Web site 101: Link round up

I hope you’ve enjoyed my “Web site 101” series this week – a chance to learn a little more about how to enhance your Web site. Here’s what I’ve covered:

I hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s theme – an introduction to WordPress, Blogging, and Web sites! Next month I’m going to talk about money – everything from the basics of investing to how to get stuff for free (legally!).



Web site 101: Domain name

So far, I’ve written about dedicated hosting, where to find free images, and what a widget is. Today, I’m going to talk about domain names.

What is  domain name?

A domain name is a name that used to identify a website on the internet. An example of a domain name would be: wpbeginner.com. I previously ran a site for a while about personal finance and the domain name was smartcanuckbuck.com

How do I get one?

You can purchase a domain name through an online registrar (one of the better known ones is GoDaddy). You can choose to get just one extension (e.g. .com) or many (.co. .ca, .org, etc.) to protect your site name.

Why would I want one?

A domain name can be an essential tool in helping people determine what your site is about and find it easily. For example – I listen to a podcast which is about generating passive income. The site associated with it is smartpassiveincome.com.  It’s a great choice – easy to tell what it’s about, and likely to come up early in Google search results (effective use of SEO).

How much it cost me?

It varies – as of this posting, GoDaddy (I am not affiliated with them in any way) is advertising a domain for 14.99 for the first year.






Web site 101: Widgets

A widget is a small “block” that performs specific function. If you’re working in WordPress, they can be easily be dragged and dropped into a specific widget area.

There are all kinds of widgets available.  You will have some default ones when you set up your WordPress site (a listing of previous posts and categories) but there are lots you can add using the Customizer.  Here’s a few examples of what’s available:

  • Twitter Timelines – Links to your Twitter feed
  • Top Posts and Pages – Shows your most viewed pages and posts
  • Recent Comments –  Displays your site’s most recent comments
  • Instagram – Displays your most recent Instagram photos
  • Blog Stats – Shows a hit counter for your blog

Widgets can be a great way to tie many social media platforms together (e.g. your site, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) or let you highlight certain aspects of your site.

Happy Customization!



Web sites 101: Finding free images

Yesterday I introduced the concept of dedicated hosting, and today I’ll list a few sites where you can find free images. Don’t forget to credit the site you got the image from.

The expression goes “A picture is worth a thousand words”, and it’s nice to have images to make your site or post more interesting. However, not all of us want to have to pay for using images or happen to have the right photos already available!

Sites that offer free images:

  • Free Images. The name pretty much says it all. Images are sorted by category and they offer everything from architecture to outdoor activities.
  • Public Domain Archive. Free vintage and modern images – everything from salt shakers to the Eiffel Tower!
  • Wikimedia Commons.This is a large library of images, audio, and video files that can be freely used.
  • Unsplash. Describes itself as “Beautiful free photos. Gifted by the world’s most generous community of photographers”.

I’ve put a photo of a cute piglet below (just because I really like them) with credit.

Sus scrofa piglet

By Sander van der Wel (Frisling) CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0) via Wikimedia Commons

Web sites 101: Dedicated hosting

This week I’m going to write about some useful terms you need to know, as well as how to find free images for your site!

Today’s topic is dedicated hosting.

What is dedicated hosting?

Dedicated hosting describes Web hosting packages that provide a dedicated server with dedicated resources to a single client.

Do I need it?

If you expect to have a large number of visitors to your site, then dedicated hosting may be for you. You get full control of the server and you can configure it to meet your own needs.   So if you are hoping for a high traffic site and somewhat tech-savvy (or can hire someone who is) this may be for you. If you’re just running a basic blog like I am (and don’t want to have to pay anything to do so!) then dedicated hosting is not for you.

How much does it cost?

It varies, but with a quick search, I’ve seen a range from $3.95 to $100 or more a month! So if this is something that interests you, do some research, and decide what you really need and how much you’re willing to spend.




What are some of the best ways to optimize my site for SEO?

So far this week, I’ve introduced you to SEO, talked about why it’s important, and written about some sites where you can learn more about it.

Today I’m going to write a short list of some ways you can optimize your posts for SEO.

  1.  Make sure you use unique page and post titles that accurately describe their contents. This helps search engines know what the topic of a particular page or post is.
  2. Make use of a page’s “description” meta tag. It gives Google and other search
    engines a summary of what the page is about.
  3.  Make sure your URLs are easy to understand and descriptive and use words instead of numbers. For example: http://www.mysite.com/allaboutme instead of http://www.mysite.com/12423.html
  4. Make sure your site is easy to navigate. Yes, this can be taken into account when your site is being “crawled” by a search engine.
  5. Have a site map page if you have a site with a lot of pages.

Happy optimizing!