farmNwife

broadcast your farm

Tag: wordpress

Why Start Your Own Website

Be Your Own Webmaster

start your own siteWell maybe not a master, but you can learn how to create a nice looking site for your farm or ag business on your own. “But I want my site to look professional”, you say. I completely understand. We’ll get there. Just stick with me.

Last time we talked about why you don’t want a static site. A blog makes a site dynamic. Dynamic = Good If that didn’t convince you maybe this stat will.

Businesses that blog have 88% more leads than businesses that don’t.

(source: Hub spot 2011) I gave most of the reasons why in the post Website or Blog.

Now I’ll go through the process I recommend for building your farm website.

1. Start free wordpress.com blog/site

I suggest wordpress over blogger.

  • a. When you are ready for a self-hosted site, the transfer of posts and information is easy.
  • b. You also will know the program and not have to learn a new blogging platform.

2. Learn how to blog and build your site

As I have said before, blogging is like playing the guitar. This is the time to learn the basics; publishing a post, adding images, building a sidebar, creating pages, ect. None of these elements are hard but they do take time and little effort to understand.

The good thing is you will be rewarded and there is help. Since you are using the free blogging service you are under no pressure to perform. These are the building blocks that will prepare you for the webmaster role of your ag business site. When you are ready go to the next step…

3. Move to self-hosted wordpress.org platform

Now that you know how to run your wordpress site, you are ready for the big time. Your own domain and fancy pants plugins. Does that sound like fun? Since you’ve done the previous work you deserve to give yourself this reward. With wordpress.org you can customize your site to best represent your business and show your professionalism.

I have to add here if you had not learned the basics you would have payed someone to create your site and then you would depend on them to make changes and additions that comes with more costs. If there is miscommunication, then more time is wasted in making the corrections. To me this just sounds like a big hassle when you are capable of doing it yourself.

The two options you have to creating your self-hosted site:

  • a. You learn how

There are a few steps to setting up your own website. It is very doable. Lord knows if I can figure it out so can you. But once it’s set up you are good to go. Start posting and creating pages just like you did in wordpress.com. Plus there are free themes to choose from; so you don’t have to buy a theme.

  • b. Hire it done

Even though I have created my own sites, I have hired a professional to build my new farm website. This is a great option if you want to spend some money for a high quality site. After it is complete, you can take over the reins. This is also nice to have someone to work with if you want something specialized. You can hire it done and continue on publishing on your own. {remember any costs are a business expense}

You will have to decide on your own which avenue is right for you and your business. And YOU can do this. I had no formal training in computers. I did lots of searches, made mistakes and learned along the way. By putting regular steady effort into your website, you will be surprised how far you can come in a short amount of time.

Next I’ll go through the process of setting up your wordpress.com site to begin your journey to webmaster-hood. Then I’ll show you how to set up your own self hosted website for those who are ready to take that on.

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Choosing Your Blog Platform

Blogger or WordPress

In a poll I had a few weeks ago about starting a blog, some people said they didn’t know where to start. So I am going to talk about the two most popular free Wordpress vs Bloggerblog platforms that are available to get you going. Both are fairly simple to operate. There are forums and help sites to assist with more detailed questions. Pulsed Blogger has a nice graphic giving the breakdown of the specific features for Blogger and WordPress.com.

1. First up is Blogger. I started with a blogspot blog, Kids Cattle, back in ’07. To me, Blogger is the simplest to start with. It now has pages and nice templates that it didn’t have when I started. If you are planning to just use your blog as a journal and want something simple to publish your posts to then blogger is a good starting point. It doesn’t have some of the features that wordpress has but it can still provide a nice looking blog for you. Here is a video that shows how to start a Blogger blog.  Blog Help Forum is a place to ask questions.  If you want to know how to do something specific on your blog, just do a search in google or youtube.



2. Next is WordPress.com. (not wordpress.org) When I started Big Green Combine at wordpress.com after using blogger, I hated it. It took me awhile to get my bearings on its editor. It was just so different to me. But there are quite a few people who choose to go the wordpress route to begin with and find it fairly easy. The Get Started page at wordpress.com will take you through the steps to begin. There are more plugins or widgets in wordpress.  These are addons that creates more customization for your blog. It also has 3 gigabytes of image storage compared to blogger’s 1 gig (more if you use picasa albums). WordPress Forums are always a good place to start asking questions.

The best advice I can give for starting out is to do a search for what you want done.  This is how I learned to do just about everything; especially in the beginning. If you don’t find an answer right away, try changing the wording in your search. If you are a visual learner, search youtube. It is the second biggest search engine after google (google owns it too). Don’t be afraid to try things out. And keep a backup just in case. I never did but read many places that it was a good idea. I still do searches all the time.

I will be giving more beginner blog tips in the future. Subscribe for the updates in the sidebar so you don’t miss them. If you have any questions on starting your blog ask them below. I will try to help out.