The Dog Ate My iPad

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And with the invention of technology, there goes the last great excuse. Everything you need in order to succeed (regardless of what your definition of success is) is a mere stones throw away from where you are sitting right now. Please note that if you are sitting in front of your computer right now, don’t throw any stones, it’s just an expression. Now, where was I? Oh yeah…

Not a good cold caller? There are hundreds of books, workshops and coaches out there for you to learn from. Wish you could be a better writer? Start writing, there are plenty of outlets like starting a blog for you to practice on. Don’t have a job or a good education? Go to the library and start reading everything you can get yourself in front of…it’s all free!! In fact if you need a good excuse there is even a website called A Good Excuse that will help you come up with a good excuse if you need one!! Now you don’t even have a good excuse for not having a good excuse!

So, when it comes to your crappy website (or the fact that you don’t even have one) what’s your excuse of choice? You don’t think your business needs a website? You don’t have the money? You don’t know how? You don’t know anyone that can help you? You don’t think this Internet thing is going to be around much longer?

Really?

Well, I have heard them all, so in an effort to squash all of the reasons why you have convinced yourself that not having a professional website is actually a good idea, here is a very simple solution to get you started on the road to a kick ass website without all of the stress and money.

WordPress: I’m assuming that you have heard of WordPress…if not, you are staring at it right now. This site was developed in WordPress. It’s a free website and blogging platform that is very easy to setup, easy to maintain and you can find tons of free (or extremely cheap) templates to use that are actually really good and easy to customize. Just go to wordpress.org to download the files to get started.

Templates: Once you have your WordPress site up and running on a server, you’ll notice it probably looks pretty bad. The standard template they give you is awful. Don’t sweat it…there are plenty of good templates out there that range from free to just a few bucks. For example, check out a few of these:

  • WordPress Themes (WordPress has about 1,500 free themes on their site)
  • Genesis Themes (this is what I used for this site and it’s awesome! It’s a little more advanced but highly customizable)
  • WooThemes (these range from free to about $70 per theme)
  • Template Monster (some pretty creative themes for under $100)
  • Google Free WordPress Themes and start clicking

Plugins: WordPress plugins are what makes it so powerful! There are plugins that will help you increase your search engine ranking, create contact submission forms, photo galleries and so much more. You name it, there is a plugin. In fact, I think I will write a post next week on the 10 must-have plugins for your WordPress site, so make sure you come back!! In the meantime, check out some of the more than 18,000 plugins they currently have!

Tutorials: Don’t get intimidated! There are a lot of great tutorials to help you get from Point A to Point B. They will walk you through the installation process, how to add a theme and install plugins, create pages and even tips on how to blog! Just visit the WordPress tutorials and look around for help on what you are having trouble with. There is an enormous WordPress community out there ready to help you!!!

But…if all else fails anyway, just Google professional website design and hire someone on the first page to do it for you. No excuses!

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  • http://www.matthewlbrennan.com Matt Brennan

    Excellent post, Marc. You’re absolutely right. There’s no excuse left for not participating in the digital age. If you want to do business today, a website and social media presence are all a must.

    • http://www.marcensign.com Marc

      Thanks for chiming in Matt! What do you think the next “must have” in digital marketing is going to be? Mobile? Geolocation? Video? Gaming?

  • http://twitter.com/LEAmerman Laura Amerman

    Ditto what Matt says, and I add:  no excuse not to have a GOOD digital presence!  Crappy websites must die!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      If all crappy websites are dead though, what would I complain about?

  • Peter Van de Voorde

    Good post Marc. Just a quick question : which hosting firm do you use? There are so many to choose from …

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      I have a mix between my own servers at Rackspace (which can get pretty expensive) or I use Bluehost which is really good: http://www.bluehost.com/track/marcensign

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