8 Easy Steps to Open a New Website or Blog Site (Part 2)

Continuing from the Previous post. Here is the Part 2.

5. Build Your Website Content

If you are planning to have other than a blog then you need to first create the web pages that you will place on your website. You can easily design web pages in a graphical manner (WYSIWYG). Dreamweaver is probably the best WYSIWYG tool available. However, you will get several online or down loadable website design tools on the internet.

If you are planing for a blog. The best bet would be WordPress. There is online blogging site WordPress.com and independent installable of WordPress software can be downloaded from wordpress.org that you can  install on your website.

Typically, the process of creating web pages is as follows:

a. Prepare a structure for your Blog or website – You must categorize all the information you intend to put on your site, distribute the information in each category into a reasonable number of web pages. Some important pages that must be present are: About Me/Us, Contact Me/Us, Sitemap and Copyright info in the footer. You also need to think about the website Tags that you are going to create. Tag helps the visitor to see that similar pages based on the tags. You don’t have to worry too much about the tags and categories if you are using WordPress. It has built in tags to category converter and vice-versa.

b. Choose a design or template for your web pages –  This gives a distinct and uniform look to your website. A good design will give your website a nice visual appeal, but ultimately it’s the quality of the content that will bring in the visitors. While choosing templates make sure where you want to place your advertisement. There are free templates available on several sites on the internet.

c. Create the web pages –  You must have an index page in your website’s root directory, as that will be the default home page.

d. Spell-check your copy before publishing your pages. Bad grammar, misspellings and other basic errors will make you look like an amateur. These site is a great help in learning on the website writing skills.

e. Manage your images – Place all your website images in single directory on website host i.e images directory. If you are using loads of images on your site and you have limited space then you can upload all images on Google Picasa web and share a direct link to your website.

f. Protect data loss – Make sure you take proper backup of your website database and the files to make sure you can restore your website in case of disaster and data loss. Most of the web hosting site offer daily back for free or charge a nominal fee. You can also take the backup manually using cPanel.

g. If you chose to use blogging website, then there are many plugins that are required for your blog. Select Theme for your website from may freely available sites on the internet. WordPress has thousands of free template.  Select a template you want with 2 sidebar, 1 sidebar or 3 sidebar. Then you need the plug-in to suite your requirements.

h. If your web host provider support cPanel and fantastico then you can automatically install and start your blog in few minutes.

6. Testing Your Website

a. Testing should be done throughout your web development cycle. You will need to test your web pages as you design them in the major browsers: Safari, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 8, Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 6,  Firefox and Opera . Download and install all of them since it is free. Test your site in all the browsers. Most of the Windows XP users are still using the pretty old IE 6. Hence your new website code may not work on this browser. You can provide a code to check the browser version and display a message to the user. Also try using 800 pixel width for your website template as this is common screen resolution in the most of the CRT monitor.

b. If you are using a blogging software like WordPress, make sure when you upgrade on install a plugin it has no adverse effect on other plugin or widgets. Sometime you’ll notice your other widgets stopped working, try to uninstall the problematic plugin and see if it works. I would recommend installing a plug-in at a time and test all other plugin before installing another one.

c. You need to also test your website for broken links for images or pages. You can easily do it with free softwares line Xenu.

d. You need to test for performance of you website ( response time etc). Enabling caching system is going to enhance your page load time. You need to decide upon your caching software or plug-in based on your website.

7. Monetize Your Website

Who doesn’t want to make some money from website? Google AdSense lets you insert ads on your web pages and pays you whenever someone clicks on them also you get paid on the AD impression on your website per 1000s times. But the pay for images AD impression is very low. Only clicks on ADs are well paid. You can choose which ads you want to display, where you want to display them and also edit the colors and fonts so as to integrate the ads with the look and feel of your page. That’s because, strategically placed ADs tend to get more clicked as opposed to ads that stand out prominently from the rest of the content. See the Google Adsense Heat Map Here

You can read AdSense help before you get started. To open an AdSense account, go to the AdSense home page and follow the instructions.

8. Promoting Your Website

a. Your website is of no use until people know about your website exists. You need to submit your site to various search engines, such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing Search. All major search engines have a “submit site” form. Click the links below to submit your website url.

This should get your site listed on these engines in a few weeks.

b. To ensure that more pages from your site are indexed, you need to place a XML sitemap on your website’s root directory. This is basically a file containing a list of web pages on your website in xml format, which makes it easier for search engines to find and index them. Use a sitemap generator such as http://www.xml-sitemaps.com to generate your sitemap in XML (extensive markup language) and sitemap .xml in .gz (zipped) format to submit in the search engine. You then need to upload it to your site’s root directory. It makes easier for search engines to find your site from the sitemap xml file. Submit sitemap.xml to Google Webmaster , Yahoo Site Explorer and Microsoft Bing .

c. Another easy way to promote your site is to add your website URL in your email signature, so that whenever you email someone, they come to know about your site.

d. Use SEO (Search Engine Optimization software) to enhance your search index in Google and other search engine. There are free and paid SEO software are available in the market.All WordPress user can use the All One In SEO plug-in software available for free download from wrodpress.org.

e. See my other post on “25 Strategies to Boost Your Website Traffic

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