OK I spend so much time making new companies or non-profits these days, it’s useful just to have a quick checklist for things to do:
- Pick a credit card that you will use for this that is easy to separate from your personal expenses, this will make taxes much easier!
- Use Namecheap to get a great domain name. Try to find something that is three syllables and easy to pronounce. Beast mode is a good way to look through 400 top-level domains (TLD) to get something cool. Turn on creative spellings there too and add a suffix or a prefix (like https://gethugo.io as an example). Get a bunch of related ones. You can save a few bucks by using cashbackmonitor.com and joinhoney.com to get some discount codes.
- Get an Admin Gmail account. Once you have bought your name, then it’s time. So a name like https://restart.us, you might get
- Signup for Google Voice on that accounts. Pick a cool number, use the number search find a favorite. This will be your main number for the organization.
- Go to 1Password and create a new organization. Dump your passwords there using that new Gmail account as the creator. The Family membership is a great way if you are a startup to keep costs down. Make sure to keep that secrete key somewhere safe, preferably in another 1Password account.
- With 1Password on, you can now go back to Google and add 2-factor authentication to the @gmail.com account and put it in there.
- Create a Namecheap account for the organization using a new Gmail account and transfer ownership of the domains you bought to it. Add two factor and put it into 1Password
- Signup for a netlify account this will give you a DNS. Use the @gmail.com account as you don’t yet have a Gsuite account. Add 2FA and put into one password. And then setup the Google MX Records for the next step that is coming.
- Sign up for GSuite. If you are a non-profit, sign up for Google for Non-profits to get free hosting of mail etc. This does mean Techsoup will have to authenticate you but is worth it.
- At Gsuite, create an firstname.lastname@example.org so that you have a central place for everything to land and use your email@example.com account as the backup.
The above first steps are to get you to the bootstrap where you have an email account and can now start doing things.
- Now create a Github organization. Go to your personal Github account and create a new organization.
- Create an admin login using the firstname.lastname@example.org and make them a team member. You always want two of everything.
- Now you can create your website and everything else with Netlify CMS. The easy thing to do is to start with Netlify CMS and then in one click, you will have a website
Handling multiple domains
Many times, you don’t know exactly which domain you want, this is easy to handle with Google Workspace, the main trick is to add them as completely separate domains and not as domain aliases, so it is trivial to switch between them. The main things to know are:
- If you have different domain names, the best thing to do is to add them not as domain alias. That is a lessor concept. It just means that if you have say “new.ai”, “newtech.ai” and you want all those addresses to land in the same place.
- What you actually want is a completely different or multiple domain. This lets you change “Primary domains” with a click. So you can go from “badname.com” to “goodname.com” in a single click and everything changes.
- There is actually a trick to this in that if you really want a “temporary stealth” domain, every user can change manually their “send from” address in Gmail and they login with “readname.com” but they send and receives as ‘stealthname.com”. I probably wouldn’t do this except for real power users as the Gmail settings interface is really confusing.