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      How to Create a Website for Your Event (In 4 Steps)


      Planning events can be both fun and strenuous. Whether you’re working on the fundraiser of the year, a huge wedding, or an academic conference, you might be wondering how you can create an appealing online presence for the upcoming event.

      Fortunately, creating an event website using WordPress can be fast and easy. As an open-source Content Management System (CMS), WordPress has a ton of built-in flexibility. Additionally, the platform has a vast community of helpful users and developers that you can reach out to for help.

      In this article, we’re going to discuss why WordPress is a smart choice for your event website. Then we’ll walk you through all the steps needed to create your own event website using WordPress. Let’s jump right in!

      Why You Should Consider a WordPress Site for Your Event

      There are many reasons WordPress is an excellent platform for building an event website. For example, it offers both ease of editing and a high level of flexibility. Plus, the platform is always free to download.

      What’s more, since WordPress is built using open-source code, developers all over the world have added onto the platform’s core functionality with plugins. This means there are many options for enhancing your site with event-specific, niche plugins that can help you easily track, promote, and share your event in order to boost registrations.

      Another benefit to building with this CMS is that it doesn’t matter how big or how small your event might be — WordPress always fits like a glove! Fortunately, building your event website using WordPress doesn’t have to be difficult at all.

      WordPress + DreamHost

      Our automatic updates and strong security defenses take server management off your hands so you can focus on building a great event website.

      How to Create a WordPress Site for Your Event (In 4 Steps)

      To get started with your WordPress event site, all you need to do is follow these four steps. Each will help you get up and running as quickly as possible, so you can move on to planning and hosting the event itself.

      1. Choose a Secure and Professional Hosting Platform

      While the WordPress software is free, you’ll still need to host your site somewhere. Choosing a web host can seem overwhelming at first, but it’s an essential first step in getting your event site started.

      A web host is where all of your site’s data is stored, along with the files that create the functionality you’ll need to manage your event. There are a few things to consider when choosing your host since there are lots of options out there.

      You’ll want to make sure the host you choose has the support you might need for certain types of events. You may need to accommodate a live stream, for example, or your event might require higher bandwidth for heavy registration traffic.

      Here at DreamHost, we have several Virtual Private Server (VPS) options that can suit a wide variety of event planning needs.

      DreamHost VPS pricing.

      We recommend really getting a feel for all the different types of hosting out there. That way, you can make sure your event website is stored in the most secure, high-performance location possible.

      2. Select a Theme to Suit Your Event

      Once you’ve installed WordPress on your hosting plan, you can move on to some of the more exciting parts of building a website!

      Choosing a theme can be a lot of fun, and it’s also a vital step. That’s especially true if you are looking to create a cohesive brand or send out a certain “vibe” about your event.

      There are two main ways you can obtain WordPress themes, including:

      • Downloading free themes from the WordPress Theme Directory
      • Purchasing premium themes from a theme marketplace or directly from a developer

      Themes often come with built-in functionality or features that you’ll want to understand before installing them. If you know you need a certain kind of layout, footer, or sidebar, for example, you’ll want to make sure the theme you pick can handle that type of design.

      Some of the free themes available in the directory are nearly as packed with features as premium themes that come with a price tag. Reading their reviews and checking to see when each theme was last updated are smart ways to decide which is best for your site.

      Of course, it’s also important to remember that sometimes niche themes can be more helpful than general, all-purpose themes. For example, ShowThemes offers event-specific WordPress themes and lets you search its database by feature set so you can find exactly what you’re looking for.

      The ShowThemes home page.

      ShowThemes covers the full spectrum of possible events you might want to promote. For instance, if you just need a one-page site for a conference, the Fudge theme is a solid option. Not only is it already optimized for mobile devices, but it also has a clear and easy-to-customize design for your Call-to-Action.

      The Fudge theme.

      Starting with a theme designed for the type of event you’re promoting can save you a lot of time, so it’s well worth considering.

      3. Add Event and E-Commerce Plugins to Manage Registration

      There are a few more universal aspects of event planning to keep in mind while building your WordPress event site. Typically, events require some kind of registration process, guest list, or check-in management (just to name a few examples).

      Whether or not your event is free-of-charge or requires payment, adding event and e-commerce plugins to your site can be extremely helpful. There are a number of ways to build in the functionality you’ll need to handle ticket sales or registrations.

      Event Espresso, for instance, is an all-in-one plugin solution that covers everything from setting up a registration form to using payment gateways.

