Learn how to set up your website without getting overwhelmed with these 5 simple tips. Get inspired to start a new blog and website.
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Are you looking to get started creating a website for your blog?
You know you need to get your website set up to start blogging, but the parts of actually getting everything set up so you can get your ideas out of your head is a little overwhelming. I know it was for me!
I’ve created more websites for my online businesses and blogs than I even want to count (okay, maybe around 10 if we’re including re-designs…?). I’ve created then tweaked, then rehashed, then updated countless times over the past few years.
But I wasn’t always good (or even decent) at the tech stuff. I don’t know that I’d even say that I am now… I just have learned what I needed to learn along the way.
My husband helped me create my very first website while telling me exactly what to do over my shoulder – click by painstaking click (and yes, he was pulling his hair out every night we worked side by side like this). I know how lucky I was that he was a web developer by trade at the time. He taught me the basics and I learned how to research the heck out of everything else as I needed to.
Over time, I learned a lot about not just creating websites, but about being a beginner creating blogs and websites. I want to share with you five beginner tips for creating a website for your blog or online business today.
5 Tips to Set Up Your Website without Getting Overwhelmed
1. Don’t overcomplicate your new website
You only need to have a few key pages for your website. I talk about them in depth here, but the main takeaway is that the more you try to add to your new website, the more work you create.
The more work you create at the beginning, the less likely you are to share your gifts and knowledge with the world quickly. That means it will take you longer to get your thoughts out, drafted, and put up and onto your blog faster. Do your best to keep it simple, stick to a few key pages – and you can always add and modify from there as you move forward as you see necessary.
2. Done is better than perfect
This is something I’m guilty of all the time and have to remind myself of this mantra constantly. The truth is that there will ALWAYS be ways for you to improve your website and blog – even your very first one.
The best thing for you to do is get over your perfectionism now, launch that beautiful blog and website as version one, and commit to upgrading it over time as your blog evolves. Repeat after me… “done is better than perfect!”
3. It’s okay to use a theme that makes blogging easy
While there are so many different options to make a website super custom, the best blogs and websites that focus on content are those that are super simple. The content is what matters, not the design.
When you’re just getting started as a blogger, choosing a theme that has a great framework and is easy to use is key. I have used themes that offer loads of customization and those that were very basic and easy to use.
Even though I’ve been blogging for 9 years, I still prefer a theme that offers some customization but is really basic at its core. I love the themes from StudioPress, because they are simple to customize, look amazing straight after installation, and are really lean when it comes to site speed. They also don’t require too much of a learning curve and just about everything you need to know about using StudioPress themes can be found on YouTube or on blogs. Win win!
If you are looking for something different than StudioPress and the Genesis framework, here are a few other great sites that offer out-of-the-box themes that are easy to install and to use as a beginner: Elegant Themes, ThemeForest, ThemeFuse, and SoloStream.
4. Do the planning first, research second, and execution third
This might seem extremely obvious, but it’s a lesson I’ve had to learn the hard way over and over. Before you spend time tweaking, customizing, or doing ANYTHING to your new blog and website, plan out what you want FIRST. It can quickly become a huge time sink when you get into the backend of a WordPress site and you just mess with things for the sake of seeing how they look.
I recommend planning what you want your blog and all the main pages to look like first before ever even touching your new website or trying to set it up. This includes themes and page layouts.
Instead of knowing what I want on each page of my website, I’d go in and start tweaking things and just filling in boxes with what was already in the theme options.
What happens when you don’t plan your page designs out first is that you might wind up purchasing a premium WordPress theme that doesn’t have the style or design options that you’re looking to achieve. That can be a big bummer after you’ve already spent the money on a theme that you realize doesn’t suit your vision for your website.
Spend a little time mapping out on a piece of paper what you want your main pages to look like (either from your own mind or by referencing other people’s sites as inspiration) first. Then go out and look for a WordPress theme that will have the design and style options you’re after.
Once you know what you want and find a theme that works with those ideas, then you can start doing the work to make the site exactly as you want it. This way you’re happy the first time through and save so much time over the long term.
5. Don’t get caught up in the little details.
This goes right along with my “done is better than perfect” mantra, but deserves it’s own note by itself. The little details that pop up while you’re creating a new blog or website like the spacing between lines or the fonts all being perfect are just small little things that can (and will, if you let them!) push you out from getting your blog out to the world.
I’m not saying put just any old thing out there and start sharing it, but I am saying that there are often things on any website that need improvements that only YOU will notice. Trust me, there are not enough hours in a day to make sure every single thing is perfect – unless you’re hiring that part of your business out.
The truth is no one notices or cares if every single detail is tidied up. You can make a list of the niggly little items that drive you nuts and vow to come back to them at a later time. But please please please don’t allow the tiny details to stop you from sharing your message with the world or moving forward.
Spend time on the things that matter when it comes to setting up your blog and website: get the key pages in place, secure a theme that you love, and then get to creating the content that you want to share with the world.