What You Need to Know Before Launching a Website – Tips for WordPress Bloggers
If you are starting a blog, you have several options when it comes to the platform you will use to publish your content. You can use a free blogging platform such as WordPress to build your blog, or you can use a premium blogging platform like Blogger to get all the features that come with it. When choosing a blogging platform, you should research and consider the following things before making a decision:
One of the first things you should check out is the features available for the platform you choose. Does it have a built-in spellchecker? Can you post videos to your blog or use Google Docs to write and share a document online? These are just a few of the things you will want to consider when choosing a blogging platform. You should research and read about the pros and the cons of each platform before choosing which one is right for you.
One of the things you will need to look into is hosting. Do you want to use a free blogging platform that is hosted by a third party or do you want to host your own blog on a server? The decision you make here will determine how much control you have over your blog. If you choose to host your blog yourself, you will need to purchase a hosting plan from a company such as Bluehost, iPage, or WordPress.com. Hosting packages usually start at around $2.95 per month with Bluehost and can range anywhere from $5.45 to $12.95 per month for the best hosting plans.
User Interface (UI)
The user interface (UI) is another thing to consider when choosing a blogging platform. Do you want to use a modern looking blog with a traditional layout or a minimalistic blog with a unique interface? The choice you make here will determine how easy it is to write and publish content for your blog. If you choose a traditional looking blog, you will need to consider paying for a designer to create a custom theme for your blog. If you decide on a minimalistic design, you can use a free WordPress tool to create and build your blog quickly (the tool is called Visual Composer).
If you want to learn more about UI and UX design for bloggers, please check out the following resources:
- Designing for bloggers: How to create a blog that sells
- What is User Experience (UX)?
- User Interface (UI) Design in Word
- The Definitive Guide to Web UI
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)
A secure socket layer (SSL) is a technology that allows your website to communicate with your visitor’s browsers in a secure way. When an SSL connection is made, your visitor’s computer (PC or mobile device) shows a lock icon in the address bar or in the status bar at the top of their browser window. The connection is encrypted (using public key cryptography) so no personally identifiable information is transmitted to your website in the first place. Your computer or device and the website you visit will use two different sets of encryption keys to encrypt and decrypt all data transmitted between the two of you.
Caching is a technology that accelerates the loading of a website by storing copies of frequently visited pages in a computer’s or device’s memory. When a visitor revisits one of your cached pages, their connection is immediately established with your web server (through the SSL protocol) and the requested content is delivered to them blazingly fast because it is already in the computer’s or device’s ram.
Caching is especially beneficial for websites with a lot of moving parts such as videos, which inevitably use a lot of bandwidth. If your favorite websites are slow to load, you should consider implementing caching because it can make a huge difference in the overall performance of your device or computer.
Bandwidth is the amount of data that is transferred to or from your computer or device over a given period of time. If you have a limited data plan (such as the free 5GB that most mobile providers offer), you will notice that some websites (especially big ones) can be rather slow to load. This is because when a lot of people are accessing a website at the same time, each of them will use up a lot of bandwidth in order to display content quickly regardless of whether or not they actually view it (this is known as the “bandwidth hogging” issue).
The best way to avoid this issue is to choose a blogging platform that does not use a lot of bandwidth itself. For instance, in order to create a new post using WordPress, you will not need to download and install a ton of software onto your computer (as you would if you were creating a new blog post using Blogger).
Another thing you will want to avoid is having your blog post automatically published on social media channels without your permission. Most blogging platforms (including WordPress) have a setting where you can choose whether or not to have new posts automatically published on your social media accounts (such as Twitter and Facebook). Make sure you check this setting, otherwise you will find yourself flooded with tweets (or whatever else is used on your social media accounts) with no way to stop it once your blog posts are published.
A monetization strategy is a way of generating income from a blog. There are several different monetization strategies to choose from when establishing a blog, and you should research and fully understand all of them before making a decision. The following are some of the most common methods:
- Affiliate Marketing
- CPA Marketing (Cost Per Action Marketing)
- PPC (Pay Per Click) Marketing
- VRP (Value-Added Reseller Program)
- Google Adsense
- Amazon Associates
You will need to decide which one(s) you want to use and how to implement them. You can also combine multiple monetization strategies if you want to create a more robust income stream. In many cases, you will not need to spend tons of money on expensive ads, and you will not necessarily have to install any extra software onto your computer or device. The key is to find a way to make money from a blog that does not require you to outsource complex tasks to somebody else.
Security is always a major concern whenever you give someone (or something) access to your computer or device. The following are some of the ways hackers can get access to your personal information and ruin your online life:
- Virus Infections
- Denial of Service Attacks
As a blogger, if you are choosing to use your blog to express your opinion on politics, religion, or other controversial subjects, you will need to ensure that your blog is as protected from hacking as possible. You can do this by using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to encrypt all of your traffic as it leaves your computer or device.
A VPN is especially beneficial if you are using public Wi-Fi while traveling or working from home because anyone with access to your computer or device (including your neighbors) can see all of your traffic. By connecting to a VPN server before you access any social media network or internet shop, you will ensure that your information is always protected and no one can see what you are doing.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the process of affecting the online rankings of your website in order to make it appear higher in search engine results for relevant keywords. You can use a variety of methods to help your website’s SEO, including the following:
- Optimizing your website’s content for maximum value
- Creating high-quality content that is rich in relevant keywords
- Focusing on backlinks (inbound links)
Blogs are a great way to have passive income because they usually take a while to establish themselves (but once they do, they can continue generating revenue for you indefinitely). Building a blog takes a lot of upfront work, but once you do, you can start earning money from adverts shown on your blog or by selling and displaying affiliate products from reputable companies. Alternatively, you can use a tool like Revue to create a bespoke eCommerce store that you can use to sell your own products or those of other entrepreneurs.