We hope you enjoy this highly practical presentation on how to choose your store’s domain name and how to get WooCommerce setup with GoDaddy Pro’s Justin Nealey and host Cory Miller.
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Full Machine Transcript
Cory Miller 00:03
Everybody, welcome to a commercejourney.com webinar. I’m excited today to have a team member that does a ton of training from our great partner GoDaddy Pro on, Justin Nealey and we’re going to be talking about how to establish your domain name, how to think through picking a great domain name. And then Justin’s actually going to walk us through setting up a WooCommerce store using the GoDaddy Pro product, but you’re going to see similarities. I mean, WooCommerce is WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress. It’s the most popular eCommerce plugin on the planet right now in our software as a whole. And so I’m really looking forward to Justin sharing some really, really great practical tips. I’ll put the Twitter, Justin’s Twitter ID in the chat shortly. But thank you for being here. If you have a question for Justin or me, you can run underneath our video you can hit the Q&A button Or you can use chat and ask questions. We’re gonna have a good amount of time for questions and answers. Specifically, we’ve got a great expert here today and Justin. And so we want to take advantage of his expertise and time. So Justin, thanks so much for being here. Can you just for a little bit, share with us what you do for the GoDaddy brand? online? I know you’ve got a channel and you’re always doing some kind of training and everything. So could you share a little bit about what you do and your work for GoDaddy?
Justin Nealey 01:31
Yeah, so I’ve been working for GoDaddy for about eight years now. I started off in there, just customer sales and support, just call center, answering support calls and kind of worked my way through the ranks. So right now, my primary role, I’m on the partners, customer and product excellence team. So it’s all about improving the entire experience for our web designers and developers, whether they contact us through care or just the experience with products itself. So I do a lot of just random projects. But I’m also a co-host of our YouTube show the journey where we talk about a little bit of everything related to helping a small business thrive online. What I love about it is it isn’t GoDaddy focus, it’s just here’s how to help you we sometimes bring it up but the focus is more around the tips itself, rather than let’s sell you GoDaddy Products, which nobody wants to watch YouTube and see that right. So yeah, I’ve been doing a lot of that and then when I’m not doing the GoDaddy stuff, I’m I have my own side hustles if you will, helping other small businesses build out their WordPress sites. I’ve done a little bit of social media marketing, advertising, a little bit of SEO work, personal branding, a little bit of anything and everything online presence has been my life for the past eight years.
Cory Miller 02:52
We get it. Okay, well, we’re gonna have to have a follow up phone call. Cuz I want to talk to you about all the other things too, including the side hustles but your experiences really broad, which means you’re going to be this is, I’m looking forward to this because I know this is going to be a highly practical one. But all the work you’re doing. I mean, particularly for audience, that Commerce Journey means, you know, how digital marketing how eCommerce works on the web. And so that’s fantastic. And I’ll put links to everything that Justin talked about in the show notes and the recording afterwards. And also, we’ll be sending emails out. So if you’re not subscribed to Commerce Journey.com head there. Enter your address, so you can be sure to keep up with all the cool stuff we’re doing. All right. Well, thanks for that, that a context and background Justin. I guess we can just hit it, you know, get going and talk about our first thing is really, it’s a two part kind of webinar, domain names. And that’s a shorter part, but it’s a key part. In fact, in the last two weeks for projects I’m working on, I just acquired domain names that previously were registered and that process was interesting, by the way, I used after Nick, which is a part of the GoDaddy Pro family or GoDaddy family now. And the process was really interesting. I think I bought in that kind of realm, maybe three or four domains in the past like 15 years, that way instead of registering them, you know, brand new. So I know it’s a key subject, because it’s a part of our brand. It’s how people memorize, and how they find us. It’s our little, you know, website address, literally. So what are your thoughts about picking a domain name and for your eCommerce store?
Justin Nealey 04:34
Yeah. So if it works out, like I have a deck that we can kind of go through and then I encourage you to bring up what other questions that you have to kind of go through this stuff. But I wanted to be super prepared for your audience and make sure they get the most value out of this webinar. All right. But yeah, the goal for this is just help you and your audience get set up for success of your online Store. So we’ll just kind of skip through this here. So talking about like, what, what makes a great domain name? I think it first, like we have to establish what a domain name is just so there’s no confusion, right that that domain name is the address of your website that people type in the browser. And he talks about afternoon. But essentially, I like to think of domains as online real estate. Right? The better the location, if you will, the easier it is for customers to find you. And it’s like if you’re setting up your store, a really great domain name would be like setting your store in Times Square, and a really bad domain name is in the middle of nowhere down an old dirt road, you might get one or two random stragglers here and there. That’s how I like to really position domain as a whole just so we get out of the mindset of other just words, right? It’s so much more it can really make or break the entire experience with your business. And then there’s there’s a couple different types Have domain names like we all know.com right.com is king. And then we have dot net, dot org, dot info, dot biz, these are the most common ones use those are TLDs, which are just the endings of the domain names those top level domains. Then there’s also ccTLDs. This isn’t as prevalent here in the States. But if you’re, if you’re building a store that’s going to be hitting a different market, these absolutely come into play so.us is obviously for us but codit UK for the United kingdom.com au for Australia. de la which is actually used a ton in LA is actually for the country of Laos. 100 people know that there’s all sorts of different ones you can use that are super country code specific. And then some more the the fun ones are the gTLDs these are super new. Have you have you bought any of the new gTLDs yet? I have.
