This post is designed as a step by step informative DIY (do it yourself) resource to help you buy, host, create, maintain, backup and generally get the most out of your website using WordPress as a platform.
STEP 1: BUY YOUR DOMAIN
Get your domain at GoDaddy.com – but just say NO THANKS to all the other products they offer during the signup process. Bless their hearts, they are masters of upselling and they are the very best registrar in the world, but for hosting, email, etc…. not so much – so remember: all you need is the domain, none of the other stuff: GoDaddy.com.
STEP 2: PAY FOR YOUR HOSTING
NEXT for your hosting, get started with the “Hatchling” plan at HostGator – you will never regret using them for your hosting needs, as their systems & support are so great that you feel like a VIP if you ever call them. If you have ever dealt with any other hosting company and then phone HostGator, you will not even believe your ears! They are awesome!
Click the big “View Hosting Plans” button and select your hosting plan (Hatchling unless you have some special need), and just sign up – it’s cheap and it’s amazing! Click Here to sign up at HostGator now!
STEP 3: CREATE YOUR WORDPRESS INSTALLATION
Now that you have your domain and the hosting plan where you can ‘put’ your website, let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of creating the actual website. You will refer to the Account Details email that HostGator sends you to log into your domain’s cPanel (the administrative control panel that controls your website from emails & forwarders to file management, scripts, and more!).
Using Fantastico script installer (there are other tools but HostGator uses the tried & true Fantastico installer which works just GREAT), you are able to create an instance of WordPress on your domain in just a few clicks – seriously – this used to take a team of developers and designers months back in the day. After you go through your 2-minute setup, you will have a website which is ready to go – quite presentable-looking right out of the box and will allow you to publish your content dynamically with NO HTML knowledge whatsoever.
Click Here For The Video Tutorial .
STEP 4: INSTALL A COMING-SOON PAGE
Chances are, even though you ARE ready to get going on your website, you may not have all the elements ready to go, and if you have never done this before, you will want several hours to complete and tinker with your new site before you want to have it ‘out there’ live on the Internet for anyone to see. I most frequently use the Custom Coming Soon by NetChillies plugin for developing when I am developing on a live URL – it’s pretty much seamless and you can even allow people to sign up to receive an alert when your site is ready!
STEP 5: SELECT A THEME FROM STUDIOPRESS OR WOOTHEMES
Now that you have your WordPress installation complete and a holding page, you can start developing your site in earnest – there are a lot of theme companies to choose from out there and my top 2 are StudioPress (Brian Gardner is my personal hero) and Woo Themes. Both are great in their own ways and offer excellent FAQs, documentation, community forum, and support for their themes, so you don’t feel out in the cold once you have submitted your credit card information!
There is a long list of premium theme publishers (I recommend against free themes), and many are fine and great and I am not saying anything against them, but remember when shopping for a theme to look at the reputation of the developer and the company producing the theme.
I am linking to StudioPress and Woo here because I have personally used premium themes from both and can vouch that they have good documentation and stand by their products. You may choose a theme from the huge selection at ThemeForest.net too, but BE CAREFUL to check the author.
After purchasing your theme, you are able to install it in your WordPress installation (as above) – it’s simple to unzip your purchased content and follow the readme files or watch the video tutorial which many premium theme companies provide with their products.
Each theme has its own idiosyncrasies and you will need to follow along with the instructions, but with even a medium technical ability you should have no problem!
STEP 6: ADD YOUR CONTENT!
Pages & Posts
It is so easy to add your pages and posts with WordPress that tutorials are almost overkill – if you can use facebook, you’ll have no problem with the WordPress interface for adding text, images, hyperlinks and more. Just log into the WordPress admin dashboard, click Pages, and you’re on your way.
Beautiful Stock Images
Most modern themes now feature an easy-to-use home page slide show which you can configure with very little effort in the Theme Options under Appearance in your WordPress admin dashboard.
Need awesome royalty-free photography and illustrations to make your website POP? There are a lot of royalty-free image websites – the best-known being iStockPhoto and BigStockPhoto… here’s another one which is a bit lesser-known but less expensive in general and excellent quality: Fotolia.
STEP 7: MAKE YOUR WEBSITE STICKY!
A sticky website is one where visitors land on and stay… and return later too. If you are wondering whether your website is sticky, ask someone who won’t lie to you or better still, just check your analytics and look at the bounce rate. If you have a lot of visitors landing on your site and leaving immediately, you need to work on it!
Here are a few tips to help you make your site stickier:
- Use catchy images – face it – people want to click the pictures!
