WHY WORDPRESS IS THE RIGHT PLATFORM FOR YOUR BLOG

WHY WORDPRESS IS THE RIGHT PLATFORM FOR YOUR BLOG

This month I received several emails asking me about why I have chosen WordPress as my go-to platform for blogging and digital shop.

I emailed back saying how I wanted to choose Squarespace in the first place but found it to be too expensive at that time for me and so the next best thing was WordPress.

why wordpress is the right platform for your blog

I have worked on many websites, many different blogs, many shops and online stores, and I will tell you why I remained faithful to this platform:

WordPress is the most Affordable.

I had to start with this one as this is the most asked question I get over email and twitter DMs.

You can easily setup your WordPress website with a budget of $100 or less. My personal recommendation is purchasing your domain through SiteGround (around $12-$15 depending on the domain name), hosting through the same company SiteGround (around $3.45 a month for shared WordPress hosting + you will get a FREE domain name renewal every year if you renew your hosting plan with them), and blog theme ($29 – $79 from the Shop).

With less than $100, you have a beautiful, responsive website for your blog or business.

Each year, you will have to renew your domain and hosting – $50-60, but your blog theme is a one-time purchase (and there are also free options).

Search Engine Friendly.

I cannot stress this enough: WordPress is great for SEO. You have the option (it is kind of mandatory too) to install the YOAST plugin who helps you with everything you need to setup the SEO for every blog post/product you are putting live on your website.

You don’t have to be a SEO expert, Yoast will guide through everything.

One click Install, Easy to Manage and Easy to Update.

This one was one of the most important things for me when I first started designing. I had no idea what CMSs were, I had no plans on ever learning to code (oh how life changes sometimes) – all I wanted was a one click install platform that allowed me to create and play around with options.

WordPress did just that for me.

Most hosting companies offer their clients one-click installs. Nothing is being downloaded to your computer. You get to setup a username and password and you have a very customizable dashboard right at your fingertips.

Open-source anyone?

When I first googled “wordpress vs. [insert any other platform here]” I read a lot of comments about this platform being an open-source CMS. I had no idea what that was. And I’m sure most of us didn’t knew about this term when we first started building our first websites.

Open-source means that there are thousands of WordPress developers all around the world working day and night to improve the system. And none of what they do costs you a penny. Free security and feature updates, every quarter? You bet. Can you say that about your CMS provider? (text credit goes to mooveagency.com)

My favorite: Highly Customizable.

WordPress is popular because it meets the demand of many users with its flexible framework to allow designers and developers to create and modify layouts and applications.

Remember no. 3 in the list? How I said I did not plan on ever learning to code? 🙂

The WordPress community is so great and filled with infinite information ready to be absorbed by anyone wanting to know and apply more to their own website.

This community has thought me so much! I remember bookmarking and saving every single piece of information I could find so I would never lose anything if the internet suddenly went armageddon on us (I lived under a rock for quite awhile so don’t judge) and started applying different customizations to my then lifestyle blog.

Even today, I create affordable and highly customizable WordPress templates for my clients because WordPress created this space for me to learn, grow and develop something that I now call my business.

Talk soon!

Hi! I’m Natalie, web designer, developer, and founder of Natalie’s Box.

This blog is a mix of business and fun – full of helpful tutorials and inspiration.

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Natalie

Owner of Natalie's Box, NataliesBox.com

FREE DIVI CHILD THEME | CYBER MONDAY

FREE DIVI CHILD THEME | CYBER MONDAY

I am so excited about the new shop launching here soon at NataliesBox.com.

And before I start adding new products to the shop, I invite you all to take a look at a new DIVI child theme I created. Did I say it is FREE?  Well yes it is! 

instagram tips for product - based businesses | nataliesbox.com

To be honest, I am more creative than technical so it took me a while to figure out how to export and write the PDF instruction file for this child theme (shhh…. watched a lot of youtube tutorials 🙂 )

But the theme is finally here and can now take 2 days off from the computer!

Anyway, here is the link to the DEMO SITE hope you like it. I wanted to name this first child theme after my first child – Ana – clever right? I wanted to keep the layouts as simple and clean as I possibly could so whoever downloads it, can play around with it, and add in their personality and character. Every layout, button and element is meticulously styled. With beautiful white space and elegant typography, all from Google fonts.

Feel free to look around, download it and play around with it!

*FREE download only available until November 30, 2016 as part of the Cyber Monday week deals.

VIEW ANNA THEME

DEMO PAGE

Hi! I’m Natalie, web designer, developer, and founder of Natalie’s Box.

This blog is a mix of business and fun – full of helpful tutorials and inspiration.

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Natalie

Owner of Natalie's Box, NataliesBox.com

HOW TO START A WORDPRESS BLOG

HOW TO START A WORDPRESS BLOG

+ FREE BLOGGING RESOURCES

(THREE PDF FILES)

So, you are thinking about getting serious? Are you ready to switch from .org to .com?

When starting a WordPress blog, you might be very confused with how to set it up. And I am talking about Hosting + Domain registrar – these might seem like confusing words to you! But have no fear! I am going to show you how to start your WordPress blog in 20 easy minutes, using SITEGROUND.

