A simple guide to creating an online business

Inspired by a recent blog post entitled Website as a Business, We've decided to compile a hyper-focused digital guide on creating your WaaB (primarily for solopreneurs, start-ups, and consultants).


You and/or your company need a website. You'd like to make it your central hub for attracting targeted visitors, nurturing leads, conducting business transactions, and supporting & following up with existing clients. What do you need to do to accomplish this in the simplest way possible? The purpose of this guide is to answer this question.

Initial Setup

The following are required to be set up prior to publishing your website (in the order that the list is displayed):

  1. A domain name
  2. Web hosting
  3. Website platform (i.e., CMS [content management system] or website builder)
  4. 3rd-party plugins/apps (to add to your website platform's built-in functionality) {These can be removed, added to, or expanded on at any time thereafter}

Choosing Your Technology Stack

There are virtually countless options for configuring all of the above, with advantages & disadvantages for each. Below are some recommendations for putting together a sound website ecosystem.

Domain Names

Typically, a person will register a single domain name (i.e., website name) through a domain-focused registrar (or domain registrar, for short). While this is suggested, as they usually offer both facilitated and advanced processes for registering your domain, transferring it to another registrar or Web host if need be (and eventually mapping it to your site), user-interfaces are sometimes clunky and confusing to manage. What most would think to be the easiest of technology decisions often results in a significant amount of frustration... hence the reason why aspiring website publishers tend to stop there in their entrepreneurial journey.

For those who get over this hurdle, the path that lies ahead does start to materialize quickly given consistent actions are taken (most of which are routine in nature).

Web Hosting

There are essentially two paths to take in regards to hosting your website. As an FYI, the registrars we've previously discussed, while potentially hosting your domain name, don't need to be your said host for website publishing; hence, the two can be separate. Also as mentioned, you would manually map the domain name in this case. Most domain providers and Web hosts offer easy-to-follow guides for doing so, some of them going so far as to link them for you semi-automatically (usually from the Web host's settings).

The options we opened up this step with can be broken down into 3 options:

  1. Self-hosted (that is, having your site hosted either on your server [i.e., a physical server owned by you] or a virtual private server [more often than not referred to as a VPS])
  2. Shared hosting, basically sharing a single virtual server with several other website publishers, and one that the chosen Web hosting company manages (load-balancing, etc) on your behalf
  3. And finally, cloud hosting, which sees an overlap with common shared hosting in that it's also managed for you; the latter, however, usually offers more advanced features (such as a CDN [i.e, content delivery network], which is a cluster of global or regional servers primarily delivering quicker load times to your site visitors (regardless of where they're located geographically) {Another popular benefit is faster individual page load times for content-heavy (eg: image-centric) websites}