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-   -   Newbie about to take the plunge! (http://www.v7n.com/forums/showthread.php?t=262174)

maestoso 07-18-2011 10:35 AM

Newbie about to take the plunge!
 
Hi Friends,

(I know this is a bit, long, thanks for your willingness to help!)

I was so pleased to find a friendly resource such as this!

I'm trying to whittle down my plans to take my first site live, and I wanted to run my ideas by you. I would appreciate any feedback, commentary, or even links to helpful guides/tutorials that you may know about.

MY TECHNICAL BACKGROUND:

I own Adobe Dreamsuite, and am comfortable with basic HTML and website design. I took a free class at my university about it; I own some "For Dummies" books; and I have numerous bookmarked tutorial pages. I'm still quite a newbie, though.

MY SITE:

I'm a pianist and a composer. I've composed several original pieces. I will record videos of myself performing them, mp3s of myself performing them, and have already created the sheet music of my compositions. I plan to market my site on youtube with my videos (of both my compositions and other pieces). I plan on then selling mp3s and the sheet music on my website. Maybe a t-shirt or two as well. Also, I'll be writing short articles and guides and doing more youtube videos about music and about how to compose and things like that. I think with youtube and these articles, I'm establishing a decent foundation for marketing.

MY QUESTIONS:

Do you think it would be best for me to just to do a simple WordPress or Weebly website instead of making my own? What advantages would I have either way? Like I said, this is my first site, so I've never dealt with hosting or anything like that.

I've looked into tools like e-junkie for facilitating the sale of my digital products (the mp3s and sheets). It would be around $10/month. What do you think about this option? I've also read about creating a PHP script with PayPal that would automatically redirect my customers to a secure, limited download page--I don't have experience with that, though. How hard is it?

Am I heading in the right direction? Do any other suggestions come to mind?

Thanks so much!

HTMLBasicTutor 07-18-2011 11:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maestoso (Post 1706731)
Do you think it would be best for me to just to do a simple WordPress or Weebly website instead of making my own? What advantages would I have either way? Like I said, this is my first site, so I've never dealt with hosting or anything like that.

Get your own domain name instead of using a free site. Why? Because you are not tied to the free service. Sometimes they decide to close and then you have now way of directing your incoming links or any promos you have distributed to your new location.

Using a free site you are also bound by the limitations they have in place.

Get your own hosting account. Select a company other than your domain registrar. i.e. don't go with a one stop shopping arrangement. If you keep things separate then if things go sour you can move on.

Quote:

To be successful on the internet, an online business needs a well thought out business domain name, control of itís domain name and quality web hosting along with a well designed website visitors will want to bookmark and come back to once they have found you in the search engines.
Starting an Online Business

Install Wordpress yourself instead of using the web hosting's quick install. You can pick it up from wordpress.org. The web hosting's copy of Wordpress (or any other stuff available via quick install) could be out dated or they could have customized the program, thus limiting what you can and cannot do. This would mean you are no further ahead than the free site.

There are lots of free Wordpress themes around or you could go with a paid one.

Quote:

Originally Posted by maestoso (Post 1706731)
I've looked into tools like e-junkie for facilitating the sale of my digital products (the mp3s and sheets). It would be around $10/month. What do you think about this option? I've also read about creating a PHP script with PayPal that would automatically redirect my customers to a secure, limited download page--I don't have experience with that, though. How hard is it?

You could use Mals Ecommerce for free (up to a point) and still redirect the purchaser to the download after payment (either by PayPal or your chosen merchant account).

Quote:

Originally Posted by maestoso (Post 1706731)
Am I heading in the right direction?

Yes. Sounds like you have thought this out before starting therefore trying to avoid mistakes and wasted time and money.
Quote:

Originally Posted by maestoso (Post 1706731)
Do any other suggestions come to mind?

You should also learn about SEO (search engine optimization) so you set up your site correctly from the start. This is a very good ebook available at a reasonable price: Effective SEO Techniques.

Read through the search engine guidelines yourself. This way you know first hand what they want to see. Google has a PDF on search engine optimization: Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide - Google (opens PDF)

You could also have a look through our Search Engine Optimization forum.

maestoso 07-18-2011 11:47 AM

What a helpful response! Thank you so much!

maestoso 07-18-2011 12:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HTMLBasicTutor (Post 1706763)
"Get your own hosting account. Select a company other than your domain registrar. i.e. don't go with a one stop shopping arrangement. If you keep things separate then if things go sour you can move on."

