How to Get Started With Your WordPress Blog

How to Get Started with WordPress to Design Your Website

With the popularity of WordPress showing no signs of stopping you would think there would be an easier method to create your own WordPress website rather than complete coding.

The new CS5 version of Dreamweaver is suppose to make it easier, and from what I have heard from the features it will make it somewhat of a more simpler job, but still something only the knowledgeable web developers will be able to achieve.

I assume this is possible the only way it can be done, since there no systematic tool to design a website without knowledge of coding. Now you may argue, but I’m talking about real design. Not templated options. I know for a fact there is software out there for you to create a WordPress blog from templates and color options. This isn’t the kind of design I am talking about.

So now we have come to the conclusion there is no easy option if you decide to create your website with the WordPress platform as your preferred CMS. What do we need to learn to accomplish this?

  • A design platform will be key of course; most notable Photoshop seems to be the most efficient platform to design a WordPress template although it is possible with fireworks with a little more effort if that is your preference. In addition to the design you’ll need to slice and dice the site so you can export header, footer, etc.
  • Knowledge of PHP is fundamental, although you’ll not need to be extremely advanced in this coding platform learning the basics will go a long way in assisting you put together your theme.
  • HTML, not too dissimilar to our PHP knowledge basics will helps greatly but you may be able to pick up what you need to know along the way as long as you are eager to learn.
  • CSS, this is one of the most important parts of any website to be honest and no more so with your WordPress theme. This CSS files will tell your WordPress theme how to look. And that’s the reason we doing it ourselves right? So we can make it look, the way we want it to look.

So this is what you’ll need to get your head around before and during the design and development process of your WordPress website. If you already have knowledge of these coding platforms then you’ll have no problem whatsoever.

Those beginners out there, there is no better way to start as WordPress incorporates some of the most highly used coding platforms on the web today. There is no hiding from it, so bite the bullet and dive in.

There are many tutorials out there which will help you design and develop your WordPress website, so get Googling!

wordpress development an ideal web design solution

Building a WordPress Website

These days every single business and organization needs a website for their effective functioning. Even individuals have their own websites. Therefore, you should know how to build a WordPress website or any website for that matter.

You may ask – ‘Why WordPress’? There’s a simple reason behind this choice – ease of use! WordPress has grown in popularity the world over because it is really easy to create and manage websites. You can easily add new posts and pages in addition to pictures, videos and much more on your WordPress website.

When it first began, WordPress has just a simple place where bloggers could organize their posts. But, ever since it took its first step into the CMS world, it’s just been growing and growing – today it’s one of the most advanced and secure CMS platforms available to the common man.

Building a WordPress CMS Website

Building a WordPress site from scratch isn’t difficult, but you need patience and time. It’s not going to happen with the click of a button. Here are some of the things that you need to do in order to build your WordPress website or blog.

  • Get a domain name – The first step towards building any website is to buy a domain name. A domain name is the virtual address of your website. – this is the domain name.
  • Hosting your website – Once you buy a domain name, you would also need to find a good host. A hosting company sees to the storage of all your files and makes sure that the people visiting your website are capable of assessing the pages you’ve made public.
  • Download WordPress – Once you’ve got a domain name and a host, the next step would be to download WordPress so that you could work on the building of you website or blog. Google WordPress download and you’d find the right link
  • Install WordPress on your hosting site – When you look out for a host, make sure that they support WordPress. Once you’ve downloaded it and got the right host, login to your account and install WordPress on your host site.
  • Customize you website – Once you’ve got it onto your computer, you could use themes and plugins that are available for free or buy some cool ones to enhance the functionality of your website.
  • Post content – Now that the basic design of your website is completed; get ready to post information onto your website.

That’s it, you’ve now got yourself a fully functional website using WordPress CMS platform.

WordPress Web Design – How to create a WordPress websites in 7 steps

WordPress is a great solution to create a blog or website. This is because the software is open-source (free), easy to install, customize, maintain and is search friendly. One of the biggest problems site owners have is how to set up their WordPress website. This can be achieved within a few minutes b following the steps below:

How to create a WordPress website in 7 steps:

1. Register your own domain name

Although you can create a WordPress blog at WordPress dot com, I recommend registering your own domain name so you will have more control over it and you can brand your business. Select a domain name that is short, easy to remember and includes your business name or a keyword related to your business.

2. Select a web hosting provider

A web hosting service allows your website to be displayed on the web. Choose a web hosting plan that has sufficient disk space and bandwidth to host your website files. Get at least 50 MB of space and 3 GB of bandwidth and make sure you have the option to upgrade your hosting plan should you need more space and bandwidth. Make sure your Web hosting plans include the installation of WordPress. Check tech support service by calling or e-mailing the company to see how fast they respond and how friendly they are.

