Why WordPress Blog Platform
WordPress is fast becoming the #1 choice for getting content rapidly to the attention of search engines.
Even the free version of WordPress comes with a number of vital SEO features out of the box, including RSS feeds and XML site map, so a site you build using WordPress should do most of the SEO mechanics for you, leaving you free to concentrate on writing great content.
It makes publishing pages of content and blog material (i.e. time-based messages, articles, opinion pieces & announcements) really easy. What’s more, there are hundreds of professional-quality templates (themes) for WordPress available absolutely free.
If you need to create a new marketing channel to promote your own business, or any material you want to share, you can do it in minutes with WordPress and get great results.
I’ve heard a lot of great things about JustHost.com recently, and I’ve been keen to try out the low-cost hosts for myself. From everything I’ve seen so far, they really seem to have cracked it – cheap (really cheap) hosting at a truly professional quality. The cost is among the lowest you’ll see, but there doesn’t (at this point in time, anyway) seem to be any compromise in the level of service. I’ve already moved one of our sites onto JustHost, and will certainly be recommending them to all our clients for hosting marketing sites. I’m sure I’ll be posting more on these guys over time.
The sign-up process on JustHost has to be about as quick and easy as it’s possible to be.
- Enter the basic details (name, address)
- Choose a domain name you want for your site. It’s included with your hosting package. They check it’s available, which takes moments.
- Proceed to choose your hosting option – but that’s easy as there’s only one hosting package. You just choose how many months you want to pay for (from 1 month, which is good value, through to 36 months, which is incredibly cheap)
And you’re done! You’ll get an email with the login info you need to get to your control panel (once DNS resolves), and that’s it!
All JustHost hosting comes with unlimited disk space and unlimited bandwidth, which is great to see. I don’t know why so many hosts feel the need to throttle these, when it’s so cheap anyway. Probably as a means to upgrade you to a slightly more expensive package. I love the simple one-size-fits-all approach here. They’re giving you no reason not to sign up there & then (a really good marketing tip).
Try the sign-up process for yourself and see how easy they’ve made it. You even get a set of free AdWords and other marketing vouchers, worth more than the cost of the hosting.
Setting up WordPress
You’ll get a CPanel login in an email from JustHost within a few minutes. As soon as your domain name has propagated round the DNS system (which could typically take up to 1 or 2 hours), you’ll be able to log in to your control panel.
Your CPanel control panel gives you a bunch of management tools, one of which is WordPress.
It’s really a couple of clicks to install a new WordPress blog on your new domain. If your whole site is going to be a blog (i.e. you’ll create your other pages in WordPress too, like I did), then install WP in the root of the site. Otherwise, you may want to tell it to create a new folder, e.g. yourdomain.com/blog/. You tell it your WP admin username and password, which you should note down.
You’ll then log in to WordPress admin area at yourdomain.com/wp-admin/ with the username and password you just created, and you go straight in to the WordPress dashboard.
There are a few things you ought to do first:
- Switch on search-engine friendly URLs. Go to Settings > Permalinks, and choose one of the options that includes the title of your post in the address. This will ensure the keywords in your content titles are in the file names shown to search engines, which will boost your rankings.
- Set up your blog categories (Posts > Categories) and other content (Pages, for your about etc.).
Set up Themes, Plugins & Analytics
The next thing I’d recommend is to get hold of a nice theme for your blog. There are hundreds of professional-looking free themes on the web.
To install a theme, if you’re familiar with FTP, you can just download and unpack the Zip file, and upload the contents via FTP into the wp-content/themes directory.
But WordPress offers all of this through the admin as well. Just go into Appearance > Add New Themes, and follow the instructions there. Couldn’t be easier!
There are loads and loads of plugins for WordPress too, which can extend functionality, or make life easier.
Got an idea for content you want to share with the world on a WordPress blog? Dont’ delay! Set the stopwatch running and head over to JustHost.com now to get started.