Do I Need to Have a Hosting Account Before I Start Making WordPress Websites?
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) around. With its lightweight design, intuitive user interface, and powerful features, it’s clear why so many people have chosen to use it. It’s also one of the simplest CMS’s to set up and use. You don’t need a lot of technical knowledge to get started. That being said, there are still a few things you need to know before you start making websites with WordPress.
Choosing A Hosting Plan
When you sign up for a free WordPress account, you’ll be given the option to choose a hosting plan. As the name suggests, a host is a website where your website will reside. When choosing a host, ensure that the plan you pick offers the features you need and isn’t overly-priced. Depending on your needs, you may want to consider getting a shared hosting plan, which provides you with a free domain and lets you install and run multiple websites on the same plan.
Installing WordPress is fairly straightforward. You just need to click the Download button on the WordPress website (https://wordpress.com/get-started/) and follow the on-screen instructions. When the installation is done, you’ll be brought to a settings screen, where you can log in to your WordPress dashboard and begin making changes. Most of the changes you make here are free-form. Once you’re satisfied with the layout and functionality of your WordPress dashboard, you can move on to the next step.
Categories And Tags
In WordPress, you can organize your content into categories and tags. A category is a group of posts that have something in common. For example, all of the posts you make that are about food are categorized under the Food category. When you click on that category, you’ll see all of the posts in it. Tagging is similar to a category in that it is a way of organizing content. However, tagging is used to mark each individual post with one or more keywords or terms so that the post can be easily found by searching using these keywords.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the process of enhancing your website’s search engine ranking. In order to do this, you will want to make sure that your website has the following elements:
- High-quality content
- Fresh content regularly
- Keywords are present in the text
- Meta descriptions are concise and helpful
- H1 tags are present
- Images are of good resolution
- No copyright infringement
If you’re looking to improve your website’s SEO, you can use free SEO tools such as Google’s free tool, Rank Tracker. With this tool, you can easily check the status of up to four websites at once. You can also use free tools such as Yoast’s SEO plugin or WordPress’s own built-in SEO tools.
SSL & TLS
SSL and TLS are the next-generation security protocols that provide a safe and secure way to transfer confidential information over the internet. In most cases, your website will be able to operate securely if it is served over a secure (SSL) connection or if a secure (TLS) lock is present at the top of your website’s URL.
When you register for a WordPress account, you’ll be given the option of choosing an email address for your site. It is a good idea to pick a catchy, easy-to-memorize email address that can be used to contact you about making changes to your website. For example, if you decide to use WordPress to host your food blog, you can use the email address [email protected] to contact the website admins if you have questions about the platform or need help getting started.
You may want to use a free service such as Google Apps to create a single email address that can be used for all of your accounts. With Google’s domain-based email forwarding, all of your emails will be automatically forwarded to your chosen email address when you’re using another service such as Gmail. This way, you won’t have to keep copying and pasting your email address whenever you want to send an email.
Redirecting Old Blog Entries
When you update your website with a new blog post, the previous blog posts will no longer be accessible at their original website addresses. Depending on how many old blog posts you have, you may want to consider using a free service such as WordPress’s built-in redirection tool to point your old blog posts to the new ones. You can use the default Redirect option in the dashboard to accomplish this.
Managing Multiple Domains & Websites
If you have more than one website or domain, you can use WordPress’s built-in multi-site capability to handle all of your sites from one platform. When you activate this feature, you will be given the option of creating a Network of multiple sites or using a number of existing sites to create a cohesive experience. You can use the free option to create Network sites when you first set up your WordPress account, or you can use a premium network site to create a more personalized experience for your readers.
Keeping your website’s content intact and safe is an important step in ensuring that your site can be accessed and used by your visitors. For this reason, it is essential that you make regular backups of your website. There are a variety of services that you can use to backup your site, whether you decide to go with a free service or a premium one.
Depending on your needs, you may want to consider looking into the following tools and resources:
- a free domain
- premium content sources such as YouTube, Flickr, and Tumblr
- a secure (SSL) connection
- a free auto-responder service for email marketing
- a free storage locker for keeping all of your photos in one place
- a free microphone for podcasting
- advanced SEO tools
If you decide that you want to start a food blog, using the above mentioned tools and resources will make building your site a lot easier. It will also allow you to focus on what matters most: creating and sharing great content!