Create A Website Or Blog - We Can Help

Create a blog and join the blogging community


 Get started and set up your own personal blog! Blogging has quickly become one of the most popular ways of communicating and spreading information and news. There are literally millions of blogs online but don't let that scare you, there are just as many people that are interested in reading blog content and niches. People love to read about everything from soup to nuts...literally!

 

 

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One of the best advantages of a blog in comparison to a website is that there are no tech skills required, no coding...making it so much easier to create so you can focus on writing your articles and more easily manage your content.

Blogging is a great way to express yourself, using your content like, articles, images and video. It's also a fantastic way to share information with others and interact with others on blogging platforms and social media. You will become a better writer as time progresses and will gain a following. One of the best reasons to become a blogger is that you can make money doing it!

Choose Your Blogging Platform

To start a blog you'll begin by choosing your preferred blog platform, I would recommend WordPress, It is one of the largest blogging platforms in the world, it has countless plugins, add-ons and innumerable ways to design and layout your blog. Wordpress currently has over 80 million active users.   Although I prefer Wordpress, there are a couple other awesome platforms and they are listed below:
  • Blogger – Definitely the next best thing to WordPress.
  • Tumblr – Half social networking and half blog. Very entertaining, interactive, interesting, and very simple to use.
Even though WordPress is bigger than Blogger and Tumblr, I would still consider a blog with Wordpress since it is so simple and super easy set-up and is FREE to use. Here's what you get!
  1. Innumerable number of free themes and layouts (Literally, there’s tons).
  2. There’s a massive support forum in case you get stuck (you more than likely won’t, but it’s nice to know that there are other like minded people who can be a support system in the event that you might have a question).
  3. Your blog speed will be insanely fast, it's functionality is virtually flawless and it’ll also look amazing!
  4. People can interact with you easily. Your content can be shared, commented on and you can watch your site grow more each day as you engage with other blogs and bloggers.
 

Self-hosting or a free alternative?

Now the big question! Do you want to pay for your blog or grab a free one? Blogger, Tumblr and Wordpress all offer blogs for free for anyone. It’s perfect for people who aren’t serious about blogging. But it does have downsides like not having your own domain name.

On a free blog, your blog’s web address (your URL - example.com) will always show the blog platform attached to your blog. So basically, creating a free blog with any of the above free blog services displays your web address like this:

  • yourblog.wordpress.com
  • yourblog.blogspot.com
  • yourblog.tumblr.com

This works for millions of bloggers who don't mind the looks of the web address. For others, there is an option in Wordpress.com to upgrade to a customized web address with your own domain name, which cost only $39.00 per year. Also with the free alternative there are some limits.

You can’t fully monetize it, and the ability to upload videos and images although available is somewhat limited.    

With a self-hosted blog on your own domain name – you are the REAL owner of your blog. You’ll be able to name your blog whatever you want, for example “MyName.com” or “MySuperBlog.com.

Just choose what you would like to end it with .com, .co, .us, .net, .org, or any other web suffix. Add to that unlimited bandwidth for videos, images and content plus the extra free themes and you have a winning set-up.

Creating your own blog really doesn't take much time, anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours, depending on how many interruptions you get or whether or not social media gets you distracted. 

If you need any help during the set-up process, get in touch with and we will help answer any questions you might have.  

Bottom Line, if you want to get your site created & up and running, contact us   we will set up your Wordpress.com blog for you for free. This includes the theme of your choice (including your choice of header, background, images, color selection, startup menu pages & widgets installed per your choice and more.

Now on to the website option!

 

How to Create Your Website in 4 Simple Steps

Even though the vast majority of shoppers spend a tremendous amount of time searching online for their desired product, almost half of small businesses still lack their own website.
This seriously affects the reach for potential traffic and most importantly, sales. Unless of course you want a non-profit site. The cost and effort of building a website are common reasons given for staying offline.
While these may have been viable excuses in the past, today it’s easier and cheaper than ever to create a professional business website. If you do not have the time or knowledge to apply these steps, we can do it for you. Since website set-up is more involved, extensive and time consuming, Money Solutions Online charges a one time fee of $79 for set-up.  
 