Why SITEGROUND? There are several different hosting companies out there, but from my experience working with tens of clients and customers, SITEGROUND hosting is far superior to their competitors. SITEGROUND offers customer support and server security that far outweighs the competition. 

how to start a wordpress blog | step by step tutorial for beginners | nataliesbox.com

So here it is –  few simple steps to get you started!

1. DOMAIN NAME + HOSTING SETUP

Now, please select the blue “LEARN MORE” button under BEST SELLER. The plan is only $3.95 / month and you get extra discounts with domain purchases so keep this in mind!

 

 

 

In the next screen, you will have the option to choose between 3 different plans. I suggest you choose the STARTUP plan if you own just one website. If you want to add multiple sites to one account, please choose the GROWBIG plan. 

 

siteground screenshot | how to install wordpress blog using siteground | nataliesbox.com

Moving forward, you will be redirected to a CHECKOUT page where you will need to enter your details – such as: Name / Email / Payment Information and Plan Information. In the Plan Information you will have to choose how many years of hosting would you like to pay for. I suggest going with 1 year at first. You will also benefit from a FREE SETUP after you pay!

One reminder for you: even though the regular price is $9.95 after the first year, you will always have a discounted price with them so don’t worry about it 🙂

When you are selecting your package information, I recommend that you buy the following – Domain Privacy Protection, Site Backup Pro, and SiteLock Security. These additional add-ons protect your website from hackers and also demonstrate that you are a verified Brand.

Once you’ve selected a plan and checked out, you will follow SITEGROUND’S instructions.

2. INSTALL WORDPRESS

All right, so far so good. Now, for this next step, you will want to go to the top of your SITEGROUND’S account where it says SUPPORT. You will see the next image in your SUPPORT TAB. 

Go to WORDPRESS ASSISTANCE – You will be asked to talk to a support team. Click CHAT and you will be redirected to an actual person who will gladly install WordPress to your new domain and hosting account. The support will also ask you about your preferred email address, passwords, etc. He/she will go that extra mile and will email you your new credentials to your desired email address so you will always have those in hand whenever you will need them. EASY, right? No need for advanced technical knowledge.

3. CUSTOMIZE YOUR WORDPRESS BLOG ACCORDING TO YOUR BRAND

Now that WordPress is setup, it is time to make it beautiful! To do this, you will need to select a BLOG THEME that best showcases your blog content. There are both free and premium themes, but I recommend PREMIUM THEMES. The biggest advantage of premium themes is support. I aim to help provide my customers with tools and resources needed to have a successful blog.

Go to your WordPress dashboard, From there go to APPEARANCE → THEMES. Select the blue ADD NEW button at the top.

If you are uploading a PREMIUM THEME, select UPLOAD THEME button. Upload your ZIP File. If WordPress Twenty Twelve is not installed, you will be prompted to download it. Once the theme is installed, select ACTIVATE. Your theme is now live.

ENJOY! YOUR WORDPRESS BLOG IS READY TO SHOWCASE YOUR CONTENT!

 

If you are just starting off, I would like to offer you three different PDF files that aim to help you plan and organize your blog!

Just add your info below and check your email. You will receive a link to these FREE resources.

  1. HOW TO START A WORDPRESS BLOG
  2. WEBSITE CHECKLIST
  3. BLOG CONTENT PLANNER

 

Disclaimer: Some of the links included in this post are affiliate links. I earn commission only if you purchase through these links. I only use affiliate links for products that I use and would recommend to others. There is no additional cost to you for using these links!

Hi! I’m Natalie, web designer, developer, and founder of Natalie’s Box.

This blog is a mix of business and fun – full of helpful tutorials and inspiration.

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Natalie

Owner of Natalie's Box, NataliesBox.com

WEEKLY LINKS

WEEKLY LINKS

Hello there, dear friends! How was your week?

Mine was pretty busy, trying to schedule my tasks and my projects to fit them all in a 10 hour workday. 

Anyways I gathered a few links that really helped me since I started freelancing and working solo on different SEO and design projects. These websites are basically what I use regularly for my freelancing gigs but also for my clients.

tools for creatives | useful weekly links for creative entrepreneurs from nataliesbox.com

1. I can’t work without having my Google Drive opened in my browser at all times. I use Google Sheets to keep track of different emails, I also use Google Docs for my basic SEO reports (which I transfer to my Evernote account – long story for another time) and I use Google Drive to keep an extra backup of my current work flow.

2. I would like to add one more Google product to this post. In the past I used to use the Sunrise app and it was amazing. Ever since the developers moved to Microsoft, they stopped updating the original app so I gave up on it as well. Enter Google Calendar. It’s great, it does the job and my weekly schedule usually looks like this:

Google calendar tips for creative entrepreneurs | nataliesbox

3. A piece of software that I recommend my clients all the time is LinkInProfile. Link in Profile lets you add links to your Instagram images and send your followers to where you want them to go. It is such an effective tool to promote your blog posts or your products on instagram! The service is $9.99/month but if you run an ecommerce website and you promote individual products via instagram, this is the tool for you.

