How to Make Your Own Website Using WordPress

WordPress is an open source blogging tool that offers easy-to-develop websites as it runs on a web hosting service. This tool was released on May 27, 2003 and significantly made success in providing people better options to own a website. In fact, as of the first quarter of 2014, its newest versions were found to be downloaded more than 20 million times. The success of WordPress traces back from its features of human-friendly options, even a teenager can learn. From a simple blog software, it now became a one-stop resource in making a website. If you are thinking of owning a website through WordPress, here are the steps to take:

What You Need to Prepare

1. A Good Domain Name – The domain name is your website’s identity. It is good to make it unique and easy to remember by keeping it short, simple and easy to spell. For example, may be better than Also, never ever use trademark words as you can get legal problems with it. Last but not the least, your name should be available. Do this by simply typing the address on your browser.

2. Website Hosting Service – Website hosting is a service that provides people with servers so they can manage their own website. In simpler sense, they are like real estate properties who offer vacant lots for commercial or residential use. You need to find a website hosting service so you can build your website according to your preferred space.

3. WordPress – WordPress can be downloaded via your website hosting service. This may seem too technical for you but do not worry, it is actually simple. By means of manual install, you only have to see the instruction from your website hosting service. Download the free WordPress version on the official website of WordPress and upload the files to your website hosting service. Next, go to your domain and follow the installation guide.

Configuring WordPress

1. Once WordPress is successfully downloaded, you are now ready to configure the settings. Just go to the ‘Dashboard’ option located on the left panel and go to ‘Settings’ then to ‘General’. Change your tagline to whatever you want. Of course, it has to suit your website’s purpose.

2. You can also change your profile by means of editing your personal information. It is good to know that your screen name can be different from your log-in username. To do this, go to your profile and edit your name.

3. To make it more search-engine visible, you can also set the permalink. The Permalink will allow the keywords to appear on the address bar instead of just symbols and numbers.

4. Other configuration options include removing or changing the ‘About’ Page, uploading images, replacing sidebars and many more. All these can be easily done by the user-friendly interface of WordPress.

WordPress do not need any programming skills; it just needs a thorough understanding of how it is used. There are people who were able to build their own website by simply trying the function of each option. You can do that too. The important thing is that you can build your website according to your preferences.

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The Importance of Capturing Leads From Your Website

lead generation formIt is important for website owners to realize that a lot of traffic means nothing if it doesn’t increase the conversion rates (sales) of a site. It doesn’t matter if a site is attracting traffic for advertising revenue only. Such sites must convince advertisers (who are the leads) that it is worthwhile placing ads on the site. In summary, capturing leads offers webmasters numerous opportunities to engage and sell products and services. This is the essence of e-commerce sites. There are very many ways of ensuring that your site captures leads. Below are 4 effective tips to consider when you want your site to capture the most leads.

1. Identify the persona of your ideal buyer

Before you consider popular ways of capturing leads like including web forms for visitors to feel, determine who your ideal buyer is. This should be the first thing you consider when you want to design a sight that is super effective in generating leads. The entire process of generating leads doesn’t have to be concentrated in the web design process.

Although your e-commerce site may cater to all kinds of buyers, you need to identify the persona of your most profitable and loyal buyer to generate concrete leads. Your web design process should be centered around your ideal buyer to attract other ideal buyers and less of the buyers you don’t want.
Read More here: Introduction to buyer personas

2. Uncover the questions and problems of your ideal buyer

lead generation formThis is another important tip to consider when you want to ensure your site captures the most leads. You must consider asking yourself the questions your potential buyers are asking to be able to offer ideal solutions. Websites with the highest conversion rates have perfected answering all the questions potential leads might have.

The sites also strive to solve the problems of potential leads which is precisely why the sites stand out. Identifying the questions and problems of your ideal buyer puts you in a unique position to offer exactly what they need. This makes your site extremely useful which results in repeat leads.

3. Map the personal buying process with your sales process

Since you already know who your ideal buyer is and their problems, the next step is figuring out how your ideal buyer makes purchasing decisions. You can do this by simply reviewing your last 10 ideal customers to figure out the steps they followed that made them buy from your site. There are very many web analytic tools that can help you find such information. Your focus should be making the buying process of your ideal buyer as exciting and simple as possible.

4. Designing for lead generation

This is the last and most important step to consideration when you are focused on effective lead generation. This step involves putting all the above steps/considerations together. Websites with the highest conversion rates are designed for lead generation after considering exactly what the ideal buyer wants and dedicating the web design process to offering that and more. There are many things to consider when designing a site for lead generation. For instance, you should make web forms for collecting the contact information of your site visitors.
You can then contact your site visitors later for promotions, engaging them, surveying e.t.c.The site should also be easy to navigate to make the buying process seamless. If your website is a plain vanilla HTML site designed in Dreamweaver, look for some Dreamweaver form code. On the other hand, if your website is built in an Advanced CSM like WordPress, you have option to build forms in WordPress too.