Cory Miller 06:51
I’ve bought team and dot live particularly, but there’s some really unique ones when you start like diving through. You can you can really Create some creative domain names, like, even back to your country code the.it. I think that’s a leak from not mistaken. But you know, you can, you can do word.id. So I’m trying to think of a one that’s suitable for the web, but published it, and I’m sure it’s taken. But you know, there’s creative ways to combine that. But these are interesting to me. I’m curious what your thoughts are about their, I don’t know, prevalence or awareness on the web of these, like I see a lot of dot jobs, I think is the GTL TLD relocation that’s on that tape.
Justin Nealey 07:40
Yeah. So obviously dot com is what we’ve kind of drilled in our heads that this is you go to any domain, it’s always calm. But you start to see these, the gTLDs become a little bit more prevalent when the dot coms are becoming pretty scarce for all too good domain names. And I’ve got some stuff that covers that a little later, but I’d like the idea of gTLDs especially if you want to have that kind of wordplay, right, like if you’re a pizza shop, you have Joe’s pizza, that’s a great domain name, chances are, you’re not gonna be able to get Joe’s pizza.com. And if you can, it’s not gonna be cheap. So different ways to really get a memorable domain name without having to shop the big box, if you will.
Cory Miller 08:22
I love that option, though, just and because it’s open these gTLDs have opened up, you know, all the good domains are pretty much taken, right? Yeah, especially the generic dictionary type words. But these detailed TLDs kind of opened up another creative aspect that like for instance, I mean, I’ve got a project called leader team. So you know, I could have got leader team. I don’t even know if I checked but you know, that leader team was available. I was like, Yes, that’s a brand.
Justin Nealey 08:53
Absolutely. And you can really build a brand behind these. And there are a ton of just random crazy ones. Like there’s a difference. WTF just because there’s like Ninja, there’s all sorts of this weird one. So if you do this for business grade, if you want to have some like funnel passion projects, there’s some options available too. But we definitely see domain sales are continuing to climb. So dot just all jet domain sales in general, up 4.2% over quarter, one 2018. So it’s $368.8 million in registrations, which is huge. These are brand new domains. So there, there are some still a lot out there. And we can see about half of that roughly a little bit less was dot com, dotnet domains, there’s still a lot out there. But things to keep in mind with registering your domain name, and making sure it’s a good, right, we want to make sure our domain name is short, like nobody wants to type a long domain.com into the browser. It’s just a pain. It’s a hassle, especially if we’re on our mobile phones with the typing in so on. 15 characters or fewer is kind of the golden rule, the smaller the better, hands down, then you want it to be unique and brandable. So I do like keywords in domain names, but I don’t like the domain name to just be keywords, right, you really want to build a brand behind the names itself. If you think of any of the popular businesses out there, the fortune 500 companies, they all built a brand around a name itself, not necessarily a keyword. And there’s lots of businesses that have had a rebrand, right, like Amazon was resilient books or something like that way back in the day, it changed Amazon so they can really build a brand around Amazon and they’ve done so incredibly well. They also want to make sure that it’s unique in the fact that it doesn’t necessarily resemble your competitors, especially if they’ve been around a lot longer than you have. They have more authority in your space. People are going to associate your business with theirs and just Going to their business. And then last tip here is leave room to expand. When starting a business and starting an eCommerce store, it definitely makes sense to pick a niche and really focus on that niche while you kind of grow and go from there. But I don’t like having the domain name super specific to that niche. Because if you do decide to pivot or grow or change, now you’re stuck with that, whatever it is. So if you’re starting to shell soup shoes online, you have Justin shoes.com, you start to sell their stuff, you’re not gonna be associated with selling anything else other than shoes, you’re stuck with that market. So think of different ways that if you had to change at all, you’re not gonna have to rebrand and spend all the marketing dollars behind getting people to associate you with something a little bit different there.
Cory Miller 11:53
That’s such a good point. You know, I started themes in 2008. And it was just around themes. We didn’t We would do anything beyond that. And then we eventually at the, you know, by the time I sold the business, about 10 years later, we were doing majority plugins. And people would ask us, and we’re like, well, at that point, I think it had evolved, the name had evolved enough where people knew it as a brand in the space, but you’re absolutely right to think through the future. One thing I want to note just and this is from my own failure and mistakes, please when you could you kind of mention it, but this isn’t as crass as the one I’m gonna probably mention but like you said, Justin, choose, okay, that’s your name. But if you’re on here and you’re listening to this about domain name, make sure you also print it out, like type it out and read it, put it in caps, put it in lower caps, because Justin shoes, I know it’s Justin’s shoes, but it could also be just in shoes, you know, and that is not a crass example, the one that we had this product called an eye themes exchange. You know, I’m going So we didn’t, we didn’t look at it in lower caps. And the first like, week we rolled out that product. Someone mentioned it online and we’re like, oh, no, I didn’t even think about that in a domain cram together. Lower case, it has a different it reads differently and we’ve all seen those, you know, novelty license plates that you’re like, what were they thinking? But I only say that as warning is like make sure when you know it’s available, like printed out, do uppercase, lowercase on the you know the letters and different things and make sure it just kind of sinks and that’s coming from my own faux pas there but anyway, I want to mention that
Justin Nealey 13:42
know that that’s huge, right? Like you don’t want to go down that road print off all your business cards and your print materials, everything else and then just end up wasting all that money having to pivot and change to something entirely different, or just hurt your brand’s reputation by people associating not so great things with iThemes, right?