Step 1: Choose and Register Your Small Business Website’s Domain Name

The very first step is to decide what name you’ll give your website – example, www.YourBusiness.com.
First things first, you’ll probably want to check and see if your business name is available. To find out, enter it into the domain search tool below: If the .COM version of your business name is available, consider using this for your website.
As we’ll explain more below, there’s just a few scenarios where you might consider adding a location at the end of your domain (i.e. SmartRoofersNYC) to improve your visibility in search engines to people searching locally.
If your business name is not available, try different phrases before settling for an alternate suffix, like .NET or .INFO. Consumers overwhelmingly use .COM when entering a web address. So even if you promote your .NET website, you’re likely to lose customers who typed in the .COM version instead.

Tips for Finding Business Website Domains

If your business name is taken, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you search for alternate names:
  1. Domain names are important for search engines, like Google. When possible they should include words that people are likely to use when searching for your business and/or the products and services you sell. “ProCam ComputerRepair” is probably better than “ProCam USA.”
  2. Domain names should be easy to pronounce and remember. Keep your name as short as possible and avoid punctuation like dashes. As a simple rule of thumb, make sure somebody can find your domain if they hear it spoken out loud.
  3. Use location to find a unique URL. If all other options are taken, add your city/area name to the domain. For example, a company called Smart Roofers based in Albany, NY, could try www.smartroofersalbany.com. This, again, can help your website appear in Google since customers are likely to enter their city name when searching for a service.
 

Registering a Domain

Once you have a domain selected, there’s two options for registering a domain:
  1. Purchase and register your domain through whatever company you choose, like BlueHost or Hostgator.  At Hostgator, you can buy just the domain for around $12 per year, or you can get your domain, website hosting, and business email address from $3.95 per month to, $5.95 per month, depending on which plan you want to go with. We will show you how to create a professional WordPress website.
  2. Buy your domain through Weebly, Hostgator or whichever service that you decide for us to build your site.

Even if you won’t be building a website for a few more weeks, buying the domain insures others won’t be able to use it. Once you buy a domain...it's yours!

 

Step 2: Outline Your Website Content

Figuring out what to say on your website can be difficult, and one of the main reasons business owners put off creating one.

The good news is you don’t have to say much at all. Business websites work best when they’re simple, featuring minimal text and just a single “option” on each page – i.e. submission form, or “contact us” button. Business websites also tend to follow a standard format, using these 4 essential pages.

As you go through the list, don’t worry about formatting each page yet – just think about the text, images, and content you’ll include:

  1. Homepage: On the homepage, you should include the name of your business, where you’re located, and a simplified pitch – a few lines about what makes you unique and/or why customers should chose your business.
  2. Products and Services: A page with details about the products you sell or services your provide. On the page which you detail products or services, spend one to five sentences describing each type you offer and give the pricing.
  3. About Us: Provide your company background and list organizational memberships like being part of the Better Business Bureau. Also include customer testimonials, unless you want to link this out on a separate page.
  4. Contact Us: Your address, email, phone number, the hours you are open for business, and links to any social media accounts such as Twitter and Facebook should appear on this page. You should also Embed a Google map of your location and include different ways of getting there (i.e. subway, train, car etc) if applicable.
In addition to a contact page, your phone and physical address (if applicable) information, along with any social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter, should be prominently featured on every page of your site. For search engine purposes, make sure that your phone number and address are text and not part of an image.

Now, before you jump into a website builder like Weebly, make sure you have this one essential image already created: Your logo. The colors, font, and style of your logo will affect the design of your website. This is because you want a consistent theme between your logo and web pages.

If you already have a logo that you are using in the offline world, then perfect. Find the digital file, or create a high resolution scan to use on your website. If you do not already have a logo already, or want to upgrade from your existing design, there are three key ways to create one.

 

Three Logo Design Options for Your Small Business Website

  1. Do it Yourself: There are a number of logo wizards out there that will allow you to create your own logo.  However, many of those advertised as being “free” are really not free because you have to pay to download the logo. One that does not charge you for most logos is Graphic Springs.
  2. Use Fiverr.com: Fiverr.com is a site that matches you with all kinds of service providers who are willing to do projects, including logos, for just $5. If you use the $5 option you will have to wait a couple of weeks to get your logo. For around $20, you can generally get it that same week. You wouldn’t get the most creative or unique logo from Fiverr. However, if you find a designer with a portfolio you like, this is easily the best option for the money.
  3. Use 99Designs.com: 99Designs.com runs contests where multiple designers compete for your logo and other design business. This is a great option because you get to see many different professional and creative designs (It’s how we found our logo at Fit Small Business!), yet only pay for the one you wind up choosing. The price ranges from $299 to $799 depending on how many designers you want competing and the quality of those designers.
  4. LogoGarden has an awesome tool for creating your own logo...they provide many images to choose from.  You just simply choose your preferred design, text and color. It's free, unless you want vector graphics. Even the vector logos are reasonably priced.

