Crafty Content

Writing for QUALITY, not Quantity

Category : Wordpress


What is WordPress Hosting?

In order to understand where and how to host your WordPress blog, you should first understand what WordPress hosting is and how it works.  WordPress is a framework that allows you to create sites/blogs like this very page you are on.  This is actually a post, but with a WordPress site you can create a variety of different pages, sites, widgets, looks, and it has over 10,000 feature enhancements called plug-ins.

All in all, WordPress is the way of the future online and if you are looking to create a site for a hobby, for a business, or for Internet marketing purposes, WordPress is the way to go.

BUT, in order to have your very own hosted WordPress blog (ie, on your own domain), you need to have some form of hosting.  Hosting is simply the place where your website resides and you can use essentially any web host for this.  There are a few things that you need to look out for and consider before getting WordPress hosting and I am going to help you with some tips and insight.

Different Kinds of WordPress Hosting

There are a few different types of WordPress hosting and which one you choose will depend on your situation and your technical know how.   For some of you that are simply looking for a “voice” or to hobby write, then a hosted WordPress solution is probably fine.  This is the basic, free, and essentially non-business hosting method.

Then you have shared hosting options that allow you to have full control of your WordPress sites, including having your WordPress on your own domain.  This is ideal for business activities, branding, Internet marketing ventures, and the ideal route if you plan on doing anything with your site.  Let’s take a deeper look into these and I will provide you with places you can get these solutions.

(1) Hosted WordPress Sites

This is the most typical if you are just looking to create a hobby site.  This means a site that you are not looking to gain from financially, rather you would like to simply get your voice out and have the ability to share information with your friends and family.  I have always kept away from free services like this simply for the fact that when you are on someone else’s domain, they control that domain.  Without you having your own Internet address (owning your domain), you are at the mercy of their discretion.

In saying this, if you are simply looking for a way to get info up, a free service like WordPress.com offers will be just fine.  If you are looking for something more and your own space, I would suggest you check out one of our shared WordPress solutions (as I outline below).

(2) Shared WordPress Hosting (own domain)

The Shared solution is probably the most common, but it is definitely not the easiest approach to setting up your own WordPress site.  The good thing about having your WordPress Hosting separate from any other service is that you have full control and you can host it on your own domain.

Essentially you are paying for a hosting company (almost all offer support for PHP & MySQL) which WordPress requires, and they store your WordPress site(s) on their servers in exchange for a few.  This is typically around $10 per month, but will vary on the service.

The only drawback with your typical shared hosting is that for many people that have a tough time with “techy stuff” it may be a learning curve to get your first blog up and running on the net.  However, after this it becomes much easier.  I have used shared WordPress hosting for some of my blogs and I found it a little complicated at first, but it was a breeze after that.

One of the better offerings out there for shared hosting is Host Gator.

(3) Simplified Shared WordPress Hosting

OK, this is the solution that I use and recommend you use if you are looking to save a lot of time.  Time equates to money in my books and if I can simplify things, it is well worth it!  What differs from Simplified Shared and Shared is that Simplified WordPress hosting takes all the technology out of the equation.

You can simply click a few buttons and have your own WordPress blog up and running.  For me, I used WordPress Express to create this blog and it took my less than a minute to set-up.  I choose the domain, I choose a blog name, I choose a theme (template), and I clicked “Create Blog”.

You can read more about creating a blog and techniques here.  Services like this are a little bit more expenseive and can run up to $200 per month, however they will save you a lot of time (and ultimately money) and usually come with extras.  The one I mentioned is an included feature within the largest Internet Marketing training community online (Wealthy Affiliate), so you get this in addition to training for the included cost.

How do you create a WordPress Site?

You may be asking yourself as many people do, what is the best way to set-up my WordPress site.  While I have discussed this in great detail in my “How to create a WordPress blog” page.  This will answer the missing questions like how to link up your hosting to your domain, what are the best free and paid services out there, and how to rationalize between your time and your money when setting up your WordPress sites.

Read more info on that here.

Hope you enjoyed this post and as always, I encourage you to leave feedback below if you have any questions or comments.

Cheers,

Crafty Content

How to Create a WordPress Blog


Are you looking to create a WordPress blog but don’t know how.  I can help.

WordPress is an excellent website development framework as it allows you to create very sophisticated, nice looking blogs without a lot of complicated programming.

In fact, the creation of a WordPress blog can be done without ANY programming, you just need a few important services.  These include hosting and a program to install your WordPress site.

The Domain, Hosting & FTP Approach (Most Difficult)

Although I state this as the most difficult approach to get a WordPress blog up and running, it is by no means rocket science.  You do need to have a bit of technical no how and need to be able to find your way around hosting.

