What do you need to get started with a Website?

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Well, its actually quite simply. You only need three basic things:

  1. Internet Connection with static IP Address.
  2. Computer
  3. Leased Domain Name

Any computer can host a website on the internet but it gets a little complicated maintaining your system up time at 99.9% as well as having the adequate configurations/hardware requirements to meet the demands of your website visitors. Oh, and not to mention, protecting your system from malicious attacks. So why not leave it to the professionals to do all that for you. Some great hosting providers are HostGator, Bluehost, GoDaddy & eHost.

You can get a shared hosting plan starting only at a few dollars a month. Which is a very basic plan. Shared hosting basically is a single machine running multiple instances of an operating system for each of it’s users. Each user then in turn can have their own website in there own segment of the computer. Everyone using the computer shares that computers resources and of course, this comes with an internet connection and a shared IP Address.

So now that we have the Computer and IP Address all we need is the domain name to point to our computer that is hosting our website. A domain name is an address that points to the computer that has our website on it. It prevents us from memorizing computer IP Addresses. An example is cars.com or google.com. Domain names can usually be purchased from the same company that provides your hosting.

So there you have it. A hosting computer that provides you with an internet connection, a computer for your website, and a leased domain name will provide you everything you need to begin your online presence.

CPanel

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What exactly is CPanel?

CPanel is a control panel software installed on your machine to interact with the OS.  CPanel is currently only available on Linux Distributions. The application is a great tool to monitor what your server is doing and to automate certain tasks like backups.

Some features include but not limited to are monitoring incoming traffic, viewing all processes, filtering mail spam. To see a full list of features, visit CPanel’s Website.

I highly recommend CPanel because it is very user friendly and it is one of the most common control panels out there that hosting services provide. Host Gator is one of the hosting platforms that comes with CPanel. Not to mention the control panel is well document with a large support community. So if you were to get stuck, you can simply search Google or post on a web forum for some answers.

WordPress Backup

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It is always best practice to back up your digital content.

WordPress has a well supported community behind it and it has been around for some quite time. That being said, there are several simplified methods to backing up your site, i.e. plugins. It is always best that you know how your system is working so you can make sure you have the right plugin backing up everything you need.

  • You need your WordPress folder on your sites directory.
  • You also need the database from MySQL that your site interacts with.

In your websites root directory, also known as the path to your server, this is where your WordPress’s main files are located. In those files you have your themes, plugins and images. They all consist of php files that fetch information from the database. Those all need to be backed up. Then you have your MySQL database, this is where the main content of your site is located.

So you need a plugin that simplifies that process of exporting both the contents of the WordPress file and the database your site interacts with. A good plugin is Backup WordPress.

Mobile First Design

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Bootstrap is an amazing framework for websites to utilize the mobile first ideology. The concept is, build sites for mobile phones first and work your way up to desktop devices. Why, because most users are viewing the web on their mobile devices. Desktops are becoming a thing of the past.

Bootstrap isn’t the only way framework out there, it’s just one of the most popular developers use because of it’s amazing foundation and usability.

Check out Bootstrap and see for yourself.

Want Free Website Icons, Use Font Awesome!

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“Font Awesome gives you scalable vector icons that can instantly be customized — size, color, drop shadow, and anything that can be done with the power of CSS.” (Font Awesome)

Are you in need of some awesome website icons? If you are then check out Font Awesome. They offer a large variety of stock icons from social media to mail icons.

Feel free to follow the link below:

https://fortawesome.github.io/Font-Awesome/

W3 Total Cache to Speed Up Your Website!

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Why would you want to increase your website speed?

Well the answer to that question is simple. If you want to retain your audience’s attention then your website cannot be crawling in speed.

At the end of the day, you are trying to increase your user experience so that you can relay information to your audience.

According to the plugin W3 Total Cache. On the website google.com a 500ms lag time added to the site decrease traffic by 20% !!!

That is an insane amount of traffic lost.  So check out this plugin and cache your site to improve your page load times!

https://wordpress.org/plugins/w3-total-cache

Why WordPress?

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Here are some of the features that we think that you’ll love.

Simplicity: Simplicity makes it possible for you to get online and get publishing, quickly. Nothing should get in the way of you getting your website up and your content out there. WordPress is built to make that happen.

Flexibility: With WordPress, you can create any type of website you want: a personal blog or website, a photoblog, a business website, a professional portfolio, a government website, a magazine or news website, an online community, even a network of websites. You can make your website beautiful with themes, and extend it with plugins. You can even build your very own application.

Publish with Ease: If you’ve ever created a document, you’re already a whizz at creating content with WordPress. You can create Posts and Pages, format them easily, insert media, and with the click of a button your content is live and on the web.

Media Management: They say a picture says a thousand words, which is why it’s important for you to be able to quickly and easily upload images and media to WordPress. Drag and drop your media into the uploader to add it to your website. Add alt text, captions, and titles, and insert images and galleries into your content. We’ve even added a few image editing tools you can have fun with.

To find out more about WordPress simply visit: https://wordpress.org/about/features/

Google Analytic Definitions

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As you may already know, Google Analytics is a tool put out by Google to measure traffic coming to your site. At a first glance you might be overwhelmed with all the categories Google has to offer with this tool but I’m here to give you an overview of the most important definitions to look out for.

Website performance overview report:

This is the MAIN VIEW when first logging in. You will notice a graph showing you your Audience/Sessions for a selected date range. The Sessions is the number of times your website has been engaged in. The same User can have multiple Sessions. Now Users are the number of unique visitors that have visited your website. This is one of the most important statistics. This here will help measure the performance of your site. Users = number of people that have visited your website. This is normally viewed by a month to month basis but of course you can change the date ranges. Then after Sessions and Users we have the Bounce Rate. The Bounce Rate is the percent of visits that only view a single page. This is very helpful especially to see if Users are actually engaging in your content. This can be used to measure the appeal of your site to people.

If you have anymore questions about Google Analytics then please visit the site below for a more elaborate explanation.

Link Here:
http://blog.jimdo.com/google-analytics-101-basic-metrics-and-reports/

Adament Theme

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I recently stumbled upon a very interesting theme. It’s called the Adament Theme. What drew me to this theme was its large one page slider. There are a lot of possibilities one can do with this theme. I am primarily thinking about photographers. You can blow-up your images to full resolution and have it be the first thing viewers see! An amazing way to draw users in. Please check out the live demo here:

http://demo.fabthemes.com/adament/

WordPress Themes

Due to WordPress’s large community of contributors WordPress has thousands of themes to choose from. Simply search in Google “wordpress themes” and you will find yourself a plethora of resources on the topic. WordPress’s framework allows users to switch easily between themes in a matter of seconds without losing any content. To find out more about wordpress themes follow the article below.

https://codex.wordpress.org/Themes