Cory Miller 14:02
Yeah, well and also written it out, you know, reading out the letter and so if I’m trying to tell you what the domain name is over like a video here or phone call or whatever, how does it pronounce you know? And and is it easily pronounceable and I have honestly gotten so focused on this is just a cool like brand and haven’t done these type of things and obviously made mistakes so, but being able to you know, like we have a personal domain that’s twenty303, so if I don’t spell it out for you, you don’t know Is it right 20303 numbers it’s not by the way so I say this is like I want you all to learn from my mistakes and so this is just make sure it’s it’s easily presentable to another person with voice text that we just talked about caps and no caps so now Justin, you know my to like, policy like Monday to vague little and better mistakes.
Justin Nealey 15:01
Now I think we learn the most from our mistakes. And that’s what I whenever I try to like teach other people is like, I might be a few chapters ahead, but I want to help you skip the chapters that I just just ruined and failed in. So you get past that, right because we all learn from it. And if we can share and make sure that people still follow those same mistakes, they everyone wins. And then moving on to the radio test. This kind of goes back to what you were saying about making sure that it’s easy pronounceable is easy to say. But say you’re given a 10 second ad spot on the radio, whether you purchase it one in a conscious whatever the situation is, well, your domain name be catchy enough to remember someone who heard it and once to check on it. Once they got home or a couple hours later, after work, wherever that might be. Will they remember it? So you can kind of fake do this and create a little 10 second spot and talk to a friend about it and go through it and then just randomly hit him up a couple hours later. was like, Hey, remember my domain name. And if they can, then it was catchy enough and then kind of go through that and see if it might just be your ketchup delivery. But give yourself a fake radio test to see if it makes it.
Cory Miller 16:14
I love this, this is way better than the you know, just speak it out loud. This is this is really good and thinking through the promotional aspect of it too. And I it also made me think like, you know, test it with your friends but taste tested with different demographics, like age groups and different things. Like would I always use my mom as my bench test? Sorry, sure. But, you know, when my mom, you know, get it does she understand that specifically, I think, you know, I think you’re alluding to the audience to is making sure they can, like you know, really understand the domain and to your point remember it couple hours later.
Justin Nealey 16:50
No, absolutely. And with a good domain name it can be it’s that confidence that professionalism and that legitimacy in the marketplace. Having that debate bad domain name with high And everything else it presents unprofessionalism and shows that you’re not willing to invest in having a great domain name. So what else? Are you not investing in making sure that you have taken care of, as we already alluded to a lot of it, but things to avoid those hyphens and numbers, the 20303. Like, what is what does that actually mean? Is it 20 is it two zero. But also make sure that you don’t have hyphens and the domain name, it’s a one of the biggest indicators of a spam spammy website or malicious website just because they’ll it’s easy to capture. It’s also hard to say, right, like, if I go Yeah, my website is just from dash, dash web dash design dot com, doesn’t really flow off the tongue. It gets a little bit difficult there. It’s hard to remember hard to say. And then avoid those double letters if possible. There’s the Justin’s shoes example. Say you have press stops dot com with those three S’s chances are, they’re gonna miss an S and whatever else might be and then avoid those crazy Spelling’s, it’s hard to convey the right spellings there. And your customer is going to just end up spelling it the right way and go to a different website. All this kind of boils down to is making sure that your domain name is easy to say, spell, and remember. If you hit those three points, your domain is going to be a winner there. Have you ever used any of those domain generators before?
Cory Miller 18:29
Yeah, yeah, actually. They’re quite useful. Some of the sites and I think GoDaddy does this as well will help you kind of like add in common type words, you know, to help with the branding. But I’ve used those. Some sometimes. You know, pretty well, sometimes I’ll discover something. Honestly, today is why I went to afternic is, you know, I was just struggling couldn’t find something that well, okay. Got to go. Just check out what’s out there. I happen to find a brand that really worked for what we’re right on and but I think these are definitely useful and helpful you might find something like I didn’t even think about that. You know, it sparks some creativity for sure.
Justin Nealey 19:12
Yeah, I think that’s the biggest thing like the what they come up with might not be what you walk away with but it helps kind of get your get the juices flowing, if you will, right. But also want to bring out another tool is the trademark search, not an attorney. So please do your homework but before you register a domain name, find out if there’s already a registered business using the same name. So uspto.gov you can do a trademark search, consult your lawyer if you want to go any deeper if you can, or cannot but again, goes back to the you don’t want to go all in on this domain name only to realize that you can’t actually use it and you’ve just wasted a bunch of time and money towards that.
Cory Miller 19:51
So got another mistake destiny. Same thing we get we got the product brand at the domain number Thing month after we launch it, cease and desist. And the link that you give here is to a basic, you know, everyday person’s type of like, go there and just do a base level of search with United States Patent and Trademark Office, type in what you’re doing, type it together, apart, all that kind of stuff and see what’s out there. There’ll be, you know, there’s patent trolls out there, by the way, and I’m not trying to scare you, you should go forward. I mean, I’d rather you put something in the world. But this is a I’m really glad you put this in here. Just because it’s a basic level of due diligence is really good, like just just kind of double check if somebody’s already operating with that. And so I’ve got a couple of those. I want to be careful what I say but like that, you know, hit products for years and found out later that someone had a copyright not a copyright but a trademark on it. Or like a pet. Patent probably doesn’t necessarily always apply here but like a trademark and copyright for sure. And this is basic level that you can just kind of just see to make sure double check. I hate saying this, but it’s like if a name is sometimes too good to be true, almost like, oh, man, go hit the USP to site, it’s just check and make sure it really is that good, you know to get to be true.
