Starting a WordPress website can be pretty competitive in nowadays with the freedom of the internet. I wont write 10 paragraphs with details on how to create your first blog although I will mention the key features that are required in order to start your own blog based on the WordPress Platform.
Step 1 – First of all in order to be able to start a website you need to have some basic knowledge or at least someone nearby to help you out with the coding and the general setup of your website. The first most important step is to find a web hosting company, purchase a plan (I recommend the cheap one if it is your first time), purchase a domain name and then connect those two through out the cPanel of the web hosting company.
After the setup completes which will take about 30 minutes to 1 hour your website will be live. All you have to do now is to go through this link http://yourdomainname.com/wp-admin login with your username and password that you have selected during the setup earlier and have full access of your WordPress website.
The good thing about starting a WordPress website in nowadays is that you can find 95% of what you are looking for through the internet simply by searching on Google. For example if you type “How to setup a WordPress website” you will find tons of detailed tutorials.
Step 2 – The next step is to choose a nice theme, Personally I prefer minimal clean websites or modern Web 2.0, but anything in betweens will look ugly eventually. A nice place to lookup for themes is Themeforest. Again its pretty easy to install any theme just go to WordPress Dashboard and from there /Appearance/Themes and on the top click upload. (Upload the Zip file)
Step 3 - Next we have plugins. Start slow, don’t just try any plugin that you find useful, it doesn’t work this way anyway. Its good to know that whatever you install in your WordPress website some of its files will stay forever inside unless you hire a programer and have him to remove all the unnecessary database table and files from FTP. (What is an Unessesary database table?). Choose wisely your plugins, whenever you are about to install a plugin ask your self, do I really need this? I my self had more than 30 installed plugins that were slowing down this website and I have removed most of them, currently this website runs with less than 10 plugins.
Here is a great list of the most useful and clean WordPress plugins of 2012 according to Sitesketch101.
- W3 Total Cache– This WordPress plugin is great for two reasons. First, it makes your pages load way faster. Second, since it stores static versions of your site, it requires much less CPU processing than using WordPress all by itself. This WordPress plugin is number one on the list for a reason.
- HeadSpace: WordPress SEO Made Simple- Move over All in one SEO. There’s a new guy in town. HeadSpace provides you with the features you need to drive your site to the top. People spend way to much time working on SEO and too little time writing great content. This plugin let’s you put your focus back where it belongs. It takes care of all the SEO work that your blog will need.
- Gravity Forms – This is without question the best WordPress plugin for forms. There is no competition. This form creates posts, allows image and media uploads, allows conditional logic, and so much more. It is the all-in-one form plugin for WordPress.
- MaxBlog Press Affiliate Ninja – This WordPress plugin is amazing as it massively cuts down on the amount of time it takes to promote affiliate products throughout your site. It converts keywords that you identify, tracks clicks, and much more. You won’t have to keep chasing down your affiliate links when they’re all stored in your WordPress dashboard and doing the work for you.
- WP-DBManager – This little gem is amazing for backing up your website. It actually has quite a few functions that it can perform but perhaps it’s most impressive feature is it’s ability to email the entire WordPress databse to me every day.
- Thank Me Later – This plugin is great. It sends an email to all first-time visitors. You can write up the email to remind them about your RSS feed or just to invite them to connect with you personally. I do both.
- WP-PageNavi – Those ‘Older Posts’ and ‘Newer Posts’ links are boring. With WP-PaveNavi you can get page buttons so users can go directly to whichever page they want. Plus they look a lot better than plain little links.
- SEO Smart Links – Do you inter-link your articles? You should. Linking within an article to other articles is a great way to build Page Rank throughout your site and it’s a great way to get readers to find your other articles on similar subjects. This plugin will interlink keywords to your other articles for you.
- Digg Digg Social Sharing – This simply WordPress plugin is what powers the floating social icons to the left of each post here at Site Sketch 101. With an easy to access Twitter icon, your friends and readers will be able to easily share and promote your content.
- Feedburner Circulation – The era of the feedburner chicklets are over. Install the Feedburner Circulation WordPress plugin and you’ll be able to display your subscriber count just as you see in the top right corner of this page.
- Revision Control – With the revisions feature of WordPress, it doesn’t take long for your database to get bloated and begin slowing down your site. With the Revision Control WordPress Plugin you can limit the number of post revisions that remain in storage. I have mine set to 2.
- Tweet Old Post – If you’ve been engaging and building a community of friends on Twitter, then this WordPress plugin is the perfect way to sprinkle your posts into your tweets. It has options to add hashtags, leading text and more.
- Widget Context – With the Widget Context WordPress plugin, you’ll be able to pick and choose which pages you want sidebar widgets to appear on. You can literally create different sidebars for different pages and sections of your site with this.
- WordPress Editorial Calendar – This plugin provides a crisp, clean editorial calendar of your posts both past and present. You can drag and drop articles from one date to another, edit them and much more. This is an amazing organizational tool.
- ReplyMe – This plugin sends an email to anyone who leaves a comment only when someone comments as a direct response to them. This is a terrific way to help continue the conversations that you’re working to build on your site.
Step 4 – Moving on you have to create your personal style of writing, if you are a group of individuals you should definitely meet up and choose a specific way of writing articles. Always include a lot of text inside your articles with minimum 150 words if you want to make Google your friend. Also here are some tips for better writing.
- Add always at least 1 link to a relevant website
- Always link back from where you took an image or text
- Dont Copy Paste, No one Likes it
- Do at least 1 article a day
- Do not include bad language inside your text
- Use bold and underline for tags and keywords
- Always have good and unique Titles, Minimum 3 words, Maximum 6.
- Use tags and keywords to categorize your content.
- Write for a specific niche, (ex. Dont write for computer programing one day and the next a tutorial for maintaining your garden)
- Be your self, people will appreciate this
Step 5 – Socializing is the most fun part of creating a website. Start talking with everyone make internet friends and get as many quality followers you can.
- Start a Facebook Fanpage
- Create a Twitter Account
- Create a Google+ Account
- Create Gravatar and Disqus Account
These will get you going for a few weeks or months, add the same image for profile pictures in all those networks and write a decent bio of what your website is about. Also it will be a good thing to start visiting relative websites and becoming part of a community that later on you will promote your content to people that will be interested with a result a huge exposure.
Step 6 – SEO is important to get traffic from Google. Make sure that the theme you have chosen is clean and have the latest programing languages and of course its compatible in all browsers. What google wants from you is the following in order to be ranked well.
- Have a lot of unique well written content
- Headings1 for titles and use of BOLT and Underline to be frequent
- Websites related to your niche linking back to your website with a DoFollow link (What is a do follow link)
- Link back to Google when possible
- Create a Google Web Master Tools account and submit your sitemap.xml (What is Sitemap)
Step 7 – Finally whatever you write about you need to love it. Write for something that inspires you with your own words, if you are planning on starting a website just for monetizing you will fail for sure. The monetizing part is about after the first 6 months of your website being online and probably its one of the most hard things to do if you are not comfortable with coding and internet marketing, but you dont really have to worry about all that, there are hundreads of tutorials out there that will help you step by step. Next week I will write up a part two of this tutorial that will include optimization of your website (meaning speeding up your site) and also explain further about the monetize part. Until then stay tuned and creative.