Here is the process for setting that up:

Step 1: The first thing you will need to do is acquire a domain. Good places to buy affordable domains are:

Step 2: Then will have to do is acquire a web hosting.  This is the company that will provide you with the space and facility where your WordPress sites will reside.  There are 1,000’s of website hosting companies out there, but among the top ones out there are HostGator.com, Godaddy.com, and 1and1.com.  These companies are quite reputable and are very stable so you wouldn’t go wrong with any of them.

Step 3: Then you will need to choose and download a WordPress theme from WordPress.org.There are over 1,000 themes to choose from.

Step 4: Download a free FTP program like CoreFTP so you will be able to upload your files to your hosting.

Step 5: Upload your theme.  Depending on your web host that you choose, you will be want to FTP your entire bundle of files into the /httpdocs directory or the /public_html.  These are the most typical (see image below):

Upload WordPress Blog

Step 6: You have created a WordPress Blog!

This method of WordPress creation is recommended for people with a very small budget to invest as hosting is around $120 per year and a domain is around $10 per year.  It can be somewhat time consuming every time you want to set-up a WordPress blog though.

An All-in-One WordPress Builder (Easiest)

There are some very easy ways to install WordPress blogs…in fact, methods that remove all of the technical aspects.  These are what I like to call the All-in-One WordPress builders and there are really on a few of these on the market.

How these WordPress Builders work?

These work by offering you a hosted solution.  Meaning, that instead of you have to get the theme, download it, and then FTP it to a separate host, there are companies that allow you to create a WordPress site and get it up and running right within the service (ie. they provide the hosting).

Here is the process using WordPress Express, an All-in-One WordPress installer.

Step 1: Choose Your Domain

Choose your Domain
Step 2: Choose Your Blog Name and Theme

Choose your WordPress theme

Step 3: Create Blog

Create New WordPress Blog

PRESTO.  These solutions are more my style because it takes a click, click, click and your website is created.  I guess I am a bit lazy in this respect, but it is preferable for most people/marketers to be able to get their WordPress blogs up quickly…without the headaches of going through the manual process.

This is the easiest way to create a WordPress blog, but usually comes with the highest costs (the time vs. money tradeoff).  This is geared towards people that want to save time and have a small to moderate budget.

How to Create a WordPress Blog Without Hosting

Yes, there is a free way to create a WordPress blog.

This approach is what many people take if they are “hobby” bloggers.  Meaning, you are blogging just to get your voice out there, not attempting to gain any financial benefit from your time and energy.   Some of these types of blogs can be found on the WordPress.com homepage on any given time.

At the time of me writing this, here are some example blogs that were being showcased n the WordPress.com Showcase.

WordPress Showcase

  • Top 10 Most Idiotic Parenting Products
  • Sweet Honey Cornbread
  • Getting a Job vs Keeping a Job
  • The Vanishing Forest
  • The Internet’s Free Problem

These are interesting topics and you can see that regardless of your interest, talent, or passion, you are definitely a prime candidate for a blog.

The thing you need to decide is whether you are going to want a to set-up your own blog on a hosting service, utilize an All-in-One service that simplifies the process, or go the free route with WordPress.com just so you can get your voice out there.

WordPress blogs are awesome.  This is a WordPress blog and I am a huge advocate of WordPress as it has a massive community of support, developers, and users.  The ultimate combination.

Crafty Content

How to Make Your Own Website


Is creating a website still a difficult, frustrating, long-winded task?  Or has it become easier since the beginning years when websites were created by manually “coding” pages using an HTML editor.

If you are confused by some of the terminology or are completely scared of the idea of building a website, that is OK.  I will explain exactly what I am talking about within this post and also outline some of the favorite ways people are learning how to make their own websites.

First off, what exactly is a website?

A website is a collection of web pages that is maintained by a single person or organization. In most cases a website has a distinct TLD, top level domain as does this site you are on… such as www.craftycontent.com. Everything this site, such as this page, is considered to be part of my website.

So, a bunch of pages meld together to make a website.

Making your own website is no longer a difficult task.  Over the years new technologies have been introduced, new development platforms have been put into place so that the average person can easily create a website.  However, before you create a website, you should understand the purpose of your site as this will determine what type of site you should create.

Types of Websites

(1) Personal website

Express yourself!  No longer is it tough to throw together a personal web page.

Personal websites are the fastest growing type of websites…and this is represented by the millions of personal pages that are created daily.These could be personal picture sites, wedding sites, or just “for fun” sites.  It can be anything really.

If you are looking to create a personal site, there are many free hosted solutions that offer a range of templates and built in WYSIWYG editors.

These are usually “freemium” services. If you are not familiar with this term, it means that you get to use a limited “free” service, but if you want to upgrade to a paid service, you are required to pay.  Some of these services include the likes of Yola.com, Weebly.com, Homestead.com and Wix.com.

