Stage 0(a): Website & Domain

To showcase my future books and connect with my potential readers (building my audience) I decided to create a website.  I did this through Ionos 1&1 and bought my domain (website name) with both the .co.uk and .com suffixes, and named it neilmansellauthor.

I went through a serious of names before deciding to have a basic website name that tells everyone what i do.  Precise and clear.

Alongside my thoughts for my domain name were the hosting with Ionos 1&1.  This means they would host my files along with register my domain name and other options such as SSL certificates (which will become important when selling my books online at a later date).

So I went for the Managed WordPress Hosting that allows me to get a WordPress site up and running straight away, choose a theme and have a Ionos WordPress Assistant that can help during the setup process, although I did not call on this help in the end as I managed to do this all myself.

I searched the web for help on WordPress sites although my previous knowledge helped me download and activate various plugins, some of which I haven’t used yet and others I plan to sue straight away.  I will go through these plugins in more detail later.

So if you would like to follow the same path, click on link below

This will take you to a Ionos hosting page where you have the option of the the different hosting solutions: Business, Pro or Expert. 

Each comes with different limits on domain, email accounts and hosting storage space.

I opted for the ‘Pro’ version at £1 for month for the first 6 months (figures may change), yes that’s £6 for the first 6 months and it goes up to £7 per month.

Obviously tour options may be different but I went for the Pro version as I wanted to also purchase .com domain alongside it which means the Basic would not cover it.

(To add: After I set it up I just redirected my .com site to my .co.uk site which means I only have to update one site which affects both).  All options come with the SSL Certificate.

There are 3 main reasons why you would want a SSL certificate for your site:

We’ll cover the 3 main reasons why websites need SSL.

1. E-commerce websites may need to have an SSL Certificate.

2. If you’re going to be using a form with ‘sensitive’ customer information. This helps keep your customer’s data from being intercepted.

3. If website has a login requiring a username and password.

I decided to make sure I had this in place to safeguard me against future eCommerce on my site.

You should then receive email from Ionos with details of your account/contract and various help guide links.

Once the WordPress site was setup, I just logged into my site admin link sitename/wp-admin).

Then selected my theme by going to Appearance / Theme.

It is worth noting that you can search the themes and see what it will look like by clicking the ‘Live Preview’ button on the Theme before activating it as your live theme.

You can also purchase pro versions of many of themes, although you do not need to do this at this stage; which I plan to do in the future.

Once you have selected your theme you click ‘Activate’ to make it your live site theme.

Now to add some content.

My WordPress site has pages and posts.  Pages are the main pages of the site (which can contain sub-pages or child pages) whereas the posts are like blogs for the site.  Smaller snippets of information that can be placed on the main page or any other page.

(For example, the JOURNEY and STAGES are pages but the content within each page are posts)

So, I added some general pages and posts.

Plugins

I won’t go into detail here about plugins as you can get your site up and running without installing any new plugins, but something to know is that you can search and install plugins for your site by going to Plugins / Add New

(Think of Plugins like apps for your phone)

Email

It’s worth noting at this stage that your domain account came with email. 

Depending on the hosting solution you purchased that could be 25 (Basic), 100 (Pro) or 500 (Expert) email address you can create under your domain.

So, you could create different email addresses for sales and marketing.

First you have to setup your email, in my case I logged into the Ionos Admin Control Panel

https://login.ionos.co.uk/

I did this by using my Ionos account number and password in the introductory email they sent me when setting up my account/contract.

I then clicked My Products and selected Email and depending on the service you have paid for you click on CREATE next to either Mail Basic or Mail Business (£5 per month extra).

The difference between these two is that Basic requires you to sign into the Webmail portal (see below) whereas the Business service allows you to get email direct on your phone/computer.

There are various other options available such as Email Forwarding (free) and other paid options such as Exchange 2019, 10Gb Storage, Virus Protection and Email Archiving.  I have opted to leave these blank for now, although I can always add these when I feel I need to.

After I clicked on CREATE it allowed me to create the email address on (in my case) either of my domain names. 

I also set up the forwarding rule here (you can set 10 forwards per email address) so at the moment it directs to my personal email, so as to not miss any emails arriving.  At a later date I plan to purchase the Exchange or Business Option though.

Once the email is setup, I logged into webmail to check for email messages and even sent myself one and replied to it for testing:

https://mail.ionos.co.uk/

I now have a live website and email address.  Exciting stuff, feeling as though I am now working a step closer to becoming an author.

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