 

 

Step 4: Put Your Website Plan into Action

Once you have a logo and outline, you can officially exit the planning stage and start building your website. From here, there’s 2 different routes you can take:

DIY Web Builder – Use an online tool to design your website. Similar to graphics editors like PowerPoint, you can select a template, then edit your website by dragging and dropping elements. No programming required.

We recommend Weebly, which is one of the easiest builder’s to use, and has great customer support. Create a WordPress Website with Bluehost or Hostgator  or any number of hosts –

WordPress is another DIY option that is a bit more advanced than Weebly. You don’t need to know any programming, but there is a steeper learning curve to get the hang of WordPress’s publishing system. On the plus side, it’s less expensive, and can give you many more advanced tools/integrations compared to Weebly. We recommend using Hostgator to create a WordPress website.

You could hire a Professional – Hand over your logo and website outline to a freelancer. Make sure they use a web builder or content management system like WordPress, ( remember, wordpress.org has many options like plugins, etc. wordpress.com is free & does not) so once they’re done, you can easily log in and make edits.

Next I’ll describe each option in more detail: Option 1: Use a Website Builder In the last few years, website builders have really made some leaps and bounds. It’s now very easy to create a professional business website with little-to-no coding or design experience. You start by choosing a template, then customize it by adding your own pages, text, images, etc.

Option 2: Create a WordPress Website

Here are scenarios where WordPress is a good option:
  1. You want a less-expensive option.
  2. You want a more advanced website.

It may sound contradictory, but it’s true that WordPress is both a more economical, and more feature-rich option. As one of the original and most popular website engines, WordPress has countless plugins for additional features.

Consider WordPress if you want to start a blog with lots of entries or allow visitors to register user accounts – such as, for an online forum.

While Weebly does offer blogging and visitor accounts, WordPress is better at managing a large number of pages and users. Also, if you decide you need a special feature, like scalable tables, a mortgage calculator, unbranded video players, calendars and more, WordPress is almost guaranteed to have a plugin for it.

Getting Started with WordPress

WordPress is an intermediate website builder. You won’t need any programming knowledge per se, but you will need to familiarize yourself with their backend menu. Unlike Weebly, which lets you edit the website just by dragging and dropping elements, WordPress has a more traditional edit menu.

If you choose to use wordpress, but still feel uncomfortable attempting set-up yourself, we can set up your website for you. You choose your domain name, choose which host is most pleasing to you, (Hostgator is reliable, starting at only $3.95 per month with business hosting only $16.99 per month), this is for Wordpress.org, not wordpress.com (.com is free unless you choose a business plan). That being said, if you want a .com site, we can set that up for you for $79   

Option 3: Hire a Professional to Build Your Website

If you simply don’t have time to create a website, there’s a few different ways to hire an expert. First off, if you’re just looking for a simple website (text, photos, videos, email capture forms, online store, etc.) you should find somebody to design it with a web builder, like Weebly or Wix.

On websites like UpWork you can find freelancers who will design your Weebly site for around $10 – $20 per hour. This is moderate as far a expense and easier than the other options. Also, it will be easy for you to make changes once they’re finished. You can simply log into your account and use Weebly’s simple editing tools.

Hire a Professional Designer with 99Designs

If you want to create an advanced website on WordPress and aren’t happy with any of the templates available, or don’t have the skills to customize one, hiring a designer is another option. Just as you can get a logo designed by 99Designs.com, you can also have your full website designed through this site.

The concept is the same: You submit a brief on what you are looking for and get back anywhere from 20 to 60 designs. You only pay for the design you choose, and the price ranges from $599 to $1,599, depending on which package you go with.

If you go this route, keep in mind that you will still need to have the site created in HTML. A designer will only create a visual template. You’ll need a programmer to convert it to HTML, which may cost you an additional $1,000 or so.  

If you are too busy or aren't sure how to set up or begin creating a Wordpress.com website, we can help.  For a fee of only $79, we will install your theme of choice (including your choice of header, background, images, colors and more), startup menu pages & widgets installed per your choice.

You choose your domain name, (free, unless you choose to remove the wordpress.com from the url) choice of hosting, (paid to the hosting company, not us).

Thank you for visiting our site and taking the time to consider Money Solutions Online. God bless!