I spent quite a bit of time setting up my website this week, especially since at my last writers workshop, I was teased a bit for not having a ‘real’ business website up. I admit, getting my website set up had always been part of the plan, but I wanted to get my feet wet with blogging first, before tried anything more complex. Well, now that time has come. I could have paid someone to do it for me, but I decided (for better or worse) to try doing it myself.
I decided to go with WordPress (.org, that is); arguably because it’s the platform ‘writers’ use. It’s sort of expected, and all my writerly friends are using it, so I decided to enter the same fun house. I got me a dummies book on WordPress, but before you can get started, you need to do a couple of things:
· Register your domain name (I had to do this for Blogger anyway, so I was already there)
· Sign up for (and get used to paying for) Web Hosting. The WordPress people are good at suggesting several hosting companies, but I took a friend’s recommendation and went with 1and1, and went with the uber-reliable Linux option. Mainly because they were cheaper and so far, their tech support has been fantastic. You also probably want to security on your space, so remember, that costs too.
· You’ll also need FTP software to upload your SQL and WordPress software to your site. I seemed to have trouble with (free) FileZilla, so ended up going with a SmartFTP Client (more moola).
· The SQL database setup and WordPress install were easy-peasy. The hard part is deciding which WordPress theme to use. The theme I selected is called Dusk to Dawn, but I’m not sure I’ll stay with it. I like it, but the header size is fixed (which doesn’t work with the image I planned to use as a header), and I’m already finding it much less flexible and user-friendly than my Blogger site. But I’m sure I’ll get used to it.
I also spent some time this week setting up my business checking account. I had one in Idaho, but hadn’t set one up in Oregon after my move. Just like setting up the webpage, there is some pre-registration you have to do before the bank will allow you to set up your business account. I my case (and I’m no expert; I’m just talking about what I did this week). I had to register Pandora Swift as a freelance business with the state ($$) and file for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS (which is free, yay!).
Although all this running around has kept me from writing as much as I’d have liked this week, it feels good to know I’ve almostgot my business act together. I’ll post a link to the new website as soon as I’m sure it’s good to go.