DotDolfin Storehouse

A public collection of useful tidbits by Michael Rees

Your Own Public Web Site

Want your very own public web site that you can easily edit yourself for less than AUD 30 up front? Then follow this recipe that uses Windows Live Writer and a WordPress blog to create a mid-range web site. Creating the web pages, the content and the links are very easy tasks and require no knowledge of HTML and CSS.

Here’s how you do it. (There are alternatives that may be cheaper but I know this method works.):

  1. Sign up for a free blog site from wordpress.com (or use an existing wordpress.com blog if you have one). This site was created as dotdolfin.wordpress.com but any blog name will do.
  2. Sign up for a free account at godaddy.com and buy a .com domain name of your choice for about USD 10 per annum.
  3. From the administration dashboard of you wordpress.com blog visit the Upgrades section and purchase the domain redirection upgrade for USD 10 per annum. Then under Upgrades/domains make your purchased .com domain the primary domain for your blog.
  4. From your godaddy.com account administration change the name servers to ns1.wordpress.com, ns2.wordpress.com and ns3.wordpress.com. This will take few hours to take effect, but then your wordpress.com blog can be accessed with your own personal .com domain.
  5. From the administration dashboard of you wordpress.com blog you will now customise your web site. At a minimum do the following:
    • choose an appropriate theme for your web site from the very many choices in Appearance/Themes. Each theme offers further customisation under Widgets and Extras.
    • under Pages/Add New create a new page called Home that will be the home page for your web site
    • under Settings/Reading set the front page to be a static page and choose Home (now http://yourdomain.com will show the home page of your .com web site)
  6. Use the in-page editor at wordpress.com to create new pages and edit existing ones. However the better option is the free desktop editor is Windows Live Writer which has a simpler and more responsive user interface.

Your new .com web site based on wordpress.com comes with some very useful features:

  • 3 GB of space for pages, uploaded images and other files
  • page versioning – each edit creates a new version; pages can be restored to older versions as needed
  • tagging and categories for structuring your web site into related pages
  • web site-wide search of all your pages
  • detailed usage statistics that are based on Google Analytics
  • optionally allow readers to comment on each page
  • create and insert polls
  • allow up to 35 page authors for the site
  • purchase the ability to change CSS styles, upload videos, add more disk space and more users

Written by Michael Rees

16 February 2009 at 11:43

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