Your Web Presence is Just Minutes Away!
This article presents a quick outline of the steps to build a web presence that you can be proud of and that will be easy to maintain (NO HTML REQUIRED). You can change the theme (and the total “look and feel”) of the site with just a few mouse clicks and the data/articles are unaffected! You can add “plug-ins” that extend and change the functionality -again- without affecting your data.
First, I call this a “Web Presence” rather than a traditional “site” or a “blog.” Although the resulting web presence may be either a “site” or a “blog,” it may also be something entirely different from either. The word “presence” can describe any type of web site. With the process in this guide, you can pretty much develop any kind of web presence that you want.
Traditional websites generally consisted of static pages (vs. dynamic pages which change based upon other variables) that demonstrated little or no change over time and that allowed little or no interaction with the user. This type of site is called a “content management site” (CMS). On the other side of the fence was the “blog.” Traditional “blogs” were often just journals containing the ramblings of the person writing it. Although it often allowed the user to comment on a post, it was still pretty static. Worse, both types of sites often required the creator of the site to write everything in Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) which required a lot of study and practice.
Today, websites are both dynamic and interactive. The technology does not require any knowledge of HTML (but a little knowledge will enable a few enhancements). The cost of creating even a simple website previously would be several thousand dollars and maintenance could equal that each year. Now, the cost to provide a professional-looking web presence is less than $100 per year!
Here is a simple process to get you started:
- Decide upon the DOMAIN NAME that you want to use. In my case, this site has the domain name of RAYWALDO.COM and therefore, you can find it on the web at http://bishoptec.com – NOTE: the “www.” part that is sometimes used in front of the domain name is redundant and not needed on most web sites. You can choose any domain name that is not already taken and that is not offensive or illegal in some way. I HIGHLY recommend that you select the “.com” extension. Other extensions are also available but most people assume the .com extension and add it without thinking. If you choose another extension, you may miss some traffic to your site. If you purchase a domain name outright, it can cost between $10 & $50 per year. But many hosting sites (including BlueHost) offer a FREE domain name when you purchase hosting for a year in advance.
- PURCHASE a hosting service. There are quite a few services online that will enable you to create a web presence for free. There are a number of reasons why you should NOT do this. I will elaborate later but I learned the hard way – the VERY SMALL COST is well worth it. I recommend BlueHost. They offer great support (free phone support is available 24/7) and provide UNLIMITED file storage space and transfer – all for just $6.95 per month. If you want to check them out, click here. Other hosting sites will likely be comparable but I have tried three and Bluehost is the best in my opinion. Disclosure: Clicking on the Bluehost link will not increase your cost but Bluehost will give me a small fee.
- DOWNLOAD a copy of the WordPress software from http://wordpress.org. It is totally free and the software is unbelievably adaptable. Many MAJOR corporations (such as Playstation & Ford Motors) are using this software as well as a multitude of experienced users and thousands of “first-time” users. It is easy to set up and get running (they advertise a 5-minute setup), provides access to literally thousands of “plug-ins” that extend or modify the operation. Best of all, there are hundreds of “themes” that change the look and feel of the site. And all of it is free and can be installed from within the WordPress application. Note: you can get a free blog at wordpress.com but I STRONGLY urge you to purchase your hosting (#2, above). Also, some hosts (Bluehost included) offer a “one-click install” of WordPress. Again, I have learned the hard way that this NOT what you want to do! Your site will serve you best if you follow the steps of this guide.
The next phase is PUTTING EVERYTHING TOGETHER. This will be covered in the next installment of this series of articles.