We know that some people just want a try at building things themselves.

That's fine. That can be gratifying in some ways and can help you understand the work truly involved. With that in mind, we will compile a list of tried and true sources here to help the DIYer. Each of the following we've personally used and can vouch for their quality.

So wade in, choose the pieces that will help you towards your goals and let us know if you run into problems that we can help you get through. (just click a banner for more info)


Everything that you do online will start with your address online. That's known as a domain name. You'll need one before you get hosting, add content or anything else. Start here.

Godaddy Web Domains

It's Godaddy. Tried and true, the biggest of the registrars with plenty of deals and a decent interface to manage your site names. Their ad campaigns might be a little cheesy, but underneath, they are a solid choice for getting your online name registered.

Domain Registrations starting at $9.98*

Namecheap was voted #1 by Lifehacker users with some useful includes with their domain offerings (that you might have to pay extra for elsewhere). If some of these extras are needed for your online plan, it’s worth comparing to see where your savings fall. All around solid domain registrar.

1and1 is a European company that provides many of the same services as Godaddy at competitive rates. They do favor bundling packages that can make some offerings much less than elsewhere. Their backend interface isn’t the easiest to work with and webmail can be a little sluggish, but if you aren’t using those items, put this on your list to investigate.


We've used piles of different hosts and it comes down to the simplest, most reliable and cheapest options below.

Bluehost is local for us, EXTREMELY fast and has a plethora of options that aren't found with many other hosts for a very reasonable price. If you are building out a technical heavy site with items like large inventories and shopping carts, you owe it to yourself to look at their offerings.

Web as low as $1 per month!

You know Godaddy for registration, that's for sure, but we've found them to be a solid, reliable and inexpensive choice for hosting and a variety of web campaign products. It's a good plan to keep them in your mix of considerations.

Just like Godaddy, 1and1 offers some blazing fast hosting in easy to deal with bundles that include domain registrations, security certificates, etc. If you’d like to host out of a European data center, this is a good, solid choice, particularly when you are bundling packages.

Design Tools

Adobe is the standard. Whether you are creating for print, web, video, pdf...their tools are what every marketing pro uses, whether on pc or mac, for a reason. No self respecting creative agency would be without them in their workflow and they are near critical when handing off files to others for creative collaborations. You know the products, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Acrobat. If you’re going to go pro, you need to use these tools.

Gimp - Open source image editing

Open source image editing with Gimp can be a great place to start for building your online graphics and banners until you are ready to move into the pro tools. The nice part is that the layout is not far from the Adobe platforms so when you are ready to upgrade, it won’t feel completely foreign to you.

Email Campaigns

We would never even consider building an active storefront online without an email campaign to accompany it. Why? Simply because it's the most cost effective method of ACTIVELY reaching those who have shown interest in your products or services (and opted in to recieving notices about deals, sales, new offerings etc.). If you're not building lists of your customers and communicating with them with some regularity, you are asking them to shop somewhere else next time! Out of sight equals out of mind.

Automation is the key to productivity and letting these specific focused services manage graphics that work in the various email services, spam filters, etc. alone is worth the price, but better yet, many of them have FREE services up to a certain size limit so that you can get started converting and conversing with your clients. Don't be foolish. If you're going to be online, get to know and use these services!

Aweber is one of the most trusted names for email campaigns, delivering full tools for form and list building, autoresponders, graphical emails, opt ins, etc. If you are building active marketing lists, you should definitely look through their offerings to see how they match to your delivery ideas (and maybe get a few new ones while you're at it!)