Build Your Website Right The First Time

Build Your Website Right The First Time

Why don’t we do it right the first time? Because we don’t have the right information. The right information only comes from someone who has made the mistakes themselves and is willing to share their experience so you can do it right the first time.

The First Mistake – It’s FREE!

This article gives you the information. It’s written from my experience. I’ve made them all.  The First Mistake was starting a free website. It looked simple to do, or so the text read so I clicked the “get started” button. Every step was complicated. First I had to select a name for my website then I discovered the name I wanted to use was taken by someone else.  With the free website the name of the website had the website platform in the URL and this signals to the world it’s a freebie. The only way the platform name wouldn’t be in the URL was to upgrade.

I thought the website was free?  The website is free, but the URL looked like this: http://mywebsitename.wordpress.com this didn’t look right. I don’t want wordpress.com in the URL! Too bad this is how a free platform works.

If I wanted to continue, I would have to buy a domain name and then I could have the URL as http://joanmargau.com. If I had the right information to begin with I wouldn’t have started a free website with a free theme. I didn’t like the website and I didn’t want to buy a domain name… and I couldn’t figure out how to use the theme either. I thought WordPress was easy to use. It is when someone shows you how it works.

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Step # 1 The Domain Name

You don’t want to start out with a free website at all. The first step is to decide on a domain name and to check if this domain is available to use. The name of your website should tell people what the website is about. It is the name of the industry or business or your personal name. But it is the first thing you need to do before starting a website. 

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Step # 2 The Website Must be Self-Hosted

Self-hosting isn’t hosting your website on your computer. It’s using a Hosting Company to host your website on their server. Which is the best Hosting Company? The one that gives you the best support based on your level of comfort with the intricacies of website management.

 

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Step # 3 Choosing the Right Hosting Company

Don’t go with the cheapest price. Cheap hosting fees mean insufficient memory and you’ll have to upgrade to get enough memory. Even if you think your website is only small one with a few pages and a blog. The content will soon mount up with images and videos and the website will run out of memory, and you’ll have to upgrade your hosting fees.

The Hosting Company must be able to give you PHP 7.0+ without costing extra. You want free SSL certificate, daily backups of your website and email service, and 24/7 helpful tech support and WordPress expertise.

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Step #4 Choosing the Website Software

This time you’re in luck the best software for a website is WordPress and there is no cost to you to use WordPress. It’s delivered to you when you sign up with a Hosting Company. WordPress is themost used software for websites worldwide. It is secure and updated regularly. The next step is the most challenging one.

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Step #5 Choosing the WordPress Theme

There are literally hundreds of themes each one better than the one you looked at previously, and they’re free. By now you should be wary of the word “free.” My advice; never go with a free WordPress Theme. Do yourself a favor and go with the most used Premium WordPress Theme in the world, the Divi Theme. This is all you will need.

One of the things you do not want to do is to have to change your theme each year. Why? A theme comes with a one year license to use and to continue using that theme you must renew the license. 

Why the Divi Theme?

There are plenty of themes and why I’m prepared to recommend the Divi Theme is because it’s the one theme that let’s you be in charge of your website. The idea that only a designer or a programmer can build a website isn’t true. You can build a website without having to know how to code. You can also build it the way you want it built, and you don’t have to depend on anyone to build it for you. All you need is someone to show you how Divi works.

 

FYI Friday, Nov. 29, 2019 is Black Friday. Take advantage of the discount offers with the Divi Theme.

The Leader in the Industry

In my opinion this theme is the best theme. There are other themes available but none as versatile as the Divi Theme. The makers of Divi, Elegant Themes produced the Divi Theme in 2012. It is now used all over the world and has been translated into thirty-two different languages! When something is good we know it when we see it. Visit Elegant Themes website and take a look at the Divi Theme.

 

The Most Important Consideration – Your Budget

How much money are you wanting to spend? None? Then you’ll live with the free website and eventually come to the point of dissatisfaction because you can’t get what you want out of the website and it isn’t working. If you’re going to have a website it will take an investment on your part, but it’s not as expensive as you think.

The Figures

Step # 1: The Domain Name. You can purchase the domain through the Hosting Company as most of them are Domain Registrars. A domain is priced from $9.88 to $20. All domains must be renewed annually to keep them from dropping into the public domain. Some Hosting Companies will include the domain for free when you sign up with them for hosting. This might be for the first year of hosting only.

