Are you fed up with a blog that is out of date or doesn’t quite represent your message as seriously or beautifully as you’d like? Below, I’ll share what has made Blessed Transgressions the professional magazine and blog it is today, as well as my creative site, Risen Upon Thee. If you don’t mind an investment of less than $400, you are well on your way to blogging professionalism, beautification and reliability.
The only web host I have ever been with is Bluehost, and I fully intend on keeping it that way. When I was new to the blogging world, I did a lot of research on how to build a blog, and many successful people kept advising Bluehost, saying it would be worth my time for these reasons:
- Affordable hosting plans
- Excellent customer service
- Ability to integrate WordPress onto my site for free
- Reliable website up-time
- An overall good hosting company for those just starting out or websites that do not rank in the millions in terms of readership
I have been a customer of Bluehost since February 2016 and have yet to be let down!
With Bluehost, you get a free installation of WordPress, a premium blogging software that can also be used for standard websites. The benefits of WordPress are thousands of free and paid-for themes, high quality plugins to help your site function as you want, and a well laid out admin dashboard.
What I love about WordPress (more than any other blogging platform):
- Ease of use: Writing blog posts, pages and uploading images has never been easier! If you often use a lot of pictures but want one to shine more than the others, you have the capability to designate it as the featured image for a particular post, and it will appear in each post preview. Also, whatever images you upload are hosted by WordPress, so images in your media library can appear anywhere on your site. No need for HTML code or a third party image host.
- Custom Permalinks: A permalink is what you see in the web address bar of your browser. If you use a blogging platform like Blogger, you can’t choose what the permalink says, or get rid of the .html at the end of pages and posts. With WordPress, you can create custom permalinks to shorten long ones or display the publish date of a specific page or post. I won’t get into all the variations, but those are some of the most helpful!
- Register Users: Do you want to have guest posting on your blog? WordPress was built for such a thing! Easily add as many users as you need, and decide whether they have an account to log into or not. Download different plugins for different author box looks, where you can also include their picture, bio, web address and social media links.
- Downloads: Do you offer printables or other downloadable goods? WordPress has multiple plugins that allow you to create download buttons easily and beautifully. Your site will also be the host of the download instead of needing a third party service.
- Shop Capability: If you’re interested in selling products online and not using a third party service like Esty or eBay, Woocommerce is a plugin you can download and will allow you to sell your products beautifully and easily on your own site. Check out an example, here.
You can also read WordPress vs Blogger by WPBeginner if you currently use Blogger and would like a more in depth analysis.
The Genesis Framework
Once you have WordPress, I strongly recommend purchasing the Genesis Framework. This framework is very popular among all kinds of website owners, and I use it for every site I own and make for these reasons:
- Search Engine Optimization or SEO: Made with clean and optimized code that search engines like Google like.
- Unlimited Everything: Do you have more than one site? If so, you won’t need to buy Genesis a second time. You can use on unlimited projects! After purchase, you also receive unlimited support and updates.
- Security: This framework is coded to follow WordPress’s best security practices.
- Customizable & Fast: Genesis offers a customization panel when viewing any page of your site in admin mode. From this panel you can move around widgets, delete them, or add new ones. Your site will also load in a matter of milliseconds instead of seconds. In the web world, that’s huge!
- Layout Options: Choose whether you want a full width layout, a content and sidebar layout, or a sidebar content sidebar layout, to name a few! You can also have different layouts for different pages.
- Child Themes: Because Genesis is a framework, you’ll need to purchase a child theme to give your site the look you want. With hundreds of child theme developers, finding your perfect theme should be a snap! But hey, I happen to be one of them! Visit my creative site Risen Upon Thee to find a theme you’ll love, or, I can make something custom for you for only $13/hour. Bargain!
For more information, read What is a WordPress Theme Framework? by WP Beginner and Things You Should Know Before You Purchase the Genesis Framework by Nuts and Bolts Media.
You now have the tools…
…to create a better blog! And not just a better one, but one that is top notch among the hundreds of millions of websites today! If you need any help or have questions, contact me.
*All opinions are honest and unsolicited. I use and without hesitation promote every product mentioned in this guide*