$7.42/month website add an online store for free!

Create a small business website for only $7.42/month
Add an online store for free
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If you are dissatisfied with your website,
If your website information is constantly out-of-date,
If you wish to replace your Facebook page with a dedicated site, domain name, & company email address,
If you wish to avoid an expensive and hard-to-reach outsource vendor,
If you want more control over your website,
If you want to save money,
Then, bring and build your website in-house.

If this appeals to you

I have outlined three low-cost build-in-house website plans.
The first is only $7.42 per month.
The second increases the cost to $13.42 per month.
Both while avoiding the need for computer code skills,
accommodate a Free 3rd-option of adding an online store.

Website Builders – the primary difference between plans 1 & 2

The 1st plan engages the free BlueGriffon website builder.
Your website is built and saved on your PC, copied, and uploaded to your web host’s server.
This has a higher learning curve than the 2nd plan.

The 2nd plan uses the web host’s website builder.
It’s an easier-to-use drag-and-drop page builder.
Your website is built and located exclusively on the web host’s server.
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Website Components & Tutorial Links

The 3-plans plus closing comments follow.
But before you get to work,
Survey the required components for each plan.
The components are the site-building tools.
Review the instructional tutorial links.
The tutorials can fill holes in my recommendations and directions.
A survey and review will save you time and potential frustration.
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Website Plan #1
$7.42/mo
nth

Plan components = host plan, website builder, & file transfer app.

IONOS Web Host Essential Plan with an annual commitment.
$4.00/month first 6 months, Then $6.00/month
Includes the cost of the domain name the 1st year,
Then pay $17 per year for the domain name.
Review the BlueGriffon web builder before committing.

Note: If you have an existing domain name, you may transfer the domain to IONOS.
This provides one convenient place to keep track of your domain plus web host invoices & payments.
IONOS offers instructions during the purchase process.

> Select this LINK to purchase.
> Choose the Essential Plan.
> Add to cart. The “create domain name” screen appears.
The screen prompts you through the process.
When completed > Purchase the plan.
IONOS is ready to host your website.
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BlueGriffon
Website Builder

Review the BlueGriffon tutorial.
Select this theSiteWizard LINK.
theSiteWizard includes a download link for the Free BlueGriffon website builder software.

The BlueGriffon website builder requires more effort than the website builder in Plan #2.
If the process seems overwhelming skip to Plan #2.
The 2nd plan offers an easier-to-use drag-and-drop website builder.
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Filezilla File Transfer App.

The Filezilla FTP (file transfer protocol) app uploads your site, created with BlueGriffon,
from your PC to the IONOS server.
Your Tasks — Create an IONOS FTP account, Download Filezilla to your PC, and Upload your site to IONOS.

Create an IONOS FTP Account
> Login to IONOS.
> Click Menu (top left)
> Click Manage In the SFTP & SSH tile
> Click Create New Account.
A User name is assigned. Create a password. Create a record of your username & password
IONOS Tutorial Link.

Download the Filezilla app to your PC.
Free Download Link.

Upload your site from your PC to IONOS with Filezilla
On your PC > Open Filezilla. (The Filezilla page app appears.)
At the top of the page > Enter the host server address, user name, password, and port number.
(*See below if you need to find the server address, user name, password, and port number.)

The main portion of the page is divided into two panels.
The Left side = Website BlueGriffon page files on your PC.
The Right side = Website page files on the IONOS server.
Upload the BlueGriffon website page files from your PC to the IONOS server.
> Drag each page file from the Left PC panel to the Right IONOS Server panel.
IONOS Filezilla Tutorial Link.

*If you need to find your Filezilla connection data
Login to IONOS > Top Left Click Menu > Click SFTP & SSH
> Click Manage (FTP accounts are displayed)
> Click User Name.
Your Connection Data is displayed except for the password: home host server, user name, & port #.
If you forgot your password > Select Forgot your password.
That’s it.
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Website Plan #2
$13.42/month

Plan Components = host plan with drag-and-drop website builder.

IONOS Website Builder Starter Plan with an annual commitment.
$6.00/month first 6 months, Then $12.00/month.
Includes the cost of the domain name the 1st year,
Then pay $17 per year for the domain name.

> Select this LINK to purchase the IONOS Starter Plan.
> Choose the Starter Plan. It prompts you through the process.
> Add to Cart. The “create domain name” screen appears.
> Follow the instructional prompts.
> Purchase the plan.
> Create your site pages with the IONOS website builder.

Note:
If you already have an existing domain name, you may transfer the domain to IONOS.
This provides one convenient place to keep track of your domain plus web host invoices & payments.
IONOS offers instructions during the purchase process.

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Website Plan #3
Free online store.

