First Things First

Ok – this site is up and running. I have a million ideas for posts and configurations and things I want to do. Slowing down at this point is hard – but it is necessary. Take a deep breath. If you are using this guide to help you set up your own site that is awesome! But I can’t talk about the few things that I have done in the past few minutes (setting up analytics, creating an extra page) without walking through how I got here. So – this is a reminder post. Don’t get overwhelmed. Setting up a full site on the internet is hard work and a big task. Lets go back to the beginning and start from square one.

This will be STEP 0 in the walkthrough on how to create your own site.

Below are a few rules that you need to remember when trying to create your own site:

  1. Take a deep breath and step back! The internet is not going anywhere, but you can. Don’t get frustrated. Take a step back. Go read a book. Fly a kite. Walk the dog. Come back later and try again.
  2. Searching Google is your best friend! Everyone on the internet is at a different skill level. There are some things that I may take for granted and just know that seem super confusing. That is ok. There are some things that may make sense to you and you wonder why I spend extra time on them. That is ok too. When I get stuck, I immediately try searching Google. I am not an expert, and neither will you be when starting out, but if you know how to find information then you can answer any question that you have!
  3. I don’t know everything. You won’t either when starting out. That is ok. Be realistic: there are probably better sites out there that do a better job of explaining and setting things up. They are not my competition here. I will use them as I go forward and you should probably check them out too. I am doing this to learn, explain, and maybe make a little money. While I want to learn about how to do this wesite thing, I can only learn so much by reading. The best way that I learn is by doing. Writing it down on this site helps me remember it. Maybe it will help someone else down the line also.
  4. You can always fix mistakes. Don’t be afraid to mess something up. Mistakes on pages are easy to edit and fix. Jump in and try things out, that is the only way that you will learn.

Just to show how serious I am about not knowing everything, check this out: When starting to write this post I did a quick Google search:

Search terms: 
things to remember when setting up your own website
Google Search Results

And guess what I found:

Website: How to Make a Website

Wow, what a great site. You should go check it out. I did and I am going to reference it as I build this site. However, I had a thought as I was writing this page. What is the proper etiquette for linking to someone else’s website? I have no clue. If someone asked me the answer is YES! Please link to my site. The more links the more traffic and maybe the more money I make. Sweet cheddar. However, I don’t know if there is a proper way to link to someone’s site, so lets head back to Google to find out:

Search terms: 
should I ask someone to link to their site
Google Search Results

Search terms:
linking to other websites etiquette
Google Search Results

So you notice that there are 2 searches in the box above. Why 2? Well I wanted to get a good representative set of information to draw from. Why would I want to do that? One of the things that is highly recommended when setting up your own site is to present information like you are an expert. Otherwise why would people want to come read your site? So I don’t know an answer, but I can go become somewhat knowledgeable pretty quickly. So lets check out the link I selected from the first search (also happens to be the first link presented):

Website: Link Etiquette: You Do Not Need Permission to Link
Actual Link Text:

Ok, this has some good information and indicates that you do not need any permission to link to someone else’s site. Good news. By the way, this looks like a pretty interesting site. Might be worth checking it out later as it looks to have some good information.

However, just to be sure, lets check another link, this time from the second search (also happens to be the first link presented):

Website: Learn the Etiquette of Good Linking | OPEN Forum
Initial Link Text:
Realized Link Text:

Now this link is a little more interesting for a few reasons. If you go to that link, it actually takes you to an American Express website instead of the site that the google results indicate. Looking at the site, it does appear that this OPENForum site is run by AmEx. Ok – but I went through this exercise for a reason. Be careful how you surf the web. Not all links go to reputable sites like AmEx.

Now lets check the content. While I would love to copy and paste excerpts from this, part of the article specifically addresses copying part of an article for use. Because I don’t want to follow the tips in there to reach out to the author for permission, I will just summarize in my own words that this article agrees that linking to another site or article is not a problem. By the way, this also looks like it has some pretty good information on this site.

Finally, in closing here, there are a lot of topics here that I want to follow up on later. In order to not get off track, I am using ‘tags’ that are built into WordPress to help remind me to come back and review some of these topics at a later date and time. So I have created a tag called ‘reminder_for_followup_post’. When writing this, I am not sure that end users will be able to see these tags. If you can’t see the tag while reading this then one of two things has happened: either end users cannot see tags or I have come back later and completed the follow-up and remove the tag.

In conclusion, Google is your friend and take a deep breath. Now we can begin creating a site.

Post edit: after publishing this post and reviewing it on the site, I noticed two things. First, the tags do show up for end users, so that question is answered. The second is that the post is pretty long. In order to keep the front page of the site nice and pretty, I am adding a built-in wordpress function called the ‘More’ tag. I am inserting this towards the top of the page to limit how much is shown on the main site navigation. This keeps things cleaner for readers. They can always select the ‘More’ link to see the full post.