Hosting Fees

Step # 2 and #3: Hosting Company. A Hosting Company will have attractive low introductory rate offers. After the introduction period the price will go up to the regular monthly rate. Always make sure you know what that rate is. Don’t be lured by the cheaper hosting company. Remember, cheap means insufficient memory and upgrade to use more.

For more information take a look at SiteGround pricing. As a comparison take a look at WordSpaces pricing.

Divi Theme Purchase

Step # 4 and #5: WordPress and the Divi Theme. WordPress is included. To use the Divi Theme you must be a member of Elegant Themes. The memebership includes tech support and all the products that come with the Divi Theme. The products are Monarch, a social media sharing plugin, Bloom an email opt-in plugin, and premade layout packs added weekly to the Divi Library. The Elegant Themes membership is $87 per year. You can upgrade to a lifetime membership with a one time fee for $249 and thereafter your fees for all the products and features will be $0.

If you’re budget conscious, it’s Black Friday on November 29. This means you get a huge discount off joining Elegant Themes and the lifetime membership.

What is your budget? How much should you spend? As much as you need depending on where you want to go with your website. 

Some of the links on this page are my affiliate links. I only recommend products I use on my websites and on clients websites.

Can You Build Your Own Theme?

Can You Build Your Own Theme?

Can You Build Your Own Theme?

Yes! How so?

The Divi Theme Builder will come out October 17, 2019.  Something we always associated with a designer or a developer is now going to be available for us users. The long awaited Divi 4.0 is about to launch. It will change the way you think about websites. You won’t have the problems becuase you’ll have the right tools to use.

The Divi Theme was created by Elegant Themes in 2013. It has become the most used theme in the world and has been translated into thirty-two different languages because it’s so versatile and you don’t have to know how to do HTML.

Designers and Developers have been using a Child Theme method to build stylized themes. The Divi Theme Builder makes Child Themes something you don’t really need. That’s the way of technology it forges the new and gives everyone the opportunity not just the few elite. Now you can start to think about building your own unique website with your style.

Develop Means Build

Develop means build, but not in the sense of building it from the ground up and using code. WordPress core software is already coded. A WordPress Theme overlays the WordPress framework. The Divi Theme is a theme framework and this means you’re now in the position of being able to build a website.

The Web Page Structure

A web page is divided up into sections. The top part of the page is the Header, the content is in the middle, and the footer is at the bottom of the page. The web page isn’t the same as an 8″ x 11″ piece of paper. It’s as long as the content on the page.

The information inside the web page is made up of dividers, or div containers stacked on top of each other. The dividers are arranged into column widths to put content on to the page.

The header has the logo and the main nagivation menu. The footer has information such as the copyright notice and other links and information. The header and the footer appear on each page throughout the site, this is known as global or sitewide.

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The Page Builder Concept

The page builder overlays the existing WordPress editor and helps you put content onto the page. As the term implies it builds the page without your having to use code. It is a method created by the developers. Not everyone likes to  use HTML.

We’re looking at the web page from the front end, the finished product. All software used on a computer is operated by code that runs in the background while the software is in use.

With the Visual Builder you see your edits on the page as you enter the content into the mdoule.

Drag and Drop Modules

The modules are self-contained. They are mini content management systems for a particular item you want to use on the web page.

This is also an invention of the developers who figured out how to use the basic icon commands and wrote the code to create the specific module with settings for content, design, and advanced styling.

The whole style of drag and drop modules has changed the way a website is built. The Global Editor allows you to save the module in a particular style throughout the website. This means you don’t have to style each module.

Styling the Content

With the new Theme Builder you can style the header and the footer, this means you don’t have to use a Child Theme for a website.

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Your Website

Have you been thinking that even building a website is too much technical know how. Contact me and let’s talk.

Building a Website Before Building a Theme

Building a website isn’t done in three steps. Before you can run and build a theme you will need to learn to walk in the foundational knowledge of how a theme functions. The Divi Theme now includes builder features. These builder features are the most advanced tools that will assist you with your project no matter what level the project is at. Even if it’s still an idea inside your head, you’ll find the solution in one of the Builders built into the Divi Theme.

The Divi Builder

The Visual Builder

The Theme Builder

The Divi Builder

This is built into the Divi Theme but is also able to be used as a stand alone plugin in a WordPress website. That is one of the excellent features about using WordPress for a website, the ability to add functions to the website. These addons are known as plugins.  The Divi builder replaces the standard WordPress editor and gives you a module to use for everything you want to do. You can use the Divi Builder plugin with any WordPress Theme. The Divi Builder is available from Elegant Themes the makers of the Divi Theme.

