Taking the first step can be the hardest part to actually do. Before you take that first step you think about the thousands of other steps that will follow. Its overwhelming thoughts like these that can easily derail even the most confident person.
Deciding to start exercising is easy. Actually going to the gym before work or getting up an hour earlier every morning is hard to do.
First steps are hardest when combined with a life change or new undertaking. Starting a new business is a massive life change-fraught with risk and reward. Everyone wants to do it, but only a small number of people actually attempt it.
Why don’t more people start their own business? In one word FEAR.
Fear is the most powerful of all emotions. It controls people’s daily actions and rules people’s lives.
People fear what they do not know or understand. It’s the reason a lot of people don’t jump into online businesses and start a business of their own.
The first step for any online business is to create a website.
You may already have a website, but find that it’s not easy to update or you need to create one to start your online business. Whatever phase you’re in of creating or cultivating a web presence for your business, WordPress is an option worth exploring.
WordPress is a software system through which you can create unique and reliable websites and publish your personal content.
There are quite a few software systems out there that promise you a stress free website set-up. But none are as geared to small and medium-sized businesses as WordPress. Other software systems make suggestive promises, but you have to either pay for those upgraded features or find a work around for the missing features that WordPress provides for free!
How It Works
To install the software you don’t need much, no special skills or crazy requirements. It’s during installation where you will decide on a basic design and color scheme. Don’t worry all of these things can be changed after the installation process-you are not stuck with the choices you make at this point.
WordPress allows you to choose between several themes, also referred to as templates. Templates are like patterns, or in this case pre-fabricated website designs, through which similar designs can be created from it.
Once you’ve installed WordPress you are immediately able to begin creating content. Write your first advertisement or list descriptions of services/products you provide.
Log In and go to the Admin page. This page will be your most commonly used page. You use it to create new content, manage comments you receive on your content, upload photos or videos or change the look of your site.
On the left hand column under the Posts menu click on the Add New button to begin publishing content. This module looks and even works a lot like Microsoft Word or Notepad. If you are familiar with either of these two applications you will find writing and editing your content extremely manageable. Once you have written a post you are happy with click the Publish button underneath the text box. Voila! Your first post is available for all the word to read.
Once you’ve posted a few entries you will see the need to categorize your posts. This is as much for your customers as it is for you. This will allow both your customer and yourself to search through past entries and keep a running inventory of your content. You can categorize all your posts about services/products you offer in one category and advertisements under another. This will help to keep things organized.
To do this look at the left hand column entitled Posts on the Admin Page. Select Categories from the menu, then click on the New Categories link, enter the category name and click Update Post to save the change. If you want to categorize a previously written post or to change a post from one category to another, you should click on Edit in the Posts menu, hover over the post you wish to edit and click Quick Edit.
You can change the theme of your website after you’ve installed the software. Different themes are located on the left hand side column of the Admin page. Choose Themes in the Appearance menu. One of the things that makes WordPress better than other website building software is that there are thousands of FREE themes to choose from. This ability to achieve a unique look makes it hard for customers to know your website is a pre-fabricated design. Clients and customers won’t be able to tell the difference between your web design and one where the website owner spent thousands of dollars to create a unique look.
Next you’ll want to install a shopping cart so customers can buy items directly from your website. This feature does not come as a standard feature on WordPress. You will have to install it separately. It is called a Plugin.
Plugins are tools which provide additional functionality. They are like add-ons. You buy a basic bicycle, then you add on a basket and a bell as additional features for improved usability. Plugins work like the basket and bell.
To install a plugin download it to your computer, then go to the Admin page of WordPress. Go to the left hand column and Select Add New under Plugins. Browse the plugin archive and select the desired one. Then click Install Now and the plugin will install.
Plugins like shopping carts and images are essential functions to building your business. Do not be afraid of plugins. A great feature of WordPress is that virtually all plugins are free and easy to download. This is another feature that allows WordPress to stand apart from its competitors.
Those are all the essential functions you need to know to use WordPress. This is everything you need to get your website up and running for your business. There are certainly more advanced features I could tell you about but there are tons of tutorials out there on them that are free to read and watch so I won’t bore you by duplicating the information.
I’ve explained how to use WordPress because in my opinion it is the best system out there for creating and managing websites and blogs. Its best feature is that the software is entirely FREE. The installation is free, the design templates are free, thousands of additional features are free to download as well. I know some people consider free as a disadvantage. When things are free people tend to assume they are low quality, this could not be further from the truth with WordPress. It is the rare combination of affordable and high quality.
WordPress is not only free but it’s plugins and templates allow you to create a highly customizable website. This is another feature that WordPress’ competitors lack. Most will offer some customization but not total freedom like WordPress.
Certainly no other software system out there is as user-friendly as WordPress. I described how to use WordPress in two pages. Anything that takes a few hundred words to describe is not a complex being. Other software systems average 10 clicks of the button to publish new content, WordPress can do the same in two clicks!
Another great feature is the back-up you receive. The forums and other Question-Answer areas contain tons of threads about everything WordPress related. Additionally, WordPress gurus are always available to solve any problem that might arise or to answer any questions. Plus I’ve found that WordPress’ forums and online community is the friendliest towards new users. I’ve seen a lot of cross comments and people that look down their noses at new users on competing software systems forums.
My favorite feature is their live preview. It shows me my content through my customers view and lets me revise for better copy fit and readability. This helps improve the layout, my tone, the design, functionality, everything.
Don’t worry about how much content you’ll be publishing or the amount of traffic you expect to generate. Your WordPress website or blog can handle it. You can run anything from a small blog with the occasional update and reader to a high traffic, constantly updating website like a news or gossip website.
Enjoy creating as many websites and pages within those sites as YOU can handle.
Until Next Time…