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Start Building Your Website Here

This series has been updated, please go to our new Start Building Your Website Here Page where you can choose either the Thesis theme or Genesis theme Lessons.

This is a 14 lesson series intended to teach an absolute beginner how to build a business website using WordPress and Thesis.  There are 70 self paced videos that take you step by step through each part of the process, from zero to a fully functioning business website.  You’ll need no prior knowledge of website building.  We only assume that you can use a web browser and a word processor.

We offer the first several lessons of this series in different flavors for different hosting companies. While there are many similarities between hosting companies, there are also many differences. Sometimes small differences can make the process of setting a website confusing for beginners. While our standard series is based on BlueHost we also offer the lessons for InMotion Hosting and Hostgator. In the near future we’ll be adding IPower and others. These are hosts that we currently use and are comfortable recommending.

Lessons 1 – 5 for InMotion Hosting

Lessons 1 – 5 for HostGator

Before you begin

  1. Selecting a domain name
  2. Selecting a hosting provider

Lesson 1 – Register Domain – Setup hosting account

  1. Register your domain & setup your hosting with BlueHost
  2. Tour the BlueHost control panel

Lesson 2 – Setup and configure Email

  1. Setup your primary email account
  2. Configure Outlook to receive mail from your primary account
  3. Configure Gmail to receive mail from your primary account
  4. Setup additional email accounts

Lesson 3 – Install WordPress on your site

  1. Install WordPress
  2. Initial WordPress Configuration
  3. How to login without a login button
  4. Configure WordPress to act like a traditional website
  5. Introduction to the file system

Lesson 4 – Setup your FTP system

  1. Download and install FileZilla
  2. Configure FileZilla to connect to your website
  3. Download customization section from your website
  4. Configure FileZilla to synchronize with your website

Lesson 5 – Installing and using themes

  1. Free WordPress Themes
  2. Download and install free theme
  3. Switch Themes
  4. Download and install Thesis
  5. Compare Thesis to free themes

Lesson 6 – Setting up your First Page

  1. The website design
  2. WordPress dashboard tour
  3. Start a new page
  4. What makes Google like you?
  5. Configure your static home page

Lesson 7 – Setting up the rest of the site

  1. Configuring Thesis pages
  2. Top level Product or Services page
  3. Product or Services sub-page
  4. The rest of the pages, About us page, Contact us page, Blog page

Lesson 8 – Preparing graphics for use on the site

  1. Why is this necessary?
  2. Where to find images
  3. Download and install
  4. Opening an image
  5. Determine the size needed
  6. Prepare the image for optimum web use

Lesson 9 – Understanding & using widgets

  1. Understanding widgets & the widget panel
  2. Adding widgets to the pages
  3. Adding & using text widgets

Lesson 10 – Understanding & using Plugins

  1. Understanding Plugins & the plugin dashboard
  2. Activate & Configure AKismet an Anti-spam plugin
  3. Installing & Configuring Google XML Sitemaps
  4. Installing & Configuring a Contact Form plugin
  5. Installing  & Configuring FCKEditor

Lesson 11 – Adding content to your pages

  1. Different views of the text editor
  2. Titles, headings and lists for readability
  3. Cutting and pasting text
  4. Adding links
  5. Using the Media Library
  6. Inserting images & other media

Lesson 12 – Customizing the appearance of your website

  1. Changing the layout – 2 column layout
  2. Changing colors & fonts
  3. Adding a banner image
  4. Using the Mediabox for testimonials
  5. Using the Mediabox for videos
  6. Using the Mediabox for text

Lesson 13 – Using the Blog functionality – without blogging

  1. Understanding WordPress blog functionality
  2. Using the blog for promotional announcements
  3. Using the blog for late breaking company news
  4. Using Thesis to customize the display of posts
  5. Adding widgets to display promotions & news

Lesson 14 – Administrative Tasks

  1. Keep your website up to date
  2. Synchronize your local file system with your website
  3. Backup your website manually
  4. Backup your website using a WordPress plug-in
  5. Restore your website from a manual backup
  6. Restore your website from an automatic backup

Sign up for a hosting account

We recommend using BlueHost.  While there are several good hosting providers out there BlueHost’s service is outstanding, their system is easy to use and they have help videos.  This is the hosting provider that we use.  Begin the signup process by clicking on this link and then watch the video as you sign up. Sign up now