4. Last link for you guys – this one is for creatives who who want to learn more about the structure of their favorite websites. This tool is called BuiltWith Technology Profiler. BuiltWith is a web site profiler tool. Upon looking up a page, BuiltWith returns all the technologies it can find on the page. BuiltWith’s goal is to help developers, researchers and designers find out what technologies pages are using which may help them to decide what technologies to implement themselves.

Hope this week’s links are helpful to you!

Talk soon, xo!
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OTHER WEEKLY LINKS:

Hi! I’m Natalie, web designer, developer, and founder of Natalie’s Box.

This blog is a mix of business and fun – full of helpful tutorials and inspiration.

flower-icon-2

Natalie

Owner of Natalie's Box, NataliesBox.com

WEEKLY LINKS

WEEKLY LINKS

tools for creatives | useful weekly link from nataliesbox.com

Hello everyone! Can you believe it’s already Friday?

I looked through my blog posts last week and was surprised to see that I haven’t posted anything since Thursday. Thursday, September 16! Last month! When did time fly?

Anyway, I’m currently working on some interesting web design projects and I have to do some creative research and organizational tasks for these particular projects and I wanted to share with you some of these links with you mainly because they are not only meant to be used by designers but also by entrepreneurs and different business owners.

I hope you find them useful:

  1. MOZ Blog has always been fundamental source for all things SEO and marketing – so I know that this one is going to be very useful to you if you are interested in making your website visible in the search engines. I specifically like the updates notifications that we get when Google changes its algorithms so take a look and tell me what you think of it.
  2.  This one is amazing – The Book Cover Archive – an impressive collection of book cover designs (easily sortable by photographer, art director, designer, title, author, and genre), the site will not only inspire you, it will also educate you. Check out Book Cover Archive’s blog for insightful commentary on designs and styles.
  3. Formally known as Kuler, Color is the go-to source for all things color related. Just by moving the dots around the color wheel you are able to select a wide range of complimentary, analogous, triad, shades, or custom colors, and in an instant, Color will give you the RGB and HEX codes so you can go back to creating your masterpiece.
  4. Another useful website that I recently started using when dealing with clients and finance in general is the Wave accounting software. Wave Accounting is designed for independent contractors and companies with nine employees or less. The most important thing to know is that it’s pretty intuitive, simple, clean and most of all – it’s free. Would like to know if you have any other alternatives as I am open to try new things in this department 🙂

 

Thank you and keep in touch!

blog-post-signature

OTHER WEEKLY LINKS:

Hi! I’m Natalie, web designer, developer, and founder of Natalie’s Box.

This blog is a mix of business and fun – full of helpful tutorials and inspiration.

flower-icon-2

Natalie

Owner of Natalie's Box, NataliesBox.com

How To Install Google Analytics On Your Blog

How To Install Google Analytics On Your Blog

While designing old and new websites and also doing a lot of SEO for different clients in various niches, I found myself installing Google Analytics on websites – more times than I can remember at this point.

I then realized that so many people don’t even know or understand what Google Analytics is and therefore see no use in using it at all.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free web analytics service that gives you statistics about your website’s audience, traffic, and demographics. You can understand who your visitors are, what they do when they visit your site, and what referrals sites they used.

Why do you need it?

In short concise sentence: it’s not only free and the best, but it’s also the industry standard. I do want to mention this though: both WordPress and Blogger platforms have “trackers” available on their site, but its nowhere near Google Analytics, seo speaking. What Google Analytics does is it measures your website’s traffic in great details. This is important to have especially if you are a blogger running a specific blog (fashion/interior design, food blog etc) – some brands will ask you for screenshots of your metrics to verify your stats. Therefore, it is important that you have it installed on your website.

How to install Google Analytics?

First, sign-up for an account. Go to Google Analytics I recommend that you sign-up for an account with the same email you use for your blog.

WordPress

1. In your website’s dashboard, go to PLUGINS < ADD NEW.

Search for a plugin called GOOGLE ANALYTICS BY YOAST. I prefer this plugin because it syncs with your account quickly.

2. Select Install, and activate the plugin.

3. Go to ANALYTICS < SETTINGS, select “Authenticate with your Google account”.

A code will come up that you need to copy into the new window. Press SAVE.

4. Now under “Authenticate with your Google account”, you should see your account tracking code in the dropdown.

Select that code and press SAVE CHANGES. You should be all set.

Blogger

  1. In your Google Analytics settings, copy your tracking code. It begins with a U.
  2. Then go to your blogger dashboard. Under SETTINGS < OTHER, you will see an area where you can add your Google Analytics code.
  3. Paste in your code and select SAVE. Google Analytics is now installed on your Blogger site!

 

Hope you found this helpful! Until next time, stay productive!

 

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Hi! I’m Natalie, web designer, developer, and founder of Natalie’s Box.

This blog is a mix of business and fun – full of helpful tutorials and inspiration.

flower-icon-2

Natalie

Owner of Natalie's Box, NataliesBox.com