If you've read the article Why Your Business Needs a Blog, you know how important it is to have a blog and how important it can be for your business. If you've made the decision to move forward with setting up a blog, first of all congratulations! You will not regret this decision because it's so inexpensive and the benefits for your business are tremendous.
In this post we will show you the information and decisions you can make ahead of time that will save time and help the installation process flow smoothly.
We also put together a short video that shows you what is needed and some of the decisions you'll need to make to get your site set up. Most of these items can be changed or added later, however if you have them in place early on, it will save you time going forward. It will also help your WordPress blog installation go much smoother.
You Have Options for Your WordPress Blog
The first option is that you can pay someone like us to install your WordPress blog and get it set up so that you can start blogging. The second option is to install your blog yourself. With either option, we recommend setting up a self hosted WordPress blog for a number of reasons that will be of benefit to your business.
A self-hosted website means that you own your domain and pay a company like Hostgator, BlueHost, etc. for the use of their servers to "host" your site and make it available for your readers 24 hours a day. When you create your web pages and images, they will be uploaded to your host's servers and that's where you site will reside.
We use Hostgator for web hosting and we're part of their affiliate program. We have five websites on their Baby hosting plan and have always had a great experience with them. If you need technical support they have a knowledge base, chat and live representatives that you can talk to. We've never had an issue with loading times, or servers that crash and become inactive. If you're looking for a hosting company we hope you'll take a look at their plans and click here to use our affiliate link to place your order.
Through Hostgator, you can have your site hosted for as little as $3.95 per month. You can register your domain name for about $12.95 per year. So your total monthly payments for your domain and hosting would be less than $6.00 per month.
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If you decide to sell products and services on your site, you will need a security certificate so that your customers will feel comfortable giving you their credit card information. If you're not selling anything on your site, you can leave the security certificate off for now and add it later.
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The other decision you'll need to make will be in choosing your theme. Your theme is important because it along with the images and fonts used, will control the look and feel of your site, and make it easy for customers to find the information they're looking for.
For ideas on themes, we've included a few Free WordPress Themes for your review. You can also search Google for premium WordPress themes to find paid themes for your site. And if you plan to sell items on your WordPress blog, I would suggest getting a paid theme, because they tend to be more secure and offer more customer support than free themes.
More About WordPress.com Versus WordPress.org
There are other free blogging platforms like WordPress.com and Blogger that are used primarily for hobbies and personal use. These platforms have limits on the kinds of content you can place on their sites. Blogger discourages promotions of any kinds, and if you violate their terms your site can be banned. WordPress.com has the same kinds of policies. If you're interested in earning income from your blog, you don't want to use either of these platforms.
WordPress.org is a very popular blogging platform that's free, and used by some of the world's biggest companies and because it's scalable, and compatible with other commonly used writing tools like Microsoft Word, it makes it super easy to promote your business online in the most effective way.
Because it's self hosted, you control your content and you're not limited in terms of the kinds of promotions you can place on your site. WordPress is also easy to set up... if you're used to installing software on your home computer you should have no problem. It may be more of a challenge if you've never done anything technical, but we will walk you through the process via video. Once you've reviewed the video, you can decide if it's something you want to undertake of if you would like to have us set things up for you. .
The Must Have Items to Start Your Installation Include:
Web Hosting - the company that provides the servers where you website resides. You want to choose a company that offers a number of services including great customer service and one stop shopping for your website with services like SSL security certificates, domain name registration and more.
Domain name (URL) - This is the way users will find your website, so it should be easy to remember and easy to spell. Choose a few domains that appeal to you, along with the extensions (.com, .biz, etc.) you prefer. That will make it easy to sign up.
There are several other items to consider for your installation, especially if you want to sell products and services. Make sure to watch the video to learn about everything you need to register your domain and sign up for web hosting.
Once you've put together everything on outlined in the video above, specifically your web host and domain name, you're ready to install your blog. Watch this video to install your blog in less than 10 minutes with Hostgator.
Make setting up your WordPress blog quick and easy by preparing ahead of time. Organization is key, especially if you decide to DIY and install it yourself. This post and video will get you started.