To say I am a DIY fanatic is a bit of an understatement. Learning to craft things for parties and our home is just the tip of the iceberg. If I can create my own flooring, ice cream tacos, and concrete countertops – then certainly there must be a way to DIY a website. Don’t you think?
Until this last year our website design options were SO SMALL. They basically consisted of three options:
- Have an unoriginal stock themed site.
- Pay a developer thousands of dollars + the hair lockets from my first baby to build a custom one.
- The last option for really smart DIY’ers would be to spend the 800 hours it takes to learn the backend coding and build an HTML site themselves. But honestly, who has time for that?
These options are not great.
So I went in search of a way to create a beautiful, functional, truly custom site. Can you believe that I found it!?!
Last summer we launched a new site redesign. I coded it myself with the visual composer wordpress plugin. I waited all year to try it out, to see what happened. It was perfect in every way. A few months ago we redesigned again using the same tool. The new site is pretty, completely customized by me, SEO friendly, and mobile responsive. I LOVE IT. The newest redesign took me about 6 hours from start to finish. This is by far my new favorite DIY project, that has ever existed, anywhere.
How To Code A Blog With The WordPress Visual Composer Plugin
I am insanely excited to be sharing today – how to code a blog, a business website, a wedding site – anything imaginable with the WordPress Visual Composer Plugin. I feel like this is a huge secret to getting the site you always dreamed up. I’m so happy to spill the beans today. You can totally do this, no matter your tech skills and it will save you thousands!
Over the next couple of weeks I will be sharing tips and ideas for making this happen the DIY way. Creating the pretty site of your dreams at home and on your own. First off here are a few of the sites that you’ll need to get started.
The plugin is a wordpress plugin so we have to start here. We’ve been blogging on wordpress.org from the begining of this site 7 years ago. It is one of the easiest backend platforms to learn and one I’ve always suggested to new bloggers. Going with wordpress.org is important because it gives you the freedom to own your site and your content – which is huge! Since the platform is so simple to work it also makes updates and changes in design, advertising etc easily done on your own.
You’ll need a host for any blog. Think of the host as the engine which keeps the information flowing online. A redesign or initial design is a great time to check out the hosting options available. I get asked often by readers how our blog is run and honestly, it wouldn’t happen without a great hosting partner. I love Bluehost for their easy to work with hosting solutions. Whenever we have had a problem with the site someone is available right away to make it better and to keep our content up and running always.
Once you have the platform and the hosting set up, the next step is to find a starting place for your site design. Especially for the first site, I would recommend starting with a theme that is compatible with the visual composer plugin. Themeforest is our go to for blog themes – you can get lost in the hundreds of options. My favorite thing about the site is that you can search by ratings and read what current customers have to say about the themes before you try one out. Here are a few themes that contain the visual composer plugin for wordpress that would be a great starting place. Demo them yourself and pick one that will work best with your site goals. Just a note* some have commerce options and some do not, so pay attention to important details like that.
4. Envato studio
Once you’ve picked your theme, set up the Visual Composer Plugin, and learned how everything fits together – there might still be a sticking point or two. The first step I would say is to reach out to the theme developer. In most of the customization situations we’ve encountered they’ve been able to steer us in the right direction quickly. If not, and if there’s a custom feature you are aching for working with a developer from Envato Studio can be a great way to get the last details right at an affordable price. Their developers will work affordably to tweak things and make sure your site is setup exactly as you dreamed.
Know how to write killer content. This isn’t an exact company link, but it is just as important… every blog is only as good as it’s content. I know many very successful bloggers who didn’t have great sites for a long time, but are great at what they do. In the end a pretty site is important. But it is only as important as the awesome content you’ll be sharing there. A few of my favorite articles I’ve written over the years to help your content to be the best: How to DIY an in home photo studio, 18 basic blogging tips and 10 blogging apps we love.
If you’ve been aching for a redesign or to start a new site, try out the links above and see how far you can get. It is amazing what we can accomplish with a little DIY knowledge and the grit to make it happen.
And once you have that beautiful site created, let’s think about monetizing it the right way! I’ve recently opened a new blogging course on just that thing – see the full details here.