Welcome to the Flipped Lifestyle y’all!
Hey y’all! We’re so pleased you dropped in to check out our Q&A with S&J. If this is the first time you’ve been here, make yourself at home and enjoy!
This is Q & A Thursday where we answer one of your questions. We wanted to do this because we get a ton of questions from y’all and we know that if one person has a question, lots of others do, too.
Every Sunday at 8pm EST we will open a post on our Facebook page and each week we will take questions from there. Every Thursday and Saturday we will be airing a new Q&A mini podcast with the answers. This will let us have more interaction with you guys and answer all those questions so you can get down the path we went down to build your business.
Resources Mentioned in this Episode:
- Namecheap – our web hosting of choice
Let’s dive into this week’s question!
SHANE: Today’s question that we’re going to answer comes from Neil Collins. Neil writes:
“What’s the best/easiest way to create a niche site? Should I use a free blog or self-hosted WordPress site, and what are some good free themes that I can use if I choose WordPress?”
JOCELYN: Alright Neil, we really recommend to go self-hosted from the beginning. It’s really not very expensive to do. You can get a domain name for around $11 or $12, depending on what the domain is from any domain buying site. We use, what is it called?
SHANE: NameCheap.com is what we use.
JOCELYN: Just a little note on that, always buy your own domains even if you’re having someone else design your site. You always want control of your own domain names in case something goes south with the design. You don’t want to have to try to get your domain name back. Always buy your own just as a side but you should always do self-hosted. Purchase your domain. It takes just a couple of minutes to install WordPress.
There are millions of videos out there that show you how to do this in just a couple of minutes. It’s really easy to do. Just start it up, start WordPress. It is not very difficult to use just to start your own blog and we recommend go and buy that from the very beginning. The hosting is a little bit more expensive. It’s probably around $100 a year, maybe a little more depending on the package that you go with. So there’s no other business that you can start for, you know…
JOCELYN: Less than $200 so we highly recommend going self-hosted from the beginning.
SHANE: And you can find hosting companies all over the place. Don’t use one of those like “design your own website” places where you drag and drop things. You want to get a hosting company. There are lots out there. A lot of people like BlueHost, a lot of people like HostGator, places like that where you can go in and they will host your website for you when you’re starting out very cheaply. They usually have like one click install for WordPress and WordPress is kind of like a Word processor. There’s a little bit of a learning curve to it but you can figure it out. It’s not that hard and we highly recommend doing that.
Now let’s tackle the other part of your question. We’ve already said use WordPress. It’s great, it’s easy, you can figure it out, I promise, but the free themes question, people always ask us that. “What is a good free theme?” You see, on WordPress, WordPress is kind of like a framework I guess, and then you can buy themes that you install on WordPress to change the look and feel of the site. There are a lot of free themes out there but pretty much, they are all kind of junkie and you get what you pay for. A free theme is not very good.
You are eventually going to change from a free theme to one of the more complicated frameworks that have better coding and just allow you to do more things to change the look and feel of your site. So what we recommend and what I wish we had done at the very beginning is to pick one of the major frameworks like Genesis. Genesis is a WordPress theme that works on top of, it’s like a framework that sets up on top of WordPress that allows you to have a ton of customizable options on your website. Then you get a Child Theme from a place called like StudioPress.com where you can really look through their gallery and think, “Man, that’s a beautiful website. I want my website to look like that.”
You can download that Child Theme and it works with Genesis to create the look and feel of your website. There is a lot of coding involved in designing a website but there are plugins that go with WordPress that take the coding out of it. One of the plugins that we use is called Design Palette Pro and that works with Genesis and allows us to basically just have a push button kind of interface to change the color of the background, to change the color of our sidebars, to change the color of our links or texts or anything like that.
So we really recommend not using a free theme at first. Maybe you can install a free theme to kind of get the lay of the land in WordPress and kind of play with some things and figure it out, but the earlier you switch to a really good theme like Genesis, the better you’re going to be in the long run and if you start with a free blog or you’ve already got a free blog right now, it’s really good to go ahead and convert that over as quickly as possible because you will outgrow the free sites and you also want to control that domain.
You don’t want your domain name to be ShaneSams.WordPress.com or ShaneSams.BlogPress.com. You really want it to be something like just ShaneSams.com. Make sure you get your own domain, skip the free themes. Go ahead and get WordPress, find something like Genesis, go to Studio Press, find a good Child Theme. They are really inexpensive. Themes cost maybe $50, something like that, and it’s really easy to get those set up from the beginning and it’s going to save you a lot of headaches on the backend.
JOCELYN: Definitely. I totally recommend self-hosted all the way from the beginning. It is going to cost a little bit of money but it will be worth it in the end.
SHANE: All right. Thanks for that question, Neil. That was an awesome question. We get that one a lot and I hope that answered your question. If you want to check out the transcript of this episode, you can go over to FlippedLifestyle.com./QA07 and you will be able to find the show notes for this mini podcast and any links that we may have mentioned in the show. Thanks again for all your questions, guys. This is so much fun to be able to just interact with you and answer your questions. That’s what we’re here for. If you need anything, let us know. Check out our Facebook page on Sunday nights where we take your questions for the QA with S & J. Thanks again for tuning in.
JOCELYN: See you later.
Do you need step by step instruction? Do you need us to help you create your digital product and get your online business started? Well, you can do that. We actually now offer a course called the Flip Your Life e-course where we show you how to create your first digital product in 29 days or less.
All you have to do to get more information on this program is go to FlippedLifestyle.com/FlipYourLife, and that’s all one word, and you can check out everything that we do in that course to help you get your digital product created for sale online even if you don’t have a website. That’s FlippedLifestyle.com/FlipYourLife. You can check when our next session is starting at that link.
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