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Welcome to Your (Web) House Party

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In this episode of marketingXP—Welcome to Your (Web) House Party—Rachel shares how building your website can be just like building the most epic house party ever! Listen to the episode for the three fundamental building blocks of your website and, if you’re looking to impress a client or executive in your life, access the PowerUp for this episode >>>

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Episode Transcript

It is time for another marketingXP episode. I am your host, Rachel Moore. Today we’re going to talk about how to build your house party AKA, your website, and I am not gonna dig into all the ways to build your whole website. What I am gonna touch on are the three essential components of a website.

Now, I put this into an analogy for myself to understand how it all works. So for those of you who have or run or want to run your own website or are gonna be responsible for it in any way, there’s some building blocks to a website that every one of us should know. So here we go. There are three things you really need for a website to work, to function.

You need hosting. You need a CMS platform, content marketing system platform, and you need a domain. Now, here’s how this breaks down. I want you to think about, and whether you are in an apartment building or in a home, or some kind of structure where you live. There are some aspects to that property that really correlate to a website.

Hosting is your property lot.

So the first one would be the plot of land and that we’re gonna call the hosting of a website. So if you’re thinking about a plot of land upon which a structure sits, and I’m not even talking about landscaping, I’m like talking about the bare minimum dirt of a plot of land. So there is some actual real estate that you have and can use.

That equates to the hosting of a website. Essentially, you’re saving space for yourself out in the great worldwide web, and that’s where your website is going to be and kind of occupy some space. Now there’s nothing there. There’s just dirt, right? Think about when you drive down any street and you’re like, oh, there’s, you know, empty lot just dirt.

There’s no signs or anything. You hardly look at it and you don’t even know like what the address is or anything. It’s just literally is dirt. So, There’s no reason for people to like, Ooh, let me pull up and really check out this dirt unless you’re like a archeologist or something like that. So that is hosting, it is a plot of land.

So now you’ve got hosting. You’ve got your lot of land. Okay, so there’s some space reserved for you. Next you need to think about. Okay, great.

CMS is your whole home, inside and out.

Now I’m actually gonna build the house or build the property up into something I can live in, okay? So this can include landscaping. It includes the foundation of the structure. It includes the walls, the floors, the windows, the roof, the driveway, the welcome mat.

You know, everything you can see from outside of a house. It’s like, ooh. Maybe you love your own apartment building or home. Or you see one in the neighborhood and you’re like, oh, that’s just a gorgeous house. Think about that like a website, like, man, that is a pretty website.

I like it. So there’s all that stuff on the outside that compels people to be like, Ooh, I like it. It’s pretty. But then there’s the interior that is also your content marketing system. All of this is the home what people can see and interact with in your house or on your website is all of these things.

They can open the door, they can walk up the steps, open the door, cross the welcome mat, cross the threshold, get into your interior rooms. They see paint or wallpaper on the walls, rugs, carpet or hardwood floors or tiles so that it’s all the things they interact with. There are bathroom fixtures they might need to fiddle with or lighting fixtures.

So, all of that, all of the stuff that you built up from the ground, the very dirt foundation of your plot of land, that is your hosting of your website. All of that stuff you built up as the structure is your content marketing system. It’s the stuff that your people on your website can click on, they can read, they can see, they can play, they can enter a form. All of those things. That’s your content marketing system.

URL is your street address.

Finally, the third component of your website is your domain, your address, so again, think about real life, right? If you get invited somewhere, or there’s a restaurant or some attraction you want to go visit, you’re going to put that into a mapping app, and you’re gonna like say, how am I gonna get there?

To get there, you need the address. Now you could use the landmarks that are like, oh, it’s kind of over here. It’s right off of the corner of Broadway and Oxford, or something like that. And you could find it, but what you wanna do, you give people a specific place to go. Your domain is your website address. That is the exact place you can tell people to type into a browser. They will come visit your house or your website that you have built up.

So those are the three components you need for a website: hosting is the plot of land, the dirt, the real estate; CMS, a content marketing system that builds up the house and the structure and all the ways that your visitors, people that visit your house, your house party can interact with it; the domain, you need the address so the people know how to find your house party, you know, how do I get there? How long is it gonna take me to get there? Is it easy to find?

So three tips for when you are either creating, building, or maintaining a website.

I’m gonna take it from, if you’re gonna create one, you need to grab your domain. Now, I know we talked about kind of from the ground up, so there’s the lot level, the ground, the hosting, you build up the structure of the content marketing system, and then you need a domain and address that’s the actual like numbers and street address of your house for your website.

But before you do all that, you gotta grab your domain. You need to reserve that. Now, domains, if you’ve ever tried to buy a domain, the internet’s been around for a bit, so sometimes it’s kind of hard to find the exact domain you need. You need to settle on what that’s going to be for your business. Okay? You can go on pretty much any kind of website.

