How to Expand a Simple Website - The Finishing Touches
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Now that you have WordPress loaded onto your web hosting server, it's time to start actually putting your blog together. I spent a few hours searching the Internet for a WordPress theme that I liked, and I eventually settled on a theme called "Studiopress." The theme looked sleek and clean, was SEO-optimized and featured ad blocks for easy ad integration.
Make sure to choose a theme that is not too cluttered, fits your niche (i.e., don't use a theme made for a video site if your blog is primarily a content site), and is widget-ready. There are plenty of free themes out there - just do an online search.
Once you have found a theme you like, you need to upload it via FTP to your web hosting account - basically the same way you uploaded the WordPress files to your host. You will upload the theme files to the folder labeled "themes." Then log in to your WordPress account, and change your theme by clicking on "appearance" and then "themes" from your dashboard. Type your blog's URL into the address bar, and double check to see if your theme has switched to the new theme you've just selected.
Begin filling in all of the blog's meta data by going through the "Settings" menu and completing all the information necessary. I would also strongly urge you to change the permalink structure of your website before you make any posts to your blog. This is for SEO purposes, and it's tough to change this later on when you have 50+ posts. Go to "Permalinks" under the "Settings" menu, and change it to any option other than "default." Then explore the other options from your WordPress dashboard so that you familiarize yourself with this publishing platform - you'll find that it's extremely easy to use and robust at the same time.
You can start publishing posts right away by selecting "Posts" and "Add New." Before I started posting though, I wanted to add some useful plugins to make my blog more SEO-friendly among other things. A simple search through the Wordpress plugin directorywill offer you thousands of free plugins to choose from. Some of the most useful plugins that I recommend using are:
These are all plugins I use at http://promotehealth.infoalong with a few others. To upload these plugins to your WordPress blog, you again use Filezilla to upload them via FTP transfer to your WordPress directory named "Plugins." Then activate them from your WordPress dashboard by locating the "Plugins" menu and clicking "Activate."
Always make sure to check your blog live at its URL after adding a plugin to make sure it hasn't done anything screwy to your design, and also to make sure the plugin is working correctly.
Once all of your plugins are activated, it's time to start publishing some posts! When starting a brand new blog, don't worry too much about monetization right away - it's much more important to get some content on your site first.
Of course, the next step is getting your site noticed by the search engines and driving traffic to your site. I'll go over the steps I used to start generating traffic and build backlinks to my blog in a later article, but for now, just get your blog up and running with some quality, unique content.
If you have any trouble at all trying to set up your WordPress blog, don't hesitate to give me a shout and I'd be glad to steer you in the right direction.
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