How to Craft a Strong Website or Blog Using WordPress

If you want to build a quality website or blog, a great option is WordPress. There are other platforms available, but some would argue they don’t have the robust features or the user friendliness that you get with WordPress.

In this day and age, if you don’t have a website or blog, you’re probably not too serious about your business. But maybe you’re new to this whole Internet marketing game and you realize the importance of these things.

Ready to launch a new website using WordPress? We’re your guys.

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Not only is Loud Media the leader in the Internet marketing game, we understand what business owners want. Read more to learn about what you can do with WordPress and give us a call when you want to take your online marketing to the next level!

Here are some guidelines for getting the most out of WordPress.

Be the Master of Your Domain-

If you don’t have a domain, you essentially don’t have a website because no one can find it, and perhaps more importantly, no one can share it. What’s more, you need to consider all four parts for a domain:

  • top-level domain
  • root domain
  • subdomains
  • subfolders.

Top-Level domain is the end of your domain, with .com being the most common. Most of the good ones get bought up fast, and some like .org and .gov are for certain organizations.

An example of a root domain is the “monster” part of a website like monster.com. You have almost total freedom in selecting your root, so go crazy, but it must be letters, numbers, and hyphens, and it can’t be already registered or in use by someone else.

Your subdomain is what comes before your root domain. For example, the “awesome” in awesome.website.com. Once you have root domain, subdomains don’t cost extra.

Finally are subfolders, that is what comes after the top level domain. For example, the “neat” awesome.website.com/neat.

Find the Right Host-

When it comes time to choose a host, be sure you’re looking at what’s important. Is the host reliable? Have they been around awhile? Do they get good reviews? Does anyone you know and trust use them or recommend them?

Make sure the host you’re considering supports WordPress. Make sure you can host multiple domains before committing if you want to run multiple websites.

Also, consider their customer support. Can you get help if you have problems you can’t solve? Finally, consider the costs and what you’re getting.

Are you going to have to pay secondary costs for software? Can you take it for a test spin during a trial period?

Nameserver Configuration

So now that you’ve settled on a domain and a host for your site, it’s time to configure the nameserver. All this means is that you want to make sure the domain is pointed to the nameserver of your host.

If you picked a host that’s worth its salt, it should give you your nameserver names, which you enter in your domain’s control panel. After about a day or so, the change will take place and you can test it by entering your URL in a browser to see if your host’s landing page is displayed.

Run into trouble? Your domain registrar should be able to help you figure this out!

WordPress Upload – What’s Up with That?

Now it’s time for you to download the latest version of WordPress and upload it to your hosting account using a handy method of transfer called FTP or file transfer protocol. There are lots of options for FTP programs and you may need to get your credentials from your host.

When you get connected, you’ll have to locate the public folder or the one that shares your domain name. This is where WordPress will live.

Note that if you prefer to have your website on the root domain, you should do a direct WordPress upload. However, if you want to use a subfolder, this is another option.

It’s All about the Base, the Database, that is

Now is the time to think about creating your database for your site. Just as it sounds, this is the place where your information is stored. From posts and pages within the site to individual user data and other set-ups, this is where the data lives.

You’ll have to set up a separate username and password for your database so that WordPress can connect with your data. Again, this is one of those things that your host should be able to shed some light on if you’re confused.

The Mod Squad – aka Modifying the Config File

Are you still with us? If you aren’t sure you’re up to this, Loud Media can help! Let us create your website and take care of all this stuff for you! Otherwise, read on.

Now you must rename the wp-config-sample.php file by removing the word sample and filling it in with the appropriate words for your site. Redefine the database name, password, etc with your credentials and save this all to your server.

Go All In with the Install

Got everything up to this point? Now you’re ready to install WordPress. Pull up your domain and you should be prompted to enter some basic content. Now complete the install and create your account. Easy breezy.

And please don’t make the mistake of using the usernames “user” or “admin” because those are way too obvious for someone to guess. Check your email for confirmation to make sure everything is settled.

Trick it out with a Cool Theme

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The design of your WordPress site is what draws visitors in and gets their attention. No matter your budget, don’t scrimp on the way your site looks. Blah sites get blah results.