You know, GoDaddy is a really popular one, but there’s all kinds of them that, that you can go out there and buy a domain, search for a domain, what’s available. I want you to consider as well, my origin story in marketing is in social media. You always wanna try as much as possible to be able to marry up whatever your domain name is, marry it up to your brand name, so it’s as similar as possible, but also can be used as a handle on multiple social media platforms.

You want that to be as consistent as possible, so you make it just a lot easier when it’s the same word or the same phrase. Okay? But yes, you need the domain first. You can buy just about on any service. Based on how unique the domain might be, it might cost you a little bit more. Usually domains are pretty affordable.

And you may wanna think about not only buying, but also a .net or a .biz or .biz or anything where it could be an alternative, where what if somebody else buys that other version of the domain and you don’t want people to get confused. My good friend Phil Gerbyshak advised a while back, he’s like, you know, it’s always a good practice if you have an idea for a website or a brand, buy the domain and don’t set it to autorenew yet, but buy it for two years worth.

And then after two years you haven’t done anything with that. Go back in and you can say, okay, I’m gonna buy one more year. And give yourself time to flesh it out. And if you still haven’t done anything with that domain, you probably need to let it go after three years. ’cause maybe you’re just not gonna get to it, okay?

If you’re part of a brand that is going to be long, have longevity like a startup and you want this to exist forever, buy as much as you can, five years worth, set it to autorenew. You don’t ever wanna lose your domain ’cause if you do, suddenly nobody can get to your website. Okay? So grab your domain first.

Then you need to settle on what your CMS or content marketing system is going to be. Now, there are a ton out there. WordPress is a very well known one. I dunno if it’s necessarily the most popular anymore. I’m certainly familiar with it. But we also have stuff like Webflow, you’ve got Squarespace and other things like that out there where they really make it easy for a novice or someone who is not a web developer to go in and start building out a very pretty serviceable website.

You could opt to hire a web developer. These are people who are gonna be super well versed in HTML, which stands for Hypertext Markup Language or CSS that stands for Cascading Style Sheets, that kind of coding that really when somebody knows how to code that stuff, they can make your website just do epic things beyond the scope of a normal CMS capability. So think about that. How complex custom do you need your website? If you can just kind of go with an out of the box stuff and build on it with plugins of things, you can certainly use a C M S platform. If you wanna get a little more intricate, hire a web developer and pay them well ’cause they know how to do things you don’t know how to do.

What is the quote by Joker. If you’re good at something, never do it for free. You should always compensate people for the value they add to you. I know I just got on a soapbox there.

Finally, for hosting, that’s where all the data and the files of your content structure and the content within it is going to have to be stored.

And, you know, there are a lot of hosting platforms that can do that for you. IONOS, Host Gator, Blue Host, GoDaddy, I use Site Ground. I just find it’s, you know, usually these hosting sites will make it super easy for you to not only manage the intricacies and the coding and the settings of your website, but also oftentimes they offer ways for you to update your website and things like that.

Tool Tip: SiteGround for website hosting

With that, I’m going to segue to the power up portion or the tool that I wanna recommend for this week that is SiteGround. I am gonna give them a shout out. So I’ve used SiteGround a few different times for some websites that I build. And I’m gonna raise my hand right here. I don’t know how to code a whole lot.

I’ve got some super basic ability in HTML, but usually it’s ’cause I’m going and looking it up saying, okay, how do I do HTML code for this that I want to do? SiteGround is amazing ’cause I had to actually migrate recently my old website, Really.Social into my new website. and I was going so far, but I was like, I don’t know what I’m doing and I’m not doing it right.

So I would put a ticket in and within 24 hours, it fixed whatever the problem was. And I was like, oh, they made it possible for me to get that site migrated over. I probably, and I really should have had them do that sooner because I probably spent a good 30 hours trying to do it myself. I’m worth about $75 an hour or more.

I could have just paid them the $30 to just fix it and they fixed it within an hour. What a waste. So I say that as a disclaimer for myself, self-deprecating, but also to say, wow, they really came through for me. So, site ground if you want me to enunciate that.

But I really recommend them as a great tool for your web hosting. And with that, everybody that is this episode of marketingXP podcast, please find, follow us and subscribe to us or wherever you like to listen to your podcast. Leave a review ’cause that tells me. Hey, you’re my audience. It’s gonna be the data I need to tell me if like, oh my God, you’re smelling your own fart.

Or maybe you’re not, maybe you actually are thinking about what I need. And if you’re wondering where that reference came from, visit the kickoff episode. So thanks everybody, and we’ll be back next time with another episode of marketingXP. Get your game on.

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