In the past years I have installed dozens blogs, this makes it easy for me guide you through the process of setting up your new website: finding/registering a domain, finding the right hosting, installing software (WordPress blog software), customizing your website with themes and plugins of your choice.
WordPress Blog setup
Have a great idea or business and want to establish your online presence in a blog format? It’s never been easier to get started!
There are multiple blogging solutions available today. I specialise in WordPress software, it’s a complex and flexible Content Management System that makes starting and running your blog a rather trivial task. My domain of expertise is self-hosted WordPress blogs, this means you need to have a website hosting plan purchased from one of the many hosting companies on the market.
If you’re not sure what you need or how to get started – I’ll gladly explain you the option and help you pick the best hosting plan. You should also know that WordPress.com is a blog-specific hosting that saves you a lot of time if blog is all you’re after. This service allows you to customize blogs with additional plugins and themes of your choosing.
You will likely want a domain name of your own – both self-hosted and WordPress.com options support this and I’ll help you research and secure the most relevant domain name available (mind you, it is possible that the domain name you really want is already taken, so we’ll need to pick the next best).
It is important to review your websites regularly to make sure they’re as secure as possible. Online security for a typical blog means that only blog posts/articles/media files of your choosing are available to your visitors, and certain hidden or password protected resources stay inaccessible to everyone except those with the right credentials.
They say no solution is ever 100% secure and that is true. That’s not an excuse to leave most obvious security issues unattended though.
Typical security review/maintenance tasks include the following:
- WordPress and plugins review and upgrade if necessary
- Protecting most important parts of your website with strong passwords (WordPress admin area)
- Reviewing WordPress users
- Reviewing database credentials and access configuation
- Reviewing website access logs to find suspicious activities
Sometimes I’m asked to do a post-mortem analysis after a WordPress website was hacked – usually it’s to confirm the cause of the hack. It is not entirely uncommon though to also focus on the analysis of what data got compromised, so a review of WordPress files is carried out combined with website access log review. The result of such an investigation is a report confirming existing risks and suggesting ways to mitigate them in the future.
WordPress is an extremely flexible piece of software. Core WordPress install allows enough flexibility for you to start and manage a blog, but if you want extra flexibility then you’ll end up using additional plug ins. WordPress plugins are third party software add-ons that can be automatically downloaded and installed for extra functionality.
If you can think of anything to be done with your blog – chances are that there’s a really good plugin already written for it. To give you a few examples, there are plugins for image galleries and fancy text formatting, Amazon and Ebay based product posts and social bookmarking, automated sitemap creation and super-useful contact forms.
Once you establish the basic needs of your blog and its readers, I can assist with finding the most suitable and established plugins to enhance your website.
WordPress blogs are using MySQL databases for storing blog configuration and content, this means the overall performance of your website becomes a composite metric that depends on your webserver (typically Apache) performance, your PHP setup, MySQL DB configuration, activated plugins and sometimes even a particular theme used for your blog.
I provide performance analysis and tuning services to assess how well your blog performs when it comes to rendering new pages or serving static content. If there are underlying bottlenecks like slow DB or chocked-up webserver, I’ll let you know. Likewise, I’ll be the one to bring you the good news if there’s absolutely nothing wrong with your website’s performance.
Performance tuning is usually the last step of my involvement, and it ranges from basic tuning and WordPress caching plugins installation to more drastic measures like optimizing your DB access or suggesting/arranging a different web hosting altogether.