Using WordPress to Develop Your Internet Presence
When I started my Internet Marketing Career way back in 1997 the tools for web development were limited, clunky and expensive so I learned to do most of my coding using notepad.
Today there are several professional web development programs such as Dreamweaver, however the complexity of the program and the cost often puts them outside the reach of small business owners that want to create their own website(s).
However, I’ve noticed the past year a dramatic shift in web development with increased use of WordPress as the program of choice. WordPress was initially developed for users to create an easy blogging platform.
The program is free, it is highly adaptable through plug-ins and themes, very easy to learn and utilizes a very powerful CMS (content management system) and it has grown to be more popular as the tool of choice all the way from professional web developers and small business owners.
If you didn’t notice, we used WordPress to develop our SEO Training website with a custom theme we developed.
The initial setup time for this site was under two hours. After this we changed the appearance of the site using the built in editor then added our photos, videos and content and we were online within a day.
If you’re considering creating a WordPress website, here is a short tutorial and two ten minute videos:
- Domain Name – First order of business is creating a domain name for your blog. One free online tool that I use to discover new domain names is the DomainTools website at: http://www.domaintools.com .Avoid domain names that use trademarks and/or service marks in them as the trademark holder can later take action against you.
- Register Domain Name – After you choose your domain name, next step is to register it. Please do your homework on which domain provider you use. Several companies are known to “hijack” your domain away from you just because someone has filed some petty complaint against you.
- Hosting Provider – find a hosting provider and DON’T cut any corners in this area, its critical if you want your site to rank in the search engines.Many of the low cost hosting providers use virtual hosting, meaning that they take your domain name and host it with a bunch of other domain names using the same IP address.The IP address that your hosting company provides is basically the street address, apartment number, state and zip code for your website. If your hosting provider is using virtual IP hosting, you will have no idea who your neighbors are. Some maybe sex sites, sites selling Viagra, who knows.When the search engines visit your IP address they see all the “bad neighbors” that you have and may assume that your website is affiliated with them and your site now has more difficult time in proving itself to the search engines that it is indeed worthy of being listed.Also make sure that your hosting provider has CPanel and Fantastico installed on their servers. It makes setting up your WordPress blog and management allot easier.I own my own webservers to host my sites and my client’s sites and I’m VERY PARTICULAR who joins me. If you’re interested in having me host your WordPress blog, please contact me.
- Install WordPress – Access CPanel on your site, click on the Fantastico button and there is a short tutorial on installing WordPress. Please read it as features and services do change.Press the install WordPress button, answer a short series of questions such as the username, password, email and name of your install.In a few seconds WordPress will be installed in your account.Initially you will have the default WordPress theme, we will update the theme a little later, but first we want to make a test entry and make sure that everything is working fine.
- Upload a WordPress Template – Find a WordPress theme that complements your services. There are free themes on the WordPress website that you can choose or you can buy a custom theme from a vendor.Download this theme to your computer, unzip it and then use a FTP program to upload it to your server in the wp-content/themes/ folder.Next go to the WP admin panel – in Presentation -> Themes and activate your theme.
- Modify the Theme – Be sure that you back up all your files before you begin editing any of the pages in the theme editor.If you do not want the comments and the “posted by… on…” displayed to make your website not look like a blog, just delete the following from the index.php (and also delete the same in the files page.php and single.php – if there are these files):• <?php the_time(’F jS, Y’) ?><?php edit_post_link(’, Edit’); ?>
• <div class=”comm”><?php comments_popup_link(’Post Comment’, ‘Comments (1)’, ‘Comments (%)’); ?></div>You may also like to edit some images of the theme like e.g. the header image. All you would do is find that image in the image folder, download it to your computer and make what ever changes you want then upload back into the same folder with the same file name.
That’s all there is to it, you’re now online with your WordPress website!
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