Hopefully you’ve been reading all my other posts and signed up to get your free website here. If not, you better get moving and check out this quick video on how easy it is to set up a website.
What I want to run through in this article is how to set up your basic frame work for building your website so after that you can concentrate on making content. As much as I love to mess around with aesthetics of my sites and other cool widgets or plugins, content is what is going to drive traffic to your pages.
Difference between Posts and Pages
Before I continue, I thought I better explain the difference between posts and pages. Once you’ve built your site, in the menu dashboard of your site, you’ll notice ‘Posts’ and ‘Pages’. These are both webpages in which you can add content but with some differences.
Posts are typically made for a blogging format. This mean post can be ‘categorised’ for easier searching and display.
The second thing about posts is that they are designed for you audience to add comments at the bottom of your article. This is very important if we want to grow traffic to your website.
Pages don’t typically have a comments sections and can’t be categorised. This is good for some main pages where you wouldn’t want anyone to comment like Privacy policies or disclaimer pages.
Pages can be set in hierarchy under parent pages which makes it easier to set them under menus in your website.
You will learn to use both posts and pages for your site but you will mainly use posts for your content. Let’s get started to build your frame work.
Some Basic Setting first
Once you’re in the Dashboard of your website, go to the Settings tab of the menu and select the General tab in settings.
Add a site Title and Tagline if this has not been done. Tagline is optional and can be added at a later date if you can’t think of one straight away.
Next go to the Discussion Tab of the Setting menu and ensure ‘Comment must be manually approved’ is ticked. This is important for the reducing spam or unwanted comments in your first few months of blogging.
Lastly, go to the Permalinks tab in the Setting menu and ensure ‘Custom Structure’ setting is selected with available tag of /%postname% selected. This will ensure that the web address of each web page is the same as the page or post heading. Very important for SEO.
About You Page
When people come to read your great articles, they are going to want to know more about you. I prefer to do this is as a page, not a post as I’d like this to always appear in my menu and I don’t want many to comment.
Depending on the angle of your website, it should be a bit personal as you want to show some authenticity to your audience.
I would start the page with a greeting and introduction to your website. The people want to know why you have built this great site. The purpose of your site adds to your authenticity.
A background story always helps and the more personal it is the more connection you’re likely going to have with your reader. Don’t get to personal but make it relatable to your audience and your niche.
Lastly add a good picture of yourself so readers feel more connected to you and can put a face to lovely content you’re going to create.
Now I get these questions a lot, “Do I need to put my name or picture?” Or “Can I use an Avatar?”. This is completely up to you but, authenticity is extremely important to have a trusting audience. If your building a brand, the brand is going to show true colours on your sites and social media.
These important documents should be added as pages. These pages are for legal reasons but also to make your site more trusted.
A website Disclaimer is used to state the limitations of your liabilities to other that use your website. These are normally general purpose but can be more directive especially in place of affiliate marketing. There are also heaps of free disclaimer templates available on the web to utilize.
Both these pages shouldn’t be displayed on the main menu. If you do, have under a parent page in the menu so the only display when the reader mouse hovers over the parent menu item.
If you put this in a parent menu, make the About you page the parent. If you’re like me and don’t like to put these in the main menus, move it to a side bar menu or a footer menu.
One last thing with these pages, if you have All in One SEO plugin, set these pages to not get indexed by search engines.
If you got stuck on these tasks, see this video to help.
Brilliant! Your framework is complete. Now what?
If you still have a Sample Page and the default Hello World post, delete them straight away. Next you can add more pages if you have anything that should appear in your main menu. This could be an intro page on how to best use the website or a get started here page.
After this, starting writing posts. You need to write like crazy and get all those thoughts captured on to posts to share with the world. Share and get feedback from your community.
Don’t worry about menu structures, side bars, footers and other aesthetics like logos. We’ll cover this in Stage 2 – Customizing your site for visual appearance.