Take Control Of Your Website

  • Added:
    Dec 03, 2012
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    1112
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Most modern websites are now built with a content management systems (CMS). This enables a business to always keep a website up to date without needing any HTML skills. This can be expensive or it can be FREE.

Keep Websites up to date

Keeping your website looking up to date not only pleases your visitors but also give you points with Google for positioning the website in searches. Google likes fresh content.

We see a lot of organization websites promoting events that took place last month or last year. This may be because no one in the organization has the skill to update a website and it doesn’t make the organization look good.

It must be frustrating for a business to be unable to show their latest products on their website.

Content Management Systems

There are thousands of content management systems, but more than half of websites using CMS use the free WordPress. By December 2011 there had been 65 million downloads of version 3.

WordPress has thousands of themes and templates each with many layout options. There are also some 20,000 plugins for all types of facilities such as ecommerce, photo galleries, membership records, interactive forms, SEO, etc. all integrating with WordPress.

How easy is WordPress?

It started life as blogging software where anyone who could use a keyboard could publish daily thoughts in a blog. This naturally appealed to everyone without computer skills. It then developed to provide both blogs and static web pages.

It’s easy to change themes without losing any information already entered into the website.

Using WordPress is like using a word processing program.

How to set up a new website with WordPress

Delegate your domain name to a hosting server. Inside the hosting control panel (e.g. cpanel) go to software services, self-install scripts (sometimes called Fantastico, Softaculous, etc.). Among Blogs, select WordPress and follow the prompts to install. Keep a note of your login and password.

Once installed, go into yourdomain.com/wp-admin to the WordPress Dashboard - Settings - Reading. There set Static Page.

How to convert an old website to WordPress

First copy all the content to your hard disk and delete it from the site. Then install WordPress from the hosting control panel. Go into yourdomain.com/wp-admin to the WordPress Dashboard - Settings - Reading. There set Static Page.

How to use WordPress

In the Dashboard, go to Appearance - Themes and try new themes. Most themes have choices of sidebars left, right and both. Each theme has a system for you to load an image or logo for the header and to set widths, backgrounds, colors and fonts. Some 1600 free themes are listed and reviewed on the wordpress org site.

Go to Pages - Add New. Type in the title of your first page and copy and paste the content from your hard disk. Upload any photos using the media icon. Click Publish to save the page.

To change the side bars go to Appearance - Widgets where you can drag away the defaults and drag in what you want, e.g. Pages (a menu of the web pages, Text (where you can enter say contact details and hype), Links, etc.

In all sections of WordPress admin you can click the Help link at top right for help on each section, but usually you can just follow the prompts.

For Google friendly page URLs go to Settings - Permalinks.

Other Content Management Systems

There are thousands of competing CMS, including the well known Joomla, Drupal and Mambo, but we haven’t found any so easy to use with as many themes as WordPress. But regardless of that, get one that suits you. Requirements are generally Linux hosting with PHP and MySQL database.

Benefits of CMS

  • Updates are done online and made live instantly.
  • You are not reliant on the timetables of web designers.
  • An organization can delegate the task to several users with passwords to update different parts of its website online.
  • Your website can always look fresh and up to date.

Author's Profile

Ken McKay is an Australian Web Designer at www.platywebs.com.au


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