I thought that it would be helpful to create a resource page for anyone that was also interested in creating a blog or website for themselves. Below are some of the things that I have picked up on while developing my own websites, and websites for others.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
When building your own blog or website, the basics revolve around four things.
- Reason – Why are you building your website?
- Hosting – Where will the site be hosted?
- Platform – How will you edit the site?
- Design – What it will look like?
After you have determined what you will write about on your site, or how you will do it, you will need somewhere to host your site. I personally use Ipage.com to host all of my websites and they have worked really well for me.
The next thing you want to get sorted is your platform that will allow you to quickly and easily modify your webpage without coding. For that I use WordPress.org. That platform not only is easy to use, but Ipage has a 1 click setup that will install it on your host for you. Another great advantage of using WordPress is their vast market of free plugins. These will allow you to customize your website with all sorts of interesting features.
At this point you should have a basic wordpress installation with the basic theme. You are ready to go if you like that theme, or any of the other free themes here: http://wordpress.org/themes/. If you are just getting started, that would be a great place to start. If you are looking for support, and really cool themes, I have found some really good ones on Elegant Themes Premium WordPress Themes. My favorite by far is their Divi theme because it also has a really unique page builder that makes it really easy for beginners to make complex page designs with cool scrolling movements. I installed it for my friend and he was able to do all of the design and changes to his own website. You can check it out here: www.onlinejazzschool.com
Other Resources that will help you
Pictures are worth a thousand words and they make the difference between a good and bad website. Below are a list of websites that are 100% free to use any way you see fit.
- Unsplash.com is my first stop for some great simple backgrounds of cities, and nature, and everything in between. They come out with a new set of 10 photos every week.
- Pixel Buddha has some great icons that can help you design better navigation and can help get the point across to your reader.
- Public Domain Archive is also another good resource to find images that are free for the public to use. This has a lot of different photos that could be useful for your projects.
Let me know if you have questions about how to start your own blog, and I would be happy to help you!