How to Build a Website or Blog

how to build a website or blog

The best way for an inexperienced person to build a website or blog is to find (hire) someone else’s website that is specifically designed to build websites.  Kind of like a website for dummies approach. These sites offer simple, straightforward advice and instructions that even the most computer illiterate people can follow.  Learn how to build a website by following these easy steps.

Keep in mind that Blogs are websites, so any reference here to a website will apply to building a blog too.

Find a Website Builder

Website builders or advisors can be found easily online and are great because they do most of the work. All that is required from you is the unique and specific information or items you wish to promote. And money, as these website building services are rarely free. Some sites do offer free advice and basic blog templates, often a great way to get your feet wet so to speak.

There are many such website builders designed and committed to building websites for others. Do your research to find one that suits your needs. Most have experienced employees that can offer valuable online support to advise and guide even the most inexperienced and novice person through the steps of building a website, regardless of what the website is to be used for.

Other things covered in the price of a website builder are spam filters, analytic tools, tutorials, templates, and troubleshooting. The support staff will also provide ongoing advice to help to keep the website running smoothly. These features make the process even simpler for you. Keep in mind that these extra services are the ones not usually included in the “free” offers.  

An online store is also usually available permitting your clients to purchase products you sell.  A free shopping cart for clients and use of PayPal is usually also available to enhance the shopping experience on the website.

Prices may vary depending on ongoing discounts and promotions offered as well as the length of the contract period selected.  When a contract is signed, rates are usually charged on a monthly basis. The good news here is that these charges can be claimed as expenses on your income tax if you claim your business income.

I chose WordPress (WP) for this blog, starting with a free site and domain, then purchasing a domain to lose the wordpress.com tag to my URL.

Finding a Domain

Finding and paying for an available domain name is a crucial thing to think about in the process of building a website. Your domain name will be the URL or address for your new website. When you register a domain name, no one else can use it for their website.  A unique, catchy URL is important since it will draw people to your website and help them remember the name to visit again or recommend it to others.

Some companies (the one you hired to build your website) provide a free domain name, if not they will show you how to find one that is available for use.  As mentioned under website builders, WP does provide a domain to use.

Advertising on Your Website

If advertising is desired on your new website, the website company you have hired will most likely provide some free credit through the services of Google, Yahoo, and Facebook.  This is beneficial if the website is to be used to make money, so if that is something you require, be sure the website company you choose offers that service.

Conclusions on How to Build a Website

The biggest tip I can offer when you need to learn how to build a website is to research your options on all the offers available online. Some will boast they are free, but often just the basic start-up process is actually free. Most offer “packages” based on the services provided, starting at free and increasing in price. Keep in mind the adage “you get what you pay for.” Make a list of features you need on your website or blog and find someone to help you.

Regardless of whether you choose the free options or pay for help, your new website should be up and running in no time providing worldwide exposure.  Remember too that money paid to run your website is tax-deductible under business expenses.

It is so easy, even I managed to build a website for Gardens4u, my landscaping business, and this blog. When I started out (2012) I considered myself a website beginner. I have learned so much over the years that I have since promoted myself to someone with moderate knowledge of websites.

I use Yola for my business website and WordPress for my blog, both of which are listed in the top website builders for 2021.

photo credit

Lessons to be Learned

There are many lessons to be learned these days, some are learning the hard way, but (hopefully) learning none the less. Covid-19 and the systemic racism that has reared its ugly head is making 2020 a year to remember, and it’s only half over!

These are just a few examples of lessons we (should) have learned….

Social Media Comments can Come Back to Bite you in the Butt!

Just ask the two guys fired from Vanderpump Rules. Racist comments made many years ago have cost them their jobs, at least on the popular TV show. It has not yet been determined if their jobs at the bar owned by Lisa Vanderpump are at jeopardy as well. Maybe they didn’t deserve to be fired from the show for comments made so long ago, (especially when they are only in their mid twenties now and comments were made ten years ago) but perhaps TV stations are making an example of them.

Racist Jokes or Pranks are not Funny!

Another Vanderpump Rules pair (two of the original females) were fired for
phoning the cops on a light skinned, black co-worker because her tattoos and dark skin fit the description of someone the police were looking for. This was a recent (and immaturely stupid) discretion.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Admedia/Sipa/Shutterstock (1713227af) Lisa Vanderpump-Todd and Andy Cohen Andy Cohen’s ‘Most Talkative: Stories From The Front Lines Of Pop Culture’ Book Release Party, Los Angeles, America – 14 May 2012

Just Because you are not a Racist does not Mean you are Anti-Racist

It’s not enough today to be non-racist. The Black Lives Matter movement is demanding we become anti-racist. If you have a platform, it is essential to speak up and put your money where your mouth is. Watch Arnold Schwarzenegger tell it like it is (or should be)

White Privilege is Rampant

White privilege is a fact that many of us are not (at least we were not) aware of. An example of it in the news (at least one of them) featured Jessica Mulroney, the host of CTV’s I Do, Redo. For some reason she believed her projects were more important and pressing than someone else’s. Perhaps because she is a Canadian socialite, married to the son of a former prime minister, and/or BFFs with Megan Markle. I don’t believe that her comments, although aimed at a black woman, were racist. Just insensitive and egotistical, coming from a lifestyle of white privilege.

photo credit to Us Magazine

Who knows if firing these TV personalities was the right thing to do, but perhaps it’s the only way to get the right message out there. Hopefully the standard will be raised.

Positive Changes

Along with the tough lessons learned from the issues in the news, some people have taken learning to a whole new level. Activities they never had time for before COVID forced them to stay home are now hobbies that may just last a lifetime.