Justin Nealey 21:19
Absolutely, especially if it’s available for free, or not free, but just the regular cost. Yep. Going through, we talked about AfriNIC a little bit, but I wanted to go through what is the domain name isn’t available, what options are there today. So, I mean, I hear all the time, especially when I was in the support role. helping customers get set up with their domain names is all the good domain names are taken. So chances are that the domain that you had in mind is already taken so that you might need to make some concessions on the domain name itself. Maybe it’s a different extension, maybe it’s extra words or a different name altogether. And if you’re creative, this Might not be an issue for you. But there is the domain name aftermarket. So just like buying and selling houses, you can buy and sell domain names. So I like to think of a good domain name as an investment for your business, not just extra words, because in the long run, you end up spending way more to try to overcome that bad domain, then what a premium domain name may have cost you in the beginning. So I have a little bit of experience with aftermarket I’ve bought and sold a couple random domains in the past but about I don’t know, four or five years back meet a buddy wanted to do a podcast around just small business and helping and that nature but we also loved craft beer. So we kind of mixed it together like we’re gonna drink a different craft beer every episode, talk about it, and then talk about whatever the business topic was. as we were going through stringing up names, which is the hardest thing in the world trying to figure out a name for a business. And then we laid it on craft thinking like this. This is it. Double letter I know, we’ve learned. But it was craft thinking like that was the domain name. So we go online check. And of course, all the good domains are taken. And it wasn’t listed for sale on a site, it was just going to a part domain page. So we use the GoDaddy domain broker services where essentially they’re your broker, they’ll reach out to the owner and see if they’re willing to sell and if so how much. This is just a passion fun project for us. So we don’t want to put too much so I said, cool. The maximum goes 200 bucks. I was registered out five years. I don’t know if they’re gonna actually sell it. So we’ll see. I get a thing back the next day saying, hey, they’ll roll this out for 150 view. Does that work for you? like heck yes, let’s do it. So I ended up getting that domain name craft thinking comm for 150 bucks, when a lot of the other suggestions that we have are a lot worse and they don’t really relate to what we were doing. But that craft thinking kind of just, it stuck in resonated with us and it resonated with the people that we do. Talk to you. So we had to get it asked for $150 investment definitely helped out when we kind of started to grow the podcast, don’t you’re doing it because we both got super busy. But it was a fun little project. But just because the domain name that you have in mind is taken, there are tons of options like afternoon where you can go and buy a premium domain on the auctions list, if you will, or even with a brokerage service, if they’re not, not proactively selling it. A lot of people don’t realize that you can actually sell your domain name. I don’t know if you’re like me, but sometimes you just have some late night ideas and you’re like I this is it. This is the one that’s gonna make me a million dollars have to go buy that domain, and then just never do anything with it. But there’s a lot of people that sit on it like that.
Cory Miller 24:45
That’s a great story to say that it only cost 150 to get a brand that you really liked. You know, and you could you could always like if you’re not using it, you could always put it back on the market and sell it right?
Justin Nealey 24:57
Exactly. When it comes to marketing and your domains in your business, so there’s the act of marketing and that the passive marketing, right actives, that small audience a little bit higher conversion, it’s you’re doing a lot of the work upfront to try to make those sales or conversions with your website in your online store. Then there’s the passive marketing that you kind of do it once and it’s just out there. So that’s that print media, billboards, social media, email marketing, car wraps and word of mouth. So having that good domain name, if you’re willing to invest in a really great one helps make that asset marketing so much easier, as car wraps are super expensive. And I’ve seen plenty of businesses with car apps with a terrible domain name. So it’s essentially a waste of money wrapping there are all beautiful, nice to direct them to something that just no one’s gonna remember or know how to type or say or even just the word of mouth of, hey, go to Commerce Journey, calm like that. That’s super easy to say and remember or go to something else and I’m not super creative to come up with a bad name off the top of my head. But it just makes that that whole process much easier. I think the average premium domain, if I’m not mistaken, is around 20 $500. Which seems like a lot for domain name, right? So when you’re like, I can just get a domain for 1520 bucks a year, why would I spend 20 $500 all goes back to the investment to have that good domain to really set your brain up for success for that long term. Because say that’s 20 $500 and it brings in an extra 10 customers a year, that’s going to overtime, in turn, turn it way more into the 20 $500 versus having to spend marketing dollars to get people to a terrible domain name.
Cory Miller 26:47
I think you’re yours is it easy to say Is it easy to speak and is easy to remember is key if you’re building an eCommerce business that you want to build for the long term. I mean having a brain brand that’s not coming Using this easy to remember, that is you can put on all these things and you want to proudly showcase it. Again, I bought for maybe in my lifetime, and collectively, maybe it’s in the $20,000 mark of all of those, you know, and some were part of the previous business I had, but you know, it’s worth it if it’s like it really resonates. You always hate to see a domain and you go, it’s taken. I mean, that just deflates you. But there are options like the secondary markets that you’re talking about too.
Justin Nealey 27:33
Yep. And there’s so there’s GoDaddy auctions has it there’s afternic, sedo, and name cheap are probably the most popular aftermarkets out there. I would highly recommend always going through some type of aftermarket or brokerage type escrow service, don’t try to do it yourself and get out of the whatever the fees are. Just because it’s not safe. You don’t want to send someone money and then you Get the domain and now you’re out all that money those scams happen way more often than you think. I’ve taken a lot of support calls with hectic business owners asking what do I do when they just lost $20,000 because they tried to do it themselves. It’s not worth it.
Cory Miller 28:17
I highly endorsed that, because the marketplaces you talked about have such an amazing process to ensure you know, both the seller and the buyer side having just come off this. It’s such a nice process, I actually use two different marketplaces. And it was so good, the communication was great. It was, you know, the money transfer and everything and the domain fact that transferred them to GoDaddy. My GoDaddy account has all my domains. I’ve got maybe a domain name problem, like a lot of us on the web do, but I can highly endorse what you just said Justin.
