First off, I’m definitely not the first to do a site like this or to do a blog post about it. Do an internet search, and don’t take my word for gold. Actually, trying WordPress is a first for me. I might end up hating it.
I went head first with WordPress and GoDaddy. That doesn’t mean you should do exactly what I do. I know how to program and learn new web technologies. But, I’m limited on time and cash, so I chose WordPress as a CMS (Content Managment System). I also chose GoDaddy because, well, they have hot chicks on their ads. And it’s easy to find discount codes for them.
Chris Rocket of Promote Your Music has a great setup for musicians for $23. Please read this as an alternative to see if it fits you better. My setup costs about $80, but for a full year. This amounts to $6.70 dollars a month, but you have to pay the full cost for the entire year. Do not do what I describe unless you have $85 in the bank. Even Chris’s recommendations cost you a monthly fee. Calculate the full year balance to see what is best for you.
GoDaddy tries to upsell you on everything at every step. Some of the things they offer seem like you really need them. “Drive more traffic to your site!” “Domain Privacy.” “Secure certification of your site!” But you don’t need them. These really don’t do much for you except tag on a significant increase in yearly cost. You are a musician, and you are broke.
Here’s the golden rule. When in doubt, go cheap! Remember this.
Choosing Your Domain
GoDaddy.com is a hosting and domain site. The domain is your address on the internet. When you see something like facebook.com, that’s a domain. You want a unique domain for your band. Actually, even if you can find the domain name you want, double check that shit. If you’re using “dashes”, you’re doing it wrong. If your search for your band name turns up a page of results before the name of your band, choose a different band name. That’s why I chose “Shiplosion” for my band name. No one has that name, and it’s unique. If your name is “The Band”, good luck, fool.
DON’T STICK WITH A COMMON BAND NAME. Make sure your band name will come up first if people just search for your band name. If you have to tell people to use quotations in their google search to find your band, you’re doing it wrong. I know. My last band was called “The Them”. If you don’t use quotations, my last band’s name conflicts with “Them”. Van Morrison is still way more popular than my band. Seriously, research a bit first to save yourself years of heartache. 3 years into your career is the worst time to change the name of your band for legal reasons.
Now that you have a band name, go to GoDaddy. On their front page, you can type in to see if your band name is available as a .com. The “.com” is the most memorable domain name. I would suggest getting a .com. If the .com name is taken, I’d recommend getting another band name. Most people will naturally search for the .com name and will give up searching for you if they don’t find it the first time.
Do I need .co, .org, and .net as well?
Now, remember GoDaddy will try to upsell you on everything. You don’t need multiple domain names for your band. You don’t need a .mobi, .co, .music, or whatever they are selling. Just get the .com.
The next step is choosing how long you want to purchase the domain name. I chose one year. GoDaddy will notifiy you when your domain needs to be re-registered, so don’t worry about losing it.
Choose to leave your domain uncertified. Again, a “certified domain” is just another upsell that’ s not necessary for your site.
The next step wants you to sign up for extra “privacy” settings. Ignore this, unless you really, really don’t want your address listed on “WhoIs”. Every domain gets entered into a “domain registry” that lists your name, phone number, address, and when your site registration expires. This is so people can contact you if they would like to buy that domain. Also, so the public, in general, knows who owns this domain name.
From what I’ve read, this privacy protection doesn’t do much for you. So it’s your choice to hide your whois info. Personally, I haven’t seen any extra spam or any type of identity theft.
E-mail and Hosting
The next step is setting up your e-mail and your hosting. The e-mail part is optional. You can set up a free Gmail account. Personally, I prefer having e-mail that has my band’s website on it. I chose the smallest number of e-mails and storage. I will probably only use one e-mail address, and I doubt I’ll need to store more than 2GB worth of mail and attachments.
The hosting part is important. The domain name is just a name. In order to have an actual website, you will need hosting. Hosting means they give you a place to put your website. Choose the 10GB, economy option. You can upgrade later if you hit that space limit, but why waste money in the short term?
The other two items I ignore. “Drive traffic to your site”? You know what actually drives traffic to your site? Content. That means your music, pictures, show dates, and videos will drive traffic to your site. Nothing else.
SSL certificate? How secure do you think websites are if anyone signing up with GoDaddy can get an SSL certificate? Useless.
Paying: Keep it cheap and don’t forget the promos
Now you’re at the last step: paying. Remember, they’re going to try and upsell on this page. Keep it simple. Choose cheap and choose least number of years. If you have the dough, you can potentially save money by choosing 2 or 5 year plans. Personally, I don’t have that much cash.
The important thing however, is the “Enter Promo Code”. GoDaddy has a TON of promo codes! Go to Google and search for GoDaddy + promo code. You might be able to save yourself 5 to 15% off the cost.
That’s it for part one. The next part is actually new to me, installing WordPress. I just installed it the other day, and, it’s cool, but a bit challenging. However, if you want a website, and you don’t want to learn web design, WordPress is awesome.