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Why WordPress?

WordPress has become very popular, and for good reason. It’s all about speed, and getting more done with greater ease. Even those who do not want their website to look like a blog will appreciate this program, since a great deal of customization is possible.

Many Themes Available

The theme you choose will govern your page layout and color scheme.  While there are tons of themes out there that you can purchase, there are also a few excellent themes which are free.

It’s best to stick with the more complex themes, as long as they are simple to set up.  They can make your website look extremely professional.  Running your site and performing maintenance will seem much easier, too.

The Atahualpa theme is one of the best, and is available at https://wordpress.org/themes/atahualpa/.  It is extremely stable shareware, with about 200 areas that can be customized. It’s simple to substitute your own website header. You can easily tailor sections of your website to achieve a specific color scheme.  You can change the width of your main content area, add or delete sidebars, and even prevent sidebars from showing on a specific page..

 

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A System of Plugins

Next, consider plugins to automate certain website functions.  Many available plugins are free. Just follow this simple installation process:

— Find any specific plugin that you want.  For example, it might backup your entire website, or it might help to add keywords to articles, etc.

— Download that plugin to your hard drive.  Make sure you keep all your plugins organized by function in directories, just in case you need to find a specific one again.

— Store these in zipped format, as that is the format needed when you actually upload them to your website.

— To install from your WordPress Dashboard, find the section for Plugins and select Add New Plugins. Browse to the plugin on your hard drive and upload your zipped file.  Tell WordPress to install it for you automatically.

— Finally, look at your entire list of installed plugins.  From this screen, you can activate the plugin you just installed, deactivate it again or delete it completely.  That’s all there is to it!

Some of these plugins do install widgets to your site.  They are similar to regular plugins, but they usually have an extra user interface that displays info (like a clock) or that helps you to set up their options.

There are hundreds of plugins out there, which is why you need to stay organized and only keep the ones you find most useful.

Manage Your Site Easily

Here are a few more benefits to using WordPress.  You can:

— Easily create and edit new content.  Then publish instantly without using FTP (File Transfer Protocol).

— Drip content to your site slowly, by delaying the publishing of some articles. You can temporarily save an article in draft format, or you can post date it for automatic publication at a later time.

— Get automatic content from other websites using RSS (Really Simple Syndication). Or allow others to get data from your site.

— Receive notifications when your theme or plugins need to be updated, and update them with the touch of a button.

— Receive email notifications when users comment, so that you can log into your WordPress Dashboard to approve or edit their comments.

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Get Found Easily

Most users find that WordPress is a huge boon to their search engine rankings, and there are simple plugins that can aid your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts.

The best one is the All in One SEO plugin. It allows you to fill in a few blanks to provide SEO info every time you write an article.

Other Uses

If you wish, you can use WordPress as a complete Content Management System — by putting all of your data into a hierarchy of pages (not posts).  Think Wikipedia.

There are plugins that help you submit a site map to Google, set up your site for tracking with Google Analytics, and give or receive data using the RSS protocol.

If you wish to market and sell products, there are even plugins that can help with payment processing and product listings.

Do It Yourself

When you’re just starting out, it doesn’t really make sense to pay someone just to keep your website running smoothly every month or to perform basic SEO tasks. WordPress makes this stuff easy.

And best of all, WordPress is free.

Chances are, you will need to invest a few hours in learning WordPress and setting up your first website.  Many people find it a bit daunting at first glance. But it’s pretty easy to get accustomed to it quickly.

Learning your way around this program will pay huge dividends. WordPress comes highly recommended.

 

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