Justin Nealey 28:56
Ruby. So that’s what I have as far as domain name success and getting started any recaps or clarification needed for move on. This part isn’t too in-depth.
Cory Miller 29:08
Yes, as always everyone you can hit the Q&A button below and the bottom of the zoom app and ask your questions Justin’s here for you. I’m here for you. Another commerce training what.com website we webinar excuse me thinking about websites right now. This is what we do on every webinar is really brand experts like Justin and you know, give them give you access to them to ask your questions. So if you have a question just post it in the q&a button right at the bottom.
Justin Nealey 29:40
Cool, all wait for those I’ll just kind of move on to getting your getting your store set up. So I’m a little biased but I love how far God has gone with their the whole WordPress setup. Like I’ve been here for eight years and When I started, it wasn’t pretty. We what I say we’ve come a long way we’ve come an incredibly long way. So we have a new plan and tear, especially for an eCommerce type of website. So I managed WordPress eCommerce here. So we partnered with WooCommerce. To bring in a ton of added value by including I think are at 44 or 54. I forget the specific number plugins that you get for free with the bundle. I think all of them in total are about $3,000 a year annually and subscription news. The average customer is typically used around five to eight and from the data I’ve seen I wish that he easily equals four to $800 depending on the length the plugins themselves, so a ton of value for something that costs me 30 bucks a month for everything including the hosting the WordPress, the plugins and then the support to add but once you if you do go that route of setting up your We have a couple different options with actually setting it up. So you can view professional design templates to really jumpstart your website design. Not everyone is super design focused, but they want to tackle themselves. I love having this here as a jumpstart point to have, essentially the basis of your website downs. And then you can kind of just tweak and adjust and add your own content later. But if you’re more of an experienced type of user, you can go through the manual setup, which is the traditional WordPress setup. Or you can even migrate your website if you’ve already started somewhere else into this platform to take advantage of those plugins that you get for free like the shipping, the subscriptions, the bookings and all that good stuff. Looking at the onboarding experience, so you get to choose from a variety of templates and really preview the design to see what it actually looks like in the wild if you will, and especially responsive on mobile, so on A lot of people are shopping on mobile these days, you know, make sure your site looks great as it doesn’t have to pinch and zoom or the experience is just not there, your conversions are gonna go way down almost to zero. So you can get used to see what else you want. It’s going to ask you a couple of questions. This is really to set you up with some of the plugins that we’ve partnered with to bring you our setup installed by default, so you have to go in but the process is pretty seamless and smooth. Just go in and click Install and activate. Similar if you if you’re familiar with WordPress, the process is similar, but you can do digital goods, all subscriptions, offer appointments, and you really use the eCommerce tier for a lot more than just eCommerce. It’s great for obviously if you’re selling online on your site, but if you offer like in like consultations or webinars like these are courses or anything else, you can easily sell it through this plan. But the whole process is pretty sure And then setting up WooCommerce is pretty much already set up through this experience. It’s just having your products from there and using the templates that it gives you for the whole block editor type experience.
Cory Miller 33:16
Yeah, the onboarding experience is incredible. I just about a month ago, went to the process for this and also have helped someone a friend of mine get onto this plan. And it is, like an incredible set of plugins. WooCommerce is, like we said earlier is the most prolific eCommerce software on the planet. The market share is insane. You know, and and there is literally an add on or extension for WooCommerce for almost everything you could save doing. It’s crazy. But GoDaddy has curated a great list of plugins that would cost you I think you said $3,000 if you bought them separately, and this onboarding experience makes it so super easy. I mean, honestly, WooCommerce out of the box without the onboarding experience is slow. woman to me, even having done it, and you all go daddy have come a long way and really providing this great, you know, onboarding, I don’t know for lack of a better word wizard helps you get your site going.
Justin Nealey 34:14
Yeah, actually, that’s that’s our goal, we’re trying to make the just the overall WordPress experience a little bit easier. It’s going to say it is overwhelming. It’s a powerful platform, it’s open source, meaning anyone and everyone can contribute to it. That also means that all the themes and plugins that use they’re all created by different people. So they all have their ways of setting it out, see it to learn whatever that new process is almost each and every time. So we’re really digging down this year over the next year. So to try to make this as easy and seamless as possible without without adding on any of the restrictions that you get like with a builder if you will. So we want to make it easy, but still let you kind of do whatever you want because that’s that’s the beauty of WordPress. There’s literally a plugin for that. Whatever you’re looking to do and accomplish and then with that, that’s, that’s what I have. I don’t want to take you through the the super nitty gritty of WooCommerce just because that gets into the weeds. I just go through the just getting started with eCommerce. But with that you have the ability to use the products that we added by default kind of as template placeholders. So you can kind of see what all goes where it ends up, easily duplicate it and just add in your images and things like that. I’m a huge proponent, even as a WordPress designer myself of using templates, when it makes sense to you there just help the process kind of go along or just becomes a little bit more efficient with what you’re doing on a day to day basis because running an eCommerce store. You’re already wearing a ton of hats. Why add another hat that takes up the majority of your time.
