Here we just would like to modestly offer our personal, work-in-progress experience so far.
We also followed and are following quite many sources and examples to try to build up our website. We now wish to report our particular challenge.
First of all we were not quite sure about what to write and whom to address to. Market niches and topics are numberless out there. But of course, we had in mind since long time this trip we are about to undertake.
We wanted then to leave a visible track, an unforgettable footprint, even only for ourselves and friends, to keep it as a kind of open logbook describing our passing feelings
At the same time, nevertheless, we were also determined to eventually, in the far future, see how to monetize our passionate, committed works.
And here we are, hopefully minded to bring on our project and delighted to share it with our few, but persistent readers : )
If you wish to just create a personal, expressive journal, you could do it completely for free using WordPress.com. You sign up for an account and you can start using the platform right away. However, you will be faced with the following limitations:
- No personal domain name like nomadxpress.org, but just nomadxpress.wordpress.com for example;
- No moderator activity allowed;
- No property of the contents;
- No chance to insert commercial ads;
- Limited customization;
- Limited space for your media.
Instead, in order to build a professional, “monetizable” website, you need two essential parts: a domain name and a web hosting
- Domain name: it is basically the address of your website and needs to be registered with a provider.
- Web hosting: it is a web service consisting in storing your web pages in a server, thus making them accessible to all Internet users. Nowadays web hosting providers offer you the complete package with domain name included in the price.
Plus, for blogs and prophane users like us, you need a content management system, aka a blog editor helping you to write your posts in a user-friendly way without being requested to know complex coding.
With that in mind, we have then followed the steps below:
1. We have decided to purchase a package domain name + webhosting with the most reputable Siteground. We searched all around and this was the cheapest, clearest and most recommended provider. They have servers everywhere so that the website speed is always guaranteed. The more you commit, the cheaper it gets: the 3.95 € / month promo is only valid for the first subscription, up to 3 years. Every renewal is instead priced 7,95 € / month. Thereby better to go straightaway for the longest period. We took the bound for 2 years for example.
2. Siteground, similarly to other providers, comes with a very handy wizard to easily (literally 3 clicks) install your own content management system, which must be definitely WordPress, free, open-source and the most advanced. Besides you can find plenty of guides, tutorials and support pages on the web. Indeed there are also other platforms like Wix, Joomla, Blogger, Tumblr, Quora, Weebly, SquareSpace, but not by far comparable with WordPress in terms of elegance, manageability and custom resources.
3. So, you install your WordPress and start playing very intuitively with it. Just go on Google or Youtube and search for free text or video tutorials helping you to get confident with the tools. In a couple of weeks, trust me, you will reach quite a good level of expertise with this platform, which allows you to manage and customize your blog professionally.
4. In WordPress.org you have plenty of themes you can choose among. We found very customizable and responsive Access Press. You can install it in two clicks. Start to personalize it according to your taste and needs.
5. You can then install some plugins (add-on programs extending the performance of your theme) to improve the layout and functionalities of your blog. In terms of plugins, again, with WordPress.org, you have countless options.
The really essential plugins we would recommend are:
i) Jetpack: A suite of plugins for your blog management, stats and analytics;
ii) Akismet: To protect your blog against the spam in your comments;
iii) Yoast: Excellent tool to optimize your SEO;
iv) WP Super Cache: A very fast caching engine for WordPress that produces static html files;
v) WP SpamShield: To protect you against all the bot, fake registrations and logins.
So far we are then at this promising stage. We are doubtlessly struggling with design issues, but we could never imagine it was so affordable to run a website. Nowadays, you have plenty of free or cheap tools and resources available. They convert dumb users like us into “apparently” professional ones, thanks to great open-source platforms and developers. Thanks to them.