To assist you in setting up your online business in this post I’ll be sharing with you some basic first steps.

This article is really for people who are very new things like website creation and are unsure how to go about starting an online business.

So….let’s get started.

Your reason why

This might seem a bit off topic, but seriously, why do you want an online business? Have you considered things like:

  • What’s the main reason you want to be in business for yourself?
  • How will your business be of benefit to you?
  • To what extent will your business affect your current and future lifestyle?
  • Have you considered how your important relationships will be affected because of the time you will need to devote to this?
  • Do you have some working capital to invest in the business?
  • Do you have realistic expectations about how long it might take to develop a profitable business?
  • Are you prepared to do the work, and commit to your business for the longer term?

So, having cleared up that you’re serious about this let’s move on!

Domain name and web hosting

You’re business platform, or store front is going to be your website.

So, one of the first things you need to do in setting up your online business is to choose a domain name. You want this to be unique, easily remembered by future visitors, and hopefully it will communicate a little of what your business is going to be about.

Some people use their own name as the domain name, like I have on this website. Others will go for a business name.

Aim for a domain name that is short – ideally from 6-14 characters in length.

Associated with your domain name you will need to get website hosting. For convenience and ease of ongoing management I suggest using your chosen website host to be the registrar of your domain name in addition to being your host.

I currently use two different web hosts – both do a great job and I have no hesitation in recommending either Siteground, or D9 Hosting.

Both these hosts offer you a cPanel (stands for Control Panel) set up. What this means is that you have a graphical interface which conveniently lets you manage various services related to your website from the one place.

Don’t worry if you don’t know what this means yet – both hosts offer good training and help in using cPanel.

Choose a basic plan to start with, you can always upgrade later when your business grows. Ultimately though you will probably want a host that offers unlimited domains, and sub domains.

Website platform

The next most important consideration is to choose the platform or a framework to develop your website.

wordpress logo

The most popular framework today for building website is WordPress.

Once you have your domain name and host organised you can download and set up WordPress automatically from your cPanel.

Note: There are two versions of WordPress – see my article here for more on this

A lot of people don’t seem to stick with the standard Word Press theme, not that there’s anything wrong with it.

A lot of people don’t seem to stick with the standard Word Press theme, not that there’s anything wrong with it.

Instead, being conscious of their business brand and image many people opt for a theme which enables individual design, access to pre-designed page templates if you prefer, lots of flexibility.

Most important to me was having a theme that could be made to look really great, but at the same time very, very easy to use, and to learn how to use.

Since being online I’ve worked with only two themes – the Divi theme developed by Elegant Themes, and OptimizePress (which is the theme used on this website).

elegant themes is often used for setting up an online business website
optimizepress is often used for setting up an online business website

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are ‘affiliate links.’ This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Summary – Setting Up Your Online Business

OK….so you’re determined about starting your own online business.

In this article these are some of the things you’ll need to consider and take action on fairly early on in the process of setting up your online business.

Please make contact with me if you have questions about this, or have other questions you want answered.

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