It can be incredibly confusing when you first decide to get into the world of blogging as there’s a whole host of terms that you’ll likely be unfamiliar with. A quick look at the internet will throw up all sorts of strange-sounding phrases, like ‘host’ and ‘domain’, and what exactly is this ‘WordPress’ thing anyway? As always, the Finance Fanatics team are here to help, and we’ve compiled a list of the most common blogging terms that you might not know about. Take a look below for a run-down of the most common concepts you’ll need to become acquainted with before you go any further, and learn exactly what it all means.
Host Provider; A host is a company providing a service whereby they provide the hardware required to run and process your blog. They store the content you upload onto a massive series of computer systems and storage drives, known as servers, which then send your content out to anyone who wants to view it on the internet. The host can also provide additional services such as telephone technical support, security for your site, and upgrades to the data speed they supply to your readers (also known as bandwidth).
This last service is extremely important, because when your website grows and you start getting thousands of viewers per day you will find you’ll start getting complaints if your blog slows down to a crawl. You’d be well advised to invest wisely with a decent provider to prevent your readers getting fed up with slow page loads. At the end of the day you get what you pay for, and host providers are no exception, so conduct thorough research online before committing to your new provider.
Domain; A domain is the name you choose for your website or blog, and is what is used by internet search engines to identify where your site is. Think of it like your home address. To find your house someone needs to know the address of where it is, and in a similar way your domain name allows people to find your website on the internet. If you search for a domain provider in your country you’ll see there’s a search bar on their website that allows you to identify which domain names are available for you to use. It might not be obvious, but in the few decades that the internet has been commercially available literally millions of domain names have been registered, and if the domain name you’d like has already been chosen by someone else, then you’re going to have to re-think a suitable name for your site.
The domain name is actually in two parts, the first part being the name e.g. ‘financefanatics’, and the second part is the extension e.g. ‘.com’, which is also commonly known as the ‘Top Level Domain’ (TLD). Although you might not have ‘widget.com’ available to purchase, you could find ‘widget.co.uk’ or ‘widget.net’ are up for grabs. You’ll find that domains with a TLD of .com or .net will be far more expensive than .biz, .uk, or any other less well-known extension. Even so, it’s possible to register a domain name for a year or two for just a few pounds or dollars if it’s regarded as being in a low demand niche.
WordPress; This is simply a web-based software suite that enables you to upload words and pictures onto your domain, with the actual storage being handled by the host provider. All of the content uploading and all the settings within WordPress are controlled from within your web browser, so there’s no need to install additional software onto your computer. When you sign up for a host account and associate it with your domain name (the host provider usually arranges this for you), you’re given your very own storage area on the host providers servers. If requested, the host provider will often (at no cost) install WordPress onto your storage area.
Once WordPress is installed, you can enter your domain name into a web browser and a basic, default blog will then appear before you, albeit under a default blog theme. You may then upload your pictures and photos onto the blog using the ‘add new posts’ menu, and after submitting your content anyone who logs onto your domain will be able to see whatever you’ve created. WordPress is an incredibly simple to use yet amazingly powerful software suite that will see you creating and uploading content in minutes, without any prior coding knowledge required.
Theme; The visual layout and design of your WordPress blog can be modified and changed in a thousand different ways to suit whichever style best fits the content that you are creating. You’ll have a good idea of what a blog theme is if you’ve ever changed the theme on your phone – you’re changing the look and feel of the front-end but the actual content remains the same. The theme of your blog can be uploaded onto WordPress from one of thousands that are available online, some free and some paid for.
Note though, that if you are looking to make your blog an income generating proposition, you’re probably best off paying a few bucks for one of the professional themes that are available. In fact WordPress has gone out of its way to make this super-easy for you by including a ‘Themes’ tab in the ‘Appearance’ menu. Following the link will take you to an online store where you can browse any number of themes you might like, and it’s then a simple process to install it direct from your browser.
Add-ons; Add-ons are probably the most powerful component of the entire WordPress software suite. They enable new functions to be added to your blog and allow your readers to interact with your blog in exciting new ways. Try to think of add-ons in the same way that you install apps onto your phone. Say you want to install an app on your phone that displays a clock on the home-screen. Well an add-on can be found on the WordPress store that will enable the same function on your blog.
The WordPress community, both professional and amateur, have created an absolute TON of add-ons that will enhance your blog in a thousand different ways. You can add a series of advertisements on your front page for instance, or add a web store that will allow your readers to order your products and services direct from your blog. You can even set up add-ons for automated mailing lists that will send out newsletters to subscribed readers, and create targeted email adverts. The possibilities of add-ons are endless and they can be very powerful tools for the bloggers that know how to use them.
This is just a very brief introduction to some of the components that make up the blogging universe, and we’ll be adding new posts covering all manner of blogging ideas in due course, so keep up to date with the www.financefanatics.com website. In fact, why not subscribe and receive our weekly newsletter containing the latest posts direct to your inbox.