Do you have something to share with the rest of the world?
You may be selling something, looking for something, promoting your art work, sharing something spectacular that you found, or simply stating your stance on a cause close to you; if you have anything at all to share with the world, it can be done a lot more forcefully through the internet. The effective way to go about it is to get online, by making a website using WordPress and showcase your work for the world to see. After all, a significant part of life today happens online, through the internet’s vast resources!
Consider this: When YOU have a question on something, what is the first thing you are likely to do? A large number of people would agree that they simply “google it out”. This is a strong testament to the enormous power of the internet. People connect and communicate through it. Emails, instant messages, social media networks or blogs, it’s all happening online.
Making a website using WordPress is a great way to bring more people into your business. It’s mighty simple, incredibly cost-effective and works like a charm in getting people’s attention. That’s the good news. The great news is that it can also be done completely free, provided you’re ready to compromise on the way your website is set up and will operate. For others, building and operating your own website often comes at a nominal free and works wonders in attracting potential business.
In this book, we guide you through quick and easy steps and a how to guide to making a website in 2018 so you can soon reap the benefits of having yourself or your business consciously showcased on the internet. As you read through this guide, you will find a whole set of useful resources to get your website up in no time. We also leave you with a section on best practices, outlining tips and tricks you can use to ensure that your website gets the maximum hits and fulfills its purpose. After all, it’s no fun presenting the best thing you’ve got when there’s no one around to see it!
Thank you for reading through our blog. We do hope you thoroughly enjoy it!
Creating a website is not as daunting as it is made out to be. Today, the same internet that beckons you provides you with a host of resources eager to help you mark your presence online. We further ease this by guiding you through clear and simple steps so you can kick-start your journey to online glory right away.
A domain name is like your home address on the internet, so people know where to find you in the vast online world. It also works as your own “personal brand”. Your domain name is what people will remember, so choose carefully.
A good domain name should be:
This is unquestionable. There’s no point choosing a fancy domain name if it not unique, as it’s likely to be taken.
Blogspot, Ask, WordPress, LinkedIn, Adcash, Mail.Ru, PayPal, Netflix and Dropbox are a few of the wisely named brands, whose domain names clearly reflect the nature of their business. When your domain name does this, you can rest assured that people will find you quickly and easily.
There’s no point coming up with fancy but obscure domain names. Nobody is going to remember them.
Once you have a well-defined domain name, the next step is to “register” it, so the world becomes aware of your online existence. Online “domain name registrars” help you do this.
Some choices you have are:
To pay or not to pay, that is the confusion!
Yes, there are several web hosts that will offer you FREE domain names. But they are terribly restrictive. In most cases, they own the domain name, which means that they can sell you under at any time. And the names they choose are intended to promote their business and not yours!
Today, you can register your domain name for as little as $10 to $40 USD, for a year. You then renew it annually for a small piece of that cost. Choosing to create your website for free is okay for fund-short students or newbies. But if you value your business or your brand, we suggest investing money in it. It is well worth it.
Great, you’ve got that exclusive domain name and are all the eager beaver to get started on the fancy content you intend to showcase on your website. Wait! You still need to find a web-host to “publish” your website to the world.
A web-host is like a server, a large container that houses your site and then connects it with the rest of the online world so people can view it. It is from your web-host that you get the space for your website, your email address, basic terms of security and other equally important stuff. Most web-hosts also provide a platform to host your site. This means that you get access to online software that can help you create your web pages, quickly and easily. Way to go!
We suggest considering the following to make a wise choice on your web-host:
You want a host that provides you a good amount of space for a reasonable cost. Most websites occupy less than 5MB of space. However, take into account any expansion plans you might have for the future, when deciding how much space you want.
This is where some of the moolah can come in! Web-hosts who offer free website spaces often disallow advertising or impose restrictions, as they have their own advertisers and banners that will creep into your website. Ensure you are comfortable with what your web-hosts allows you to do, as advertising is a great way to bring in the revenue that will keep your site up for long.
