thoughts


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If you’re ready to create your own website or blog, you’ve come to the right place!  Creating a site of your own can give you a great opportunity to share your thoughts with the world and give you an opportunity to eventually monetize it if desired.  The good news is that anyone can do it!

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Web hosting – find a place for your website to live
  2. Publishing software – unless you’re a coder, you definitely want an easy way to create and manage your site
  3. Decide on a domain name (mine is routetoretire.com).
  4. Create your website.

Sounds easy enough, right?  Let’s get started!

Web Hosting

When you create a website, it needs to live somewhere on the Internet if people are going to be able to get to it.  You could actually setup your own server at home to do this, but the cost and complexity don’t make that very feasible for most people.  There are companies that specialize in this area and because they can do this on a large scale, they are able to offer it pretty inexpensively.

You’ll find a lot of web hosting providers out there, but they’re not all the same.  Here are some things to consider:

  • lightningSpeed – If you sign up with a provider just because they’re dirt cheap, you might find out later that your website is slow when people access it… not good.
  • Uptime – This is critical – you need a company who has the technology in place to ensure your site is rarely down.
  • Customer Service – Some web hosting companies have a reputation for being arrogant or having bad customer service – you definitely don’t want that.
  • Extras – Different hosting companies give a variety of extras or “freebies” which can also make for a good deal.
  • Limits – Be careful of companies that put limits on various areas of your service, such as on drive space.

I spent a lot of time researching and comparing where to put the Route to Retire website.  Without a doubt, InMotion Hosting blew me away with their offerings.  Here’s what I found:

 

  • First off, they are one of very few web hosting companies offering to house your site on a server using solid-state drives (SSD).  SSD drives are electronic (life a flash drive) – that makes them extremely fast compared to mechanical hard drives (which most providers still use).  I’ve found that compared to my old hosting provider, there’s a significant speed difference between the two so I’m glad I switched!
  • They maintain 99.99% network up-time.
  • They give you a free domain name with your purchase.
  • They provide you with unlimited storage and their customer service has been terrific the few times I’ve used them.

inmotionlogo

Publishing Software

In addition to the web hosting, you want an easy way to manage and build your site.  You can go old-school and code everything yourself, but that’s a real pain in the $%^.  I would highly recommend that you skip all the hard stuff and use WordPress to manage and build your site… no need to learn all kinds of coding to make it!  WordPress is used by millions and millions of sites on the Internet and in my opinion, it’s got the easiest learning curve.

WordPress is free and allows you to easily change your website with themes at the drop of the hat.  It will also give you the ability to install plugins that can even further the customization of your site.

InMotion makes it easy and offers WordPress as a free install as part of your cost.  So the hard part’s really done in one step.

Click on this image to take you right to the WordPress Hosting page at InMotion:

While you’re there, you need to decide which package to get.  I chose the Power plan because I have a number of websites that I maintain.  However, if you’re new to this, the cheaper Launch package will probably be just fine for your needs.  Compare the plans and choose what works for you and know that you can easily upgrade at anytime if you need to.

plans

 

Decide on a domain name

During the signup process you’ll need to figure out what your website domain name will be.  As you know, mine is routetoretire.com.  Try to think of a name that will be easy for people to remember and that won’t be long too long to type if possible.  Keep in mind that, at some point, you may want to create email addresses for yourself or others based off of that domain name as well, so keep it simple.

You can do a search at http://www.inmotionhosting.com/domains to see if the name you picked is available.

 

Create your website

Now you’re ready for the fun!  InMotion has some great tutorials for getting your site up-and-running with WordPress (you should definitely bookmark this one!):

WordPress Education Channel

Some of the most important of the tutorials from the site that you’ll likely want to use are:

 

That’s it… it’s now in your court to publish some great content for the rest of the world to enjoy.  Congratulations!!

Good luck and thanks for reading!!

— Jim

Please note that I do receive a small referral fee at no extra cost to you if you sign up for InMotion Hosting.  This is a company I highly recommend and I pay to use them myself for this website.