Tag Archives: WordPress

What’s the Easiest Way to Setup a Website for My Business?

How can I setup a website for my business is a question I get asked a lot. If you have a real world business you may know that you need to have an online presence, you may even realise that its the cheapest form of advertising you can buy. If money is no object then I can assure that you can spend thousands on getting a custom designed website. A website that may not rank well in the search engines, so your potential customers will never find you. I strongly suggest that instead you invest a little time and a lot less money and setup your own website.  There are three steps:

  1. buy your domain name;
  2. buy some hosting for your website;
  3. install and configure WordPress for that site.

But WordPress is for blogging you say? Well no its not – WordPress is just a tool which you can use to create a blog, a static website, a portfolio page or an online resume. In the same way you can can chose to use Microsoft Word to write the next great Australian novel, or the shopping list. Its just a tool.

Buying Your Domain Name

Many small businesses will automatically think that their domain name should be TomBrownPainter.com if they happen to be a painter called Tom Brown – that’s not a bad choice, but you may actually want to consider a more SEO (Search Engine Optimization) friendly url around “painter” and any other skills you might have and the local area you serve.  PainterDecoratorMyTown.com or MyTownHousePainter.com may be better. Don’t worry – you don’t have to build separate websites for all of them. You can point all of your domains to your main website and each domain will cost you less than $10 year.

Buying Hosting for Your Business Website

You may be offered a free domain with your hosting – I’ve explained before about hosting scams. Domains are cheap, hosting is cheap don’t try to go with the more dubious options of free.

Install WordPress

Chose a host which includes something called “fantastico” on its feature list – a good webhost like Hostgator will do so. Using fantastico its only a couple of clicks to install the software – and you are ready to start making WordPress your own by installing some useful extensions to the software – called plugins.

You will also need to chose a theme which controls how your website looks – but that is a whole different post!

Residual Income Blogs: Ten Must-Have Plugins

WordPress’s strength is that there are so many plugins available. Plugins are pieces of code which extend the functionality of WordPress. Sometimes plugins are overtaken – I used to use an automatic WordPress updated – but this functionality is now build it with the standard WordPress.

If you are new to installing plugins  you may read that you need to download the plugin, unzip it  and use a ftp program to upload to your website and then activate it. This information is out of date with current WordPress all you need to do is go to the “Add New” tab under Plugins and type in the name of the plugin you want- you will then get the option to install it by:

  • clicking once install
  • activating the plugin
  • usually you will need to change some settings you will find these either under the  Settings tab which will now have a new menu for your new plugin. Sometimes the plugin will give you the link directly to set things up.

Useful For All Blogs

Askimet. The spam killer program. Now there is spam and spam and getting your comments flagged as “spam” by a vindictive webmaster will see a legit blogger sent off to Askimet as well. If your comments aren’t showing up you should contact Askimet via their website and ask for re-inclusion. I run it on high traffic websites though because the level of spam is out of control especially if you are a “do follow” blog.

All-In-One-SEO Pack. This is probably the single most important plug-in that everyone who cares about getting organic search traffic to their blog should run. I’ll talk about the details of how to configure All-In-One another day – but suffice to say – you need it – install it now!

Google XML Sitemaps. I have never been a huge fan of installing site maps but they slightly increase the speed with which Google will crawl your entire website and get you indexed faster. You only have to set this up once and then forget about it.

Similar Related Posts.  You will notice that there are a list of “possibly related” posts at the bottom of the post – they are automatically generated by this plugin. This is useful for getting your readers to stay on the site and read more and there is a SEO benefit to the increased internal linking between blogs. This is extremely simple to use and doesn’t require you to move files as some other posts do. You will also need to install this library plugin.

NoFollow For Posts. This plugin adds a tick box to the standard link button with the text editor for posts and pages in WordPres.

Essential for Adsense Websites – Recommended For Most Other Sites

Easy Privacy Policy. Its been compulsory to have a privacy policy if you run Adsense for months – but I still routinly see sites which fail this most basic requirement. This plugin will automatically generate the page for you. Even if you don’t have Adsense running on a site having a Privacy Policy is good practice.

Useful If You have Active Readers/Commentators

Contact Form 7 My simple contact form is created by using this plugin. There are more sophisticated form generators available as plug-ins but I found this one the easiest to use.

Subscribe to Posts. If you end up with lively debate in your comments then its really, really useful  for commentators to be able to click the “notify me of follow up comments by email” box. This is the plugin that does it for you!

SexyBookmarks I am not a huge fan of social bookmarking – but that is not to say that some of my readers aren’t so if they want to share what I write why not? Anyways these little icons at the bottom of the post are just so darn sexy Icouldn’t resist!

Useful If You Redesign a Site or Buy a Site with Existing Backlinks

Simple 301 Redirects. This is a simplistic approach to what can be quite a technical problem – I found it easy to use – but if you need something more sophisticated than page A is now located here – then you will need to look further.

Do You Want a Blog or Website – Is There a Difference?

A long, long time ago there were static websites – websites which didn’t change very often – and when they needed updating you had to go to the computer wizz to do it for you. Often making a chage to the actual look and layout meant changing many hundreds of pages. It was hard to keep track of and keep things up to date – say for example a change phone number on every page.

Then came along blogging – the idea that you could update your own online web log (ie blog) without needing to be an expert or even know what html or css code was. You could write your online personal diary – it caught on – and blogging was born!

So the idea  evolved that blogs were entirely different from websites – that a blog had to be updated frequently and a successful blog had lots of comments and interaction with visitors.

Well that is what a blog was originally – but blogs have become a whole lot more sophisticated – and all because WordPress is a very, very successful piece of software. WordPress is free – its developed by enthusiasts and given away for free WordPress does something very important – it separates the look of a page from the content. WordPress is a platform that developers and designers can use to develop an infinite number of different looks and functionality of WordPress sites. Called themes – there are specialised WordPress themes which will turn your website into a real estate listing site, an e-book selling site, or a newspaper – if you can imagine a style of website its probably been done in WordPress already.

Lets take the current front page of this website as an example:

wordpress-1

Now  using this particular theme – I can vary the look without changing themes – so I could have something like this for example with a couple of clicks of a button or two:

wordpress-2

Its the theme which gives this particular site a static front page  – as opposed to the standard look of the most recent posts running down the page.  The popular “magazine style themes mean that breaking news sites can have rapidly updating stories showing near the top of the page, other designs give the front page a completely static look.

You can run a website on a blogging platform such as WordPress and you can use WordPress to develop a static website.  The choice is yours – and the casual visitor to your site won’t even know that you are running WordPress. Either way you can use your website to make residual income – but that’s the next post!