Below you will find a list of my favorite tools for starting and running an online business! Some of these are affiliate links, some aren’t (not sure what an affiliate link is? Scroll to the bottom!*), but I have used all of them and they are what I use for or recommend to my clients when they hire me.
I highly recommend NameCheap. You will get the best price, there are always coupon codes, and I even have a video for you to show you how to purchase and register your domains and make sure you get the best deal.
If you are using a self-hosted platform like WordPress (the .org version, not the .com), and you are just getting started with your brand new website, then I recommend HostGator. I have a video to show you how to go about signing up for your new hosting account that will make sure you get the best deal and that you are only purchasing what you actually need.
WordPress.org is a FREE platform for building your website. It requires that you purchase a domain and hosting account, but it will grow with you from a brand new website and allow you to expand as your needs evolve and change. Once you purchase your HostGator account above (or another host of your choosing), you install WordPress into your hosting account and get started!
When you use WordPress.org to build a website, you also choose a theme to use with it. I recommend the Divi Theme because even if you don’t know a thing about website development or HTML, you can still put together a website relatively easily using the Divi drag-and-drop interface. If you have seen a website that you love and want to create something similar, unlike many of the themes out there that are pretty limited on what they allow you to design, Divi will allow you to basically start with a blank slate.
One thing you should know… there are both free and premium (paid) themes out there, but as mentioned above, I recommend Divi because it is user friendly for the non-website developer/designer AND it allows you to take lots of creative license without having to know or rewrite code.
When you purchase the Divi Theme license, you also get access to an additional theme and a couple of premium plugins through Elegant Themes (so you’re getting more than just a single them for your investment). You can choose to purchase an annual license or a lifetime license. If you’re not ready to make the investment for the lifetime license right now, go ahead and purchase the annual license and then mark your calendar for the Thanksgiving holiday/Black Friday/Cyber Monday (in the US) in November so you can go and purchase the lifetime license at a discount, plus, assuming they haven’t changed anything, you’ll get a further discount for already having the annual license.
(If you purchase any of the DIY website kit packages, you will need a copy of the Divi Theme. If you purchase a done-for-you service, the Divi Theme will be included in your package.)
*As mentioned above, some of the links here are affiliate links. Basically, that just means that if you decide to purchase through one of the links on this page and it is an affiliate link, I will get a commission from the company for sharing their product with you, but your price remains the same whether you click that link or find your way onto the site some other way. I am only an affiliate for products that I have used myself and recommend to my clients. If you are interested in becoming an affiliate, I have a program called the VA Skills Lab that you can become an affiliate for – when someone signs up for the program using your link, you get a commission! You can check out and sign up for the affiliate program HERE.