Here at Loud Media, we believe in being loud and that goes for your website too. Whether you pick a template or go with a custom designed site, make sure your WordPress site has the following so it will really stand out:

  • Cool design
  • Top notch code
  • Easy to read & user friendly
  • Works with latest version of WordPress (this is if you are using a template)

Don’t Neglect the Basics

Now it’s time to fine tune and polish your website. Configure your website so it’s giving your visitors the experience you want them to have.

  • Comments
  • Spam detection
  • Gravatar

Do you want to allow your visitors to post comments? If not you can set it up that way by navigating from settings to discussion and choose the option to disable comments.

It’s your decision, just think about your goals and what you’re trying to accomplish.

You can use Akismet to detect and prevent spam. If you’re not allowing comments, you don’t need it. It comes with WordPress, and If you want to use, set an API key. Spam is always going to be a problem. Prevent it with Akismet.

A Gravatar is an image you choose to link to your email address. The image that appears on comments is a Gravatar. Set it up and your image appears in all locations that allow Gravatars.

It’s a great little bit of customization and a way to leave your signature.

Make Security on WordPress a Priority

No website is ever going to completely free from the risk of hackers and exploitation. You can have top tier security and still get infiltrated. It’s just the way it is today. But what you can do is make it as hard as possible for the bad guys to get inside your perimeter.

  • Stay up to date
  • Don’t broadcast WordPress version
  • Don’t broadcast admin

Don’t delay updates. They often contain new security measures. If you fail to keep up, you may be leaving your website vulnerable to the last security breach.

Don’t broadcast to the world of hackers your WordPress version in your website’s header. Don’t give them any clues as to how to infiltrate you.

Don’t use admin as a username, because that’s just making it easier by giving away half of what hackers need to know. Remember, make their job harder, not easier.

Guide your Visitors

You need to create your key pages so your visitors can easily and quickly find what they’re looking for when they visit your site.

  • Home page
  • About page
  • Contacts

Your home page is your landing page. It’s your website’s first impression. So make it a good one. With WordPress, it can be a permanent marquis, or it can be your latest blog entry. It’s your decision.

Your about page is an alternative to getting it all out there on your home page. Explain yourself: what you’re about and what you do. Hook your visitors and get them interested.

Your contact page is vital. There’s nothing more annoying than not being able to find a simple phone number or physical address of a company you’re trying to contact. At the very least, display an email address

Search Engine Optimization

Without traffic, you’re dead in the water. SEO helps you bring in as much as possible. The best current plug in is WordPress SEO by Yoast. With it you get an XML sitemap, which is a search engine friendly map of your pages.

You also get control of the title and meta description of each page, which is vital for search engine optimization.

You get control of which pages search engines index, which avoids problems with duplicate content, and prevents the wrong pages from showing up in searches.

Analytics

You can track the action on your website. You can see how many visitors you’re getting, how long they stayed on your site, how they found it, which pages and how many pages they visited, and other useful information about their interaction with your site.

The most popular software currently available is Google Analytics. It’s free and gives you great tools to find out everything you want to know, no matter how big or small your website is.

It’s also an easy install, and it’s a fantastic tool to get a clear picture of how your website is performing.

Back It Up

Having backups in place is invaluable. If you’re not backing up, you’re taking a huge unnecessary risk with everything you’ve worked hard to build. You need to backup your database and your files.

VaultPress is the most popular system out there, and with plans starting at fifteen bucks a month, is a very affordable and effective backup solution.

BackupBuddy has a one time fee of seventy-five dollars and backs up content to a server or an email address.

There’s a lot of backup options out there, just make sure you’re picking the one that’s right for you.

Caching

WordPress processes your pages viewed by your visitors. You can set up a static version as opposed to processing the page for every different viewer. Try the W3 Total Cache plugin.

The simple explanation is that it makes your files smaller and therefore easier to load. You can max out your blog’s speed by eliminating white space and combining certain files.

Get more new school marketing tips now, join our Do-it-yourself Marketing Academy

These are just a few ways you can ensure that your efforts in the New Year will have maximum benefits for your business. Opportunities abound in the area of growing your business with Internet marketing strategies.

Contact us or leave a comment and let us know your thoughts?

If you would like any help or have questions, contact us anytime.

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Oliver and Sam

Co-Founders and Social Strategists

Loud Media Solutions

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