With the advent of technology and the availability of numerous Content Management Systems(CMS), it is quite easy these days to create a website or a blog and get it up and running in no time. But then, some wonder, why is my website not being indexed, what is SEO, how to create my site-map, how to take a backup, what are the useful plug-ins(out of the thousands available), how to avoid spam, etc. I thought I will share my experience and views as and when I progress with this website of mine. Hope some of you will find it useful.
1. Planning – This is the most important phase of your website development. Before I decided on this website, I had already ventured into the world of personal blogs, but soon wanted to get into the infinite possibilities of a professional website. The main challenge was to choose a topic on which I would blog about and I wanted it to be something different and unique. After several days of reading around and filtering out my ideas and thoughts, I finally decided that I should be covering a range of categories which would draw interest of people from all walks of life. Take time out to do your thorough planning and come up with a vision for your website, it may be anything from food to technology to literature to philosophy.
2. Naming – Once you have done your planning and decided on the topic/s your blog will be about, you better start working on what you would name your blog. Let your website name be creative and represent the topic you are going to write about. Some people do name their website/blog with their own name, that would be ideal for a personal blog. Since I had decided on varying topics, I wasn’t very sure what would be the “ideal” name, but after couple of weeks, I realized that the best time I would be able to devote for my website will be the early morning hours with my hot cup of coffee, before I leave for work. That is how I ended up with the name ‘DailyMorningCoffee‘. Now, after couple of weeks into this, I am really able to relate to this name and my blog has become a part of my morning routine.
3. Hosting Services – There are many hosting services offering new and exciting deals everyday. I would say, decide upon how much money you can put upfront for your website and what would be your basic needs from this. In my case, I decided to get my domain name from my hosting service (freehostia) for $10 a year. The basic plan (Chocolate) comes with a 250MB hosting space, 6GB monthly transfer, 5 Domain names, 15 Sub-domains, FTP Account and 3 POP Email accounts all free. This would be ideal for any beginner and once you get into the routine, you will realize what are the shortcomings (no outgoing emails, doesn’t support Akismet etc).
4. WordPress – Once your domain is registered and hosted, the next step is to decide which blogging platform you would use. If you have setup a blogger account, you don’t have to worry about this, but for websites, I would highly recommend WordPress. It took me less than an hour to finalize this and get going. Now, there are some hosting services that may not support WordPress or doesn’t provide MySQL database which is particularly needed for WordPress to function. You need to be careful about this when you select your host.
Now that we have completed these basic steps, I would recommend you to visit my PlugIns blog to see which are the most useful plug-ins you could install for WordPress. As we go ahead, I will update any new plug-ins I come across and find them useful.
I will continue with my next stage of setting up a professional blog where I will explain more about how to install WordPress, setting up your email accounts and other WordPress-Admin features. Keep blogging and share your experiences.