The year is 2015. Building and maintaining a website can be quick and easy (Don’t be fooled to thinking it’s not). Unfortunately, many people still look at building a website as a daunting task. In this post, I want to highlight how Hamilton was able to achieve a quick, flexible, secure, and scalable web presence by harnessing the power of a dedicated server and open standards.

A Few Outdated Mentalities

  1. A website takes months of planning and costs a lot of money.
  2. A website requires a person with a computer science degree to create and update.
  3. A website needs to be run by a website vendor (Wrong for many reasons…including being $$$).
  4. A website is static and can’t evolve over time.
  5. A website won’t work well on a mobile device.

Step 1: Setting the Foundation (One Time Setup)

Setting the foundation for strong web presence is key. If you choose to have your website created and hosted with a vendor you will be locked into 1 website that is not flexible. A strong foundation will serve as the building block for all websites/microsites you wish to have (yes you should/will have many). A strong foundation starts with the following components:

  • A managed dedicated web server running a Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP (LAMP) – 1 Day Setup Time
  • Backup methods (We run multiple methods including: Amazon S3, Local Backup, Google Drive, Offsite Backup) – 1/2 Day Setup Time

Step 2: Setup Your First Website (For Each Site You Create)

Now that you have a solid server foundation, choose a project for your first website. For the purpose of this post, we will examine setting up full District Athletic website in 2 days.

  1. DAY 1: Choose a domain: we choose ($10 registration fee)
  2. DAY 1: Install a SSL Certificate. ($40 registration fee)
  3. DAY 1: Setup a site using your server WHM (Web Host Manager) (Free)
  4. DAY 1: Install WordPress (Free)
  5. DAY 2: Install Premium WordPress Theme ($60)
  6. DAY 2: Add pictures and content (Free)

Step 3: Test and Tweak

Over the course of 2 days we were able to create the following website:

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Take a second to let this sink in. Imagine being able to create a flexible, secure website in 2 days for $100. It is important to note that creating this website required absolutely no programming. The site can now be updated by anyone with basic computer knowledge using the simple to use WordPress dashboard.

What if we need to add a new page or change the content? Very simple. Login to the WordPress dashboard, find the page, click edit, and click update. Your website is now up-to-date. What if we need to add a newsletter? Simple. Add a newsletter widget through the WordPress dashboard and you are in business.


Final Thoughts

Information changes on a daily basis. It is critical to be able to launch and update websites quickly and easily. By using open standards (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP, and WordPress) you are able to take control of your websites.

Has this site been perfected yet? Absolutely not. Websites are not set in stone. Your website/websites will continue to evolve over time. By using WordPress you can quickly get the information you have up and running and continue to add and update content throughout time. Don’t let days, months, years pass before getting up a quality and flexible website.

Here are a few other websites that have been launched using the methods described above: