If you have even sniffed around the idea of building a website you’ve probably heard the name WordPress mentioned by any number of sources as being the best and easiest website software available. If it’s that fantastic it must be kind of pricey right? Wrong, it’s absolutely free. As you read this article you’re going to find out how to use WordPress to get your blog up and running in a matter of hours and start taking advantage of the amazing features the platform offers.
But first why is WordPress so popular and how to use WordPress?
The quick answer is it’s a professional open source platform that is incredibly easy to use by non-technical people. No code writing, no CSS or HTML, no geeky stuff at all really. If you can point and click you can design and administer a WordPress website.
Functionality, flexibility and automation are also key features when using WordPress. What would take days to put together using static HTML design is done literally in minutes. The automation features not only make your site more receptive to search engines but saves you an enormous amount of time as well.
Did I mention Google loves WordPress. It loves the ease and simplicity that the software offers the web spiders. It loves the permalinks. It loves the fact that each page has meta tags for easy recognition of keywords. When Google loves you it pays you back with quick indexing and good ranking for a keyword.
So just how easy is it to set one of these up? We’re going to give you five quick steps that will have your blog up and running in less than two hours from start to finish. There’s not enough space here to cover all the options but this will get you started.
In order to effectively use WordPress, and own the real estate you are going to have to buy a domain (about $10.00) and get a hosting service (about $10.00 a month). There are two steps here that are going to slow you down because you really want to think about them.
The first is selecting a domain name. If you’re a local business and the name of your company is Smith and Son Plumbing, and you service Kansas City, it probably would be better to get plumberskansascity.com rather than using your company name.
Think about that for a minute. If you live in Kansas City and your tub backs up and you use the internet to find a plumber, what would you enter in the search? Probably Plumbers Kansas City right? Remember, the domain name does not have to be the name of your site. When visitors go to plumberskanasascity.com they will arrive on a site whose name is whatever you make it like Smith and Son.
So now you have a domain and a hosting service. Go to the hosting service control panel or C Panel and find the red icon for Fantastico and click it. A menu will come up and you want to click WordPress. You’ll be asked for the URL for the site, site name, create a user name and password and enter a valid email. Click install.
Boom. You have your blog. Okay it’s a lumpy looking blue thing that is the default but we can fix that. What we want to do first though is clean up the default. There are a bunch of categories that will not be relevant to your subject so we just go into the dashboard and start deleting with a click of a mouse, those headings that we don’t want and adding the ones we do.
Now to get rid of the default design or theme as it’s called. There are over 1,000 free themes available for you to choose from so this is the other time killer. Switching themes, once you selected one you like is a snap. And if you don’t like it no worries, you can swap it out for another.
The only thing missing now is content so we need to add a post or article. You’ll find that the tool for this resembles Word and you can simply cut and paste an article into it or create it in the tool. What’s really cool is you can add meta tags to this page and that goes a long way to making it Google friendly. Click a button to publish and your blog is up and running.
This doesn’t even scratch the surface of all the cool things you can do with plugins and other features. It just gives you an idea as to how to use WordPress and how easy it is to create a professional website without any design skills. If you need a site you need WordPress.