It happens all the time in my web business; someone comes to me with ‘everything ready’—they have a domain name, hosting, email, content; it’s all ready to go. This will be the easiest website you’ve ever done, they say.
Invariably, they’ve registered the domain name with a service which is, well, limited. They’ve chosen user-friendly hosting, which means that it’s not geek friendly. They have Yahoo email. They have all their content in a Word document, neatly formatted, with images precisely positioned.
The first step, in this case, is to start over.
The choice of hosting has to come after the choice of development technology. My platform of choice these days is WordPress, which means I need hosting on Linux or some other flavor of UNIX. Not Windows. I also need true FTP access for direct access to the files. Not an online file manager.
Email should be email@example.com, not firstname.lastname@example.org. I can’t ‘move’ that email, or work with it in any way, without costing you lots and lots of money.
Microsoft Word is not a web development tool. The beautiful formatting in your document will not transfer to the web automatically. It may transfer, partially, to WordPress, but the cleanup will take longer than starting over.
The images embedded in a Word document may very well be useless. Word is not an image management or editing tool. The images may be too small or at too low a resolution to be usable for your site. At the very least, extracting them from Word is going to cost, because it’s a tedious process I don’t enjoy.
This only covers web development, but the principle applies to choosing a cell phone, your next computer or printer, your internet service . . . any technology—and the people who’ll be working with it on your behalf:
Step One is always, always to ask for professional advice from someone you trust.