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WordPress – The Pros and Cons of Hosting Your Website on the WordPress Website

WordPress – The Pros and Cons of Hosting Your Website on the WordPress Website

When starting out with your online business you probably want to set it up as cheaply as possible, and this includes the setting up of your website too. WordPress is often the platform of choice for those just starting out online, without the budget to hire someone to create a website for them, it offers the cheapest and most versatile option.

Setting up your first website in WordPress is a great idea for so many reasons. If you are unsure about which business you want to go into, setting up a WordPress site, whether it’s hosted or self-hosted, is a cheap way of making a mistake if you decide to change your mind and do something else, so there is little or no risk. You can get some WordPress experience through trial and error for very little cost that you can take with you to your next website or just perfect the website you already have.

For those with a very limited budget is can seem that hosting your website at WordPress.com is the best option, as there is no cash outlay, no real technical skills are required and being hosted on the WordPress site you would presume it would be very secure so no likelihood of anyone hacking into your website. However, there are some limitations with this method and to understand what they are you need to look further down the life of both your business and your website.

Although there are hundreds of free and paid WordPress templates available, you may want more flexibility on how that template looks. You may want to change the color scheme or change an image and customize the WordPress template more to your liking and for this you need access to the templates css (cascading style sheets) files. This is a paid upgrade option for those websites hosted at WordPress.com.

Many WordPress templates will come with a variety of options so that you can edit the template very easily from your WordPress dashboard. Just look out for these within the “”add new template”” option on your dashboard. To edit an image or a header and that option doesn’t appear in within the template dashboard, you need access to the images located in the hosting file, which you do not have access to. So just be aware of this.

Another thing you need to take into consideration is both your technical knowledge as well as the software you have available to actually edit your images. If you don’t have technical knowledge nor editing software then you should look for templates that you won’t want to edit in any way. This goes for self hosted WordPress websites too.

Also, if you want to offer free reports or audios to the visitors of your website, you will be unable to upload them to your WordPress site as you don’t have hosting access. Depending on how you see your website developing this may or may not affect your decision on choosing a WordPress hosted website or not.

If you want to just get used to WordPress and try different things out then by all means register your chosen website at WordPress.com. Please note that your URL, or web address, will be a subdomain of WordPress, for example mychosensite.wordpress.com and it doesn’t really give a professional image to your business, however it will make you more confident using your WordPress website. You can always buy a domain and forward it to your WordPress.com website if you decide to keep this as your main website.


WordPress Social Bookmarking

Wordpress Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking has become very well known and many bloggers already understand how they can benefit from the use of social bookmarking sites, but then there are many who are clueless when it comes to finding and understanding the techniques to market there blogs. One of the best methods to market your blog is through the use of social bookmarking sites which can be found all across the internet, with more then 500 of them now it’s not hard to find a few. Many of them don’t attract much traffic and also don’t have much use which is why most people stress only to use the important ones. Now I also believe this is true, especially when you’re using your own time. I usually submit to about ten social bookmarking sites after every one of my posts to build backlinks and traffic and it definitely helps. Now if I were to be paying for the social bookmarks then I usually try finding someone who will submit to one hundred of the sites because then I will gain many backlinks in the process.

A lot of the social bookmarking sites offer do-follow backlinks which means they count to the search engines and the page rank juice will push to your domain. This can help increase your page rank and also helps give you backlinks in the search engines. Some of the bookmarking sites don’t offer do-follow links though and instead they give no-follow links which don’t offer any benefit in the search engines. You’ll still get traffic from these sites though which is why a handful of them have remained popular. Ideally you should submit to a minimum of five social bookmarking sites daily for your blog posts and I would recommend you to use.

– StumbleUpon
– Digg
– Reddit
– Propeller
– Del.icio.us

These five are among the most popular options for social bookmarking and millions of people use the sites. They rank very well in the search engines and can help you get higher search engine rankings and traffic. With such good benefits for blog owners it’s a surprise to me that not everyone is utilizing the social bookmarking marketing technique. Now I understand it’s time consuming but when you can benefit from higher traffic and more backlinks in the search engines its hard not to use the twenty minutes daily to submit your posts to these wonderful sites.