The Visual Builder

Built into the Divi Theme for use as an onpage visual editor where you see the content as you create it in real time. One of the most avanced technologies in website building. A first of it’s kind. As you type the content into the module you can view the content. The Visual Builder will increase your work speed and accuracy. You edit your content as you type the content into the module. Even if you copy and paste the content you are able to read it and edit the content easily.  This way of working when writing for the web is a content creators dream.

The Theme Builder

Just recently added to the Divi Theme. It’s the leading innovation into website building. The fact that you can build a website, and a theme if you want, without needing to know code, is a technological achievement that is complimetary to our ability. Of course there is more to building a theme than just being able to use the feature of the Theme Builder.

Going without a website isn’t a good idea. The Internet isn’t going to be eliminated. Online communication is the best way to reach an audience, grow a business, share information, and learn. In fact, we’re so in love with the Internet most of us can’t sleep at night because we’re inside our computers finding more information. To build a website you need the foundational knowledge about how the Divi Theme works.

Foundational Knowledge

The best way to get the foundational knowledge the basics of the how it’s done is to see Divi in action. The best way to see how it works is to see it in action. When you see what is possible then you’ll be inspired to bring your idea into your website with a blog. For a live in-person demonstration on how to start using the Divi Theme contact me. 

Blogs with the Divi Visual Builder in real time. When she’s not blogging she’s teaching you how the amazing Divi Theme works so you can build your website. Also known to be in love with the Divi Theme since it came out in 2013.

Joan Margau

More About Website Building

How To Use Images In A Website

How To Use Images In A Website

How To Use Images In A Website

The images used in a website are far more important than how easy it is to upload them. One of the biggest problems with websites is the images. The web is a great place to view awesome pictures. How do you get awesome images? Everyone thinks all you do is upload the image from a mobile phone. The mobile phone takes incredibly sharp images. They look great on the phone!

A smartphone can have a 2, or 3 megapixel camera. This means the the camera takes high resolution pictures which gives the image a large size. When you use that image it needs to be sized and compressed for the web. When an image is compressed, the picture quality is reduced somewhat but the file size decreases. If the image is not compressed the file size is too big and this causes the webpage to load slowly.

Image Compressing Plugins

They’ll do the work for you. But that’s the lazy way around the issue. If you want to save yourself time, expense, and future problems with webpage loading times, prepare the images you’re going to use correctly before you upload them to the media library in your website.

There’s no way around this, and no quick fix no matter how many plugins you find in the WordPress Plugin Repository on WordPress.org.

Image Responsiveness

A premium WordPress Theme will have built in image responsiveness, and a sizing chart for images to use with the Theme. If you don’t know the correct image size it’s a guessing game and a lot of wasted time.

This is a great way to irritate the visitor who lands on your website as they wait for the page to load because the image file is too large.

Eventually you’ll get the timeout notice from the browser that the page couldn’t load.

Free Image Editor

Free doesn’t always mean they’re good. It depends on your preference.

Affinity Designer

Is the same as Adobe Photoshop without the expense. Your images need attention before uploading.

Image Sizing

This is so important especially when you are laying out the content onto the web page. In the Divi Theme you have the option to choose the columns you want for the page. It’s better to follow an image measurement guide that shows you exactly what the width of the column is and what the size of the image should be.

The Ultimate Guide to Image Sizing was published in 2017 by Elegant Themes. Technology updates but the structure of a web page won’t change. A web page consists of divider tables which can have various column widths. 

Content Image Balance

The content you put on the page will need images to break up the text and make it interesting. A picture tells a story without having to write a whole lot of words. Images are also great motivating tools. No one likes to look at text with no images. It’s different when you’re reading a book. The web is similar to a magazine when it comes to layout, but you can’t click on a link, go to another article and find more information. 

Ideally you want to achieve a balance of text and images on a given page or blog post. This is a challenge. But once you know what images you want to use and what size they should be you won’t have problems coming up with the kind of content you want to put onto the page or into the blog post.

Author | Joan

Bloggs with the Divi Visual Builder in real time!

Break Out of the Blog Box

Break Out of the Blog Box

Break Out of the Blog Box!

Page Builders changed blogging.

Writing content into a blog post takes on new meaning. The story unfolds in bite sized quality content, a balance of content and images.

