I thought it might be fun to detail some of the steps that went into launching Hellobee, from thinking up the url to the site you see today.  There were many, many steps along the way!

- Think up url, check for availability (it’s usually not available), purchase alternatives as backup/bargaining chip.  In Hellobee’s case, the domain was coming up for renewal soon so we signed up for an automatic purchase service and was able to buy it for cheap (we paid $1500 for Weddingbee.com and that was a long process)!
- Set up hosting
- Set up email via Google Apps.  Create email boxes for help, content submissions, advertising, etc.
- Install wordpress (powers our blog)
- Install bbpress (powers our boards)
- Install plug-ins galore that control tons of features from generating polls to controlling spam.
- Install tracking software like Google Analytics
- Create RSS Feed
- Program everything from the design to the features

- Find a programmer/webmaster
- Find a logo/web designer
- Find an illustrator to create icons
- Find a graphic designer to create layouts

- Come up with design plan for blog, boards, ads – pretty much every detail you see on Hellobee
- Write information pages – About, Terms of Use, Contact, Blogroll, Application to Blog, etc.
- Come up with tagline (we still need to add it to the header)
- Set up Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, Tumblr.  Add content and update daily.
- Create Hellobee ads and “Featured on Hellobee” buttons
- Load ads

- Create categories and subcategories for boards
- Come up with first generation of icons
- Come up with regular features + icons for features
- Select bee levels and appropriate post counts
- Create title banners, photo frames, templates and layouts for posts, Checklists and Guides
- Write a ton of content

Of course there were a million and one decisions, edits, revisions, and bug fixes when it came to the design and programming, and this is but a small glimpse of the many decisions we had to make to bring this site to fruition.  But it gives you a general sense of some of the big stuff.  Back when we launched Weddingbee, the only feature we had was a blog and that was more than enough then.  My how times have changed.  The barrier to entry is lower than ever, but people also expect a lot more from a site now.

I plan on sharing a lot of what happens behind the scenes at Hellobee because I think there is a dearth of practical information that people really want to know about out there.  What would you most like to know about Hellobee, blogging, or starting a new site in general?