Free Traffic Method: Starting a WordPress blog

One great way to begin generating free traffic is with a WordPress blog, like this one you’re reading right now. WordPress is a free open-source blogging platform that has caught on strongly over the past few years, and enjoys a thriving developer community. With such an active dev community, WordPress system updates are rolled out quickly, and the system is extremely easy to use.

To get started, you’ll need to choose a web host where you’ll store your blog and its related files to share online with your visitors. I recommend my web hosting company Chase Hosting or another quality web host such as Fat Cow hosting, Get Hosted Cheap, or BlueHost. Each of these web hosts supports simple installs for WordPress, which allows you to setup your blog through an easy-to-use wizard installer.

Simple Scripts Install of WordPress on Chase Hosting:

  1. Sign up for a web hosting plan, and login to the new web hosting account with the information you receive in the Welcome email.
  2. Click the SimpleScripts section on the left side navigation. Choose to install WordPress
  3. Enter your blog’s unique details into the install screen, choose your admin account’s information. Click install.

After the install progress bar completes, you’re done! You can login and begin using your new WordPress blog.

To manually install WordPress:

Here’s the quick version of the WordPress manual install for those that are already comfortable with performing web script installations.

  1. Download and unzip the WordPress package.
  2. Create a database for WordPress on your web server, as well as a MySQL user who has all privileges for accessing and modifying it.
  3. Rename the wp-config-sample.php file to wp-config.php.
  4. Open wp-config.php in a text editor and fill in your database details as explained in Editing wp-config.php to generate and use your secret key password.
  5. Place the WordPress files in the desired location on your web server:
    • If you want to integrate WordPress into the root of your domain (e.g. http://example.com/), move or upload all contents of the unzipped WordPress directory (but excluding the directory itself) into the root directory of your web server.
    • If you want to have your WordPress installation in its own subdirectory on your web site (e.g. http://example.com/blog/), rename the directory wordpress to the name you’d like the subdirectory to have and move or upload it to your web server. For example if you want the WordPress installation in a subdirectory called “blog”, you should rename the directory called “wordpress” to “blog” and upload it to the root directory of your web server.
  6. Run the WordPress installation script by accessing wp-admin/install.php in a web browser.
    • If you installed WordPress in the root directory, you should visit: http://example.com/wp-admin/install.php
    • If you installed WordPress in its own subdirectory called blog, for example, you should visit: http://example.com/blog/wp-admin/install.php

That’s it! WordPress should now be installed. You can begin filling your blog with useful information related to your campaigns topic. Pack it full of quality content that you can link to and people will share with others. We’ll discuss how to

The Importance of Website Page Performance

The other day, in the web design forums, the topic of a website’s page performance affecting SEO rankings came up. A member posted several points regarding the subject and several tips you could employ to help boost your website’s load times. With quicker load times comes happier visitors and, hopefully, better search engine rankings.

Over the following days, during my casual internet browsing, an excellent article on SmashingMagazine discussed exactly this topic, in more detail.

Website performance is a hugely important topic, so much so that the big companies of the Web are obsessed with it. For the Googles, Yahoos, Amazons and eBays, slow websites mean fewer users and less happy users and thus lost revenue and reputation.

In your case, annoying a few users wouldn’t be much of a problem, but if millions of people are using your product, you’d better be snappy in delivering it. For years, Hollywood movies showed us how fast the Internet was: time to make that a reality.

Even if you don’t have millions of users (yet), consider one very important thing: people are consuming the Web nowadays less with fat connections and massive computers and more with mobile phones over slow wireless and 3G connections, but they still expect the same performance. Waiting for a slow website to load on a mobile phone is doubly annoying because the user is usually already in a hurry and is paying by the byte or second. It’s 1997 all over again.

The article outlines several important factors in website page performance and the effects it may have on your SEO rankings on Google, Yahoo, and Bing. I hope you find it helpful.

I’m debating writing several in-depth articles regarding this topic and many others, what do you think? Would you read them?