- Make it personal / personable – reach out and address your visitor
- Use social media – facebook & twitter particularly – check out WebFriendly.ca for social media
- Use standard navigation – people like to ‘know where they are’ on a website
- Use big subscribe buttons – use constantcontact / aweber
- Try polls & surveys etc if you like – use constantcontact / aweber
- Install a ‘related posts’ widget like LinkWithin
- Check your analytics and kind of build-out very popular posts
- Update frequently!
STEP 8: GROW YOUR LIST AND KEEP IN TOUCH
There are a number of awesome services you can enlist to keep on top of your email communications. Remember that once your list gets to a certain size you risk running into deliverability issue (spam filters) and so on, even if your subscribers are properly opted-in. Some of the top mail services are:
Check out the raging debate on the Internet about which one is best… This is a scenario where I have no evangelistic opinion – I have dabbled with AWeber & done a fair amount with ConstantContact, and have heard rave reviews about MailChimp, but it seems to be a matter of taste so do your research and rest assured that using one of these services is better than NOT using one! Check out the features lists and decide for yourself.
Check out this site on your iPhone – come on, whip it out!
What you will see on your mobile device is a completely different view from what you are seeing if you are on a regular computer right now, because netgenus.com is a WordPress website which is running an awesome premium plugin called WP Touch.
This is just one more reason to have a WORDPRESS website. WP touch uses the standard WordPress post & page structure to automatically re-theme the whole website for those teeny little screens.
On the left is what you see from your handheld when you type www.netgenus.com into the wee browser. Actually, if you are on a mobile device, the images is on the top
We think you’ll agree that this is a much more convenient way to browse a website than the ‘keyhole’ view you get of regular websites with a handheld. A lonnnnggg time ago, it became a web development standard best practice, that the visitor should NEVER have to SCROLL from left to right. Up and down: OK; left to right: bad design.
If you are interested in having this plugin installed & configured on your WordPress website, just drop us an email or give a call, and your website can be mobile-friendly for a ONE TIME cost of just $150.00!
If you don’t already have a WordPress website… ummm, what are you waiting for? Call (778) 387-7822
All netgenus clients get a run-through on their new website admin panel, and the funny thing is that I barely get them logged in and tell them to click “Posts” before they are away to the races and tell me something like, “OK, I got it, you just type your post into this box and hit ‘Publish’, right?”
It’s that easy.
One thing that I’d like to mention is that images are important!
If you ever stop and WATCH an average person browsing the Internet, you will notice that all they really want to do (usually) is to click pictures!
They may be looking for something specific or they may just be surfing, but if there is an image, they will click it, and/or read the text that is right next to it.
Large blocks of text almost invariably result in a ‘page bounce’ (browser leaves almost as soon as it lands on the page).
Let’s face it: nobody wants to read a solid page of text unless it is specific information of interest.
So ADD IMAGES TO YOUR POSTS!
Your readers will love you more!
Here is a quick tuturial in case you haven’t found the little ‘Add an Image’ icon in your admin panel:
Starting NOW (successfully tested & wow, it works great), netgenus solutions clients can get online remote support for only $35/hour! That means that you can phone in or email-in to arrange a time for a remote support session, visit www.netgenus.com, enter the session ID you are given into the “Session ID” box, and voila, receive computer support without leaving your seat.
This service is powered by Zoho.com (to be specific, “Zoho Assist“), part of the absolutely excellent suite of tools & services by Zoho.com.
Nobody wants to use the C-word (CHEAP) but let’s just cut the -
Let’s just get to the point here: most people want to spend less money on their websites, but not if that means having a generic-looking, ‘blah’ website that doesn’t have any interactivity.
Well thank heavens for WordPress.
It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come in the past 10 years with regard to website development, and Vancouver 10 years ago was considered a very “wired” city – that was in the days when being “wired” was good. I guess we’re somewhat ‘unwired’ now, but it still amounts to the same thing: Vancouver is kind of a geeky town.
Back in the day, it would be quite normal for a designer, a programmer, and possibly a team of underlings to take MONTHS to create a website like THIS one (yes, this is a WordPress site too)!
Content Management Systems were custom designed in those days, and they weren’t even called Content Management Systems! The term was ‘back end’… that’s not a term that’s used so much any more…
DEFINITION - CMS: “Content Management System”
-An administrative back-end, that’s as easy to use as HotMaiL, where a non-coder can login, enter some text, images, and other content into an interface, click the ‘Publish’ button, and boom, update the website.
If Grandma can use her Yahoo webmail, she can publish her own posts on the Internet about how everything has gone to the dogs these days (except that the Internet is quite a lot of fun for keeping up with the grandchildren).
Thanks to WordPress, netgenus solutions can literally have your full-functioning AWESOME-looking, feature-rich, dynamic website with your own CMS all up and running in about a week!