3. Install WordPress

Log into your web hosting administration panel (domain.com/cpanel) and look for the Fantastico icon. Click on this icon, and look for the WordPress link. Clicking on this link will install the WordPress software in a folder on the server. It will ask you for the name of our site, where to install it (domain or subdirectory) and provide a password to log in to the admin panel of the website.

4. Select a theme

There are hundreds of free and paid WordPress themes on the net. Google “free WordPress themes” to receive a list of themes to choose from. Choose on that suits your business and download the zipped files to your computer desktop. Unzip the files, then upload the new theme to the themes folder on the server (wp-content-themes) using FTP software (e.g. Filezilla, Smart FTP). Login to the admin panel, click on “appearance” to select your new theme then click “add new.” Refresh your browser to display the new theme.

5. Optimize your website for the search engines

Click on setting – permalinks and check “custom structure.” Insert /%postname%.html and save your changes. This enables your web pages to have search engine friendly addresses. Every time you create a new post or page, insert your keywords in the title and content so the search engines spiders will index your content. An alternative way to optimize your content is to install the all-in-one SEO pack plug-in.

6. Promote your website

Here are 10 methods for promoting your site:

  • Write good quality content
  • Write and submit articles to article directories
  • Offer a newsletter or e-zine
  • Encourage interactivity by responding to comments
  • Submit RSS feed to RSS directories
  • Submit blog to Blog directories
  • Add social media icons to make it easy for visitors to share your content with others
  • Create videos of your content and submit them to video sharing websites
  • Write a press release and submit it to press release websites
  • Submit your website to online directories and search engines

7. Track your visitors

Your web hosting plan usually includes site statistics which tell you how many visits your website receives, where they are coming from and the keywords used to find your site. View these statistics regularly to track traffic coming to your website.

wordpress security checklist for wordpress websites

WordPress Security Checklist for WordPress Websites

Here is a simple checklist for WordPress owners and publishers.

WordPress is one of the most popular website platforms because of it’s ease of use however, it has its problems, and it is because of its popularity that hackers use this platform to attempt to inject their malware and malicious scripts.

WordPress Security has become essential today to protect not only your website but your brand reputation.

Unknown Infections

Often WordPress owners are unaware that their website has been hacked. Just because your website has been hacked it doesn’t necessarily mean you will see a strange image when you access your website. Hackers often disguise the fact they have hacked your site as they have injected a mailbot and you are spamming from your IP address.

Use our checklist for the foundation of good WordPress Security:

  1. Clean and remove spyware, malware and viruses from your PC/Mac before entering the backend of your WordPress installation.
  2. Backup your website before you do anything, this is easily done with the use of Backup Buddy.
  3. Never use ‘admin’ as a username.
  4. Always use a strong password.
  5. Stay Updated – Ensure your WordPress Installation and WordPress plug-ins are always up to date. See latest WP Security updates in the resources section below.
  6. Limit Login Attempts – Ensure you reduce the login attempts down to around 3 attempts. Don’t make it easy for the hackers.
  7. Remove unwanted WordPress Themes – When themes are still on your website and they go out of date hackers use these to gain entry. Only have the theme you are using installed and keep that up to date.
  8. Spring Clean – Your WordPress website may have other folders on the root of your server. Do you really need them or are they development areas. If you don’t need to folders delete them.
  9. Your Hosting Company – Make sure you are using a hosting company that specializes in WordPress installations. WordPress servers need special attention to protect your website.
  10. Double layer Authentication – Use an added layer of security.

Summary

Whilst the checklist above is not an exhaustive list, it is a foundation level of security. Protection is the start of the process, monitoring your website on a daily basis is important. We realize that many website owners just don’t have time or the knowledge, so we provide 3 services that can be found in the resources section below.

wordpress development an ideal web design solution

WordPress Development – An Ideal Web Design Solution

For companies which are looking for simple and effective web or blog design options. WordPress Development is the ideal most solution. This platform offers effective open source development platforms that help you easily customize the website to your business needs. The fact that this platform is an open source content management system; it offers tremendous flexibility with respect to customizing your entire online development initiative.

The market has an array of expert WordPress Development professionals who will assist you in building custom themes and templates, and even help in modifying pre-existing ones to build a unique portal that fits your design, style and internet marketing objectives.

Cost Effective

Not only is the portal extremely easy to use, but it is also an effective open source WordPress Development additionally provides inexpensive theme and plug-in development solutions which allows you to develop a content rich, friendly and lightweight portal for your audiences.

Themes and Plug-ins

It is extremely easy to add as many plug-ins as you want. Additionally, it offers the unique capability of switching between themes and customized widgets without the need to make any modifications in the PHP or HTML coding of the portal.

Easy Hosting and Installing

There is no task easier than installing and hosting a WordPress website. All the developer needs to do is identify a hosting company and with a single click proceed to the installation process. This platform also offers easy solutions that make for effective back linking exercises. One can easily gain access to track-back or ping-back support standards for link exchanges. It’s superior plug-in architecture enables to enhance the functionality of the features that are incorporated on the portal through WordPress Development.

