- Choose your platform
- Choose a domain name and host
- Customize and edit your blog
- Write posts and add pages
- Get traffic and make it successful
Choose your Platform
When it comes to the web there are so many options on how and where you can build your site. There are a myriad of hosted options like square space, weebly and others and then there are those you can manage on your own like WordPress and Drupal.
Without a doubt, the best thing to do is to self-host your WordPress site. This may not be the easiest solution at first but the end result will be exponentially better.
Free website platforms have so many issues in the long run.
- You don’t control your content – the platform does which means at any time they can take down your whole site for just about any reason.
- Your web address or domain will be a tongue twister (like mygreatproduct.blogspot.com), not catchy and uniquely you.
- You are not allowed to advertise on most of these kind of platforms, which makes earning money harder.
- You are limited to the themes and designs that the platform offers and for the most part modifying these themes in any great way costs extra money (they gotta make money somehow). This also means that you get a very cookie cutter site and not something that is unique and represents your brand.
WordPress powers over a quarter of the web. Join the ranks and get your website out there.
Choose your Host
The next step is a lot of fun. It involves deciding what your unique name is going to be and where it is going to live out there on the world wide web.
This is your personal address on the web. For example one of my sites has the domain techiemamma.com. You get to choose the part that comes before the .com and you can even get creative with all the new extensions that are available today. A shortcut to techiemamma.com is momte.ch which is really sweet. It has the extension .ch which used to be only allowed in Switzerland and is now allowed in the US as well. Our business site is dcsit.es, it uses the extension of Spain but also spells out just our company name so it is nice and short instead of being longer. Be creative and get the perfect name! My favorite registrar (or where you can buy your address) is Google. You can go to Google Domains to register your domain. If one of the special extensions is not available GoDaddy is my second choice.
Hosting is the next step in the process. There are so many hosts out there that claim they do so well with WordPress this may be true but so many of them are cheap and fall short in speed, support, uptime and many other important factors. The best option for WordPress is to go with a managed WordPress option. This means that the company has made their servers and interface especially configured for WordPress. The only hosting I use for my clients and myself is WP Engine. They are one of the best managed hosts out there. Not only do they provide impeccable uptime, they also offer great speed because of their unique caching system. Many sites see a 50-60% boost in speed when they move to WP Engine. Why have to change start with the best from the beginning. Not only do they offer great page speed and uptime they also have just about immediate support 24/7, nightly backups of your site, maintain major updates and alert you of security updates that need to be done and offer the best staging system in the market. The staging system means that you can make an exact duplicate of your site at any time to try out new features, a new theme or even just test plugin updates that you are not sure is going to go well. WP Engine is awesome and I wouldn’t go with anybody else if I had a choice.
Quick Review on Techy Jargon
WP Engine is your landlord, and you are renting your apartment or server space from them to host your website.
WordPress is your apartment complex. This is where you build your blog.
Your Domain Name is your apartment number with a door sign you put on your front door to tell people which apartment is yours.
Customize and Edit your Blog
So you have your domain and you have awesome hosting with WP Engine now what? Well since WP Engine is so awesome and WordPress focused they have already installed WordPress for you on your site. Other hosts you will have an extra step to go into the control panel and follow a few steps to install WordPress.
Now is time to customize and edit your blog. This is a lot of fun and you can be really creative. Once you log in go to Appearance Customize. This will step you through customizing many different options. Here is a video of some of the options, unfortunately there is no sounds because I am currently in a noisy place but watch and follow along.
Write Posts & Pages
Some of the pages you might consider having off the bat are a About page telling your audience who you are where you came from and what your mission is for the website. Also a contact form is always a good idea. This is a way viewers can reach out to you without having to put your email online.
See these two resources for more information
- Creating a perfect about me page (This is usually the most visited page on your blog)
- Adding a Contact Page/Form on your blog (So that your readers could contact you)
Watch this video for an overview of how to start a blog post and add content and images and links.
Getting Traffic and Success
This is the hardest part and there are so many resources out on the world wide web. Here are a few that I found useful:
- 8 Common blogging mistakes
- Where to find FREE images for your blog
- 135+ blog post ideas for your NEW blog
- Get your blog listed on Search Engines
- Get more traffic to your blog
- How to monetize your blog
- Add a subscription box
- Set up Google Analytics
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