How To: Building a Real Estate Website – Part 2

Scott Costello All 11 Comments

Setting up a website is not a hard task, but can get confusing because you are not familiar with all the terms.  I’m not going to try and clarify the terms for you as I’m sure all you want to do is get your website up and running.  This Article will focus on setting each piece of the puzzle up.  It may seem complicated at first, but that is because I’m trying to cover every single detail and go step by step through the process.  This could take up to an hour depending on how familiar you are with 1&1 and godaddy.  Lets get started…

Setting Up a 1 and 1 account

Step 1: Selecting the right plan.  Unless you have a thriving website right now you will only need the  1&1 Home Package

Step 2: You are going to use Godaddy to register your domain so choose Choose a Domain later.  Even if you have a Domain name already choose this option as we will re-point that domain once we get the account setup.

Step 3: Say No Thanks to the additional options they try to pawn off on you.  Not worth it.

Step 4: Say No Thanks to the anti virus software

Step 5: Make sure your package includes just the 1&1 Home Package for 4.99 (or 2.49 if you got in on the promotional offer).

Note: They charge you for the first 6 months up front, but that shouldn’t be a problem.

Step 6: Follow the rest of the prompts to put in your Country, Address Information, create a password, and payment info.

Your account should be all setup and ready to go.  Make sure you keep the emails they send you with all your account information.  You will need the login ID and password.  I will get into the guts of 1&1 in the next article.

Registering a Domain at Godaddy.com

Step 1: go to www.godaddy.com

Step 2: Click the Create Account link at the very top of the page (next to “log in to Account”)

Step 3: Fill out all the required info and check or uncheck any of those email newsletters that you want to receive.  I hate all those so I unchecked them.  Once this is done and your account is setup you are ready to start picking out a domain.

Step 4: Now it’s time to find a free domain name for your site. Go Here

This is gonna be frustrating for some people as it’ll seem like everything you want is taken.  Here are a couple things to shoot for when creating a domain name…

– Try and use a .com extension as it’s the most common and easiest to remember
– Use words related to your site or business (NJWholesalers.com)
– Try to use a locality in your address. (WhippanyHomeBuyers.com)
– I like to make it as short as possible
– Don’t use hyphens (-) if at all possible
– Don’t use tricky spellings for words like Buyerz instead of Buyers.  That will just cause confusion

Outside of those tips, have fun and keep trying different combination.  Godaddy will try and give you suggestions which may help, but they usually are terrible.

Step 6: YES!  you found a domain name,  now go ahead and purchase it.  Like everything else you buy online they will ask you to tack on additional items.  Don’t worry about “protecting your brand” or the other extensions like .net, .org or .info.  No Thanks.

Now the only tack on item that i would consider is the “Private Registration” which hides all your info from people doing a whois search on your new domain.  This search would typically reveal your name, address and phone number.  I am cheap and don’t pay the $10 a year for this but it’s not a bad idea if you are worried.  I would recommend it if this is for your squeeze pages though.  A little privacy isn’t a bad thing.

Note: they default your registration length to 5 years. I’d knock that down to 1 year.  Later on we will set your new domain to be auto renewed, but only if we like it a few months down the road.

When you get down to the bottom of this screen select no thanks. I’m ready to checkout. Then on to step 4 Select Checkout Preference:

Step 7: Review your purchase.

– Correct Domain Name
– Number of years (1 year) to register for
– Public (or Private) is selected
– Price is $9.99 (look for a coupon on google at this point so you can get a discount, you can plug the code in here)

If all is good check out.

Downloading WordPress

Step 1: go to wordpress.org and download WordPress 2.8 (latest version as of this article)

Installing WordPress on your 1and1 site

Step 1: Log into your 1and1 account.  Login Page.  You will need your Customer ID and password.  These should have been emailed to you when you registered.

Now that you are logged in you should see the Adminstration panel.  This has all the items you’ll need to get going.

Step 2: Under Web Space & Access, find and click on WebspaceExplorer.  This is like your windows explorer and will be the place you go if you want to organize your files, create folders or upload and download files.

Step 3: Create a Subfolder for your new site.

– Select File | New Folder.
– I like to use the same name as the domain i registered.  StugglingInvestor.
– Press Ok

Step 4: Upload the wordpress file you had downloaded in Downloading WordPress

– Make sure you are in the root directory “/”
– Select Transfer | Upload
– Upload the file WordPress-2.8.zip (or similar)

Step 5: Unzip the WordPress-2.8.zip file into your new folder (StrugglingInvestor)

– Select the WordPress-2.8.zip file on the right
– Select Archive | Unzip
– Select the folder you want to unzip the file to. (StrugglingInvestor)
– Press Ok.

