For those not familiar with the terminology of the web, starting a blog or website may be overwhelming. Or you may have the impression it will require zero effort. The truth is it all depends on your expectations and your desired end product. This post is intended to clarify any confusion you may have regarding the setup of your website. More specifically, what are WordPress and the Genesis framework?
WordPress is a content management system, or CMS. That, very basically, means it is a system for organizing your information. Genesis is a framework that maximizes, and adds to, the many benefits of using WordPress for your website or blog. I refuse to build a website without Genesis, why? It’s the best. I could literally write a book with the many reasons I love the Genesis Framework. For the sake of time, read this: Here’s Why Genesis is the Foundation of any Smart WordPress Design.
Mashable calls Genesis the “best of the best” among premium frameworks. It’s no wonder over 65,000 online publishers trust Genesis to provide a solid foundation for their sites.
WordPress can be used as a blog, but you do not have to use that feature of WordPress. You can build a website using WordPress or a blog, or combine the two. Either way, it’s still called a website.
Domain and Hosting
That said, in order to use WordPress on your website you need to have what is called a self hosted install. This means you own a domain (www.yourdomain.com) and you have also purchased hosting.
From Wikipedia: A web hоsting service is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their own website accessible via the World Wide Web.
Very simply put – Hosting is space on a server. Somewhere to store your information so people can access it. You can purchase your domain and hosting from whatever provider you choose. If you would like to skip the headache, go with WebSynthesis.com. Synthesis is the ultimate in hosting speed and security. It’s what I use and recommend all of my clients use.
Once you have your domain and hosting, your next step is to install WordPress. WordPress.org is where you will find the WordPress CMS download. Although, most hosting providers will install WordPress onto your server for you, or have a “one click” install option.
Blogger.com and WordPress.com are completely different than WordPress.org. These services are hosted with blogger and wordpress.com whereas a self hosted install gives you the option to change whatever the heck you want whenever you want. You’re buying the house instead of renting.
Once you have WordPress installed you can install the Genesis Framework. This is a fairly simple task as you upload it as you would any other WordPress theme. From your WordPress dashboard you click:
Appearance > Themes > Install Themes and then upload “install now” and activate.
After you have installed the Genesis Framework you can then install what is called a “child theme.” It is important you install the Genesis Framework prior to installing a Child Theme. Any theme built on the Genesis Framework is referred to as a Child Theme. This is because it relies on the Genesis Framework to function. You install the Child Theme the same way you installed the Genesis Framework.
From this point you may begin adjusting your Genesis theme settings, add your content and get going. When it comes to customizing your site it can take as little or as long a time as you like. Because every site is different and every brand (hopefully) unique, no one child theme will be perfect right out of the box. You will want to add your branding, change the title etc. If you decide to purchase my premade theme, Modern Blogger, you will gain access to the StudioPress forum dedicated to Modern Blogger. This forum is full of tutorials and incredible support so you are never on your own when getting your theme all set up. There is a bit of a learning curve if this is your first rodeo, but you have numerous moderators, including myself, to ask whatever questions you may have. Child Themes are intended to save you time and money in getting your website up and running.
You also have the luxury of setting your site up as soon as you checkout. These themes can be as custom as you like. You can use them to just get started and make sure this blogging thing, or your new business venture are something you want to continue to pursue. Or you can deck ’em out and use your child theme forever. StudioPress has crazy high standards so you can be sure you are getting the best of the best with your purchase. Custom web design starts at $2200.00 and can take anywhere from 3-5 weeks. It is ideal if you are willing to put forth the time, funds and effort involved in creating a completely custom website, however, it is not mandatory. Child Themes are a fabulous alternative. And I have to say Modern Blogger is one fabulous Child Theme 😉