Cory Miller 35:54
This has been great, just a lot of good and helpful information for us to get our webs our economy restores have run if you have a question, hit the q&a button at the bottom here of the zoom app, and we’ll get to it. I wanted to mention, you know, and get your thoughts on this. Justin as I think, you know, when someone has a product idea, and they’re, they want to get it like the product ideas sometimes in the audience or the really, really tough parts. Now I get a lot of people to pick up on the technical stuff and onboarding experience with the whoo package that you can, by the way, go to Commerce Journey.com Ford slash go, and you get straight to that package. It’s $1 for the first three months, I believe, and then it renews at 2995 I believe, which is really a bargain. But the words kind of screamed out to me is like start somewhere, you know, with your, with your eCommerce stores, like you’re just talking about find a theme or whatever, I think find the thing that matches enough, like spend time on your domain and for sure that’s your brand. That’s the thing you’re going to live with for a long time. But there’s so many WordPress themes, particularly for WooCommerce But Go Daddy’s got a number of them that I’ve went through. And I thought these are really rock solid. In some of the acquisitions you guys have done in the theme space and WordPress themes have even up that quality level. But I think Justin, like, start, start somewhere start good enough, like getting it to perfect and not getting sales. You know, getting your store launched is a is a big hurdle. I think a lot of people, you know, sometimes just kind of get trapped in
Justin Nealey 37:26
Oh, absolutely they like with with those types of clients that I have that struggle with getting the content like Great, let’s let’s focus on making a one pager. Let’s just get something there. And then we can evolve your website is kind of like a home improvement project. You’ve never owned a house. It’s never done, you’re always adding on to it adding onto and adding on to it making adjustments. As it goes to your website. You want to have at least something there so you can start getting your name out and your business out and making sales. And it also gives the opportunity to really listen to your audience to see what they resonate with. What are they purchasing? What are they looking at? What are they asking questions about and really evolving your website around, you’re your customer, your customer is the hero of your story. You want to make sure that your business is focused around them, not what you think it should be. It’s really about what they need and what they want.
Cory Miller 38:20
Yeah, that’s such a great point. Starting, starting focusing on those customers getting the sale, I would say to you, and I’m curious about your because all the work you do online is at some, you know, it’s not mandatory. There’s so many tools with WordPress and other tools like even a Squarespace or, you know, some of the website builder tools. I mean, that you don’t really have to know HTML and CSS. But it kind of helps sometimes even with how incredible the tools have gone. And I was kind of wondering your thoughts on that. Like, I wouldn’t say camp out in that space forever if especially if you hate it, but like having a little bit of knowledge. goes a long way in particular with HTML and CSS and how WordPress works, too.
Justin Nealey 39:05
Yeah. So I use a, I would definitely double down on learning just some of the basics of CSS. Almost every web browser has a cup of web inspector tool. So say there’s something on your website like, I hate the color of this, there’s no way to change it in my theme or this needs to be bigger in size. css can kind of overcome that. So you can go into website Inspect Element, put your mouse over whatever it is that you’re trying to modify, and you can find the class to see cool this is what I need to modify if you know CSS or these basics are enough to Google foo your way out of it. You can adjust that and inside of your WordPress customizer add that CSS in and adjust and not have to go into your theme files or anything else and potentially do some damage and just make some more minor aesthetic little changes. What is it Code Academy is a fantastic resource. If you want to learn just any type of coding language, they’re there. Their lessons are super interactive. So it’ll really take you through and explain what it is you can see what you’re doing live on the website. So it’s definitely my recommendation if you’re wanting to learn more in that space.
Cory Miller 40:19
That you said something like earlier you said there’s a plugin for that, you know, in WordPress, there’s, I want to say over 55,000 plugins, I’m sure there’s hundreds of thousands of themes out there free to By the way, you want to go to wordpress.org for the official ones, that’s the safest place to get your themes and plugins that are free. And there’s a number of commercial and premium plugins out there. But when he said there’s a plugin for that I almost thought for WordPress and Commerce Journey we’re going to talk about all kinds of platforms. We aren’t just going to talk about Woo and WordPress. We’re going to talk about Shopify and Big Commerce and finding the right tools for the right job that you’re trying to do with your eCommerce store. But I almost thought there should be another like saying there’s also a tutorial For that, like in WordPress and Woo, specifically, you run into something, Google it. I mean, type in the question, there’s bound to be a tutorial out there. And I know from experience because I spent 11 years building a business in it, and how competitive it is because so many good people out there putting tutorials. So there’s literally, you know, if you have a question, even on the CSS two, how do I do a red box around something, you know, you’re likely going to end up on a very, very good rich site and find the answers to that.
Justin Nealey 41:31
Yep. Just kind of up your Google foo.
Cory Miller 41:35
Google foo. I like it. Yeah, I we were talking about this, like the let me Google that for you. We Google is like common vernacular for all of us. But sometimes we forget, like we can just when it gets to technical things like this, I think we forget that. Google is a couple of types of ways, you know, keyword types away and we can find something that’s really rich specifically with these eCommerce, WordPress and WooCommerce.
Justin Nealey 41:59
Oh, absolutely. That’s primarily How I Learned because it’s I’m running into a specific issue just, I go on Google, like whatever the issue is, and maybe go through a couple of pages. And there’s always somebody that’s had that issue before you learn from their mistakes and their learnings, and just go from there.
