Build a Site — Quick!

wordpressBarSo you have a great idea and need a website. Perhaps you have a new product launching, are about to walk into an interview and want to cover your back if they Google you, or have some idea for a site and want it up NOW. You could just give us a call, or you could do what we do — use freely available tools to create a beautiful site in no time. Now, these tips are not for the casual user. There is a learning curve and if you have never used some of these platforms before — they may take some time getting used to. But if you have a tech-savy background or are willing to invest a few hours of initial startup time, you can have your site up and running in no time.

In the olden days websites were build with hand-coded HTML. This meant you had to learn a whole coding language (or 3 or 4) if you wanted your site to be serviceable. Today, freely available content management systems (CMS) circumvent this coding process and allow you to easily create and modify your website. Our favorite CMS’ also happen to be industry leaders supported by thousands of coders from all over. For beginners and people concerned with ease of use, we recommend WordPress. This professional CMS runs a lot of sites you may already know and love (WSJ, Fischer-Price). Known primarily as a blogging tool, WordPress has gone through a number of updates which make it a wonderful website creation tool as well. Here’s what you need to do to get started.

  1. Download WordPress (its’ FREE!). You can get it directly from the wordpress website: www.Wordpress.org. If you don’t have your own server or host, you can sign up for a wordpress site with all the administrative stuff taken care of for you at www.wordpress.com
  2. Go to the administrative section of your wordpress page. This usually is something along the lines of www.example.com/wp-admin
  3. Under the Settings tab (bottom left) click the drop down arrow and select General. Make sure all of your site settings are correct (don’t touch the URLs unless you know there’s something very wrong).
  4. Still under settings, click Privacy. Click the “I would like my site to be visible to everyone” radio button to make your site visible to search engines, directories, etc.
  5. Click on Permalinks and change your permalink structure to something more SEO friendly. Our personal favorite is Day and Name. Save the changes

It is now time to change the style of your brand new site. Click the Appearance tab and click Add New Themes. Browse for the style theme that you would like to model your website after and click “Install”, “Install Now”. You can now click on “Themes” under the Appearance tab and click the Activate link under the picture of the theme you chose. Your website is now modeled after that theme.

Now that the basic layout of your site is up and running, it is time to add content. Depending on the layout of your site, you can add content by either selecting the posts menu and “Add New” post or you may need to select the Pages menu and select “Add New.” Once you’ve added your content, you’ve just got to start publicizing your site and that’s it!

Of course, the devil is in the details and there are many many details to be had. If you need help changing or tweaking your site so that it works slightly different and suites your needs, you may need the help of a pro as this can involve editing some code. But in all, setting up your site is as easy as that.

Written by

David is an avid social entrepreneur and Boston sports fanatic. He founded Diversified Data Technologies way back in 2009 and stuck around to see it grow. His party quarks include unnecessary dancing and being an overly hospitable host. When looking, he can be found capturing the twitterverse at @DLanphear, being professional on LinkedIn, or bouncing around town with Foursquare.

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