These are must haves, especially if you choose to go with a commercial web-host. Most people turn away from a website if they find that it takes too long to load or crashes every other minute. Ensure your web-host supports you with great speed and does not shut down often.
As you embark on your online journey, you will have plenty of questions and need some assistance along the way. Your web-host should ideally partner with you on this, with a solid tech-support team available to provide you 24-hour assistance.
Again, you can choose a web-host that allows you to build your website for free. But we’ve already covered the disadvantages of doing this. Some web-hosts also facilitate domain names. But this can mean that they own the domain name, rather than you. So if you ever intend to move your web-host, you lose the domain name. Watch out for this!
Popular commercial web-hosts include:
This forms the heart and soul of your website – the content you wish to showcase. Whatever you wish to share with the world – your business solutions, personal artwork, blogs, e-commerce solutions, whatever, make sure it’s clear and well-written.
Use the following tips to create great content for your websites.
This is the first all-important step in creating great content. Clearly understand who you are catering to and cater exclusively to them.
This means that you suppress the natural need to go on and on about topics close to your heart. You simply do not want to bore your audience.
People just do not have the time to go through words and words of useless content. So don’t force them to do it. Structure your content so everything is easily accessible with a few quick clicks from your home page.
People will re-visit your website only if they derive “real value” from it. Find compelling ways to add value for the time spent on your website. Engage in your content so you build a relationship with your viewers through it.
This goes without saying. A title that goes “Some Useful Stuff That Works” may sound comically appealing to you but it is not going to win you brownie points with your viewers. As always, be clear.
By default pages, we mean pages that are must-haves to complete your website. These include web pages with the following content:
This is the least you can do to attract more viewers to your website. People find websites more through a search engine than through word of mouth publicity or fancy names. So make your content SEO compliant – this means that it is Search Engine Optimized and hence listed by search engines.
Now, we come to the fun part of building your website – visually enhancing its appeal so people are enticed to visit it again and again. This does not need you to invest in fancy Photoshop tools (though they help nicely) but asks for you to keep in mind some simple tips to make your website visually palatable to your viewers.
In your enthusiasm to share what you have, you don’t want to inadvertently scatter precious information all over your website. Create a structure before you start designing. This will also help you understand what you want to put in your website and how you want to share it.
You’ll be amazed at the incredible difference this will make to your website. Your webpages will instantly look more consistent and professional. Also, keep in mind that your webpages do not need to be awfully fancy or immensely colorful, but they do not need to be clean and easy to read.
Let your website not contain pages and pages of content nested and possibly hidden under several levels. Use informative links on your home page so your viewers can quickly get to what they want to see. A website that is easy to navigate will allow you to explore all webpages with just a few additional links from your home page.
The internet works so well because it connects people. Do the same with your website. Connect them to other useful sites by providing links. You will also be rewarded as search engines are more likely to pick up websites that contain informative links.
Now that your website is ready, test it thoroughly before reaching out to your web-host to publish it to the external world. Check to see that it works consistently in all popular browsers. Ensure to fix any broken links or typos before they put off viewers.
The last step to creating your website is to take steps to get it noticed. You can use your favorite search engine’s link or website submission page to do this. Your website is bound to get noticed even without this as it becomes a part of the internet, but executing this step will make this happen much faster.
We leave you with some super-cool tips that will push your website from good to great and get even more from it. Enjoy!
People are increasingly turning to their smart phones to access the web on the go. Tune your webpages so they load easily on a mobile as this will automatically ensure more hits to your website.
One of the BIG things people look for in great websites is equally great speed. You can quicken things up by using a compression utility to zip stuff up before transferring them across sites. Contact the tech support of your web-host to trigger this.
Images pretty up your page but take time to load. With a little effort, you can use clever techniques to optimize png and jpeg images so they reduce in file size but stay with great quality.
WordPress has become the platform to use for developing and hosting webpages. Learn your way around this platform so you can learn to use its many tricks to optimize your web pages.
You’ve heard the old adage “a picture speaks a thousand words”. Use icons that are incredibly small in file size yet effectively communicate what you intend to say. They also make your page look more interesting.