Although there is more to lead generation than what is discussed above, website owners shouldn’t have a problem increasing their leads after implementing the above tips.
Further Reading:

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Generate Passive Income with a Coupon Website

couponsWith the help of coupons, a frugal consumer can save money by using the free online service offered by different coupon websites. Coupons help you save money when you buy groceries, clothing as well as when you use other professional services. The websites offer coupons that are printable as well as the ones you can use when you shop online. There are many coupon websites that offer these coupons or discounts for businesses and make money out of it. Coupon sites can generate a lot of money, as everyone is on the lookout for a promo code so that they can save some money on their purchase. Let’s see how coupon sites generate money. Continue reading

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Making Money With Bonds

Bonds are one of the investment families commonly known as the fixed-income securities, which are debt obligations. Therefore, this means that there must be both the creditor and the debtor who pays the principal and interest earned over the period. In regard to that, several ways are available that you can use to make money with bonds. Trading fixed-income securities can be sometimes a daunting task compare to trading stocks. This is because there is no central exchange for the trading bonds. However, if you have right information and a little experience, trading bonds can become easier.

So, how can you make money with bonds? Consider the following useful tips:

1. A brokerage account

This is the very first thing that you must have before indulging yourself into this business. However, you can either decide to use an online trading account or a full service broker. In this case, your choice all depends upon your level of experience. It is important to understand the requirements of the account in order to make an order.

2. Interest rate/purchase price/sale price

These are some of the things that bonds have. If you buy one, you are then entitled to the principal payment once the bond matures and interest payment at least twice a year.

3. Price variations

Similar to stocks, bond prices also vary. During the first issue of the bond, its initial price together with interest rate is all set. From this point, the market will determine what they worth and/or whether the price is lower or higher compared to when it was issued. The interest rates of general market have a huge effect on the changes of bond prices. For instance, if the interest rates on real estate mortgages, saving accounts and bank loans go down after the bond is issued, then the price of the bond tend to go up.

4. The risk factor

Bonds also have a risk factor just like any other form of investment. For example, if a business company becomes bankrupt, all bondholders take first priority over the shareholders when paying out creditors. However, if there is no any amount of money available, your queue position is basically irrelevant.

5. The bonds ratings

In order to get the best bonds for you, it is important to carefully consider the bond ratings often issued by Moody or Standard and Poor (S&P). The two companies analyze all bonds available in the market using complex and technical formulas to produce a sliding scale valuation of the bonds. You can start from the AAA rated bonds, which are very low risk to the CCC rated bonds that are very high risk, also known as the junk bonds.

6. Research well

Doing enough research before buying bonds is very important. Try to consider various factors of the company such as possible legal issues, earning projections, the levels of debt just to mention a few. Generally, by buying bonds is granting the company a loan and just like any other lender, you would like to feel more confident that the loan interest will be paid back on time. It is also important to know whether the company is capable of repaying the loan in full amount within the agreed period.

In conclusion, if the above-discussed tips are properly put into consideration, making money with bonds can be an interesting and easy thing for most investors.

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How to Choose Your Website Design Company

web designWe were hunting for a web design company last month for redesigning our much neglected camping merchandise website. Finally we could find a reasonably good one. We are working with them now. I thought it is high time to jot down the points to consider while looking for a webdesign company.

Ten years ago, finding a website design company or a professional was fairly easy, mainly because there were only a handful of Internet gurus who were able to create a website from the scratch. However, today there are tens of hundreds of web design companies on every continent. If you type in “web design company” in Google, you will get over 950 unique search results. The obvious question is this: “How can I find the right agency to work with?”

Looking on Google will not be enough when searching for the right designer for your needs. There are many other things you need to do, such as checking their website, the portfolio, looking for reviews online, asking for recommendations and taking a glance at the total cost. Follow the following steps in order to make sure you will take the right choice when selecting a web design contractor or company to work with.

1. Know your Goals

web design choice
Before looking online, it is important to write down your goals and expectations in terms of both price and quality. However, remember that the phrase “you get what you paid for” is still true, especially when it comes to web designing companies. Do some research and see how much you are willing to pay and for what value. Also, keep in mind your goals. If you need an eShop, make sure you hire a contractor experienced in creating and maintaining eShop platforms, not WordPress sites.