      The Event Espresso plugin.

      While the free version provides plenty of functionality, you can purchase Event Espresso’s premium tier if you’re interested in add-on features such as printable tickets, ticket scanning, and waitlists.

      If you need a plugin that specializes in managing a guest list and registration data, on the other hand, you might want to check out the RSVP and Event Management plugin.

      The RSVP and Event Management plugin.

      Additionally, you can maximize WordPress’ flexibility by using plugins that make it possible to connect to outside event software, such as EventBrite, to help you manage your event. While this method requires you to have an account with the platform, it’s still an excellent option if you have specific event management applications you know and love.

      4. Promote Your Event on Social Media

      Once you’ve built your event site, you’ll likely want to start getting the word out and encouraging registrations. It’s no secret that social media is probably the best way to share your event with your target audience, as widely or as privately as you want.

      One of the most straightforward ways to promote your event on social media is to let your website visitors do it for you, through adding social sharing buttons to your website. You can add on a plugin like Sassy Social Share, for example, and choose from over 100 social media and bookmarking site buttons to add to your site.

      The Sassy Social Share plugin.

      If you want to take things a step further, and proactively push your event content and site updates to a variety of social media sites, you can check out the free plugin Blog2Social. This tool gives you the option to set up automatic posts from your website to 14 different social networks.

      The Blog2Social plugin.

      With Blog2Social, you can also cross-post content, schedule updates, and automatically post new content. Additionally, you can customize your posts with comments and hashtags, for even more engagement and appeal.

      You can even enable guests to register for your event via their existing social media accounts. Adding the Social Login plugin to your event site makes that simple.

      The Social Login plugin.

      Whether you’re looking to push content to social media accounts, or pull in guests and registrations via social channels, adding some of these helpful plugins to your event site can help you stand out from the pack and attract attention.

      Easy Event Marketing

      If you’ve been worried about how to get your event website off the ground, while also planning for all your other event-related needs, we hope this step-by-step guide has helped to ease your burden a bit. WordPress can help you get your site up and running quickly, which leaves you plenty of time to focus on all the other details that make for a great event.

      Here at DreamHost, WordPress is always invited to the party. Check out our WordPress hosting plans and get your event website online today!



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      How to Start a Photography Blog (In 4 Steps)


      Photography is a popular and useful hobby, especially with the variety and convenience of advanced camera options we have now. Whether you’re into dark rooms and film or high-end digital lenses, turning your photography hobby into a business might be on your radar. Figuring out how best to get your work online, however, can be a full-time job.

      That’s where WordPress and the time-saving functionality of website builders come in. When you combine the content management options of WordPress with drag-and-drop site design capability, it’s easy to turn your big ideas into a professional photography site.

      In this article, we’ll cover four steps for creating a photography website with WordPress. We’ll also discuss why this platform is the best option and share the best website builder tools for WordPress to help you attain your dream photography blogging site.

      Take that lens cap off your camera, friend, and let’s get started!

      Why You Should Consider a WordPress Website for Your Photography Blog

      When it comes to Content Management Systems (CMSs), we make no bones about it — WordPress is the best. You don’t have to take our word for it, though. WordPress owns 50–60% of the global CMS market. Additionally, it’s the first choice for 14.7% of the top 100 sites on the web.

      Outside of those numbers, WordPress’s practical, open-source platform is another reason we suggest it for a photography blog. A nearly endless array of custom themes and plugins are available to help you eliminate distractions and create a truly unique website for your photography.

      One more plus? WordPress software is free. That means that even as a brand new blogger, you can afford a self-hosted website.

      How to Start a Photography Blog With WordPress (In 4 Steps)

      One of the first steps in designing a photography website is to determine your own style or niche. Whatever your blogging focus might be, knowing this ahead of time will help you design your site and target your specific audience. Take a few minutes to set some goals for your site and then write them down.

      Once you have your blogging goals, the following four steps should help to guide you through setting up and designing a site with WordPress.

      Step 1: Choose Your Domain Name and Web Host

      Picking out a domain name can be a fun but frustrating process. One of the best ways to stand out as a blogger is with a unique and brand-oriented name. You might find, however, that many of the names you want are already taken.

      Fortunately, while choosing a .com is still popular, there are quite a few new Top-Level Domains (TLDs) available that might be just right for your photography site if the domain you wanted is unavailable.

      Searching for a domain name.

