- Buying a domain – GoDaddyor Namecheap.Both are very simple. Go Daddy can offer as low as $2.99 for the first year of owning the domain with a 2-year commitment. The second and following years go up to $14.99. You can find domains on Namecheap for $10.69 annual (first, second, so forth).
- Website builder/ content management system (CMS) – WordPress. This blog (as of 03/09/17) is built with Blogger. It was real quick to get up and running several years ago when I started. However, Blogger lacks the power of flexibility and a strong theme ecosystem to customize like WordPress. The themes make your site stand out, and many can be incredibly easy to implement “WOW” elements.
- Hosting – Siteground.This is a new recommendation. I launched 100 Strangers, 100 Days with Digital Ocean. It was easy, but also had several hiccups. Plus, it’s expensive. I checked out Siteground, and found this to be WICKED easier. A few clicks, and you’re up. Simple, fast, and a fraction of the cost of other hosting services.
- WordPress Template – Enfold. This theme is very simple and hugely powerful. It’s drag-and-drop capabilities are superior to what I’ve found on other sites. Meanwhile, you can customize the heck out of your site with very simple UI. The team has done a great job of still playing nice with plug-ins for even greater flexibility. Also, they back up their work with great support. Just select a demo template from their packaged theme, and go from there. Simple.
- Emailer/ marketing – Mailchimp.It’s an Atlanta-based company bootstrapped from the start. Real quick to use this to capture emails, and notify your readers of updates.
With the above, you can launch a site and have a simple landing page up in a couple hours. It could happen faster, but you’ll likely noodle over color schemes, pictures, and the like. Know that with this set-up, you can take your time or be quick.