Gardening

I had to laugh with a garden center employee when she told me someone informed her they wanted to grow tomatoes, then quickly asked “what does a tomato look like?” All of a sudden gardening is everyone’s new hobby. This was evident as all plants at the nurseries were quickly picked over the very weekend they were permitted to open. Grrrrrr.

I can understand the discovery that gardening is relaxing and very rewarding, no new revelation for me. I started a gardening business eight years ago now, and still love every minute of it. This new found hobby many have taken on has affected my business though as many of my clients are now able and willing to look after their own gardens.

Online Shopping and Banking

Several of my elderly clients have now learned how to etransfer funds. This may sound trivial to many of you younger folk, but the older generation is more prone to mistrusting using computers and cell phones, especially for anything financial related. To them this is huge!

Of course online shopping has been around for years, but during this COVID pandemic it is more popular than ever. Delivery services are saying they are busier now than during the Christmas holiday season. Amazon released a statement recently saying they are prioritizing their orders, so if you ordered something they deem non-essential, you wont be receiving it anytime soon.

I learned this the hard way when I ordered Mother’s Day gifts for my daughter in laws. Even though I placed the orders in late March in anticipation of the holiday mid May, the gifts did not arrive until mid June.

Quality Time with Family

My two eldest sons have both learned they are enjoying the COVID restrictions as it is allowing them to spend more quality time with their children. It is a well known fact that children thrive from spending quality time with their parents. Unfortunately, our pre-COVID lives were so complicated and busy that quality time was slipping through the cracks. Simple things (after all, that’s all we are allowed to do) like going for a walk, movie nights, homeschooling, crafts and more are becoming the new normal. Your children are probably loving all the attention.

We may just have a baby boom next winter as couples spend more quality time together too. On the flip side though, the divorce rate may already be increasing as some couples are struggling being cooped up with their significant others.

Supporting Local Businesses

As small businesses struggle with the tanking economy caused by the pandemic, it is more important than ever to support them. Without money coming in from customers, business owners are struggling to pay their rent. Many have also been forced to lay off employees due to the huge loss in revenue.

The big chain stores/businesses will probably survive, but the mom and pop restaurants, bars, gift shops, novelty stores etc. may not. Research local small businesses offering curbside pickups and take out food or purchase their gift cards to use when these stores reopen. Many have switched to an online process, ensuring touchless payment. Some even offer free delivery through Skip the Dishes, Uber Eats or their own delivery service.

Losing the Judgement

We must all learn to be less judgmental of others, especially when living in such trying times. Everyone’s situation is different, so people should concentrate on their own, without worrying and complaining about the actions of others.

photo credit to John Hain, Pixabay


What have you learned?

Feature picture credit to pixapopz

Altruism is Important, Especially in Crisis

This video is fascinating. (I think)  Have you noticed how some people “step up to the plate” in crisis, while others shrink into the background, not wanting to get their hands dirty, so to speak?

I sure have thought about it over the years, but have lots of questions…

Birds of a Feather

Do birds of a feather flock together?  Are altruists drawn to each other, or do opposites attract? Is altruism a personality trait or due to a component of your brain?  Are they one in the same?  Some personality traits appear to be genetic, but are they merely learned behaviour?  So many questions.

Can we Change?

If you are not altruistic, can you become so?  If so, how?  By hanging out with other altruists or are there mental exercises to train your brain?  Vice versa, if you are an altruist, can you become less so if you surround yourself with less altruistic people? Or just frustrated?

One good thing about this pandemic we are gripped by is that it has forced (many of) us to be more introspective. Forced to accept change, we should be realizing by now that the most valuable things in life are not material, but connections with other people.

Who, not what, do you miss the most?

photo credit

COVID-19 Timeline

Another COVID-19 post… sorry folks, but as an analytical person I prefer and appreciate information in a visual and structural format.  If you do as well, keep reading…

This timeline, written by Stephanie Parker, chronicles the spread of this lethal virus into a pandemic that has shut down our planet.  Starting with a warning from Dr Li in Wuhan on December 30, to the present (April 23rd).  Four months of facts and details.

It is not behind us yet; unfortunately, the timeline continues to grow.  Just how far no one really knows.  Economists and those struggling financially are hoping the world re-opens soon, but scientists are sceptical and hesitant.  In the meantime, we are all holding our breaths and doing what we can to get through this.

One of the things that bothers me about this pandemic, far behind the economic destruction, is the judgement and negativity it has spawned.  Hopefully that too will come to an end soon.

Feature image from Pixabay

 

Perennials: Best and Worst

September new July

With all the gardens I visit in a season, I am bound to have my favorite and least favorite perennials.

Spiderwort, AKA tradescantia or widow’s tears is one of my least favorite.  They spread like crazy throughout gardens, flop over onto other plants, and turn yellow and slimy as soon as the weather gets cool.  The only good things about them are their pretty color (purple) and the fact that they will rebloom if cut back after the first bloom…

pictures from Pixabay

Some of my favourite perennials recently have been coneflowers, especially the newer colors available.  In cooler summers (like the one we just experienced) the coneflowers bloomed pretty much all summer.  I have peachy orange, red, and a few shades of pink coneflowers that are still stunning in my gardens…

I am still in love with all of the ornamental grasses; there seem to be more beautiful varieties every year.  Blue oat grass is my favourite this year in my zone 4 to 5 gardens.  I love its steel blue coloring and the fact that it is much hardier, larger, and sturdier than the blue fescue I have tried previously. Just the dramatic effect I love.

perennials

What are your favourite and least favourite perennials of the season?