We can do it for as little as $300… Canadian.
Time is money, and at netgenus solutions, we do WordPress every day so we’re FAST, and a fast website is a cheap website. Cheap in the sense that it won’t cost you much, but NOT cheap-looking.
If you are looking for a Vancouver web developer to guide you through the process and get you up and running in no time, your search is over.
Have a look at our portfolio and if you like what you see, give a call at 778-387-7822 or request a free quote here.
netgenus solutions specializes in providing Vancouver small businesses with great-looking, feature-rich, easy-to-navigate, easy to upgrade, cutting-edge websites, which do great on the search engines – for a very low cost.
What is the point in having a beautiful website that nobody can find on Google? It would be like having a fabulous 5-star hotel in the middle of nowhere, with no maps or signage outside.
So many Vancouverites are entrepreneurs and either work for, or own, small businesses.
It seems that just about everyone in the city of Vancouver either has a website, needs a website, or at least knows someone who doesn’t have a website but really needs one for his or her small business or home-based enterprise.
The people and companies who need a website but don’t already have one generally fall into one of the following categories:
- they don’t understand the Internet at all, and whenever they talk to a Vancouver web design company, they get confused and don’t pursue the project.
- they want a cheap website, but not a cheap-LOOKING website
- They have received quotes from various Vancouver web designers and the costs were in the thousands, despite the fact that all they needed was a basic, professional-looking website with the usual pages and functionality for a small business
- they have a clear picture of what they want, and it is a custom job. They are probably perfectionists and are waiting until they have all their ‘ducks in a row’ with content written, a strategy developed, and a Vancouver web development agency with a track record in delivering similar sites already selected (that is a process in and of itself)
At netgenus solutions, we do everything possible to take the pain and high costs out of the way for people who need a basic website, but are stymied by the process of domain registration, hosting company selection, decisions about subjects they know little about, and high costs for custom design.
Check out our price list & portfolio.
If you or someone you know needs a website LAST YEAR, and still doesn’t have one, try referring them to netgenus solutions for a quick quote, a fast development time, and an amazingly low cost. They will feel taken care of, with the whole process explained (not OVER-explained) and as little as $400 and a week later, they can be showing off their great new website, up and running, live on the Internet, with a proper email address (let’s face it, email@example.com is not that impressive on a business card!).
If numbers 1 through 3 on the list above describe you or someone you know who is trying to find a Vancouver web design company, contact netgenus for a quote – it’s free!
WORDPRESS WEBSITES are a fantastic way to have a fully functional, professional looking website up and running in a flash – WITH a fully functional CMS – that is, a content management system, enabling you to log into the admin panel and manage all your content YOURSELF.
netgenus can maintain your sites for you for a reasonable fee, but it is so easy, that with a quick runthrough, you’ll be able to add or remove pages and update all your own content. Click here for more information about how to get started with your personal or corporate blog or a non-blog business site.
All netgenus solutions WP sites incorporate a plugin called “All-in-One-SEO” which allows custom titles and descriptions for each page – it works perfectly.
Another plugin is used to create an XML Google site map.
There are so many other techniques, but those are just a couple of plugins used with *every* WP installation for basic SEO.
The $500 WordPress site involves the following:
• (provided by you) good content on the site (on the pages) – that is what the search engines are really looking for
• Titles which are well-thought-out to target your desired key phrases
• Content arranged properly with attention to keyword density and matching page titles
• Some images with “alt tags” (those tooltips you see when you hover over an image in Internet Explorer)
There are a lot of other SEO techniques and the SEO needs some maintenance, but for the most part, as long as you have enough good content, the above will get you a good position on Google, as long as you aren’t going for a keyword like “SEO” – that is the hardest, for obvious reasons!
If you go ahead with the $500 WP site, give it a week or two, and see how it does with all the best practices techniques listed above.
If your site isn’t on the front page of Google, or if you want to make it higher, netgenus can do more intensive SEO for you for a reasonable fee.
HOSTING is a critical component of all your online projects, and netgenus is a proud affiliate of WebHostingPad, offering incredible hosting plans as low as $3.96/month for UNLIMITED space and bandwidth!
Click here for more about how netgenus can help you get your site or project management system online with WHP.
Also, you get the Fantastico suite of scripts, allowing you to set up your own WordPress, Drupal, Joomla site or dotProject installation quickly and easily if you are so inclined.
It’s a snap to configure your own hosting with WHP, but netgenus will gladly assist with everything from buying the domain name to setting up your website and configuring your emails however you like. Call or email for a quote: 778-786-3722 or firstname.lastname@example.org.