Visible. Accessible. Interesting.

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July 20, 2019

WordPress

One of the best softwares to use for a website, especially if you don’t know how to code. WordPress started out as an open source blogging software and was developed by Matt Mullenweg and David Little in 2003. It grew into the most used software for websites worldwide.

Having a WordPress website meant you needed to use a WordPress Theme. The Theme had a one year license. This meant you could renew the license but if the developer no longer updated that theme you had to get a new one.

 

Frustrated Blogger

The web is an ideal place to communicate. Blogging was something I wanted to do regularly. I would come to the WordPress classic editor to enter the content and start writing. When I wanted to add an image and get the text to look right the text wouldn’t align with the image. I had to insert a page break in the HTML area. First I had to figure out what a page break was, and where to put it. 

To someone who is not a developer this was confusing. I lost interest in creating content and my blog ‘died.’

 

The Page Builder Solution

The Page Builder was a plugin developed specifically for WordPress Themes. There are quite a few Page Builders. One isn’t better than another. It’s more a matter of personal preference. I use the Divi Theme.

The Divi Builder

The Divi Builder is built into the Divi Theme but it is also available as a standalone WordPress Plugin. You are able to design the content the way you want, without having to add a short code.

Divi Visual Builder

The Visual Builder created a whole new level of creating content. You see the content created, in real time. This is a great time saver.

Edit the conent

Change the column layout

Add style and an image

Pull in other relevant blog posts

The image on the right is a screenshot of the Visual Builder using the Image Module Settings.

 

Blogging is Enjoyable Again

Blogging isn’t a list of topics buried in a word document that don’t get posted into the blog. You can prewrite the content and copy and paste it into the blog post. I find it easier to write as I go along. The process helps me to think and I edit as I write.

After you’re done entering the text you might not like the way the text looks in the particular column width you’re using. To change a column wisth you adjust the columns in the row settings.

Checking for Mobile View

The Divi Theme is responsive so it will change the view on mobile and tablet view. But as you put content onto the page you can check the mobile and the tablet view. You have to be using the Visual Builder to do this. All this is possible and this is how I broke out of the blog box. Now I look forward to writing a blog post.

Just because you can…

The only rule to follow is; just because you can doesn’t mean you should. You don’t want to decorate every section. Always think about the person reading the post. You want to make the experience pleasant. Too much design takes the reader away from the content and puts their focus on the design. 

The Post Looks Good…

This will depend on whether or not you like the way the content is laid out and you have a different idea of what a blog post should look like. There’s always going to be this discussion. Some will like the divider in the middle of the post and some won’t.

The artistry in a blog post should be secondary to the quality of the content. This post demonstrates the use of the Page Builder and the Visual Builder built into the Divi Theme. The Page Builder is an excellent tool to help you get the content writtten. But, you still have to write the substantive content. 

Your website is a powerful communication tool and with the Divi Theme you’ll break out of the blog box!

Blogs with the Divi Visual Builder in real time. When she’s not blogging she’s teaching you how the amazing Divi Theme works so you can build your website. Also known to be in love with the Divi Theme since it came out in 2013.

Joan Margau

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A Better Way to Blog

A Better Way to Blog

After the much anticipated update of the WordPress core editor, Gutenberg, you still need to write a blog post, or two. At the same time of the update, the Divi Theme came out with a better way to blog using the Divi Visual Builder.

The Divi Theme provided the solution. It can be irritating to have to learn an entirely new system when you’re used to the previous one.

The Divi Visual Builder Experience

With this update the Divi Theme changes the way we create content. Now you can enter content directly onto the page. As you type, your edits are in real time. At last you can concentrate on the content you’re writing and not the technology to arrange the content on the page. You now have no obstruction for the flow of the information.

Within the post you can add sections, columns and images to make the post interesting and pleasant to read. Did you know, people skim read the content you worked so hard to produce. The web is full of information and distractions. All competing for the reader’s attention.

You want to keep your paragraphs short and to the point. You can when you get into the flow of writing directly onto the page. Then you can see the length of the paragraph, and edit the content.

Selecting the Content Layout

You can stay with a single column width for a blog post. and put pictures into the single column, or you can put the next section in a two column layout. What you’re doing is making the content easy to read and pleasant to view.

 

Choose a Module

Staying within the confines of a blog post you don’t want to divert the attention away from the subject. In this layout only the text and image modules are used in a two-column width. The two images in this layout reduce the need for an explanation.

