Jeanette CatesSo you want to set up a website! Here's my quick-and-dirty approach to getting your site up quickly and cost-effectively.

1. Register your domain name. Can't find the name you want? Scroll to the bottom of the page on the registration site and you'll see several ideas. Still need more ideas? Invest in a copy of NameRazor for just $35.

Why do I recommend this site? It lets you set up an account so that you can manage your domain (or multiple domains). You can change your server, park the domain, change contact info, etc. Unless you've wrestled with this with other companies, you can't appreciate all of these capabilities. For now, trust me!


Your Full Name:

E-Mail Address:


2. Host your site. You can pay anywhere from $5 to $25 per month for hosting. Even more if you want special capabilities. I've found with all of my clients that everyone can work with this Host. It's less than $100 per year, if you pay in advance. If you pay quarterly, it's a little more. The host will be set up within 24 hours.

Note: You'll need to go into your account at Dotster and change your name server to the Hostsave names. If you need help doing this, contact me and I'll walk you through it.

If you need to host mutiple sites, there is a site that can handle that for you affordably. If you're new, I suggest you get your first site up and running before you tackle multiple sites. However, if you see the domain names you want, register them now. Internet real estate goes away quickly!

3. Create your site. Do you need to be a web designer? No, but it helps! Here are a few ideas:

a. Purchase a template ($5-10) for your site so that the design work is taken care of. Then all you have to do is enter your information in the templates.

b. Purchase a package with templates and a web creation program. Profit-pulling webpages not only gives you multiple templates, but it also provides a step-by-step tutorial on how to use a free web design tool. For under $25, you can be up and running almost immediately.

c. Learn to use a web creation program. FrontPage and DreamWeaver are examples. There are TONS of websites dedicated to teaching you these programs. Here's a good page with lots of links to other sites.

Here's the latest possibility. After many years of looking for one I could recommend, I've found a "builder" product. This combines hosting with a web creation package. Essentially you choose a template, fill in your content (much like you would in a word processor), then click to publish your pages. You have all the capabilities of creating your own pages without having to learn a web creation program. And your site can be up and running within an hour or two. Here's the one I recommend.

d. Hire a professional to do it. There are many choices; however, a simple 5-page site should never cost you over $1000! For the latest list of web designers I recommend, send an email to

My prejudice is to always hire a professional. If you follow the principle that you should "spend 80% of your time doing what you are uniquely qualified to do", then you'll easily see the wisdom of hiring a professional for this job.

Here's my latest product that could be answer you're looking for! The 8 Hour Website. Yes, it walks you through all the decisions you need to make to get your site up and running in 8 hours or less. If you've been putting off creating your multi-page information site, this is the solution. It even recommends the hosting and design solution that lets you get it all running in 8 hours.

4. Add a shopping cart. There is only one choice, as far as I am concerned. This shopping cart has distinguished itself so far above the rest that it's left the competition in the dust. Why do I feel so strongly about this? Because I've used other carts - and they will all cost you a lot more in the long run. If you're just starting start with the lowest level. You can upgrade later. Contact me for a free copy of the 30-minute quickstart I created for the shopping system.

5. Collect money. Again, there are several options. Here are my three favorites:

Paypal is a way to collect money without a merchant account. It's easy to use and affordable.

ClickBank is another way to collect money AND have affiliates selling your items. Again, it's easy to use and affordable - plus you'll have a lot of people who can sell your products for you!

Your own merchant account. In 2 weeks you can be accepting credit cards at your site. This company actually provides you with an 800# where you can talk to a human being, PLUS they post their merchant account rates. Great service and great rates.

If you need a merchant account in a hurry, then this is your best bet. I've never heard any negative comments about them and they are fast.

6. Expand. Your website is a never-ending project. In fact, it will go through four stages. And your learning curve will go through many stages, as well. So keep learning and keep asking questions. To ask me a question, email

Dr. Jeanette Cates, The Technology Tamer™, helps small business owners turn their websites into gold. She is the founder of TechTamers and author of Online Success Tactics: 101 ways to build your small business. She is a frequent presenter at national and state conferences.

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