It will begin to unzip and may take a minute or so.  Once the window closes all the wordpress files will have been unziped and placed in the folder you selected.  Lets navigate to that folder to take a look.  You will see a wordpress folder within your folder now. We want to actually move all these files out of the wordpress folder and into the base folder you created (StrugglingInvestor).  What we need to do is…

– Open up the wordpress folder
– Select all the files and folders (click on the first file/folder, then scroll down to the bottom of the list and while holding down your Shift Key, click the last file/folder.  All should be highlighted)
– Select Edit | Move
– Select the folder you created in step 3 (StrugglingInvestor) and press Ok

All files will now be moved.  You can delete the wordpress folder if you like as there is nothing in there anymore.

Step 6: Change the file name for wp-config-sample.php to wp-config.php

– Select wp-config-sample.php
– Select Edit | Rename
– type in wp-config.php
– Press ok

Step 7: Download wp-config.php to your computer.  This has to be done because you need to modify the contents a little so wordpress knows where your database is (we will setup the database up in the next step)

– Select wp-config.php
– Select Transfer | Download
– Click Download.  If asked place the file in a spot you can get at easily and will remember.
– We will get back to this file after we create the database

Step 8: Create a database.  You need a database in order for wordpress to work.  This is very easy so don’t worry.

– Go to the Administration Tab. (click Administration again so you see the main panel.
– Locate Web Space & Access and click on MySQL Administration
– Click New Database.  This will be a button in about the middle of the page under MySQL Configuration.
– Give the database a name.  I like to make it the same as the folder I create in step 3
– Make sure to select MySql 5.0 as MySql 4.0 is selected by default.
– Press Set Up
– Copy down the Database name, Host name, User name and password.  This is the information you will need when modifying the wp-config.php file in the next step.
– Click Go To Overview and you are done.  You may have to wait, after a couple of minutes refresh the page and it’ll say “ready” under status.

Step 9: Modify wp-config.php

– Find wp-config.php that you downloaded to your computer and open it with notepad
– Now you will have to replace the following.
– Find putyourdbnamehere and place the database name you copied down when creating the database. (leave single quotes)
– Find yourpassordhere and replace that with the database password. (leave single quotes)
– Replace usernamehere with the database user name (leave single quotes)
– Replace localhost with the database host name (leave single quotes)
– Close and Save the file

Step 10: Upload wp-config.php to 1&1 server

– go back to your 1&1 control panel and under Web Space & Access, Click on WebspaceExplorer.
– Click on “/” if you don’t see your folder (StrugglingInvestor)
– Click on your fold
– Select Transfer | Upload
– Upload wp-config.php from your computer to the server.  this will over write the existing wp-config.php


Point Domain Name to 1and1/Wordpress site

Step 1: Go back to the 1&1 control panel

Step 2: Select Domains

Step 3: Select New

Step 4: Where it says Domain Check enter in your domain name (StrugglingInvestor.com).  Make sure to include the “.Com” and then click Check Domain

Step 5: If you entered the correct domain name you will get a message saying “This domain name is already registered.”  That is ok because you are the one who registered it.

Step 6: Of the two options you want to select Point DNS to 1&1 name servers and keep your current registrar. Select that and press Next.

Step 7: This screen will ask about Mail Servers.  on the bottom just select Use the 1&1 mail servers then press Next

Step 8: On this final screen it lists Your Domain Name, Mail Server Settings and Name Server Settings.  Make a note of the two Name Server Settings (ns##.1and1.com) as we will need these later.

Step 9: Click Order.  Don’t worry there is no charge for doing this.

Step 10: Click Go To Overview.  You will see your domain name and under status it will say “DNS Settings incomplete with registrar.”  This is Ok as it takes a while for it to be ready.  At this point we don’t have to wait for it, but you will not be able to access your site until this says “Ready

Step 11: You need one more peice of information and that is the IP address.  In the Domain Overview, check your newly created domain name and select the DNS drop-down arrow and click DNS-Check. A window will pop up (make sure popup blockers are disabled) and copy down the IP Address (A record).  be something like ‘##.###.###.###’

Step 12: There is one more setting we have to set in the Domain Overview but we can’t do that until the status is ready.  So in the mean time lets go over to GoDaddy and point the domain.