Don’t make the reader work to read your content.

 

The Purpose of the Blog Post

The Internet is a place to share and exchange information and connect with people you wouldn’t ordinarily have an opportunity to meet in person. The blog post is a powerful tool. It is the voice of communication of your business, or hobby. This is where you give out information that relates to what you do.

When you write a blog post regularly you create fresh content. Think about the times you want to find out information and you go to the search engine of choice and type in what you’re looking for. The search engine results show more questions going deeper into the original question. Eventually you find a link that takes you directly to a blog post. This is the way we find information.

The blog post doesn’t have to be lengthy but it must be substantive in that it gives information and enough pictures and not too much text.

Always write for a person, not the search engine.

When you write regularly the content of the blog post will flow better. Writing blog posts directly into the post is a better way to blog.

Styling The Blog Post

This blog post has a different layout. It isn’t the standard blog layout with a right sidebar. For this post I am using the Divi Blog Extended Plugin by Elicus Technologies. This plugin gives you six additional layouts to choose from for a blog post. No short code or coding needed. The layouts are fully responsive. You can even create a custom category archive page to store in the Divi Library.

The ability to style the blog post has to be in moderation. Always keep in mind the person reading the content. A blog post isn’t an advertisement. Nothing is more irritating than an interruption in the flow of content.

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Divi and WordPress

Divi and WordPress

The match between Divi and WordPress is a good from start to finish. No matter what you read about the “end of WordPress,” or the “end of Page Builders and Themes,” it isn’t for real.

Here are some facts:

  • WordPress is the most used website software worldwide
  • 30% of the websites on the web are powered by WordPress
  • WordPress is the most flexible software to build an online platform
  • The Divi Theme is used by Developers and Designers
  • The Divi Theme has been translated into thirty-two different languages
  • It is used all over the world
  • You don’t have to know how to use code to build a website with the Divi Theme

There will always be those who want to take down the person who is sucessful. It is a favorite passtime among some competitors to consistently bash the best. The Divi Theme is the developer and the designer’s best kept secret. This is the Theme they use because it compliments their knowledge.

WordPress is open source

Open source means developers from all over the world contribute to the core code. WordPress is the framework upon which a Theme is built. The fact that expertise is garnered from the best developers is a testament to the collaboration of WordPress. The end result is WordPress has created the space for everyone to benefit.

Developers, designers, business owners, entrepreneurs, corporations, governments, schools, individuals, use WordPress. With this philosophy, WordPress isn’t about to collapse or put anyone out of business because it makes changes and improvements to it’s existing framework.

Divi is a Premium WordPress Theme

The features inside the Divi Theme give you the opportunity to work within a framework that suits your technical knowledge. At first you might think you cannot build a website because Divi is too advanced. There are predesigned layouts in the Divi Library. A new layout is added each week.

With Divi, you never have to look at a blank page.

Conceptualizing the layout of content onto a web page is much easier if you have the elements of the page widths and measurements visible. As you work with the premade layouts with the modules you become familiar with how a webpage works. The page is divied up into dividers, this is how the Divi theme got its name.

Column Layout

This is what the layout of a page looks like using the built in Divi Builder. The blocks assigned are predefined and fit exactly to the width of the page.

You have a selection of columns. After choosing the layout you select a module to place into the layout.

Select a Module

This is the selection of modules available to use. For every function there is a module to match.

The design team that created Divi wanted to make the experience of building a website pleasureable. Not only for the developer and the designer, but for us, the user.

The design team at Elegant Themes were so successful, the Divi Theme is now the #1 used theme in the world. Since it came out in 2013, I have had no need for any other theme. Some have said when you use Divi you’re stuck with it. Not so. I’ve never been “stuck.”

Once you learn the basics there is no limit, you can take your website where you want, and concentrate on your business, and enjoy the experience of owning a website. To have more visibility and take advantage of doing business online you would need a marketing and promotion strategy.

Today’s web is a network of connections. Knowing how to connect isn’t obvious. To get help with this next step connect with Scott Winterroth. I had the good fortune to meet him at a WordPress Meetup four years ago. Ever since that meeting the conversation hasn’t stopped. He is an excellent resource for digital marketing strategy for your online business.

If you’re interested in learning more about how WordPress and the Divi Theme work to build a website, join me in an online bootcamp. I show you how it’s done step-by-step. No code or advanced knowledge needed.