Plan Components =
Subdomain, WordPress, WooCommerce,
WP plugins, SSL Certificate.

But first … a note about WordPress, WooCommerce, and Plugins.
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Plan #3 adds the WordPress content management system to your main website.
The WordPress content management system (CMS) is an easy-to-use drag-and-drop page builder.
Build your online store with WordPress as a “sub-site” with a dedicated “subdomain name“.
Think of this as a “sub-website” connected to your “main website”.
Insert a WordPress ‘store subdomain name’ link in your ‘main site’ pages and menus.
Your store, via this plan, appears to customers as another main-site website page.
More on the ‘subdomain’ in a moment.
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WooCoomerce is a WordPress plugin extension.
This plugin app automatically produces the required store pages– product page, store cart, and checkout. Each page will be edited to your needs.

Plan #3 grants access to your WooCommerce store via your ‘main domain’ website created
in Plan #1 or #2 using a ‘subdomain‘ name link. Again, more on subdomains in a moment
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WordPress Plugins
WordPress offers additional plugin extension apps that include a payment gateway, shipping app, email advertising app, sale tax calculator, additional security, and more. Plugins are essential for creating a smooth-working online store.
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Let’s build your store.

Begin with a subdomain.

Create a ‘sub-domain name’ for your WordPress store site.
The subdomain name is an extension of your main domain name.

> Login to IONOS.
> Select Menu @ top left.
> Click on the “Domains & SSL” heading.
> Click the Domain you want to create a Subdomain for.
> Open the “Subdomains” tab.
> Click the “Create Subdomain” button.
> Create the desired name for the subdomain.
For example – “store.yourmaindomainname.com.”
Note the ‘period’ between ‘store‘ and ‘yourmaindomainname.com‘. The “period is crucial”.
> Click Save.
Link wpbeginner turtorial – What is: Subdomain.

Note:
Remember to add your WordPress WooCmmerce subdomain link in your main domain page menus.
That is how customers enter your WooCommerce store.
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Next, Install WordPress with 1-Click.

> Login to IONOS.
> Select Menu @ top left.
> Go ToDomains & SSL”.
> Choose the domain your subdomain runs under.
> Click the “subdomains”.
> Click on the “use domain button“.
> Choose the “create website” option.
> Click on “flexible & complete.”
> Choose WordPress. Give the installation a title.
> Click on “Create website“.
> Create a user name. Don’t lose it.
> ChooseContinue with WordPress”.
In the last step > Assign the subdomain once again.
WordPress is automatically installed and set up.
Read this WordPress tutorial Link.
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Next, install WooCommerce in 2-Steps

Step 1
> Login to IONOS.
> Select Menu @ top left.
> Select Websites & Stores.
> Select your WordPress site.
> Click Edit Website. Your WordPress Dashboard appears.
> Select Plugins. @ the dashboard’s left column menu.
> Click Add New.
> In the Search field (top right), Search for and Select WooCommerce.
> Click Install
> Click Activate.
The Setup Wizard appears.

Step 2
Immediately after activating the plugin, you are taken to the onboarding Setup Wizard.
The Wizard & Setup Checklist takes you through all the necessary steps to set up your store.
• WoooCommerce tutorial LINK
• WordPress WooCommerce tutorial Link.

Next, Activate Your SSL Certificate.

A website SSL certificate creates the “s” in “https” that verifies your site is secure.
Your IONOS Website Plan includes an SSL Wildcard certificate.
IONOS SSL tutorial.Link

> Log In to IONOS.
> Select Menu @ top left.
> Click on the Domains & SSL from the menu.
> Click on the red lock symbol to the left of the domain you would like to secure.
Next In the tile for your SSL certificate > Click Activate Now.
In the Domain field > Select the domain & subdomain to which the SSL Certificate should be issued.
In the Change Usage drop-down menu > Select Use with my IONOS website.
Review the organizational details of your company. Make sure that the company and technical contact details are correct. Read the terms of use. Confirm them by Selecting the Checkbox.
Then, Click Set up SSL certificate.
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Next, install the following free 11 WordPress plugins.

Plugins add WooCommerce functions such as your customer’s payment gateway.
Search for each plugin via your WordPress website dashboard.

> Login to IONOS.
> Select Menu @ top left.
> Select Websites & Stores.
> Select your WordPress site.
> Click Edit Website. Your WordPress Dashboard appears.
> Select Plugins @ left side Dashboard column menu.
> Click Add New.
> In the Search field (top right) input the plugin name.
The 11 plugins are listed below.
> Select the plugin.
> Click Install.
> Click Activate.

The 11 WordPress Plugins.
Install, activate, and review tutorial links.