(2) Personal Journal/Blog

Maybe you are interested in creating a journal about your golf game, maybe you want to create a blog on your family history, or maybe you just want to create a personally branded travel blog where you can let the world see your day-to-day activities via your web log. These are some of the most commonly used sites used for creating free blogs/journals:

The use of free blogs and  journals are typically not intended for something that is more commercial or intended to be a profit bearing website.  The reason for this is because these free blogging services usually refrain from allowing affiliate links, on site purchasing, and they are on their respective domains (ex. yourblog.blogger.com versus yourblog.com), and they limit your control…such as the ability to test and incorporate more sophisticated marketing agendas.  We will discuss the hybrid solution later that discusses creating your own blog/site for the purpose of profit.

(3) Company and Store Websites (Full Control)

For advanced users that want full control, a more elaborate website builder will be required.  Since the beginning of the Internet dawn, the most popular website creation suite has been that produced by Adobe, with their bread and butter website editor, Dreamweaver.    These services are used by web development companies and programmatically apt website designers, but should not be used if you are new to building sites.

They allow you to get into the nitty gritty of the code and build your sites from the ground up.  A lot of unnecessary work unless you are creating a hugely sophisticated, enterprise style website that requires a build from the ground up.  Me myself, I prefer to work from an existing foundation, but whatever your websites purpose is, you should choose accordingly.

Looking for a free HTML editor?  Here is a goodie:

(4) Hyrbrid Website w/ Training

There are also companies out there that understand that many people that want to create a website, don’t know exactly what to do with a website or how to rank their site.  Fair enough.  I know when I started building a website I had no idea about SEO, HTML, FTP, Affiliate Marketing, PPC, CPM, PPV, etc….those terms were all like another language to me.   That is why there are services out there now that offer a website creation solution (teaching you how to make yur own website) as well as offering training on “what to do with your website”.

This could include:

  • Selling products online
  • Writing content for your website/blog
  • Proper techniques for getting your blog ranked
  • Ways to get a following on your site
  • Advanced techniques for utilizing site technology to your advantage
  • Obtaining and monetizing your site traffic
  • Learning about a variety of marketing techniques.

There is currently one hybrid website service that is noteworthy and offers a combination of both website tools, hosting, and applied training.  If you plan on doing something with your site, including financial gains, this is the solution.

Making Your Choice

If you have no programming knowledge and just want a fun and free site you can play around with, you should definitely seek either the “free website” or the “personal journal” solution.

If you have no programming knowledge, but want to create a business online and learn “what to do with your own site”, you should choose a hybrid solution.  These offer you the ability to host your own domains, an important aspect to business.It will allow you to focus more on your content.  Content is what intrigues people, is what gets people talking about your site, and will allow you to create ongoing relationships with your visitors and/or customers.

And finally, if you are creating an enterprise site, a site with a large commercial storefront, or need something very specific to represent your company brand, then you will want to go the HTML editor route, or alternately seek out a company that is in the business of developing such sites.

That in a nut shell explains the best methods you should use for creating your own website.

I hope this blog post came in handy and if you have any feedback, I would love to hear it.

Crafty Content

Easy ways to SEO your WordPress Blog


Many people overlook some of the core assests of WordPress…

THE PLUGINS!

Some of us use lots of them, some of us have our favorites, and some of use really don’t know what the heck a plug-ins is.  However, if you are not utilizing the set of SEO based plug-ins within your WordPress blog, then you need to start.

First off, my favorite and it happens to be installed with every WordPress Express blog.  It is the All in One SEO Pack, which is the first SEO plugin that I install on every WP blog that I own.


All in One SEO Pack is really cool because it “primes” your site to be good at SEO.  Many people have trouble naming their pages correctly, setting up their folder extensions, name meta tags, working with tags, working with page titles….but this plug-in does it all for you.

Here are just a few features of this plugin:

  • Fine tune your navigational links
  • Built in API…meaning other WordPress plugins can extend the functionality
  • Automatically optimizes the Title tags for search engines (very important)
  • Auto-generates your pages META tags
  • Avoids duplicate content (an SEO no no)
  • Full control of your meta description and meta keywords

OK…so that tool is cool right.

But here is the really cool part.  In less than a couple of days writing content on my blog, I can get prime listings within Google. No back-links, no extra work required.  Yes, back-links will definitely help…but stand-alone, out of the box, my WordPress blog is already getting listed in Google…and already getting some VERY TARGETED traffic, SEO STYLE!!!

So, utilizing a plugin like All in One SEO is probably the very easiest way to get your WordPress Express blogs up and running in terms of SEO…but as we continue this journey, I will be outlining some more advanced techniques and case studies to improve your SEO!

To your creativity and SEO success,

Crafty Content