      As for selecting a hosting provider, this step might seem overwhelming at first. However, there are a few things to keep in mind as you shop that should help. For instance, if you plan on setting up an e-commerce page as part of your blogging strategy, you’ll want to look into what each host provides for that use case.

      Regardless of your goals as a blogger, other significant features to look out for include:

      • Storage. If you plan on using the same host for your website and your photos, you’ll want to investigate the amount of storage that’s available. There may be several options, or even additional storage available as an add-on to handle your larger, high-quality images.
      • Software. You’ll also want to consider whether you’ll need a one-click solution to get started with WordPress. This is an excellent option for anyone who is not hiring a developer and isn’t a programming expert.
      • Support. The last thing you want is for your clients to run into downtime while trying to view your photos. Make sure your web host has 24/7 support, and read up on its site backup and restoration options in case something happens.
      • Extras. Some hosts come with extra features you might want to consider. These can include premium themes or plugins, staging sites, or site builders.

      No matter what type of hosting you ultimately decide you need, here at DreamHost we offer a wide range of WordPress plans.

      WordPress hosting at DreamHost.

      You Take Great Photos, We’ll Handle the Hosting

      Our automatic updates and strong security defenses take server management off your hands so you can stay behind the camera.

      Step 2: Install a Dedicated Photography Theme

      Installing a theme enables you to customize the look of your WordPress site. What’s more, it’s as easy as uploading a file or clicking a button. There are a lot of photography themes out there, however, so deciding which one is best for you might be the hardest part.

      If you’re using DreamHost as your WordPress hosting service, you’ll have access to WP Website Builder. As a photographer, this means you can drag-and-drop your site elements in a front-end view of your website. You can choose from photography-specific custom templates and view your changes live as you make them.

      Getting started is easy. You simply need to select “WP Website Builder” as an option when purchasing your DreamHost plan.

      Adding WP Website Builder to DreamHost.

      Once you complete your purchase with the website builder selected, WordPress and premium plugins built by our friends at BoldGrid will be installed. The Page and Post Builder and Inspirations will appear in your menu options once you visit your WordPress dashboard.

      Once you’re logged into WordPress for the first time, you’ll be immediately taken to a setup page. When you’re ready, select Let’s Get Started!.

      BoldGrid Inspirations.

      Next, you’ll be able to choose from a menu of theme categories. Inspirations includes 20 stunning photography-friendly themes.

      Theme choices.

      Once you select the theme you want, you’ll be guided through choosing some custom content options. You can use preset page layouts and create menus. You’ll also be able to test your theme’s responsiveness to mobile devices.

      Content choice settings.

      You might notice additional content on your WordPress dashboard now as well. There are some tutorial videos, for example, in case you need extra support along the way. Plus, if you want to spice things up later and change your theme, the Inspirations menu will lead you through that process.

      Step 3: Select Plugins to Enhance Your Site

      Now that you’ve selected a theme, you might want to look at some plugins as well. WordPress plugins are add-on packages of code that can enhance and extend the functionality of the platform. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with the best way to manage them, in order to make sure you’re keeping your site safe and secure.

      Photography blogs and websites have some unique needs, such as the ability to display and watermark high-quality images. You may also need to create image galleries with password protection or tie your e-commerce options to a file download manager. All of these tasks can be tackled with plugins.

      One tool to check out is Photography Management.

      The Photography Management plugin.

      This plugin is a client management solution for photographers who need to provide images and galleries to their customers. It can help you create a login portal for clients and provides notifications when your clients complete an action.

      Another reliable photography plugin is Envira Gallery.

      The Envira Gallery plugin.

      The Envira feature list is extensive. It includes options for watermarking your images, which may be an important part of your security strategy. You can also set up a storefront, create video galleries, and import content from Instagram. Combining this kind of tool with our website builder makes displaying your work dynamically online a cinch.

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      Join our monthly newsletter for tips and tricks to build your dream website!

      Step 4: Create Compelling Content

      When it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), there is more to think about than just keywords. What other pages say about you is just one other element that is vital for securing better page rankings.

      Gaining backlinks or having your pages shared on social media are both effective ways to build page rank and clients. One way to garner more backlinks is to create compelling content. This could come in the form of tutorials, downloads, infographics, videos, or podcasts.

      A beautiful example of these options can be seen on the Julia & Gil photography site.

      Julia and Gil photography site.