2. Start your Search

After you know what you want regarding your online profile, it is time to find the best agency out there. Start by asking your close friends or family members who now have a successful business online. They are the ones you can always trust. In case they recommend you a certain agency, write it down immediately. Next, search on Google for lists with top web design companies in your area. For example, if you live in Miami, FL, you could search for “best web design companies Miami”.

3. Select a few Brands

web design company After studying a few lists, reviews and recommendations, it is time to make a final selection. Enter their website and look around. Do you like what you see? It is unprofessional for a web design company to have an unappealing website. You probably wouldn’t go to a dentist with crooked or yellow teeth, right? The same is with web creation. In addition to the website, evaluate the portfolio and look at the testimony page. If you are not happy with the manner the information is displayed onto the website’s pages, you should probably stay away from that specific business.

4. Final Choice

Lastly, make a final choice keeping in mind these factors: age, experience, terms & conditions, staff, team, flexibility, outsourcing, variety of services provided, real cost, special offers and upfront pricing.

Final Words

Of course, you could simply look for an agency capable and willing to create a top-notch website for you, but why not looking for a business partner? Don’t look search for a contractor; look for a web design service that wants to partner up with you. An experienced partner could be an invaluable tool for your business and a valuable asset for your company’s growth.
More info and reading:
Selecting a designer
5 Tips for Choosing a Web Designer

[photo credits: cartoongoddess | ekovisual studio | keoshi]

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How to widen your wordpress website

This is a commonly asked question by new wordpress users. So I thought I will share some facts here with you.

WordPress Themes

The Style of your WordPress Website is decided by the Theme you have chosen. So the width depends on the current theme. The theme would have the width in its stylesheet.So if you want to change only the width, without changing the theme, you have to edit the stylesheet. But to edit the stylesheet, you should be good in CSS.

Choose the right theme

Another easier alternative is to choose the right Theme for your wordpress website. You can change your theme in WordPress->Appearance->Themes page.
Choose a theme that has the width you need. The “install themes” tab shows different options to select the type of the theme. You can even select Fixed width themes or Flexible width themes.
theme search

Customizable themes

There are a number of themes that allows customizing all the aspects of the theme. That includes width, height, background color, header image logo etc. The customization page of such themes would have options to edit each of these aspects.

Thesis theme by DIYTheme is is one of such highly customizable theme. You can choose whether you need single column or double column layout. Moreover, you can choose the width of each column too.
setting wordpress width

So if you want to customize the width of your wordpress website, the easiest option would be to install a customizable theme

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How to Block Websites (Chrome, Firefox or any browser)

You may need to block a website for any number of reasons. This could be a way of enforcing self discipline as a result of a decision you had made or even protecting your children from accessing inappropriate material on the internet. Well, whatever your reasons may be, you can still block a website from all the web browsers on your computer such that regardless of the browser that is being used, the site will still be blocked. There are a couple of steps that you are needed to follow in order to achieve this so read on and find out how you can do this on your own.

The ‘hosts’ file Trick

Blocking a website involves editing the Host file on your computer. Well, as a form of explanation, the host file is simply a file that is used by the computer to find information on the location of nodes on a computer network. Start your notepad with Administrator Privileges. This is because you are editing a system file.
open notepad as admin
Accessing the host file involves browsing to the root> Windows> System32 > drivers > etc folder where root refers to the drive on which your operating system has been installed on. Open the hosts file with notepad in order to edit it.
open the hosts file

block-a-website Once you have opened the file, locate the line “::1 localhost” and place your cursor at the very bottom of the file. Press enter in order to start typing on a new line and enter “” where in this case refers to the site you wish to block. You can add as many domains as you wish but remember to place each on a new line in the hosts file. Once you have made the appropriate changes, make sure that you save the file. In case you do not have the appropriate permissions to make the changes, go to the properties of the file and include yourself as a user with access to the file.

Get parental control software

On a mac, the procedure is almost the same except that in this case, the hosts file is located in etc/hosts. The rest of the method is almost the same involving typing each domain on a different line. Alternatively, you can make use of some of the parental software available in order to take control of internet access. With parental software, you have more control over internet access and it is much easier than having to delve into your file system and changing things around.

Some of the most popular parental control software include net nanny, webwatcher and mcAfee Safe Eyes. Having a parental control software makes sure that all the web activities are watched closely and offensive materials blocked. This is a very good way of protecting children from offensive materials that they may come across on the internet. The applications can be installed on all the major platforms very easily and are also easy to use. With just a relatively small investment, you can have the peace of mind that sites you do not wish to be accessed stay so. They are easy to use, cross platform and very affordable so you can’t afford to dismiss them. knowing how to block a website, you can take back control over internet access immediately.
The following links will be useful:

photo credit: TTC Press Images

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