If you’re looking to achieve a higher amount of traffic to your blog then there aren’t many other superior methods when compared to social bookmarking and you should take the time to get registered with some of the popular sites and start bookmarking your posts. Once you become familiar with the submission process it also becomes a lot quicker for you to be able to submit posts and within a few weeks it will seem routine to submit your posts and you won’t even notice it.


WordPress plugins and some of the popular plugins

WordPress plugins and some of the popular plugins
There are a large number of plugins available for all WordPress users with the intention to enhance and improve their blogging experience. The number of plugins is increasing from day to day, but not all of the plugins are good for you as some may damage your WordPress installation or even harm your site. Some of the plugins that are worth trying out are:
1. Sideblog- this is a way to post short notes on the sidebar with options such as the number of entries to display, defining the sideblog categories and exclusion from RSS feeds. It is useful to post updates and sharing of links. Some of the options include cool themes, made the sidebars invisible from the search robots or adding feeds to the sideblog.
2. Secure and Accessible Contact Form- this is a plugin with a number of features such as extensive security with 16 individual abuse countermeasures, form an overview page to confirm the general configuration of the plugin, maximum accessibility and usability, option to use your own style sheet or extensive on board documentation library if you ever need any help.
3. Sociable- this plugin attaches a list of social bookmarking sites, which allows your visitors to bookmark and it is found at the end of your posts. It automatically add links to your favourite social bookmarking sites on your posts, RSS feeds and pages and you can choose from 99 different sites.
4. Gravatar 2 Plugin- this plugin allows the display Gravatar which is a globally recognized avatar of your commenters. This allows you to distinguish yourself from other users in an online community such as websites, forum or chat rooms. In WordPress, Gravatars are hosted on a single server by encrypting the user’s email address. You can have one avatar for each forum you visit.
5. Search Everything- this plugin allows you to search everything in the database as the default WordPress search engine does not search some pages such as static Pages or metadatas. There are options for you to choose, so you can choose what to search. Some of the options are to search every page, tag, category, comment, attachment, excerpt or non-password protected pages.
6. Admin Drop Down Menu- this is a very useful plugin as it saves you more time. Usually, you have to click a number of times to get from one page to another. With this plugin, just hovers the arrow of your mouse to the category that the page is located to save more time. Instead of going from one page to another before reaching the final destination, you can choose from the menu itself, which can inactivate a second menu from the first.
Do not be scared by the number of plugins available out there. The best thing to do is to do your research. Read blog posts, reviews or comments on the plugins which are widely available in the Internet. Choose those that will enhance your WordPress sites wisely.


Ways to Promote Your Blog

Ways to Promote Your Blog

Bloggers have hundreds of different ways that they can use to promote their blogs and the more techniques utilized by the blogger the bigger chance that blogger has at having a successful blog. Since there are so many different options when promoting your blog I won’t be able to list them all here but I will aim to list some of them so that you can see some of the ways available to you when promoting.

One of the first methods you should use to promote your blog is by social bookmarking each and every one of your posts, this will help gain backlinks and also traffic to your blog so it’s a huge win-win for the blogger and I highly recommend it. It can be time consuming to submit to all of the social bookmarking sites but if you choose the top ten from an online list then you should be well on your way.

Another method you can use is article submissions which can be done quickly by yourself as you only need to submit to a few of the directories. A couple of the more popular options would be EzineArticles and GoArticles. Both of those places get a ton of traffic each day and they will help not only with backlinks but with bringing traffic to your blog.

You can also get active on other peoples blogs, preferably ones in your niche. You should comment as often as you can so that you gain a presence with the other bloggers in your niche. This can be important for in the future as your blog progresses you may find people wanting to exchange links.

Video marketing is another method that most successful marketers are using to gain the attention of millions of people. Youtube alone gets millions of people daily going to there site to watch videos so you can be sure a lot of people are watching videos and a lot of traffic can come from a well made video.

There are many hundreds of other promotion techniques that bloggers utilize to make their blogs successful and you’ll need to do more then the above to have a great blog, but by doing the above you’ll ensure a lot of steady traffic over time and a fairly decent blog. The above techniques are a great beginning and utilized with some other promotional and marketing tactics you’ll be well on your way to blogging for the big bucks. Don’t be shy about leaving your URL places but make sure it isn’t spammy looking or else most people will disregard your links and not click them. The less spammy the links look the more clicks you’ll end up receiving so fooling around with the placement of your links is a great idea.


