How To Start A Website From The Beginning

Isn’t this kitten cute?  Who doesn’t like kitty cats?  I guess some people don’t.  They are difficult to herd, they tend to do what they want, and their cuteness makes them deceivingly simple to love.  It is a deception, though, don’t be fooled.  Eventually you will know that your cat will do what you want only based on what the cat actually wants. There are lots of things that seem simple until you get involved.  Things such as creating a website.  I thought I would share a little bit about what I have learned so far.  No in depth tutorials here – there are plenty of people doing that much better than I can.  But, I can tell you what my process has been. Many years ago I started making a variety of websites for marketing parenting classes and coaching, as well as play groups, nannying, and babysitter referral programs.  I have used Webs.com , Blogger, and WordPress.  Free WordPress sites are absolutely worth trying out if you have never made your own website.  I am not going into that here, but suffice it to say that WordPress is the biggest for a reason.
Hint:  If you think you may ultimately convert a free WordPress site into a more professional site without the “.wordpress.com” address, go ahead a verify that the ultimate domain address you want is available.  You can use ‘YourBusinessExample.wordpress.com’ and then convert it to ‘YourBusinessExample.com’ with relative ease IF the domain is available.
To have a website on the internet where people can see it, you need a host.  Free WordPress sites are hosted via WordPress.  But WordPress is much more than hosting.  WordPress is open source (meaning: everyone shares) software.  It is a CMS (content management system).  Meanwhile, you have to have someplace to put your content.  You are putting it on a website, a website that is hosted somewhere.  Here is what I mean. You buy a domain address from GoDaddy.  Easy peasy.  But then what do you do with it?  For a lot of people, the next step is hiring someone to make the website and they deal with all the GoDaddy and hosting and transferring and whatever that is all about.  What if you want to make your own website?  I have no idea how to do that from GoDaddy.  Obviously one can – I just don’t know how. What I chose was to go through BlueHost .  I am really liking how easy it is.  Actually, I hope to practice my affiliate skills with Bluehost as my first attempt to learn about Affiliates.  That’s another story. So, ya go to BlueHost, register a domain, then install WordPress.  It is really that easy.  Once your domain is registered, just go to WordPress Tools.  You are going to do a new install.  You literally just click install.
Hint:  It is so easy and cheap to buy domains, you may be tempted to buy many.  For example, as I was writing this, I bought FollowMyStartUp dot WEBSITE . Not dot com.  Because it was only $2.00.  Pros and cons, I suppose.
Once WordPress is installed, you can work from the BlueHost dashboard.  I have no idea if that is what most people do.  For me, I am familiar with the WordPress dashboard, so that is where I work from.  All you do is enter your new domain address into your browser and go! When you get to your new website address, you will see a bunch of words.  Those words will stay there until you tell them to go away.  Meanwhile, Click ADMIN SIGN IN.  You are now in the WordPress dashboard of your new website.  Time to design!  You can either follow the prompts to customize your site, or you can change the theme completely.
Hint:  If you are brand new to WordPress, you are going to need to learn about Themes.  They do much more than you think they do.  Read This real quick.
What I do next is click Change Your Theme Completely.  You will automatically have a few theme choices.  You can also install more theme choices.  So easy.  At the top of the page, just click WordPress.org Themes.  Play with them.  Its fun. For right this moment, as I am typing, I chose Anissa by griden.  I clicked Install.  Then click Activate.  Now, for your brand new site, at the top of your Dashboard, you still have a message that says “Your site is currently displaying a “Coming Soon” page. Once you are ready to launch your site click here.”  I am pretty sure this is bad advice, but at this point in the process, I need to see what I am doing, so I do indeed “click there”.  Site is now active for the world to see.  I will tell you how to fix that in just a minute… Yay!!! Click View Site!  This is your website as the world now sees it!  Let’s make it do what you want it to! The first thing is a little customization.  On the left side of your screen, there is a black column with all the adjustments you can make.  You are going to want to become familiar with pages, posts, and appearance.  Right off the bat, let’s start with appearance. Any time you click appearance, you will see choices of: Themes  (this is where you click to change themes) Customize (this takes you to your chosen theme’s specific choices) Widgets (this will take a lot of description) Menus (this is what pages are included in clickable links within your site) Header Background And a couple of others… Right NOW!  Click Customize.  Just follow the instructions.  Very easy.   Here are the main points. Get your logo up if you want it, then change your tagline (Don’t leave “Just Another WordPress Site”), choose your colors, etc. Now you are to widgets and menus.  I would like to make a suggestion.  At this point click save and X out.  Lets deal with widgets and menus from another place on your dashboard. We can’t deal with menus until we have pages.  So, go click Pages.  See right there, it says, “Sample Page”.  Put that in the trash. Now click “Add New”.  Depending on what you want your site to do, you are going to at least need one static page describing what you are doing.  That could be About Me, or a detailed page explaining your store or your group or whatever you want.  For now, I am going to do “About This Blog”.  Just type that right in the title line.  Now, I am going to set a featured image, because I am not ready to type right now (because I am typing this…), but it will help me set a tone and remind me about what I am doing.  Now just click PUBLISH. Just because I am going to make a menu, I am going to add another page so that I have multiple pages.  I am adding, “Some Favorite Books”.  Now, lets make our menu. Go to appearance and click, Menus.  Then, give your menu a name and click, Create Menus.
Hint:  Menus is how people navigate your website.  You may have multiple menus.  You may have pages that are links from other pages, but don’t have their own tab.  Take your time thinking about how people will get around your site.
Your theme may have just one menu, or may have several.  Click the pages you want included in your main menu, your “primary menu”.  Its the one that shows up with 3 little lines on a mobile device, or is the most prominent menu on a bigger device. Go ahead and click “Save Menu”. Let’s go check out your site.  On the left side of the dashboard, at the very top, you will see the name of your site.  Hover over it and you will see, Visit My Site.  Click it!  Now you likely see a lot of things you don’t want to see.  For example, you see “Hello World”.  Let’s fix your Blog.  Your blog is consisted of “Posts”. On your site, on the left side, you still see the name of your site, hover over it.  You will see “Dashboard”.  Click it. Scroll down to posts, now click, “All Posts”.  You will see one named, “Hello World”.  Click either Edit or Trash. Now, make your own first post.  Click, Add New.  Now type away.  For me, I am going to copy and paste part of this post. Then click Publish.  You have your first post.  Here comes something you need to think about. When people type in your website address, do you want them to go to a page that always looks the same, or do you want them to go directly to your blog?  If you have an e-store where you are selling the beaded necklaces you make, you probably want people to see your beautiful creations right away, and then you may want them to check out the process by which you made the necklaces (via your blog.)  The way to control what page people see first is in Customization.  Let’s go back there. On the left side of your page, your dashboard, click, Appearance > Customize. A box is brought up for you. Click, “Static Page”.  You now get to choose your front page.  Your landing page.  Choose either Your Posts or Static Front Page.  If you choose Static Front Page, you will get to choose which of your pages you want to have be a Front Page. Ok, ladies and gentlemen.  You are on your way.  The very first part.  Go ahead and log out of your account.  Now you can see it the way the rest of the world does. I know this is the most basic of basic, but I hope it helped somebody!  If so, shoot me a note or comment.  

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