      Adding a blog to your page is also a great way to build a following and establish yourself as a trusted name in the industry.

      How to Promote Your Photography Business

      Now that your photography has a home on the web, you might be wondering how to get more eyeballs on your work. Self-promotion can be a challenge at times, but with WordPress and your professional theme, you have plenty to showcase!

      There are a few ways to approach promoting your new site, including:

      • Social Media. Sharing your work on social media can reap significant benefits. One way to get into the habit is to stay on a posting schedule, so interested viewers know they can regularly expect new content. Here’s how we recommend promoting your blog on social.
      • Testimonials. Research shows that 82% of consumers seek recommendations from family and friends before making a purchase. This makes customer testimonials a powerful tool on your website.
      • Call to Action. If your goal is to gain clients or fill up your email subscriber list, you might want to study up on the art of writing a good Call to Action (CTA). This will clearly guide your site’s visitors towards the action you want them to take.
      • Portfolios. Creating a portfolio can give you a portion of your site that is specifically geared toward promoting your skills. While your entire website might function as an advertisement, a portfolio allows you to pick and choose your best work to highlight.

      However you decide to promote your new website, it’s a proven best practice that keeping your site information up-to-date and accurate is crucial when it comes to improving SEO and gaining a following.

      Blogging Photographers

      Whether it’s nature, weddings, family portraits, or street photography, you can personally display your images with a professional photography theme and WP Website Builder. WordPress’ niche photography plugins can also help you add unique elements to set your site apart.

      Here at DreamHost, we want you to be focused on the next shot — not whether your site might crash. Our complete WordPress hosting solutions come with easy built-in solutions for backing up your website and maintaining top-notch performance. Additionally, WordPress setup is fast and easy, so you can get up and running and share your amazing images with the world!



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      How to Create a Real Estate Website (In 4 Steps)


      The real estate business can be both highly lucrative and very competitive. Setting yourself apart from your rivals with a professional real estate website may be on your wishlist, but getting started can be daunting.

      A great website is within reach, however. Combining WordPress with the power of page builders and other plugins can help you more easily achieve your goals. As a result, your real estate website should be a substantial advertising asset for your business, and keep buyers and sellers interested in learning more with quality images and valuable information.

      In this article, we’ll cover four steps for creating a real estate agent website with WordPress. We’ll also discuss why WordPress is the best platform to use, and how website builder tools created for WordPress can help you put together a more professional site. Let’s get started!

      Your Home Online? WordPress Hosting

      Our automatic updates and strong security defenses take server management off your hands so you can focus on real estate listings, not website details.

      Why You Should Consider a WordPress Website for Your Real Estate Business

      Whether you’re an independent agent or you work for a broker, having an online presence for your real estate business can be a key factor in your success. In fact, over the past few years, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has noted that 42% of home buyers begin their searches online.

      While an app or a social media-only approach might seem appealingly simple, there are downsides to that technique. There are a few things a WordPress website can provide that most social media platforms can’t, such as:

      • Built-in data tracking. You’ll be able to track your site’s data with ease from your WordPress dashboard and even see where visitors are coming from.
      • Exceptional flexibility. You’ll be getting a lot of functionality right out of the box, which means you’ll have to spend less time searching for external solutions.
      • A sophisticated database. WordPress is built on a powerful database system that’s well-suited for cataloging your property listings.
      • A user-friendly media library. Whether you need to feature a single image or a dynamic gallery of photos, WordPress has an easy-to-use media library with built-in editing options.  
      • Search Engine Optimization (SEO). While social profiles do show up in search engines, you’ll see higher rankings if you have unique content on a website. That’s because Google can’t determine the authority of a social profile. Linking back to your site can increase your overall rankings.

      In other words, you’re in good hands with WordPress. For seven years in a row, this platform has held the largest share of the Content Management System (CMS) market. In fact, 14.75% of the top 100 websites in the world trust WordPress with their content. Best of all, getting your own site off the ground is surprisingly simple.

      How to Create Your Real Estate Website With WordPress (In 4 Steps)

      You can get up and running with your real estate listings website quickly, while still having time to keep your finger on the pulse of the housing market. Below, we’ll cover four easy steps to get you set up with WordPress.

      Step 1: Choose Your Domain Name and Web Host

      A memorable domain name is your first step towards getting your real estate directory set up. While a .com name is a pretty standard choice, there are quite a few other Top-Level Domains (TLDs) available that might be just right for your business.

