Chapter 1

Getting Started

The very first thing to do, if you have not already, is to lock down your domain name.

Hosting your website is

an inevitable step to getting

your website online.

If you don’t already know, web hosting is a necessary and extremely important factor for your website. Simply stated, hosting providers manage the server your website will live on to be broadcasted online  Platforms such as Shopify, SquareSpace, and Wix, all come with hosting features, thus taking the hassle out of deciding which provider to go with. On the other hand if you are going with WordPress or a similar platform like Joomla or Drupal, you have several options to choose from. While these options can be overwhelming, we have curated a list of hosting providers we believe to be some of the best in the business.

Our Preferred Hosting Partner: Liquid Web

LiquidWeb is our preferred hosting partner and one of the best hosting providers around. Their range of services along with their dedication to adding a personal element to hosting solutions makes them a clear choice for #1 in our books. LiquidWeb has been around for over 20 years offering hosting services, ranging from dedicated and cloud servers to managed WordPress and WooCommerce hosting, with the ability to build custom hosting solutions to fit whatever your website may need. Learn more about LiquidWeb and their hosting solutions on their website.

Other Hosting Providers

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

Secure Sockets Layer or SSL is a standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browser remain private. In short, an SSL makes sure the personal information entered by your users, either when filling out a form or making a purchase, is passed through securely.

Even if your website does not have contact forms or e-commerce capabilities, it is strongly recommend to have an SSL certificate. Why? Well, according to Google Webmaster Trends Analysts Zineb Ait Bahajji, SSL is now a part of Google’s search ranking algorithm. You read that right, Google is now dramatically punishing your search rankings for not securing your website, keeping you from reaching potential leads.

It is quick, easy, and affordable so get an SSL certificate! SSL’s can typically be received through your hosting provider, but there are options out there like Let’s Encrypt, GoDaddy, and Rapid SSL that offer great, and even free security solutions for your website.

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

If your website target audience spreads a wide geographical range or is internationally visited, it might be wise to implement a content delivery network, or CDN. A CDN distributes your website to multiple servers which work together to provide fast delivery of your website. In other words, John in Los Angeles, California is seeing the same webpage load just as fast as it does for Pierre in Paris, France. This is because a CDN recognizes where your user is looking up your website from and serves it from the server closest to that user – pretty sweet right?

Learn more about the CDN options and how they differ before making a selection. Check out Akamai, CloudFlare, KeyCDN, and CrunchBase. Want to learn more about content delivery networks? Check out this great article from Akamai.  

Chapter 2: Platforms