Hello everyone! I have a guest post for you.
My goal here is to help any mom at any stage in her mompreneur journey online. This post talks about how quickly and easily it is to set up a site, during nap times. If you can get you site up that easily then anything is possible.
Get Your Site Up Quick and Easy While the Baby Naps
You could, of course, get a web developer and designer to build you a site from the ground up. That, however, would take money and it would take time.
This post is designed to get your web site up within 5 hours – a week’s worth of decent nap times. It’s also designed to make the process as inexpensive as possible. You may have to spend money to make money, but you won’t be spending a lot on getting set up online.
By the time you close your computer at the end of the week, you’ll be able to type your site name into your browser’s address bar and see the finished product.
Day 1: Build The Foundation
Step 1: Name Your Site
Your site’s name is both the phrase people use to find you online and the way search engines know where your business can be found.
So choose something that’s relevant to your topic and easy enough for visitors to remember to come back to.
As far as the extension is concerned (the .com, .org, etc part), labeling yourself as a .com is crucial. It’s simply where most people will think to look for you.
Step 2: Register On WordPress
WordPress is the platform where your site will live. That means you’ll log into WordPress to write blog posts, create new pages or make any other changes to your site.
Why WordPress? Three reasons: it’s simple to set up, the basic options are free and over 73 million sites are built on WordPress, so you can be sure it’s a reliable system with the kinks worked out.
To set up WordPress.com, you won’t need a developer or designer. Just follow the next few steps. Start by registering your site on WordPress.com:
- Go to http://www.wordpress.com and click on the orange “Get Started Here” button.
- Fill out the registration form with your choice of site name, your chosen user name and password. If you don’t want your site name to end in “wordpress.com,” you can drop $18 for a custom domain. If your site is business-related, this is totally worth it. (There’s also a $99 bundle available, but unless you know how and plan to hack your CSS extensively, it’s totally not worth it.)
- You’ll get a confirmation email from WordPress. Click on the activation link, and you’re set.
Now go put your feet up ‘til the little one wakes.
Day 2: Get It Looking Right
Step 1: Choose Your Theme
To start working in your site, go to http://www.yoursite.com/wp-login.php and log in to WordPress. (“yoursite” being your domain or site name, for instance, “facebook” would be Facebook’s domain.) The first thing to do is choose your theme, or the look of your site.
In the left sidebar, hover over “Appearance,” then select “Themes.”
You’ll see nearly 150 free themes and over 25 premium themes for purchase. The theme you choose is going to depend on the look you want, as well as the price you want to pay. (You can also switch themes later without losing your content.)
By default, the front page of most WordPress themes are blogs. If you’d rather the front page of your site not be a blog, you change easily it to a static page – just follow the instructions here.
Step 2: Write Your Tagline
Listed at the top of each page, your tagline tells people what they’ll find on your site in just a few words. Right now, your site’s tagline reads, “Just Another WordPress Site.” Most likely, this isn’t the impression you want visitors to get, so you’ll want to write your own.
To set your tagline, hover over “Settings” in your left-hand menu and choose “General.” Near the top, you’ll see a field where you’ll want to fill in the tagline you’ve written.
Once you’ve saved your changes, your new tagline will be visible on your site.
I’m going to guess that you spend an awfully long time picking the perfect theme (presentation, after all, is everything, yes?), so that’s where we’ll stop for the day.
Day 3: Get Your Context In Place
Step 1: About Page
You already have an “About” page – WordPress has set one up for you by default. (To create new pages in the future, hover over the “Pages” button in your left-hand menu and choose “Add New.”
Your “About” page is your chance to introduce yourself to your readers. Take a few minutes to explain who you are and what your site is about. You also might want to upload a picture of yourself.
Step 2: Create Your Menu
In order for site visitors to see your “About” page and the pages you create, you have to link to them from elsewhere. They’ll show up as tabs at the top of your site if you put them in your menu.
To set up your menu, hover over “Appearance” in your WordPress menu and select “Menus.” Name your menu (something like “top tabs”), then press the “Create Menu” button.
Use the “Pages” selection on the left to select which pages will be included as tabs. Once they’re checked off, click “Add to Menu.” You won’t actually see these tabs on your site, however, until you set your theme location. Use the top drop-down box to select your menu and save it.
As you create more pages in the future, come back here to add them to your menu if you want them to show up as tabs.
Day 4: Write Your First Post!
Step 1: Start Writing
To start writing, hover over “Posts” in the left-hand menu and select “All Posts.” You’ll see the post saved with the title, “Hello, World!” Hover over the title and click the “Trash” option that appears. We’ll start from scratch.
To create your first post, hover over that “Posts” tab again and select “Add Post.” Your first post will eventually be pushed down by later posts. It’s enough at this point to simply announce that you’re up and running.
Step 2: Explore Your Options For Editing
Above the box you type in, you’ll see a toolbar of buttons to edit with. This video introduces you to all of your options. It’s 27 minutes long (but worth it), so make sure you’ve got your coffee cup in hand.
Step 3: Preview & Publish
See the button on the right-hand side that says “Preview?” Go ahead and click that. A new tab with open, showing you what your post will look like to readers.
If it looks right to you, go ahead and click “Publish.” As you publish each post, it will appear on the front page of your site, stacked above your previous posts.
Each of your posts won’t just be visible on your blog page, but on its own page that you can link to and share. To get to it, click on the post’s title from the main site page.
Day 5: Polish It Up
Step 1: Replace Filler Text
Go back and write out what you want to communicate to your subscribers in your about page and your sidebar menus, if you have them. Get a Gravatar up.
If you’re really not sure what to write, you’ll find some ideas here.
Step 2: Decide how often you’ll update
Some sites publish marketing content every day; others just send out monthly (or even less frequent) newsletters. How often you’ll publish depends on your own time constraints.
Once you decide that, though, you can either write one post at a time or schedule sit-down, write-out marathons to get a group of posts written and prescheduled. (Here’s how to preschedule in WordPress.)
Step 3: Show A Friend
Call up a friend and tell them to go to yoursite.com. Listen to them gasp when you tell them YOU made it. Then write down any ideas you or your friend have for making the site even better in the future.
Finally, celebrate how much you’ve accomplished. In a week of naptimes, you’ve set up a web site. Congratulations!
Amanda Gagnon writes about email marketing for AWeber, a leading email service provider for small-to-medium businesses. For more email marketing tips from AWeber, you can subscribe to their twice-weekly emails here.
Latest posts by Guest Writer (see all)
- The Crazy Life of a WAHM: Adventures in Norderland - December 4, 2012
- Set Up Your Site In A Week’s Worth of Naptimes - October 16, 2012
- 4 Tips for Bloggers to Make the Most of Pinterest - June 26, 2012