So, do I understand the process?

1. Buy a domain name.
2. Get an agreement with a hosting company.
3. Design my site.
4. Upload it to my webhost.

Is it really that simple? (Thanks again for your patience. I've never actually done this before!)

HTMLBasicTutor 07-18-2011 12:12 PM

Basically, yes but the design/build part is important. How you construct the site is important is just as important as how it looks.

inconf 07-18-2011 12:34 PM

Hi

I am not technical at all (i outsource all of that stuff)

However I use bluehost for domain registration and hosting, I then install wordpress (always wordpress) this takes 5 minutes, I think bluehost charages are $80 for the year to host and any subsequent domain names costs $10.

Pick a keyword rich domain!

I usually purchase a theme from woo themes or forest themes and have a designer create the look and feel i want.

I then add relevant unique content, videos, articles etc.

Marketing:

All social media
Article submission
document sharing sites
content syndication
PPC
SEO
Banner ads
etc

Good luck with your venture!!
Mark

maestoso 07-18-2011 12:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by inconf (Post 1706792)
However I use bluehost for domain registration and hosting, I then install wordpress (always wordpress) this takes 5 minutes, I think bluehost charages are $80 for the year to host and any subsequent domain names costs $10.

Thank you, Mark.

Okay, I have to sheepishly admit that I don't understand something here.

After one buys the domain and hosting space, then you install WordPress to the server? If I understood that correctly, you can then just easily visit your domain and manipulate via WP's tools?

I was, perhaps mistakenly, under the impression that I had to construct my site, and then upload to my webhost. How is the WP option different?

inconf 07-18-2011 01:10 PM

Hi,

Most good hosting companies nowadays have the function to allow you to install your domain on wordpress with a few clicks in the cpanel! It is a very simple process.

There are a few tweaks you need to do in the wp admin, one being your permalinks, again easy to do ( I will have to dig out the correct setting for you!)

Once your site is live, as you say you can then start playing with the WP settings.....I do recommend buying a better theme, but thats just me, some of the free wp themes are great, and easy to use.

Plugins you need:

All in ine SEO
sitemap xml
social media plugin (not sure on name)
There are more I will have to go into a site ot see what i use!

Hope that helps

HTMLBasicTutor 07-18-2011 01:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maestoso (Post 1706798)
Okay, I have to sheepishly admit that I don't understand something here.

After one buys the domain and hosting space, then you install WordPress to the server? If I understood that correctly, you can then just easily visit your domain and manipulate via WP's tools?

I was, perhaps mistakenly, under the impression that I had to construct my site, and then upload to my webhost. How is the WP option different?

After you secure your hosting,
-you need to setup your database
-edit the config file within the copy of Wordpress you got from wordpress.org
-upload the copy of Wordpress then go through the install process
-by default, Wordpress will use it's own default theme
-you upload your own theme (free, paid or your own creation) to the themes folder then activate it.

When you first get a domain name and change the DNS (domain name server) information to the info the hosting company gave you the stock answer is that it takes 24-48 hours for all the domain name servers around the world to catch up. This means you may not be able to see your domain right away and install Wordpress.

Seeing you said you have the Adobe package, another option, if you want to create your own theme is to install WampServer on your machine, install Wordpress (great way to practice), then create your own theme on your computer. Working out the kicks before you try going live.

Don't go plugin crazy. Each one adds to the download time of your site. i.e. makes it slower.

Some themes use a lot of Javascript and/or plugins to function. Something you need to be aware of.

As far as a Sitemap goes, Matt Cutts, Google Employee, has said if you have to choose which to do first, do an HTML site map. (note the different spellings ;)). As you look through our SEO and Google forums, you will see that people have a terrible time with Sitemaps because they are done incorrectly. Sitemaps do not help get your site indexed any faster - this is a false rumour that you will see around.
Quote:

Google doesn't guarantee that we'll crawl or index all of your URLs. However, we use the data in your Sitemap to learn about your site's structure, which will allow us to improve our crawler schedule and do a better job crawling your site in the future.
About Sitemaps - Google Webmaster Tools Help

maestoso 07-18-2011 02:53 PM

You guys have been so incredibly helpful! There appears to be a lot more to actually getting a site live than just clicking a button. I'm sure I'll refer to this thread often in the future.


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