Cory Miller 42:17
What do you think Justin, in your experience is one of the biggest mistakes store owners make in kind of the technical realm? We just talked what went through buying a domain, getting WooCommerce kind of initially set up to the onboarding that you GoDaddy offers, but on this technical side, let’s say you know, any from that process, they get their domain to try to So what are some of the common problems or mistakes you see making store owners making when they get their store up and going
Justin Nealey 42:47
So more so in the WordPress space is not making sure they twofold not making sure they have the security in place to protect their website? It’s an afterthought, right? So when WordPress is open source, I mean anyone everyone could and make the plugin or themes, right. So sometimes there are vulnerabilities so there are lots of plugin updates and themes just to get to the next version symbol like you would install or download or update for your Windows computer or a program. Same goes with the WordPress site. Sometimes there’s vulnerabilities that people find they make those fixes and have to update that isn’t always done on the WordPress site. So they forget to set up some basic measures like a security plug in, you can get a malware removal scanning tool for your website, even get a firewall that essentially is like digging a moat around your website and having some alligators in the middle making sure you keep the riffraff out and other people that you don’t want in your house and making sure that good people come in. So that is definitely important. But I would also say is really invest in a backup solution. So with especially with an eCommerce website, right, so especially within eCommerce was sight you are getting orders throughout the day. Primarily, I see eCommerce owners doing just daily backups. So if you’re going on a daily backup and something happens to your website, you essentially lost a day’s worth of orders. Hopefully you’re sinking it somewhere like QuickBooks, or you emailed receipts, where that might look like but I’ve ran into too many times, especially in the support role years back and then with new clients they’ve told me about this is they’ve lost those orders, they have no way to contact those customers. So you can set up hourly backups with some of these different providers, like I know, with our GoDaddy Pro sites, you can set up hourly backups, I believe it’s like five or 10 bucks a month, but it is absolutely worth it. Because if something were to go wrong, you go back to the last 60 minutes and you’re context back. So it’s huge to have that backup solution there.
Cory Miller 44:56
I’m so glad you said these to you singing my song and my previous business and I think So I wanted to read, like, yes, double thumbs up. But you know, a couple of the security things that I know GoDaddy does, too, with the package that we talked about Commerce Journey.com for slash go is daily backups on demand downloadable, that’s key. And then also, part of the package that we talked about is automatic WordPress core updates and security patching that is critical. WordPress is updated regularly. There’s thousands of people around the world contributing security patches monitoring, and great companies out there helping WordPress do that to make sure the latest and greatest patches are they’re looking for vulnerabilities. But I wanted to say so in addition to what GoDaddy has, there’s also I think, security now I’m biased. That’s one I was a part of, I’m not I don’t get any money for that now. But I think security is one others wordfence. And the other solution, I would say to is GoDaddy zone security products. And I know I think there’s a lot of integrations with security. But talk about malware and the firewall and things like that security does. A lot of that. I know it’s integrated with a lot of the WordPress products. And then to your point on backups, you’re singing the song again, Justin, like I hardly two thumbs up. These things are non-negotiable, by the way. Like you have to have security and backups. This is a part of being a web citizen. This is the world we’re in. There are people trying to do malicious things out there now that they’re a small minority of the world, but they it happens. I’ve seen it happen. But you said, you know, losing content, losing purchase information. That’s so key for an eCommerce website. I know the sting of losing online content. I had my sights This is why we created a product called backup but he had themes. But I felt the sting of losing photos like from my website that at the time I didn’t have backups for on the website. They were just on the website. And so it is absolutely non-negotiable to have security and backup options. There’s great options in WordPress out there, including Good Eddie’s own tools. So I heartily heartily agree with those. I’m glad you mentioned that I was thinking I was going to talk about mobile first or, you know, readability. And you’re like, no, the foundation stuff. Cory This is, and that’s no good.
Justin Nealey 47:14
Because the rest can be learned and kind of overcome that and pivot and kind of go from there. But that one, one bad malware hack or one loss content like it’s over, you’re starting over.
Cory Miller 47:26
Now, Justin, could you Okay, there’s another facet. And this comes loaded with a GoDaddy Pro package. But it is a non-negotiable on the web two is SSL. Could you share a little bit about SSL and what that is and why Yeah, you cannot have headmaster with the SSL, like, gosh, I mean,
Justin Nealey 47:46
Absolutely not. So essentially SSL encrypts traffic from your computer to the server and back in whichever way there’s a lot of malicious users out there essentially sniffing so they’re, they’re sniffing traffic to see See if they can get anything out of it. And if they can, is it relevant to actually capture, if you don’t have an SSL on your website, a visitor goes to your site enters in their personal information, credit card information, all that good stuff, send it off to the server. It’s in plain text for anyone and everyone to read. The SSL encrypts it. So it’s just gobbledygook. It doesn’t make sense, at the end of the days that that information is safe. It’s super important for eCommerce site to have that because of course, you’re accepting credit cards. Even if you’re redirecting over to PayPal or another website to actually make the transaction, you still want to have that SSL on your website, because it shows that you’re professional and you’re out for their safety. And for the average user, if they go to a website and seem not secure in the top left for the browser. They’re out they’re not going to give you the time of day to to prove that you’re actually safe for them to give you their money. Or give them your money. Yeah, yeah. So you definitely want to make sure you have that like I when I was Just a call center guide, I had a customer that had just a form accepting credit cards on their website. They’ve been doing this for the think he was doing it for eight years. There’s a fish aquarium type website. He was having as customers enter all their information over had no idea about SSL for five years and all of his customers information was just out there for anyone to look at. So immediately told her about it and nearly got itself set up an SSL and hopefully saved his business because one wrong thing and one leaked credit card information that comes from your business is just a whole mess of killing your brand reputation, not not, not to mention like legal fees and other legal actions.
