I am a big fan of things that are fast, easy and free. I used to design websites in HTML, but since I am not an artist, they were, at best, utilitarian and rather plain. I now leave the real designing to professionals like SJP Designs and Group Somma. However, when I get an idea and I want a website up and running quickly. I head to WordPress.
For Registering a domain, I recommend GoDaddy. My only pet peeve with them is the concentrated “up-sell” you have to go through to actually get a domain name registered. I tend to answer “no thanks” to almost all they offer.
I also prefer to keep my domain registrar and hosting companies separate. You’re probably fine registering and hosting with GoDaddy, but early in my career I got burned when the company I was registered with/hosting went out of business. It took a lot of time and effort to get the domain registered with a new registrar.
So, once you own the domain, get a hosting account setup. I use Westhost and have for over 12 years. They are a great company, reasonably priced, with very good customer service. They also offer WordPress one click install with a lot of fantastic available themes for free with your hosting account.
Here’s a quick How To on installing WordPress at your Westhost hosting account: http://askjoanne.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Use-Wordpress-for-Your-Website
Next step once WordPress is installed on your website is to set it up as the main platform for your domain (instead of just as an add-on blog). This is where I think WordPress can really shine… no programmer/designer required a complete DIY solution.
The next steps get a little bit technical, but not overwhelming. You’ll need to be able to use FTP to upload/download files and feel confident enough to copy some files and change a couple of lines of code.
I wrote a few Hubpage articles about how to use WordPress as your Main Domain and how to use a static homepage on your site (instead of the homepage going right to the blog).
The next articles will focus on how to customize your WordPress theme and which plugins I think are essential to extend the functionality of WordPress.
Here’s the WordPress site I launched last week:
Comments? Questions? Please post below.