Happy New Year everyone!
Welcome to the new face of FutureGeek.co.uk! After 3 months of head-scratching, tantrums, tears and a general sacrifice of actual writing – the transfer to WordPress is finally complete and ready for all to see. As with all blogs, and in fact all websites, it’s a going concern – but it is now in a stable enough state to publish.
It has been a long time in the making, as Tumblr was never a permanent platform – just a stepping stone to greater things. And here we are. So in celebration of finally completing it, I thought what better way to launch than with a post about creating a WordPress site. If these words find anyone who is indeed about to embark on a journey, which for new users can be pretty epic, I hope it can offer some form of solace and motivation to keep going. Once nailed, it really is worth it…
Why Use WordPress?
In short, WordPress is a Content Management Platform which has revolutionised the way that the day-to-day human being can publish information, thought, critique, portfolios, and so on. Once set up, publishing is as easy as type and click. You can store all images for easy use, and the platform is incredibly user-friendly.
You can make of WordPress what you will. Anything from free themes (a template that defines the layout and feel of your site) to premium and tailored themes. Keeping with my minimalist theme, and with the sound advice of Gus Ferguson (who has requested to be known as ‘St. Gus the Patron Saint of AWESOME’ from Quad-London (an excellent Content Marketing agency), I invested in the Genesis Framework by CopyBlogger Media. This framework is incredibly powerful, and makes management of your site simple and effective; and comes with the added SEO focus which is a big part of any web content strategy nowadays. I then invested in a child-theme (the fancy-dress costume that the Genesis Framework wears to look fancy) and Bob’s your uncle, it was all installed and ready for managing.
Is Setting Up WordPress Complicated?
Do you want the answer you want to hear, or do you want to hear the truth?
No, It’s Not Complicated…
Yes, It Kind Of Is Complicated…
The best way to look at WordPress is by accepting that it is a steep learning curve. But this is because you generally have to do everything yourself without having someone hold your hand while you’re doing it. So, it can actually be a very frustrating time where you try and solve many problems, and learn many processes – which at first seem impossible, and then when you figure it out, you slap your head and wonder why you didn’t think of it before.
Any beginners reading this post should definitely start by looking up on the Best-Practise Theory on Setting Up WordPress. There will be an insane amount of reading to do – but luckily for you, the Blogosphere have you covered. Use your trusty friend Google and search for whatever question you want answering. Trust me, don’t think you are the first person to encounter a particular issue, you’re probably, at least, the millionth. That’s generally the game you’re about to enter; deal with it! Learn to love it, you are about to take on a significant project which is really enjoyable and definitely worth your time. Speaking of which…
How Long Does It Take To Set Up a WordPress Site?
How long is a piece of string?
The answer to this question largely depends on your goals and your time availability. If you want to build a flashy, image heavy portfolio, with loads of pages, posts and the like – it could take you a lot longer than someone who just want’s to get a simple point and click blog publishing platform set up. But, as mentioned before, there are a lot of simple, yet not-so-simple processes to figure out. This can be a time consuming task.
The best advice I can offer everyone is to set out goals you want to achieve in the time you have available. Don’t try figuring out everything at once – it will lead to you succeeding at nothing, and wasting a whole load of your time. Take baby steps, make a list of all the processes you need to achieve and work through them one by one – preferably in order of importance.
Harness the power of the Blogosphere to help you deal with your queries – trust me, in the world of Affiliate Bloggers and Tech Geeks – no small stone is left unturned. And if there is something you can’t find, reach out to the Yahoo! Answers community. They are ridiculously amazing with the dissemination of knowledge – and it’s only a small fraction of them that are know-it-all arses. Don’t worry about asking questions… there’s no such thing as a stupid one, only stupid trolls; but 99.9% of the community are just really nice, helpful, altruistic people.
Piece by piece, your puzzle will mature. Keep your eye on the prize.
But I’m Already On Another Blog Platform. I’ll Lose My Social Shares!
Probably, yes. Bite the bullet – I have. Your site is probably no where near how good it could be – and so you might have a few votes of social confidence, but by being on another platform you probably aren’t delivering a viewership experience to the quality you would hope. Give your readers an easier-on-the-eyes consumer experience – your content will be far more prone to social sharing after doing this…
If your previous content has been good enough for a share, then stay confident that your future content will be just as susceptible – if not even more. Especially when your readers become more acquainted and associated with your quality writing style. If you know anyone who shared before, you might even send a friendly outreach request to see if they’d be willing to give it another share. (NOTE! If you deem this even remotely inappropriate, don’t do it. Media / Influencer relations are important and need to be dealt with sensitively).
But What About My Search Engine Rankings?
Hmm, yes. This is a bit of a tough one – and if you’re not involved with SEO you’ll probably need to do a lot more reading. That’s a whole ‘nother blog post on its own! However, the quick and crude answer would be to look into creating a 301 redirect on the ranking page that wouldn’t exist anymore, and inform Google where this content has moved to. I’ll also drop another clue with ‘Google Webmaster Tools’. The rest is up to you.
How Much Will Setting Up A WordPress Blog + Hosting + Domain Name Cost?
This is a good question! It has varied answers, again depending on how much you’re willing to invest. Hosting per year can cost anything between £3-£10 per month (so between £36-£120 p/y) depending on your hosting requirements – if you pay more than this you’re crazy; do your research! Buying domain names can be a cheap venture if you’re clever about it, there are several vendors out there. I’m not going to personally promote any (unless they contact me and pay me lots of money). Until then, go to your favourite Search Engine and search ‘buy domain name’ or any other long-tail version of that you choose. That will generally cost anywhere between £6 – £20 per year for a .co.uk. Expect to pay more if you want a .com. – .com real estate is far more competitive… WordPress theme costs can range anything from Free to Ridiculous. I would say if you chose a theme that you paid between £20-£60 for, you would be getting a decent enough theme for 90%* of the needs that are out there.
*This number has been pulled from thin air. It holds less weight than a nerd at the gym.
So in conclusion, the average self-hosted WordPress blogger should expect to invest a minimum of £60 to start with, although don’t be surprised if your tastes push this cost up. You should then expect to pay your domain and hosting costs on a yearly basis.
So there you go. That’s it. This is the new face of Future Geek. It’s been a lot of work, and it’s delayed an awful lot of writing and publishing – but it’s all good. Thanks for reading, and I hope this helps someone, somewhere, sometime. Now FORWARDS! It’s time to roll on full steam ahead and publish more and more, far more frequently*. #BeProlific
*Subject To Change.