Creating a website for blogs it is not complicated but it is not easy either, you will need to spend few hours at the begging tuning base in your final desire results. Once you get up and running you should be able to write your own blogs. Maintaining is not as complicated as you might think, it is all hosted in the host server. There is an old saying that say “Don’t Try and Reinvent the Wheel”, now days there are lots of tools and pre-created templates that you can use and most of them come from open source which is “free” to use.
Base on my own experience these were the steps that I took to create a blogs like the one that you are reading right now.
1. Learn a little bit about HTML coding, PHP coding, Java scripting, MySQL, Apache Web Services, CSS, and other terminology regarding webpage and websites. Now, you don’t have to know everything about this topic mention above but it will help a lot in your process of creating and customizing your website. I personally, perhaps, know the basics of each topic.
2. Choose a domain that you like [www.YourUniqueDomain.com]. You can find if the domain is available in this website http://www.whois.net/ , if you find act quickly.
3. Find a host provider that will host your website. I use www.1and1.com which has very good prices and they include like 3 domains with your package. For less than ten dollar per month it a very good deal. Here are some of the web hosting companies that you can try:
Note: Make sure that your web hosting company of your choice is able of handling the technology mentioned in step 1.
4. Now, if you have already purchased a domain you may want to find more about the hosting company. Few thing to consider:
a. What other tools are available in the package (emails account, web hosting folder, mysql databases, limitations, and so on). Do a little reading about the content of your package and what you can do in that server. It usually comes with an administration panel.
b. How to transfer files via FTP to the server or folder within that server. You may want to get a free ftp client. Usually Windows Explorer does a very good job as an ftp client for very simple file transfers.
c. Create simple HTML file and upload to the hosting server so that you can learn how to upload files. A simple under construction webpage.
d. Learn how create a database within that hosting company and the credentials for MySQL database. WordPress requires a MySQL database and you will need to know that credentials before you can upload WordPress software to the hosting company.
5. Now, you need to select the blogging tools (Software for Self Hosted Blogs) that you may want to use. These are free and they are very customizable with themes, which it is also free.
a. WordPress … it is a state-of-the-art publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability. WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time.
b. b2Revolution … it is an advanced weblog tool allowing you to run your own blogs, news feeds or even photos.
c. Drupal … it is a free software package that allows an individual, a community of users, or an enterprise to easily publish, manage and organize a wide variety of content on a website.
d. Joomla … It is an award-winning content management system (CMS), which enables you to build Web sites and powerful online applications.
NOTE: Make sure that this software is capable of handing Themes. Themes allow you to speed the process of building the website. WordPress has hundreds of themes that you simple download and plug-in into the software, active, and use it.
6. Now, if you have decided to go with WordPress, here are some of the things to consider.
a. Download WordPress … http://wordpress.org/download/
b. Here you will find the guidelines for installing WordPress: http://codex.wordpress.org/Installing_WordPress
c. Find the theme that you like … http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/
d. Find the plug-in for the theme … http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/
e. When you download the themes and plugins make sure you read the comments and ratings. Some of them may be crap and does not work.
f. Learn about the software and how it could be customizable.
7. Once you get your blog up and running, do some research in how submit to search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines. There are a few plugins in WordPress that will help you do that. Here is the blog that I wrote about submitting to search engines: http://www.myw0.com/ithigh-tech/internet/free-website-url-submission-search-engine/
8. When configuring WordPress make sure that you configure so that the URL address is descriptive like http://www.myw0.com/ithigh-tech/all-windows/list-of-common-windows-shortcuts/ and not http://www.myw0.com/?p=123, this will help search engines find your page. It is located under Settings –> Permalink. I am using /%category%/%postname%/, which suppose to be the best.
9. ROI (Return On Investment) … all these work can be paid off by placing ads from companies alone side your blogs. Here are few companies to consider:
10. The last thing to consider is partnering (not competing ) with social websites like Facebook or creating a channel in YouTube, if you are going to be incorporating videos. There few plugins for WordPress that will also help you do that.
Get ready to crash and burn because that is the only way that you will be good at it.
Good luck in your journey!