Top WordPress Themes

Top WordPress Themes

With thousands of WordPress themes now on the market for free and for money you can bet it’s hard to decide on the top WordPress themes, but I believe I have come up with a great answer to this burning question. Now there are many free WordPress themes that are very nice and I use many of them but they can’t justify being number one on the list.

To be number one the theme needs to have some exclusiveness, but at the same time still be available to the general public. I’ve seen some very incredible WordPress themes that are unique to just one person’s blog but in this case we won’t be choosing from that.

I have looked through the top WordPress themes on the internet that cost anywhere between $20-$200 and I have come up with the top WordPress themes.

It was a fairly difficult decision to come up with a winner for the top WordPress themes but after viewing themes for a long time I decided on choosing the Revolution WordPress themes.

There are currently eight Revolution WordPress themes for sale and each one of them are very well designed and thought out. Each one of theme are designed for a specific niche blog and I feel that the designs were kept simple enough to use and didn’t go overboard on the options.

The two themes I like the most from the Revolution series is the news theme and the sports theme which are somewhat similar but both very nice magazine style blog themes. Magazine style WordPress themes have been very popular and I have seen them on lots of blogs recently, but most of the free magazine themes aren’t very well designed.

Now I don’t have much coding knowledge so this is why spending a few bucks on a well designed WordPress theme is worth it. With a revolution WordPress theme you will stand out and look like one of the top dogs of blogging.

Now this exposure is excellent when starting out a blog and this is why I give the Revolution WordPress themes the number one WordPress theme.


Two Free WordPress Themes That Can Reduce Your Blog Setup Time by Half

Two Free WordPress Themes That Can Reduce Your Blog Setup Time by Half

WordPress themes are also known as layouts or templates. These are files that create the look and feel of your blog content. WordPress themes can be very simple, like the one that comes standard with every install, to the complex. Bloggers can choose from free and paid versions of templates. When choosing a template, you should choose one that will give you a lot of ability to easily customize the template to fit your branding needs. This article discusses 2 templates (or themes) that have a lot of customization features which are relatively easy to a create unique brand.

All WordPress templates allow you to customize them by going into the Edit page of the Appearance tab. If you are not comfortable with PHP and HTML code, then you may have some trouble in customizing your appearance. One benefit of the themes mentioned in this article is they are customizable through a special theme options page, which means you can get your WordPress site up and running much more quickly.

1) Atahualpa Theme

This theme is a free theme that was created by ‘Bytes for All’ and can be found on their web site where you can ask questions and get community support for this theme. Once this theme is installed, you can customize the theme in the Appearance >> Atahualpa Theme Options page. Once here, you will find a host of options to highly customize your theme. Webmasters can configure special CSS styles for things such as the header, the layout, and page features such as headings, links and menu bars. Users can easily upload header graphics that can rotate through the header graphic.

Other options that can be customized include the number of columns you want on your blog (technically you can have from 1 to 5 columns), which side you want you sidebars to be on, or what you want your widget boxes to look like. The look and feel is highly customizable and is a great start to quickly getting a professional look to your blog.

2) News Magazine Theme

The free News Magazine theme was created by Anti Social Media LLC. This theme gives you several easily customizable options that can be set in the Appearance >> News Magazine Theme 640 Options page. The News Magazine theme doesn’t have quite as many options to set up as the Atahualpa theme, but you can add code for site tracking (can be done through the use of plugins), ad rotating and just adding text or java script code to parts of your template.

One nice feature of this template is that you can easily take featured categories and spotlight them on your blog through simple dropdown selections. One very nice feature is that you can control the excerpt length of your blog postings on the index page. On 99.9% of the WordPress blogs out there, the home (or index) page prints the entire text of the blog post. A better format for visitors is to have a post excerpt and they can click a link to read the entire blog. Currently there is no function in WordPress that allows you to display excerpts of your blog postings. This blog theme allows you to display excerpts with their ‘Blog Mode Excerpt Length’ setting.

These two WordPress themes are varied enough to get you started and well on your way with your first (or second) WordPress blog. The ease of these customizable settings should greatly reduce your setup time while creating a fairly well customized blog. To make the most advantage of setting up your blog for more traffic and more automation, taking a WordPress training class will speed up creating a decent blog following.