One April . Perhaps the perfect date upon which I decided to embark on this journey. It is 10:31pm and the house is finally calm and quiet, I could hear a pin drop, as opposed to the earlier madhouse when the boys (including our dog) vie for my undivided attention. Though excited, I sense a bit of nervousness for I somewhat feel I really do not know what I am doing for the most part but I am clicking away… click! click! click! I am no writer but this sounds all too familiar, catapulting me to the time when I would open my work inbox to over 300 messages, alerts and reports to review. I certainly do not miss that part but the ongoing projects, the problem solving which allowed me to constantly exercise my creativity and collaborating with an amazing team I built, I sure do.
After recently having my 2nd son, Dayton, I left my corporate career and became a full-time homemaker. Though I was home, in the house I considered my sanctuary, it felt like a total change of environment. Then to completely turn things upside down, my husband and I decide to uproot the family, and move to a different city and state. I had traded my 3 inch heels for a pair of Sorel boots but kept my signature French twist updo hairstyle (in reality, more like a makeshift top knot nowadays), as I settled into my new role and my new home.
I relish the daily joys of peace, a less stressful environment, along with the emotional and physical demands of my full time Mom Boss position. However, there are days when I think that I still have another purpose. Long tranquil walks and jogs along the beautiful landscapes have helped clear my mind. It was then that the ideas started to become louder. Fruition, how do I go about it? Where do I start? Like a huge tangled web I must sort out, I went through the laundry list and began with the lowest hanging fruits – ones that were well within my reach, given my limited time and lack of flexibility.
The last couple of months, and in the background over the last decade, creating a blog to document anything worth sharing has been on my list of must do’s. Fast forward to 2018, and here I am! But one may ponder, am I too late to the party? What made me finally jump on the wagon? Whether it is the drive to have an outlet for creativity or wanting to fulfill something I said I would do, I have convinced myself that no matter the number of excuses made on why I couldn’t, it is worth giving something I have always wanted to do a shot. And so, here we are.
The best way to predict your future is to create it -Abraham Lincoln
The Steps I Took To Get To This Point
I never realized creating a website could be this painless! Getting a domain, host and theme for your site is relatively quick and easy. Without distractions, you can establish them in less than half an hour. For a newbie such as myself, there was ample information online to help guide me through the process. I made sound choices with readily made web themes at a click of a button. My husband always says read the instructions, and I found that for once to be true. READ! READ! READ! By doing some research and comparison, I found I could lay a solid groundwork for the site. At times it got overwhelming, and some hair pulling might have been involved, but when you’re trying to perfect a theme (and it doesn’t really need to be on your first attempt), it’s ok to take a break! Nothing like some good brownies can’t fix! Yeah!
Here below is a simplified guide I created for myself to help organize the concepts. I chose a self-hosted site (a.k.a you are on your own!) but DON’T be afraid of it even with zero knowledge! If you’re willing to research and read, it can be done.
- O N E : Define its purpose. What your blog will be about. Its short term and long term goals. Who is your target audience?
- T W O : Give it a name. As the saying goes, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but not when it comes to your domain name. It is how your site will be known online. Click on this link for tips.
- T H R E E : Purchase your domain. There are a few options out there. I picked NameCheap for its solid reputation. Note that there are some add-on costs. Check out this blog for more information.
- F O U R : Obtain a host. You need a web server to store and manage your data. This service typically charges monthly fees with some starting at $2.95 a month. My decision boiled down to 2 – Bluehost & SiteGround. Both are highly recommended for WordPress platform and I decided to go with the latter. SiteGround appears to be stronger based on the unbiased reviews I came across. Here is a comprehensive comparison between the two.
- F I V E : Sign up for a platform. To assist you with publishing your site, you need to sign up for a publishing platform. WordPress seems to still top the list. There 2 types, a .org (self hosted) and a .com (fully hosted). Both are free since as you only pay for the domain and host. Here is a discussion on the difference to make sure you choose the right one for you. There are of course many other platforms but WordPress proved to be the right fit for what I was looking for: free, easy, flexible, secure enough, and has a large community of users who created many reference materials such as tutorials.
- S I X : Install plugins and widgets. These are softwares that help expand the functionality of your site such as security, social media sharing, theme customization, site management, etc. They say it is best to readthe reviews before installing them and loading your site with too much of them could do more harm than good such as the possibility of slowing it down.
- S E V E N : Pick, install, and or modify your web theme. To me, the fun began when I hit the install button and saw my site come to life. There are hundreds of themes available for free but one must ensure compatibility with the platform of choice. If you wish to pay a little extra for more features and better design, you can get a very decent one at +/-$30.
- E I G H T : Hit the ground running. Make your first entry!
Here’s to the new journey! Cheers!
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