Getting to know the WordPress interface

Posted in: Free website training- Oct 16, 2009 No Comments

This is the third video in our training series on how to use WordPress. In this video I will show you the basic WordPress interface. Learn how to add posts and pages and get familiar with WordPress.

How to install a WordPress theme

Posted in: Free website training- Oct 15, 2009 No Comments

The beauty of WordPress is that you can so easily apply your own design to a WordPress installation. However, if you have never done this before, it can still be tricky. In this video I will show you how you can install a free WordPress theme on your WordPress website.

Any questions please ask them allow. If you want to receive more tutorials like this one don’t forget to subscribe to this blog.

How to install WordPress

Posted in: Free website training- Oct 15, 2009 No Comments

wordpress-installationWordPress is one of the best applications on the Internet to build a very sophisticated website. Although you can create a website at WordPress.org for free, you have much more control over your site and many more options with WordPress.org which allows you to install the WordPress application on your own server. You will have to pay for hosting but the application is still free and it will allow you to have a very professional website that can grow with your business.

In this video I will show you how to install WordPress on your server.

Feel free to ask any questions below.

Essentials for creating a good free website

Posted in: web design- Oct 12, 2009 No Comments

No doubt there are lots of free applications and free website tools available these days to create a good website…. if you know what you are doing. Too often many of these websites look cheap and unprofessional or don’t have any of the essentials that make a website successful.

So which things are key if you want to create a successful free website?

  • Choose a good colour scheme that compliments your business or community and don’t choose colours that conflict with one another. Learn a bit on colour theory so you know what works with colours. To help you with choosing colours check out Colour Lovers. Another good one is Kuler. Try to stick with a clear colour scheme and don’t mix too many colours together (unless you are really confident with your colours). To read more on different methods for choosing the right colour scheme in web design read this article.
  • Be sure to learn about SEO. There really is no point creating a website that no-one can see. A good place to learn about SEO is SEO book. Be sure to grab the free tool bar for Firefox.
  • Make sure you have fast loading images. Don’t just put a 2.5 mb image on your page and then resize it. It will takes ages to load. What you need to do is optimise your image for the web first. Luckily you don’t have to buy an image editor to do this as there a free options available. Check out the top 10 free image editors for Windows users or free editors for the mac.
  • Create a good website structure and make your site easy to navigate. Here is a chapter of “don’t make me think“, a book by Steve Krug on web usability, that will get you started.
  • Don’t use too many flickering graphics or sounds (unless you want to annoy people that is) and make sure that these graphics or sounds serve a purpose. It’s ok if you want to make your website interesting but sound and overpowering graphics will turn lots of people away.
  • Create balance in your design. Don’t put a lot of text on the left side and then nothing or big blocks of nothing in other parts.

This should get you started. Please take it to heart and don’t put an ugly, ineffective website out there. Doing it yourself means you will have to put a lot of effort into it in order to create a professional looking website that will get the results you want.

Have anything more to add? Then please do so below.

How to get listed in the major search engines?

Posted in: web marketing, web strategy- Oct 04, 2009 No Comments

When you own a website and you have optimised it well for search engines for your keywords, you will find that most of your traffic comes from search engines.

But how do you get listed in those search engines?

The search engines will need to find you. And the easiest way for that is to add a link to a site that Google spiders regularly.

Some sites that Google spiders a lot (because the content changes all the time) are social bookmark sites.  Read more »

Why you should not separate your blog and your website

Posted in: web marketing, web strategy- Oct 03, 2009 No Comments

include-blog-to-website

Today I received an announcement of a new website and blog. When I went to check them out, I was surprised that the website and blog were actually 2 separate websites and were not integrated into one. This really is a missed opportunity as an integrated blog can do wonders for your website’s traffic and popularity.

Not surprisingly, this wasn’t the only thing that was wrong with the website. Read more »

What is the difference between ProntaCMS and WordPress?

Posted in: web design, web strategy- Oct 02, 2009 No Comments

wordpress-versus-pronta-cms

There are many ways to create a website these days. I have done extensive research and I currently use only 2 software applications for all my websites: ProntaCMS and WordPress. Both have their pros and cons. I thought it would be helpful to highlight the similarities, pros and cons of the 2 options and who should be using what. Read more »

Jimdo free website creator

Posted in: resources- Sep 24, 2009 No Comments

What is it?

JimDo is an online website creator that allows you to easily create a website online without any technical knowledge.

How does it work?

You only need to give your user name and password to sign up. Be sure to pick a good user name as that will also be the name of your website. After that you are straight away presented with a funky website that you can edit.

It’s easy to change the design by clicking on the “layout” tab. You can now select from a range of designs. All the designs are presented with the same top image so you can clearly see the layout of a page, rather than being distracted by different images.

To add a new logo though you will need to upgrade to a Jimdo pro or business package. Only these users will be able to add metatags, use newsletters, statistics and additional storage. You will also need to upgrade to get rid of the ugly ad.

Pros

  • Easy website creator
  • Clear layout selection that you can easily add your own images to
  • Pay pal integration
  • Multiple language support

Cons

  • Too much functonality withheld for free site
  • No option to build an online store

What’s free?

You can setup a site for free but for your own logo and other extras you will need to upgrade to either a pro or business account. Pro starts at $5 / month.  A business account will give you extra domains, space and email addresses.

Video

Website

Jimdo.com

Edicy

Posted in: website templates- Sep 22, 2009 No Comments

What is it?

Edicy is a free website builder that allows you to build free websites online.

How does it work?

Registration is very easy as you will only need to give your email address before getting started right away. You are presented with a page that already looks like a website, be it a blank one, and that you can edit. It’s easy to change the design as well by clicking on the design tab. Here you can just choose one of the available templates. Keywords and metatags can be added to each page through the page tab.

Pros

  • Very easy to create a website
  • Ability to optimize for search engines
  • Built in blog
  • Very quick
  • No advertising

Cons

  • No download feature
  • Limited customization
  • Can only be used with Edicy sub domain. For your own domain you will need to upgrade to Pro which is more expensive than competitors

What’s free?

The website builder is free to use but if you want to use your own domain you will need to upgrade to a pro package which costs $144 / year at the time of writing.

Video

Showcase

http://www.edicy.com/examples

Website

www.edicy.com

WordPress

Posted in: resources- Sep 21, 2009 No Comments

What is it?

WordPress started out as a free blogging application but it has grown to be a complete online application that can be used as a CMS. You can use it to build extensive blogs, corporate websites and online web directories.

How does it work?

WordPress comes in a .com version where you can create your blog online or as a self hosted version at wordpress.org which allows you to host the application on your own server. The selfhosted option is the most flexible as it will allow you to choose your own design, add as many plugins as you like and edit any part of the software.

All you need to install it is some hosting space. If you use hostgator you can can install WordPress with Fantastico de Luxe in just a couple of clicks. After that it’s a matter of installing your theme, your plugins and writing your posts and publishing them.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Lots and lots of free and premium templates
  • You can create any kind of website with endless extensions
  • Lots of functionality
  • Lots of support available online

Cons

  • Novices may need some help with setting up and editing the site
  • Selfhosted blogs require regular updates and maintenance

What’s free?

You can install and download WordPress for free. The .com version will cost nothing, but you need to setup hosting if you want to use the selfhosted version of WordPress.