1. Square
for WooCommerce | Payment gateway accepts debit & charge cards.
> First, Create a Square account Link
> Next, Log in to IONOSSearch, Install, and Activate the Square for WooCommerce plugin.
You are redirected to the plugin settings page.
> Click the “Connect with Square” button.
Follow the on-screen instructions to authorize the plugin to access your Square account.
Tutorial instructional Link

2. Shippo
instructions. | Shipping discounts & labels.
1st create a Shippo account.
> Create a Free Shippo account Link.
Then install the Shippo for WooCommerce plugin.
> Log in to IONOS Install & activate the plugin.
Once the plugin is installed and activated, navigate to the ‘Integration’ tab of the WooCommerce settings page on your WordPress dashboard; add and manage your Shippo credentials. This allows you to connect your store to your Shippo account.
Shippo tutorial instructions Link.

3. Ominsend Instruction. | Automated email advertising. Free plan = 500 emails per month.
> Log in to IONOS — install & activate the ‘Email for Marketing for WooCommerce by Omnisend’ plugin.
Once the plugin is activated, the “Welcome to Omnisend” page appears.
> Select Create your Omnisend account. Start with a free account.
Omnisend tutorial Link.

4. WooCommerce Shipping and tax | Auto-calculates sales tax @ checkout.
> Log in to IONOS — Install & activate the plugin.
Note: Enable the Taxes and Tax Calculation feature only.
WooCommerce Tax Guide instructions Link.

5. The JetPack Bundle | Malware, login attack protection, and Content Delivery Network (CDN).
Jetpack instructional tutorial Link.

Jetpack
> Log in to IONOS Install & activate the Jetpack plugin.
> Select the Free Plan.
You will be prompted to set up Jetpack.
> Click Setup Jetpack. > Click Approve to connect.
> Scroll Down to the bottom of the page > Select Start with Jetpack Free Plan.

Next Enable Jetpack Boost & Jetpack Protect
> Log in to IONOS > Go to the WordPress Dashboard.
In the left side menu, > Hover over Jetpack > Select My Jetpack.
The “Discover All Jetpack Products” screen appears.
> Scroll down > Select Jetpack Boost & Jetpack Protect
a. Jetpack Boost
In Boost settings:
Enable “Optimize CSS Loading”, “Defer Non-Essential Javascript”, “Image Guide”, “Image CDN”,
b. JetPack Protect
Nothing more to do.

6. Advance Dynamic Pricing for WooCommerce. | Calculate discount pricing in the store cart & checkout.
> Log in to IONOS Install and activate the plugin.
Tutorial Instructions: Link #1 & Link #2.

7. PDF Invoices & Packing Slips for WooCommerce. | Invoices & packing slips.
> Log in to IONOSnstall & activate.
Tutorial Link.

8. WP Broken Link Checker.
| Detects broken website links on your site.
I> Log in to IONOSnstall & activate.
Tutorial Link.

9. WP Super Cache.
| Speeds up page loading.
> Log in to IONOS Install & activate.
Tutorial Link.

10. Gutenberg Block Editor.
Should load with WordPress install.
If not, Search for and activate the plugin. Gutenberg is the WordPress page editor.

11. Updraft Plus | WordPress site backups.
> Log in to IONOS Install & activate.
Choose from many cloud storage sites to save your WordPress site backups.
Google Drive is a free & easy storage site option.
Select these links for a free Google account and free Google Drive storage.
Updraft Plus Tutorial Link

Note: Udraft Plus backups only the WordPress ‘subdomain-site”.
Plan #1 saves the ‘main domain site’ on your PC.
Plan #2 saves the ‘main domain site’ on the IONOS server.

Select this Link for IONOS backup details.

Closing Comments

Customers Seek information.

Customers do not search for an artist’s dream page of trick animation and slick imagery.
If you waste their time, they will move on.
Build a website home page as a billboard or last-century Yellow Pages ad.
• Tell them who you are: company name, your name.
• Tell them what you do: custom audio/video sales, installation, repair service.
• Tell them where you are: street address, city, state, & include store hours.
• Tell them how to contact you: phone #, email address.
• Create a page banner of your product brands.
• Create a website page menu.
• Include menu links to your WooCommerc store.

Go-To Help Sites

The following sites are my go-to sites for more information and explanations.
They will lead you to answers.

WPBeginner is the ultimate beginner’s guide for WordPress.
Select this LINK.

The Site Wizard – Website design, Promotion, Programming, Revenue making.
This site is an amazing resource.
Select this LINK.

WooCommerce Documentation ‘search bar’ grants access to their library.
Select this LINK.

One last note.

I do not have any financial affiliation with any of the sites outlined above.
They are simply sites that have worked for me.
But do your homework.
There are many ways to get to 1st base.
That is, there are scores of online sources offering reliable expert information.

That’s all I got for today.
Captain Ed

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