Step 13: Pointing the domain…

– Go to Godaddy.com and login to your account.
– Go to Domain Manager
– Click on your domain name (StrugglingInvestor.com)
– Under Nameservers click Change
– Make sure I host my domains with another provider is selected and then replace Nameserver 1: and Nameserver 2: with the two Name Services you recorded in Step 8 (ns##.1and1.com)
– Press Ok.  It may take a few seconds to become official, but it will.

Next…

– Scroll down to the bottom and on the left you will see “Host Summary (add)“.  Click add.
– For Host Name enter ns1
– for Host IP 1: enter in the Ip address you recorded in Step 11.
– Press Ok.

That is pretty much all that has to be done for now.  We have to wait for the changes to propogate from GoDaddy through to 1&1 servers.  It may take up to 24 hours but usually takes about an hour.  You may get an email saying you are good to go, but another way to check is to browse to your domain name.  If it comes up with a godaddy.com default page (has sponsored links and advertisements) than it hasn’t gone through yet.  When you see a 1&1 default page then you are ready and we can perform the last step.

Final Step: Setting the Domain Destination

– Go to your 1&1 control panel
– Click on Domains
– Click on your domain name (StrugglingInvestor.com)
– In the Destination section click the “Edit” button
– Change your Home Directory to Existing Directory.
– In the Existing Directory* field select the folder you created way back in step 3 of  Installing WordPress on your 1and1 site (/StrugglingInvestor)
– Press Ok
– Go To Overview

Lastly, keep checking to see if your domain is pointing to your wordpress/1&1 site.  The reason being is that when you first go to the site it finishes off the final setup by asking you to give the site a Title and put in your email address.  After that it gives you the admin name and auto generated password that you will need to login to modify your site later.  The admin panel to your new site can be found at.  Http://www.<your domain>.com/wp-admin

 

Congratulations!  you have now setup everything you need for the webpage.  I know it seems complicated now, but if you ever do it again I promise it’ll seem like a breeze.

Next Article I will describe how wordpress works and get your site looking good and full of content.

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Comments 11

  1. Hey Scott,

    Thanks for listing this in detail! I fought tooth and nail with WordPress over the weekend, and I lost. LOL But I think I will give your directions a try (and find a new host if need be – I’m using Hostgator right now.)
    .-= Ingrid´s last blog ..Finally some action on my part =-.

    1. If you need any help just send me an email. Or actually post it to the article. It’ll probably help others as well to get the answers.

  2. Hey Scott,

    Thanks for listing this in detail! I fought tooth and nail with WordPress over the weekend, and I lost. LOL But I think I will give your directions a try (and find a new host if need be – I’m using Hostgator right now.)
    .-= Ingrid´s last blog ..Finally some action on my part =-.

    1. Post
      Author
  3. Hey Scott,

    A couple quick additions to your article. Here are some nice free WordPress blog templates:
    http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/01/08/100-excellent-free-high-quality-wordpress-themes/

    And also for people who aren’t very keen on web stuff, they may want to get a web host that does 1-click WordPress installations like Blue Host and Host Gator and numerous others.

    I’d like to contribute a couple articles for your website this month on this topic of Internet Marketing. What say you?

    Later!
    Shae
    .-= Shae´s last blog ..Found my Craigslist poster and a whole lot more! =-.

    1. I say EXCELLENT! send’m over and I’ll post them gladly. If you’ve got a 600×400 picture you’d like to associate to them include that with your email, or I’ll pick one 🙂

  4. Hey Scott,

    A couple quick additions to your article. Here are some nice free WordPress blog templates:
    http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/01/08/100-excellent-free-high-quality-wordpress-themes/

    And also for people who aren’t very keen on web stuff, they may want to get a web host that does 1-click WordPress installations like Blue Host and Host Gator and numerous others.

    I’d like to contribute a couple articles for your website this month on this topic of Internet Marketing. What say you?

    Later!
    Shae
    .-= Shae´s last blog ..Found my Craigslist poster and a whole lot more! =-.

    1. Post
      Author

      I say EXCELLENT! send’m over and I’ll post them gladly. If you’ve got a 600×400 picture you’d like to associate to them include that with your email, or I’ll pick one 🙂

  5. Pingback: How To: Build a Real Estate Website – Part 3 | Struggling to Get Started

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