Enhanced Security

A major benefit offered by this open source development platform is the enhanced features in security that are empowered by features such as complete user registration, protection from spam, password protected content uploading and posts as well as simplifying the installation and upgrading features f the website.

Administration

This portal offers impressive capabilities to effectively manage and absorb high traffic levels by taking control of the server load thus ensuring that the website works efficiently at all times.

Search Engine Optimization

Not only us WordPress Development an extremely simple and quick way to create a blog site, but it is also extremely marketing objectives. The moment you set your WordPress domain live, it provides a vast variety of features that help you get creative with our content allowing you to manage your SEO objectives efficiently.

Customizing a WordPress Website

Customizing a WordPress Website

Now you have set up your WordPress website, it’s time to customize it to get most out of it. Log into your dashboard and click on the setting tab. From the drop down menu click on general tab. Once inside the admin area you can customize your site title, tagline, email address, time zone information and save your changes. Whatever, you do, DO NOT change the WordPress URL and site address URL or your website will not work. Then click on the tab reading and choose the option static page. You can choose what you want to be your front page or after your create coupe of pages you can come back and select your main (front) page and save your changes. Next click on the permalinks tab and select custom structure. In the box write this; /%postname% and save changes. If you want to change the look of your website you do that by changing the theme. There are lots of options available online where you can use free themes or for real professional look purchase a theme you like. Click on the appearance tab in your dashboard.

From the drop down menu choose theme option and click install themes. On the bottom of the page click on the option find themes. There are whole bunch of theme you can choose from. If you downloaded a theme on our computer then after selecting install theme click upload the browse where you saved the file and then select install now. Once installed then choose the option activate the theme. Now you have a new look to your website. If you are using a theme that has sidebar and you want to customize how it looks. In you dashboard click on appearance and then choose widget. Once side widget menu you can then drag and drop widgets into your sidebar and customize it.

Finally you can improve the functionality of your website by downloading plugins. Plugins are additional software you integrate into your website that gives your website additional features. There are thousands of plugins online, you just have to Google to find theme. To install them, click on the plugin tab on your dashboard and choose option add new. In the search term type in whatever plugin you are looking for. Once you find your plugin click install now and when it’s installed activate it. If you have downloaded it on your computer choose upload and browse where you saved it on your hard drive and upload it and activate it. Some of the must have plugins are as follows:

Smart YouTube by Vladimir Prelovac. It allows you to display YouTube videos in your post or page. Once you download the plugin and activate it, you have to customize it. From settings tab in your dashboard click on smart youtube, once inside choose the option to display video in your post. If you want you can play around with size of video display and so on. Make sure save your changes. Now all you have to do is copy the url of the video and paste it into your post. Remember if for example your URL is; http://, insert v in the URL for the video to display, so the URL will look like this; httpv://

Google Analytics Visits, follow the installation procedure mention above. This vital tool gives detail analysis of visitors to your website.

Google Sitemaps, is a way to tell Google about pages on your site that they might not otherwise know about.

Affordable WordPress Websites for Small Business

Many small business owners are at the mercy of website designers and developers. With high hourly rates, small business owners are held hostage when the website need content updates or other minor changes. Why does this happen? Website designers and website developers know that if they create a website for their clients that is difficult to use and understand, the business owner will have to keep coming back to theme for updates and modifications. Add this insult to the already astronomical price applied to having a new website designed and you can be thousands of dollars in the whole before your website reaches the one year mark.

WordPress offers a simpler, more affordable solution to small business websites.

The Benefits of a WordPress Website to Small Business

WordPress is a 100% FREE blogging / content management platform. That’s right; many of you may be surprised to read that it is completely free. Because WordPress is free, it has hundreds of thousands (possibly millions) of users. Furthermore, there is an army of web developers all working and contributing to make it more secure and to keep it up to date. As if that all wasn’t enough, there are thousands of free theme themes available to make your website look different from all of the others, and thousands more premium (usually costing under $100) themes available for purchase. Also due to the large number of users there are thousands of free and premium WordPress plugins available which can extend the functionality of WordPress beyond that of just a normal website. And, believe it or not, I haven’t gotten to the best part yet. WordPress has an admin section with a graphic user interface (GUI) which makes it possible for the web layperson to make updates and additions to their own website. I have numerous clients myself that are using the WordPress platform that login to their own websites and make updates and alterations without having to call me for support or spend a time.

How Expensive are WordPress Websites

As mentioned previously, WordPress itself is free. However, there are still costs associated with setting up the WordPress website, Domain Registration, and Hosting for the website. If you’re not very good at learning new software you may want to consider having the person who sets up your WordPress website do some training with you. There are also may be some need to have the WordPress web designer or WordPress web developer that is helping you make some modifications that may be too difficult for you, such as adding your business logo. On average, we are able to get a client’s website online between $400 and $500. Although, we have provided clients with websites for as little as $200.