Should you create a free or paid WordPress theme?
I used to have a free WordPress blog until one day some of my professional blogger friends suggested that I should have a paid WordPress instead of a free one. This way you have “full control” of your content and no 3rd party controlling your site. Remember, I said I used to blog on Livejournal and that was a free one.
When the Russians took over the business, many people left. And the blogs that I have been doing for the last 8 years suddenly disappeared. Well, not quite disappeared.
But I transferred them all to Insanejournal and got a permanent account there instead. But it is no longer the same; I could transfer all my content but the “comments” that people made on my blogs I couldn’t transfer. Have I known then what I know now, I would NEVER blog on a free site ever again! Why? Because you have no full control and besides that, let me tell you the other reason.
If you are thinking about using your blog to make money later, I would suggest you should buy a domain and hosting service. You have a chance to grow more and start your business nicely without the hassle of going back and forth transferring stuff from one hosting service to the other.
If you are planning to blog about break up relationship, for instance, you should do a research on your “niche” word first. Then you should enter “break up relationship” in keyword analyzer.
Then find out how many people are searching for this particular niche. If there are more people searching for this particular niche but the competition is LOW the more likely you will appear on Google search. And so if you’re going to blog about “break up relationship” then you should call your domain: breakuprelationship.com. So when people search this “niche” on Google, Yahoo, or Bing, your website is more likely to show up the first 10 topics on search engines.
Where should I register my domain?
I would recommend Namecheap. I am using them now and they have the best customer support. Their cPanel is easy to manage and maintain. Unlike, Network Solutions, although I’ve used them before in the past and in fact one of my domain is still registered through them, I still find them harder to use.
For instance, I wanted to stop the renewal on my domain and I can’t do that on their website. I would have to call them in order for me to cancel. Since I am a very busy person, I hate calling some business because that extra time I always need. On the other hand, Namecheap is easier! Not only they organize all my domains in one spot, they also have a button for: renewal, cancel renewal, and transfer. In a click of a button, I can cancel my renewal without worrying of dialing that phone.
What kind of hosting service should I use?
I would recommend Hostgator. They are the largest and one of the best hosting service. Currently, they are hosting all of my websites. They are so prompt in helping you and answering your questions via phone or ticket. When you call them for help, they do not put you on hold for a long time.
They are so fast. So friendly and knowledgeable. They are one of the best hosting service who can host WordPress. When you’re looking for a hosting service, make sure they have Fantastico, PHP and MySQL because these are the main ones you will need for blogging.
What kind of WordPress theme I should get?
This one depends on what kind of blog you are going to start. If this is about love and relationship, I would google several websites and see what kind of theme they use for their websites. Are the colors bright? Perhaps they use yellow, red, and green.
Then you know that most of the websites that pertains to love and relationship use happy colors or maybe not. Who is your target? If you’re targeting men then your website shouldn’t be too girlie.
If you’re targeting women perhaps you could use pink with flowers. These are just a few examples just to give you idea. If you’re going to use the two default theme of wordpress (i.e. twenty eleven) this is the only theme I would recommend to use. Other free wordpress theme you are opening yourself to hackers. That’s why I recommend a paid theme because the security is better!
What are the plugins you would recommend?
When you start WordPress they have Akismet (to keep the spammer away) on some of your default plugins. But if that particular theme doesn’t have it you can go to the plugin and click on “add new” enter the name of the plugin and you can find it. Anyway, some of the plugins I recommed to start are below:
- CommentLuv = when someone comments on your blog they can leave their latest post update which is the best way to follow your friends’ latest article. This is available both free and/or premium. The premium ones can do more such as including your @username on Twitter at the end of each URL address on your post. Also this gives you the option to include “Top 10 CommentLuvvers.” This encourage others to post more comments in your blog.
- WordPress SEO by Yoast = the complete SEO plugin that even beginners can install. I’m still new in using this. So I’m still learning how to use this!
- Simple Share Buttons Adder = this is the “social media” ad buttons plugin when you want your readers to share your post on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Linkedin, Pinterest, and more!
- Pretty Link Lite = if you have an affiliate links, you can hide your links here; this also shows your unique visitors/day. This plugin is perfect for Google Adsense if you’re working with them; they hate affiliates! And so if you are an affiliate person and have these links, you can hide them at “nofollow” button. It’ll take care of that problem.
- Publish to Schedule = you can schedule your post at a certain date and time. Say you’re planning on taking a vacation and you’re going to be gone for a week, you can schedule 4-different posts each week and it does a great job!
- WP Super Cache = They said that “W3 Total Cache” is better than “WP Super Cache” on WordPress. They claim that W3 TC is the complete SEO which all you need for your blog. However, if you have installed “CommentLuv” and the extra plugin GASP (the one that ask “Confirm you are NOT a spammer”), Andy Baily (Author of CommentLuv) recommended to stick with “WP Super Cache” plugin instead. The W3 TC plugin complicates the anti-spammer banning on GASP.
Do you have anymore questions?
If I miss something here, please do not hesitate to ask me a question. I am more than happy to answer your question and help you start your WordPress blog. Please leave me your comments below.
NOTE: I am affiliated with each of the company included in this post. If you click some of my links and decided to buy them, I will receive compensation and/or commission for the following products above.