These days, it is much easier to create a website than it used to be. In general, website-creation programs are much simpler to use - and you also have the option of signing up with an online web host with easy-to-use page creation tools.
But the biggest change has to be the advent of the blog.
"Blog" is short for 'web log'. Blogs started off as a way for people to create an online diary. Bloggers would simply log on, type out a paragraph or two giving their thoughts on life and the universe (and everything in between); click 'publish' and that was that. The big appeal of a blog was that it was interactive: readers were welcome to add a comment on any post, with a link back to their own blog or website.
Gradually, bloggers started to want more. They wanted easy ways to upload photos, and extra pages on the site - just like a 'real' website. They wanted a range of themes, to better express their personality or business.
Programmers everywhere came to the party, particularly with WordPress, a well-known open source. Now, if you want a website/blog, it's possible to:
* Sign up with a web host with CPanel for a low monthly fee
* Install WordPress with just a few clicks of the mouse, using Fantastico on your website's CPanel
* Either use one of the pre-installed themes, or browse the various themes available at WordPress (and on many other sites) to choose one that suits your personality or business
* Upload the theme you want to the wp_content folder, using a simple FTP program (such as WS_FTP or Cute FTP)
* Start posting your articles or comments
* Add extra pages to your site (if you want to)
Now that you can add separate pages to blogs - just as you can with a standard website - many people are turning to them as their preferred way of building a website. By using various plugins, it's possible to do pretty much anything you want.
What are plugins you ask? Plugins are extra features available for your blog to make your life easier. You can get plugins, for example, that will:
- help you block spam
- make it easy to upload and sort your photos
- ping the search engines so they know when you've added new content
- insert Adsense blocks so you can earn money from your blog
While Wordpress is not the only blog software available, it is an excellent choice because (a) it's free; (b) it's relatively easy to use; (c) it's open-source, and therefore has a lot of people working on it constantly to make it better, and (d) there are quite a few 'how to' sites on the Internet showing you how to make the most of your Wordpress blog.
Take a look around online - can you tell who is using a blog as a website?
About the author:
Amber Miller is a Virtual Assistant and President of Smart To Finish Office Solutions. She partners with small business owners who realize the importance of working on their business - not in their business. She can be reached online at http://www.smarttofinish.com.
By: Amber Miller