The VERY Basics of Building Your Website

back to basics

1. Purchase your domain name.

What to do: You can do this through a local hosting company, like, or any number of companies. It will be the same name and system no matter who you use. I choose the smaller, local company because of the customer service that comes with it.

What to know: The domain name is not really “yours.” You are renting the domain name and will need to pay for it every year or so, depending on the plan that you use in the beginning. The domain name is also known as the “URL.” It is the information the internet uses to find you and your business or information.

2. Find a hosting company.

What to do: Find a company to use for hosting your domain (which will become your website or blog). Again you can choose a larger company or a smaller company – the end result will be the same.

What to know: A hosting company will give you a location on the World Wide Web that will allow you to settle your domain name. Finding a host is like looking for a storefront in a mall – there will be many other businesses in that mall and you will be your own unique store front in that mall. The “hosting” company is the mall owner and keeps the mall secure and protected and also monitors who else can have a storefront in that mall. You will have to pay a monthly or yearly fee to have your domain hosted.

Now things begin to get a bit tricky.

3. Download to your computer.

What to do: Go to the website and click the download button next to the question “Ready to get started?”

What to know: This is the first step that you are taking towards your new blog or website. The software is the “skin” of your endeavor. Think of it as the shell of the shop (in the mall of our earlier example) and you will use the tools available to decorate and design the shop of your choice.

4. Upload the WordPress software into your FTP.

What to do: First you need to extract the files from the zipped download. All this requires is right clicking on the file and then clicking on the option to unzip. This makes it possible for your computer to access all the files. Companies zip up files to make the more compact and easier for you to download. Next you need to upload all these files into the FTP folder for your domain.

What to know: gives you detailed instructions for making this happen. Some hosting companies can help you with this (another reason I prefer the smaller hosting companies). The most important thing to know is that WordPress is an OpenSource community so they are always willing AND EAGER to help you out if you get stuck.

5. Set up a theme for your site.

What to do: Go into the WordPress Admin and click on the Appearance button. This should bring up a place to “Add New” Themes or to activate themes. There are hundreds of free WordPress themes available to add to your site. Use the “Advance Search” feature to find specific elements (like having a responsive or mobile friendly theme).

What to know: The free themes and the “paid” themes have benefits and limitations. You may want to start on a free theme and switch to a “paid” theme if you find you have specific needs that are not being met.

6. Set up your sit with all the bells and whistles to make it work for you.

What to do: Highlight the “Appearance” listing in the left side of your WordPress CPanel. Use the customizing option and the widget option to begin getting things to look the way that you desire. Also use the “Plugins” listing to add tools to your site (including security systems). Always be sure that what you add is compatible with the WordPress system that you are using.

What to know: Each plugin and widget that you add can cause your website to be weight down. Research the options and choose the ones that will do more of what you need so that you will only have to upload a few. Also, keep in mind that the WordPress software and all of the plugins and widgets will need to be kept updated for security purposes.

That is it. Six steps to bring you closer to the website that you desire. Hope it helps, but let us know if there is more that we can do to help.

Curse of the Keywords Past

Make keywords from your past work for you.
Keywords that I used in the beginning of my journey continue to haunt my website today. The year that I launched my first blog, I had no idea what I was doing or what direction I was going. I knew that I wanted to write, and so I wrote.

Surfing around the internet led me to the sites that told me how to take my little website and make it pay me day in and day out. That required some shifting and changing and even a few more website launches. So I launched and shifted and changed, but I still had no idea what I was doing.

I confess that even today – when it comes to making a website do all of the income labor – I have no clue how to make it happen. I went back to my basic love and started to write once again. I shifted my focus from making money with my blogs to making money through freelance writing opportunities.

But keywords from my original launch continue to haunt my site today. An article written for my general website, and moved to The Peculiar Club website, still gets more hits from the search engines than anything else I have written. This morning I realized that there had to be a way I could harness that power and turn it over to good for both my writing site and my peculiar site.

Tips for Transforming the Curse of the Keywords

– Use the keywords in more articles but make the focus all about the new direction of the website. I will be talking more about how a Good Wife can bring extra income into the home with freelance writing, how a Good Wife can balance work at home and family, and ways a Good Wife can organize her life. Can you pick out the keyword that has been giving me troubles?

– Put the keywords to work in a book. Over at The Peculiar Club and also in my newspaper column, I talk about becoming a better wife and training a husband on a regular basis. I have even decided to take the tips and put them together in a new eBook that will be lovingly titles, “The Husband Whisperer.” My thought is that keyword searches for Good Wife will bring people to the launch of the new eBook.

– Bring it all together with links. Add links to posts that will draw people to the right website. I am including links to The Peculiar Club and to the info page for “The Husband Whisper” (which will be available for your purchase in December).

– Be honest with your readers. There is a level of trust that is offered when a person clicks on your link in a search engine. It hurts some when the link takes you to a location that does nothing that it promised. Making the most of keywords through tricks and catchy phrases may build the stats temporarily, but providing truthful and quality content will keep those numbers where you want them.

I am no keyword expert. Mistakes that I have made in the past or changes that did not quite go as planned allow keywords from past posts to haunt me today. My websites will benefit (and so will my readers) if I can discover the best ways to harness the energy of the keywords and point them in the right direction.