropriate for people of all skill level. It will grow with you, allowing for you to practice design and development skills as you learn more.

In this instalment in the Just Starting Out series, we will be looking at installing Wordpress on your self-hosted site.

Firstly, go to your hosting control panel. For people who have hosting by JustHost.com you will need to type into your address bar: http://justhost.com/cpanel

SBC_just-starting-out_installing-wp_1

Login using your username and password. Ensure that you are in the home tag and select Install Wordpress from the Website menu, located half way down the page. On this page, click the green Install button, as shown below.

You will be taken to a page which will ask you to select the domain you would like to install Wordpress to. If you entered your nameservers in properly (covered in Just Starting Out: Nameservers), your domain name should show up in the drop down menu. Select it and click next. Alternatively, you can add Wordpress as a directory extension by typing an extension name in the directory box after the / like I have. Click Check Domain.

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You will be taken to a page called last step, your almost there! which has two check boxes that are unchecked. Check them both, and more options will appear under show advanced options. Fill in your details and click Install Now.

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It will take a few moments for your Wordpress to install, so sit tight. There will be a green progress bar at the top of a page that is displaying theme add-ons - ignore these. It should only take a minute. It will tell you when it is completed and you can click view credentials. Click on view in the alert panel and you will be taken to a page that displays your URL, Admin URL, Username and Password. The URL is the address the world will use to see your site and the Admin URL is the one you use to log into your Wordpress.

It's a pretty easy process when you know what you are looking for. Other control panels will be similar, but this one is specific for JustHost.com. Now you are all set up, log on to your Wordpress and start building!

Just Starting Out: Domain Name and Hosting

BrandITGirl_JSO_DomainName-Hosting_BlogPost

When you are just starting out, it is often difficult to know where to turn to for help or what to do. So this mini series Just Starting Out will help you to take those very early steps towards owning your own website. In this first edition we will be looking at buying a domain name and hosting service. If there is anything specific you are struggling with and you would like me to share my tips and tricks, please leave a comment below or email me!

BUYING A DOMAIN NAME

When buying a domain name, you need to know that you are just buying the www. name and not the hosting too (which is the space that your content sits). Some companies offer hosting and domain name packages but I find buying them separately works just as well and can sometimes be cheaper.

GoDaddy is my favourite domain name provider. It is worldwide, affordable and there are never any problems with them! Simply head to their site, select your country in the top left corner, this link is set to Australia, to ensure you are looking at prices in your currency and enter a desired name into the search bar.

A list of extensions will come up for you to choose from. I always recommend .com but I also like .net. I only recommend .org for organisations and other extensions can be difficult for readers and clients to remember.

BUYING HOSTING

I recommend using JustHost.com for your hosting. They are really well priced for space and are super reliable. I have been a customer of Just Host for about four years now and I cannot recall a single period of downtime other than scheduled maintenance, which as really quick, so much so that I didn't even notice! The thing I like most about JustHost.com is it's control panel. It is really user friendly and easy to navigate. I have also heard great things about BlueHost.com. Which ever host you choose, it's a good idea to look at the amount of space you are getting - it is easy to find cheap unlimited space hosting these days, so I wouldn't be settling for anything less!

If you are going to follow this Just Starting Out series, I recommend that you do stick with GoDaddy and JustHost.com. I am not affiliated with either of these companies in anyway, so you know my recommendation is genuine!

Stay tuned for the next post in this series: Nameservers.

(Please Note: I am not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned in this post.)