So, I have a host and now it is time to move all the furniture and fixings of my old static site to my new home. but wait, what will my new home look, feel and talk like? Well I find that it helps to have a a simple (or technical if you prefer) room layout. I find it helps to ask yourself several questions. They include:
What will be the name of my blog?
Am I expanding my target market?
What will be my blog’s tagline?
What keywords will I use? Will they be the same as the ones I gave my webmaster for my static site?
What pages will I include?
What pages will I delete?
What links will I include ?
Do I want RSS feeds?
Do I want to include audio /podcasts?
Will I have video?
Will I change any p
How will I monetize my new site?
What will be my categories? I did not worry about that with my static site
By now you have create a floor layout of your blog with the FREE BLOG Planning Form. You choose a host, have painted the walls by choosing a theme, and you hung up a sign letting folks know that an exciting thing is going to happen in this new home.
Now it is time to call a security company to activate an alarm system. Why? Because your site is alive on the internet although you have not moved your furniture into it. You will have folks trying to break in with something call SPAM.
Activate Your Askismet Before You Move Into Your Blog Home
Review the plan you have made for your site. Hopefully, you laid out the plan with the items included in the Free Blog Planning Form.Remember you cannot move your furniture(your static site) into your new home until this step is done.
The review will include include the different categories, sections, pages, and overall layout that you have in mind. Knowing how many pieces of your blog are involved will help you make a better decision when narrowing down the right theme.
Paint the Walls of Your New Blog Home-Choose a Theme (WordPress)
Pick your colors before you search through a lot of themes waiting until a color jumps out at you. Decide on the colors you want. Are the colors related to your brand? Are you planning to have a lot of images that can get lost in the loudness of your color selection?
Decide if you want one, two or three columns on your blog. This will define the room you have to layout your furniture.
As you look at previews of themes within WordPress or on premium sites, pretend you are a visitor. How easy will the theme be to get around. Think about it if you have clients coming that have special needs can you meet them? Is it usable for your target market? For example, as a baby boomer I like themes with large fonts.
Look very closely at the header design. Can you change it if needed? Does it work with your logo? Is it overbearing?
Test your theme in Internet Explorer first. Most folks use this browser. But also test it in Firefox, Safari and other browsers. Be sure it does not act stupid.
I always have more than one theme as a backup in case there is a problem.
Now invite some friends over and have a paint party. You pay for the pizza!
Well you have created your blog plan using the, FREE BLOG PLANNING FORM and painted the walls with your theme. Now, I neglected to say that you have to point your domain name to the host home for your blog. This is not needed if you are using the same host that hosted your static website. So, if your domain name is now pointing to your new blog home and you have not moved in yet then what will they see when they key in your url?
A good webmaster will keep your site alive on the old host until the house is ready. But the reality is you could not start working on this new blog home until you activate it with a domain name! So, a sign needs to go up on your new blog home although you are not living there yet. Does that make sense?
I suggest creating either a blog post or static page within your blog site Announcing that this is where you will live. Avoid simply stating “Under Construction.” But convey the excitment you have about having a site that will engage your readers.
Now, I realize that I have not shared “how to create a post” or “How to create a static page on your blog.” But to be perfectly honest you could Google those exact phrases and find a lot of videos and tutorials. But for the purpose of this post I just want you to remember to put up a sign somewhere to let folks know you are moving in very soon.
Personally, I created a post while bringing in one piece of furniture at a time. I need to do it in bite size chunks since I don’t want to pay money for a U-Haul and I don’t have the bodies to help carry the furniture. It’s working, I would send you to the site but it’s not really ready for prime time yet. But
By now you have create a floor layout of your blog with the FREE BLOG Planning Form. You choose a host, have painted the walls by choosing a theme, and you hung up a sign letting folks know that an exciting thing is going to happen in this new home. You also called the Security Company and installed an alarm. The alarm for our WordPress.org Blog is Askismet.
Now it is time to call the Phone Company
The phone company I called was Feedburner. I created an RSS feed there and also a way for folks to subscribe to my blog. All they have to do is key in their email address and a call is placed to their email letting them know I just posted something new on my blog. How cool is that!
I have located a easy to understand video on how to do the subscription. Once again, I could have done it but she did such a great job! Plus, now I have time to go out and hula hoop.
Email subscription using feedburner
Oh, I know I can also call other venders and if you know of any please share. But for now Feedburner, which is owned by Google should do just fine. While you are there browse and look at the other features because it is simply powerful.
For me the cable companies I am referring to are AWSTATS and Google Analytics. I call them the cable company because they SHOW YOU you know when, from where, how and how long folks are staying on your blog. I am not going into a discussion about the differences between the stats with AWSTATS vs Google Analytics. It is deep and different. I would suggest putting the phrase, What is the difference between AWSTATS and Google Analytics directly into Googles search.
But I will tell you quickly that AWSTATS are part of most hosting packages along with Webelizer. The latter is great for charts. But I prefer AWSTATS. Whereas, Google Analytics is part of the Google World. You can download a plugin to place it on your site or do it manually. They have excellent tutorials.
But bottom line is set your domain name to start getting this information before you bring your furniture into the house. Now, it is true that the host where your static website lived will keep generating stats for you. But when you disconnect from that host you don’t want to miss a beat. Remember the day you left so you can check the stats f rom that point.
Depending on how fast your moving company bring in your boxes and your family and friends arrange all your stuff your stats might be down for a short period of time.
For those of you are will be using Bluehost they have a video tutorial on their site telling you how to set up AWSTATS or Webelizer with your domain.
I am sure many of the other hosts also have some kind of instruction. Was this clearer than mud?
What Do You Think The Last Step IN This Series Will Be?