Cory Miller 49:44
Yeah. So you know, you talked about the SSL, what we’re talking about is HTTPS. You know, when you before the website address, and the little lock button and most browsers and you know, Google for one, search engine optimization is a key part. To be eCommerce site, you know, being found in the Google search rankings when you type in and you see all that, and, you know, it’s part of their AdWords. So not just security best practice that is non negotiable. But also, if you need further proving point that you’ve got to do this today for sites on SSL, like you talked about Justin with your former customer, is you got to do that today. Because it will affect stalking. Another reason your search rankings Google is already said it’s a part of their algorithm. If you’re not SSL or HTTPS, then they’re they’re not going to rank you. And so that is because it is so vital. And when he talked about sniffing, could you talk about some examples of that? What we mean, when you say like, they could sniff out the web traffic and stuff like that if you’re not, you know, encrypted?
Justin Nealey 50:50
Yeah, I suppose. So more so around credit card information. So you have to type in your, your card right on your computer, to get to the server. It’s like driving To someone else sounds like you’ve got to go all the way there. So your information is just driving on the highway for anyone to see convertible top down, they can see who’s in that car. So if someone’s running by and see, oh, that’s credit card information, I’m gonna grab that, because I’m just looking at traffic bouncing from server to server and server to its final destination. And the SSL make sure that you’re in a black tinted limo, so no one can see what’s inside
Cory Miller 51:25
Armor plated with Secret Service around it, you know? Absolutely. And like the location for sniffing it could be like, if you work at a coffee shop, for instance. You know, if you’re using on public, why in the world shut down at the moment, but like if you’re on the airport, and you’re just surfing and you’re entering stuff, like that’s the type of talk we’re talking about right with the sniffing.
Justin Nealey 51:49
So sniffing happens even if you’re at your house, too. So there’s lots of so when you go to any type of website, you don’t just go straight to the destination server, you’re basically hopping From your ISP, their servers, their servers and all around different places. And there’s a lot of transactions in the middle of those that are potentially being looked at, if you will. And that’s where a lot of things do happen as well that we just because we’re home doesn’t us, they mean there’s no one potentially out there looking at traffic coming in and out.
Cory Miller 52:21
That’s a great point and a nuance to all of this, too. It’s just that that’s, I hate to repeat. That’s the world we live in. This is not something we got, like kicking and screaming, I don’t want it to happen, it’s happening. And we need to put these best practices into practice for the sake of our customers to engender that type of trust. You know, we’ve talked a lot just like, you know, when you’re building an audience, and it’s part of our podcast, this week, commerce sharing, but it’s like building an audience you want to, they need to get to know you. They need to get to like you. They need to get to trust you. And this is foundational. You could lose that in the end. We’ve seen it happen, you know time and time again all the major players have gotten hacked. You know, all the big players have gotten hacked and it’s just a fact of life today. So doing some of these things is so key.
Justin Nealey 53:12
Yep. Because it’s just that you have to go and and figure out your brand reputation and try to come back from that. And then people that went to your site when it was hacked, they got some not so great things. I’ve got plenty of stories of frantic customers and website owners that bad things have happened like a there was a woman that had interactive children’s books on her website and it was redirecting to not so great websites. So she was inadvertently sending Little Timmy to pretty adult websites. And if you can think about how that hurts their brand like it’s over, there’s no coming back for that family’s there for the families that went to your website. Same thing with your businesses, if they your customers are looking are trusting you with their money and their time and loyalty. You want to make sure that you’re putting the effort to make sure they’re safe and protected and a crazy world we live in today?
Cory Miller 54:07
Absolutely. As my daughter kind of peeks her head in the weapon, absolutely, I would want her to go into something, you know, like that, that. And it’s just there’s simple things the web as a community, GoDaddy, great and great community member there to digital citizen, WordPress people for sure to is there’s just these simple practices that you can put in place security, keeping your site’s update, backups that you talked about. Those Top Things are just so key. Okay, so Justin, thanks so much. In the last couple of minutes we have Do you have any saved takeaways you want to share and all of these subjects? Like anything that sticks out to you? And we’ve covered a ton of terrain, so I’m asking a lot here to go. I’m gonna squeeze the lemon here.
Justin Nealey 54:56
Yeah, so I mean, from the topic itself, like don’t be afraid to invest in a really, really good domain name, if it’s going to help your brand your business in the long term because it really does make and break businesses. You don’t wanna be spending extra money just to try to overcome a bad decision you made early on in your business you want to start, start right and start with success. And then with your website, don’t try to make it perfect at once like we were saying earlier really just as building blocks, it’s like you’re building Legos just get that first Lego going and then when you can have time to play with that next play go on and really make it your own and I’ll make it evolve with your business and pivot as you need to but great domain name is key and then continue building doesn’t have to be made at once.
Cory Miller 55:46
That’s that’s great way to end it Justin Can you tell us where people can find you online? You talked about the journey and those things but Twitter and different ways they can find and follow what you do online.
Justin Nealey 55:56
Yeah, just at Justin Nealey is my Twitter, Instagram all that, LinkedIn handles and things like that. Or nealey.pro is my website. It’s currently in development because the cobbler shoemakers’ kids never have any shoes. But eventually there’ll be content and stuff around there too.
Cory Miller 56:18
That’s cool. And you’re using the DT way. Is that a GTLD dot pro?
Justin Nealey 56:23
That’s the one.
Cory Miller 56:24
That’s cool. Justin Nealey. Thanks so much, you at GoDaddy Pro we’re so thankful to have you share your time your expertise. With our audience at Commerce Journey, you can go to commercejourney.com/go and check out the WooCommerce product that we talked about on this call. And also be sure you’re signed up in the Facebook group for Commerce Journey, because we’re going to do more webinars like this. In fact, I’ve already got some things I want to follow up with you just about to come back around to but appreciate you for this amazing, practical, helpful webinar today. And we’ll talk to you and everybody else soon
Justin Nealey 56:57
Thanks so much Cory.