Posts

What you need to know before you start a WordPress blog

If you’ve been considering starting a wordpress blog, you have probably run into people telling you that WordPress is the way to go. After all their blogs are flexible and easy to use, and yet they offer endless options for customization. You might have heard about people who make money by blogging and selling adspace on their websites and you’ve decided that you want a piece of the pie. Obviously blogging isn’t a get rich quick answer to all of your money woes, but it can be way to earn some extra cash. If you’re considering using WordPress for your blog there are a few things that you need to know before you signup.

When you choose to start a WordPress blog your basically have two different options. This option is free and still provides most of the flexibility that WordPress can offer. You get to start your own blog, publish posts, and build on online audience. The downfall to this option is that because you are using WordPress to host your blog they technically own your writing.This means that they can take your blog down at any time and for any reason. Although this rarely happens it is still a cause for concern. The larger disadvantage to having WordPress host your blog is that you don’t have your own domain name. This severely limits the growth potential of your blog. If you want to maximize the potential of your blog it is far better to use the second option that is available through WordPress.

By using wordpress.org instead of wordpress.com you can ensure that your blog will have your domain name, and that it will be easily recognizable as yours. Obviously this costs a bit of money up front, but it makes sense if you think of your domain name as an investment in the future of your business. Using a hosting site with your own domain name means that you own the content and can determine what you publish and how you market your website. You still have all of the flexibility and support that WordPress offers along with the added bonus of having complete control of the content that you put on your website.

No matter which option you choose, WordPress provides detailed instructions for getting started. Even if you are choosing to purchase a domain name and use an outside host the process for getting everything set up is very easy. WordPress advertises that they have a 5-minute install that will get you up and running in no time. The customizing and templates are easy to use and thousands of plugins are available that will enable you to professional looking website exactly the way you want it, even if you don’t know anything about web design.

wordpress website design

Choosing a WordPress Website Design Service

WordPress website design isn’t just about pressing the install button in your hosting control panel.

There are lots of behind the scenes considerations that affect your website.

WordPress is an incredibly flexible website design program. It handles all sorts of things and makes it easy for your or your designer to be in complete control.

Which means it can be akin to being a child in a sweetshop who wants everything in sight.

But often, less is more and it pays to resist the temptation to add every conceivable bell and whistle “just in case”.

The first thing to remember is that WordPress separates the different elements of your website design:

  • Page Content
  • Website functionality
  • Website look and feel

This is usually good but it can mean that amateur designers confuse the various areas and don’t get the most benefit from the flexibility offered.

Page Content

This is actually the most important part of any website design service.

Yet often it’s neglected or left as an afterthought.

The problem with that approach is that it doesn’t matter how good your website looks if people don’t find it.

And one of the most common ways they find your site is through a Google search.

Google and the other search engines will index all the words on each of the pages on your website and will do their best to match them with what individual people are searching for. They will do the same for other elements on your website such as images but they don’t do anywhere near as good a job with these as they do with words, so remember that the written content on your website is far and away the most elements.

Being really blunt, if your website designer tried to tell you otherwise, it’s time to rethink your choice of designer.

Website functionality

The initial WordPress installation gives your website some basic functionality.

WordPress offers extensions (called plugins) to improve and modify the functionality.

Some of these cover the basic things such as how your website is presented to the search engines- a variety of SEO plugins offers fine control over this and can help get your website found more often.

Others cover how WordPress works, including some behind the scenes techie thing such as making sure that unwanted hackers find it difficult to compromise your website and move elsewhere to easier targets.

Yet others add extra functionality such as contact forms (amazingly, that’s not built in to the base installation) as well as extras such as booking diaries, photo galleries and almost anything else you could possibly want from a website.

Your website designer should know which of these are essential for every single WordPress installation as well as which ones are suited to your particular needs.

Website look and feel

Although this is often the part that people spend most time on, I’ve left it until last.

If your website is brand new, the look and feel is the least important part.

Unless you do some major publicity, for the first few weeks or months the only people- apart from Google- looking at your website will be you, your employees and maybe some friends and family.

What this means is that you can take some time to think about the look and feel of your website and adjust it at a later stage if you want to.

That said, you’re likely to want to make sure that your company logo and colours are reflected in the website design from the outset.