Our first post in this series was Do Photographers Need A Blog?. And now that we have answered Yes to that question we need to set yours up simply and quickly. This post will show you how to set up a wordpress blog on our preferred hosting company WP Engine in less than 10 minutes.
This is a simple process and all you will need to do will be outlined in the following.
1. Domain Registration
2. WordPress Installation
3. Designing Your Blog
Start With Best Host
Finding the correct host is the most critical step in the setup process. WordPress itself is slow by nature compared to a regular website but the ease it provides far outweigh this flaw that we will show you how to easily overcome. To keep your site loading under 3 seconds you must have a good hosting service. There are other hosts charging as low as $3 a month but you will have a slow site and you will lose traffic. The average person will never wait more than 2 to 3 seconds for a site to load before leaving. For this reason, we choose WP Engine with its built-in CDN to speed up your site even more.
Do not sacrifice performance for a few dollars a month or you may be sacrificing thousands on the backend.
Use this speed test and go to some of your favorite bloggers. Check out their speed then go to some other small travel blogs and try them. You will see and immediate difference and know that the big guys understand why it is so crucial. WP Speed Test
1. Choosing A Domain Name and Host
Go to WPEngine.com and click the GET STARTED NOW button.
Choosing Domain Name
You can choose to operate your company under your personal names such as John Doe Photography or something different like ours A Road to Travel. This will define who you are and what you do in life and will be with you throughout your career so give this some consideration and choose what you think is best for you.
Choosing a domain name is the fun part and takes some brainstorming and creativity. The name you choose will be part of your identity and your personal brand.
After you come up with some creative ideas, check if your domain is available and always choose a .com domain. The easier it is to spell and remember the better it will be for you.
Package Information Choices
The Personal Plan will cover all of your needs but look forward to the day you can upgrade to the Business Plan.
After you filled in your personal information and chose your hosting package, click NEXT to complete your purchase. You will now be asked to create a password for your account.
2. Installing WordPress
Installing WordPress used to be a very technical step that required database creation, FTP transfer, etc. It was too complex for most non-technical people (artists, photographers, etc.). WP Engine Hosting streamlined the entire process by making WordPress installation extremely easy with only a few clicks.
Login with the credentials you picked in the previous step. Select the INSTALL WORDPRESS icon to start the process.
The simple informational screen here: Click the INSTALL button.
There is nothing here to complete.
Select your domain name from the drop-down menu if it is not selected (it should already be selected).
Click the CHECK DOMAIN button.
Check SHOW ADVANCED OPTIONS and click INSTALL NOW.
Select a name for your blog and create unique credentials (username and password). Click INSTALL NOW.
Now, you can sit and wait. Normally, it takes less than a minute.
When the installation bar turns orange, click the VIEW CREDENTIALS button. Click VIEW link.
This is the final information screen of your WordPress installation.
Click the ADMIN URL link to login to the Admin interface of your brand new blog.
Use your credentials from the previous screen to login to your blog’s admin panel.
That’s it! Congratulations, you are now officially the owner of a photography blog!
At this point, you are ready to create your first blog post.
3. Customizing Design
There are a few default themes installed in WordPress. You may use them for a time or if you want a little something extra you can use a theme upgrade. These will also help you site load faster. The theme conveys who you are what you are all about. The default themes are very plain and basic, not something you will want to stay with.
You can get a free theme to use but soon you will find that they do not cover all that they seem to convey and you will have to upgrade them to get the look you want. To avoid this you can use a site like Studio Press, who created the Genesis Template that will work with any of the themes they have. Purchasing one of their themes along with a free Genesis Template is the premium setup for less than the upgrade on the free themes. Check them out here. StudioPress Theme of the Month – Market Theme
We will go more in depth on themes and how to customize them with the next series in our program. Choosing the Best Photography Theme
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