Photographer’s Action Plan

Building a website is incredibly easy these days.

You don’t need to write a single line of code, you don’t need to know anything about design, and even the most technical parts of the process can be completed by filling out a few web forms.

This means you can focus entirely on producing the content you want to share with the world.

This is all made possible by using a Content Management System (CMS)… software that’s installed on a web-server that allows you to publish, edit and delete virtually anything you want, entirely from the ‘front end’ of your web hosting account.

There are countless CMS platforms available, but the best known by far is WordPress and that’s the one we’ll talk most about here. This was originally ‘just a blogging platform’ platform, but not any more.

In recent years it’s evolved to become a powerful CMS that now drives almost half the websites on the internet. It is open-source software… so it’s totally free to install and use… and because it’s so popular, there are countless programmers constantly working to improve it.

So the Action Plan that follows will use WordPress to install the basic structure of your website with a few quick clicks, so you can start publishing your own content… words, images, videos and more… within minutes.

We’ll then look at all the ways you can Modify the Design and Functionality to make your website look exactly how you want it to look, and do exactly what you want it to do.

We do this using pre-made Themes and powerful Plugins. Themes let you change the entire design with a couple of clicks. Plugins can be used to add all kinds of features and functions, handle Admin tasks, promote your website and more.

Finally we’ll look at Web Traffic & Marketing… the processes that help people find your website, encourage them to pay a visit and view your offers.

What This Means To You?

The Modular approach means you can focus all your energies on creating your ideal website… how it will look and the features you’ll offer your visitors… without having to worry about what it will cost or how you’ll make it all work.

With WordPress and the resources on this site, you don’t need much money at all and you don’t need to be tech-savvy, to build your own website exactly the way you want it!

It is a complex process, but it’s not difficult. We’ve broken it down into a few relatively simple steps, so the newbies can start at the top and just work your way through, while the more experienced webmasters can pick a relevant section and dive straight in.

Also keep in mind, this Action Plan is simply a starting point… there is a LOT of additional information, resources, links and downloads on this site, so be sure to explore. We’ve been at this a long time now and in a way this site is like our own personal ‘archive’… so take your time, you never know what hidden treasures you might find!


Step 1. Planning Your Website.

With WordPress being so easy to use, and so instant, it’s vital that you start slow and work out exactly what you want to achieve before you start, so your website makes sense to your visitors and can deliver the results you want. A lot of that comes back to who your target audience is going to be?

After that we’ll consider some of your options, so you can put together a list of the features and functions that are most important to you. In general terms this might include showcasing our photography, building your client list, generating leads, earning some passive revenue from the website itself… but you need to put your own priorities on it.

There’s no one right answer and it is really an ongoing process, so for now we just want to get you thinking about who your target audience is, and what you can offer them, how you can connect with them, and what you want them to do while they are on your website?

Website Planning Checklist

 

Step 2. Designing Your Website

This is a two part process. We’ll start by looking at the content you want to offer and how you want your visitors to consume your content… so you can map out the different paths different visitor types might take as they move through your website. From there we can work out which pages you’ll need and create a general layout of your site.

Once you’ve set up your WordPress installation, created the various pages and published some content, you can spend a bit more time looking for the perfect Theme for your site, but that is difficult to do until you have some basic content in place.

Website Design Checklist

 

Step 3. Web Hosting Made Simple

This will definitely involve a learning curve for a lot of people, but it really doesn’t need to be difficult or complicated anymore. The entire process is a lot easier and faster than it used to be, and best of all, it’s gotten a whole lot cheaper too!

So in this section we take a quick look at a few of the terms you’ll encounter and the way the pieces fit together. This is as technical as it gets. After that we’ll explain your options so you can Register a Domain and set up a Hosting Account, ready to go.

Web Hosting Checklist

 

Step 4. WordPress 101

In this section we’ll walk you through installing the WordPress software and configure some essential settings on your new website. It’s all step-by-step, and we’ve got a load of additional videos and training materials there for those who need it.

We take a look at the key processes… themes, plugins, media, posts and pages… so you can then take some time to get comfortable with the platform. After that you should come straight back and complete the checklist, to set up the various Admin, Security and Backup functions.

Install & Configure WordPress

 

Step 5. Simple Traffic Strategies

This is quite possibly the most important step of them all. Without visitor traffic your website is little more than a personal diary. High tech vanity publishing. And it will almost certainly be a drain on your resources. So it is essential you go into this with a plan.

So in this section we look again at who your target audience is? From there we look at the steps you can take to get those people to your website, how you can engage with them and encourage them to keep on coming back. We’ve got some powerful strategies for all of that, so make sure you allow plenty of time on this part of the process.

Simple Traffic Strategies

 

Step 6. Advanced Strategies & Training

This is a bit of a mixed bag of ideas, systems and strategies you can look through anytime for ideas and inspiration. There might be new features or functions you can test out on your website? Or new ideas you can try to promote or monetize your site?

You should probably leave this step until you’re site has been operational for a while and you’ve got a feel for how it all works, but then call back and check this one often, as this is where we’ll be adding all the most exciting stuff we come across!

Advanced Marketing Strategies

 

The most important thing you’ll noticed on the pages above is, they’ll each have a list of recent relevant blog posts at the bottom. So while the Checklist section will guide you through the basics, they’re be plenty of other options and ideas you can explore after that.

Beginners might find it easiest to ignore those on your first run through the Action Plan, but once you’re done, you can revisit each section and consider some of the extras, so see if there’s anything there that might add real value to your website.

Obviously the more advanced Webmasters can scan the page proper to make sure you’ve got the essentials covered and then dive into those more advanced systems and strategies.

Beyond that, my only request is that you share your own ideas and feedback along the way. The comments section will be enabled on those pages, so tell us what’s been useful to you, what needs more explanation, what else you’d like to see covered… we’ll do our best to oblige.

 


Please Note:  we cannot offer technical support on any of these processes. Please check the support page for links to some excellent forums where you’ll get quick assistance on virtually any technical questions!

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