Saturday, March 11, 2006

Setting up a WordPress Blog

In a recent post, I announced that I'm finally moving from Blogger to WordPress. I thought it would fun to track my progress along the way. Maybe useful for others who are considering the move, or setting up new WordPress blogs. And definitely useful for me, because you guys share awesome resources with me in your comments!

I have to say, once I finally got started on the project I really got into it. I've always said the "getting started" is the hardest part - but now that I'm over the hump, things are rolling right along. Besides, I had to procrastinate just a little bit. A project just wouldnt be a project otherwise ;-) LOL.

So I started out yesterday afternoon, and went ahead and set up the new hosting account at HostGator. Once I got that set up (which took all of 2 minutes) I logged in to GoDaddy and updated the DNS servers for my blog's domain. I wanted to get that out of the way early on Friday so that everything would be ready to go over the weekend.

I chose HostGator to host my new WordPress blog for several reasons. First because it's cheap at under 10 bucks a month, considering what they offer. Also because that package offers unlimited domains, which means that I can set up 9 or 10 small sites under the same account - which is something I'm considering. And too they offer cPanel with great stats, fantastico, etc.

So far I am really pleased with them - they offer a lot of flash tutorials, the set up was quick, everything was just super easy to work with.

Like I said, I set all that up in a matter of minutes, and then I was busy the rest of the afternoon getting things rolling for the weekend. Finishing up my work for the week, tying up loose ends, and then spending some time with the kids before they were off to their own plans for the night.

I actually ended up with a houseful of girls for a Friday night sleepover, but they all decided to go skating from 7 to 11... so I dropped them off, put on a big pot of coffee, got comfortable and then sat down to dig into this project.

There's nothing like a good cup of coffee and a quiet house, let me tell ya!

The first thing I did was check my email and grab my hosting details. Then I headed over and logged in to my cPanel and went to work. I set up an email account and then FTP access. And then I checked on the one-click install for WordPress and found that it was version 2.0.1 - Cool! So I went ahead and installed it in the root directory.

That took all of 3 minutes... and I started realizing this was all going to be much easier than I had thought :-)

So there we go - "Hello world!", right?

Before I touched anything, I grabbed Teli's OptiNiche manual - which I had printed out earlier - and read through it with a highlighter and a notepad by my side. I have to say, that baby is short... but it is jam packed from cover to cover! That was nice because there was no 'junk' to scan through, just the step-by-step details I was after.

I would definitely recommend this package to anyone that is setting up a WordPress blog with the intention of optimizing it and earning money with it. OptiNiche is not just an ebook with step-by-step directions... it contains plugins, a template and several other extra's. It seems ridiculous to 'go it alone' when we have a WordPress Expert that will hand it all to us on a silver platter ;-)

I installed Teli's plugin, and the optimized template, and followed the steps she suggested in the manual. Again, it was surprisingly quick & easy... and I sat back and looked it over. I made a couple of test posts, checked out a few of the features. Not bad... not bad at all!

All that was left was customizing my template, and a bit of brainstorming on my goals for both blogs (the old one and the new one). I made some good notes along those lines, too - which I'll share with you in another post (perhaps at the new blog).

Once I dug in and started making small edits to the template, I remembered some blogs that I saw in Joel Comm's Adsense Case Studies that I got as a bonus to the Adsense Secrets Course the other day. He was showing examples of great Adsense placement, and a couple of those examples were blogs.

I was up until after 3am last night, and back up before 8 this morning... reading, tweaking and brainstorming. The layout and design is basically the hardest part, but I'm enjoying playing around with it... and figure I'll get it where I want it over the next day or so.

I have to say, it's been awhile since I've had this much fun on a project!

If you want to take a peek, you can check it out here:

As always, your comments & suggestions are welcomed ;-)