      Next, you’ll need to select a web host. This task can seem overwhelming at first. However, there are a few things to keep in mind as you shop for web hosting, which should help you make this crucial decision:

      • Security. You’ll want to thoroughly review what your web host offers in terms of protection from viruses and hacks. Look for information about security certificates, daily backups, and the process for restoring a damaged site.
      • Software. Not all hosts are created equal. If you need more software to help you get your properties online, make sure your host has what you want. For example, are there optimization features or software options that will boost your site’s speed?
      • Support. Being able to get in touch with technical support night or day can be a vital feature. If you can’t afford downtime, getting a full understanding of the support that comes with your hosting plan is essential.
      • Extras. If you’re really on the fence about which host to go with, check to see whether each offers any extra features that can help you decide. Some hosts come with built-in themes, design tools, staging websites, or site builders.

      No matter what type of hosting you ultimately decide you need, here at DreamHost we offer a wide range of WordPress plans.

      WordPress hosting at DreamHost.

      Be Awesome on the Internet

      Join our monthly newsletter for tips and tricks to build your dream website!

      Step 2: Install a Dedicated Real Estate Theme

      Creating a professional site that really stands out can be a challenge. Property listings have a lot of information attached to them, and the NAR has its own rules and regulations for advertising online.

      Therefore, you’ll need to pay extra attention to your website’s theme. It will be your main opportunity for dressing up your website and organizing your properties. With that in mind, choosing a real estate-friendly theme for your WordPress site is an excellent place to start.

      Fortunately, if you’re using DreamHost as your WordPress hosting service, you’ll have access to WP Website Builder. It comes with a drag-and-drop page editor, along with many customizable themes — including several quality options for real estate sites. Plus, setting your chosen theme up with DreamHost is a snap, and it even comes packed with starter content that you can swap out with your own.

      To get started, you’ll need to select “WP Website Builder” as an option when purchasing your DreamHost plan.

      Adding the WP Website Builder to DreamHost.

      Then, we’ll automatically install WordPress and premium website builder plugins for WordPress — including Inspirations and Page & Post Builder — which were built by our friends over at BoldGrid.

      After you log into your new WordPress dashboard, you’ll see the Inspirations setup page.

      Setting up your site.

      Once you’re ready, select Let’s Get Started! On the next screen, you’ll see lots of theme design categories to choose from. The Inspirations feature will display a wide variety of professional and stylish real estate-friendly themes.

      Various design themes.

      Another bonus is that you’ll be able to quickly test the responsiveness of your chosen layout on three different screen types, right from your dashboard.

      Content choices.

      If you need more help getting started, your WordPress dashboard will now include some tutorial videos. Plus, you’ll find a new Inspirations menu that will lead you through switching to a different theme, in case you change your mind later on.

      Step 3: Select Helpful Plugins to Enhance Your Site

      Plugins can be essential to extending the functionality of your website. To manage your property listings and appeal to potential homebuyers, you might want to look into some plugins to help you design your site.

      One plugin worth checking out is the Estatik Real Estate Plugin.

      The Estatik real estate plugin.

      Estatik includes many important key features, such as saveable searches and property wish lists. There are also several widget options, as well as a customizable search function, information request forms, and slideshows.

      This plugin has both free and premium options. The premium plugin will cost you $89 and includes additional functionality like agent support, private fields for admins and agents, and subscription plans with PayPal payment options.

      Alternatively, If you’re looking for a low-risk plugin that’s gentle on the wallet, Easy Property Listings is worth a test drive.

      The Easy Property Listings plugin.

      This is a very dynamic and feature-heavy tool. Easy Property Listings offers a user-friendly approach to getting property listings online in a fast and straightforward way. With over 150 custom fields and seven custom post types, you won’t need developer skills to get your website set up just the way you want it.

      This plugin enables your visitors to sort listings by date, price, or location. Additionally, individual listings can be flagged as sold, under contract, and so on. The number of listings you can create is unlimited, which is a nice touch from a completely free plugin.

      Step 4: Set Up Your First Listings

      At this point, you’re ready to get your first listings online. When doing this, it can help to keep some listing best practices in mind.

      For instance, you’ll want to choose your adjectives wisely and work on highlighting the unique features of each property. In this listing, for example, the ceilings “soar,” the guest bedroom is “charming,” and the pool is “sparkling.”

      A property listing.

      The Trinity Hawaii property site uses WordPress to create an equally-beautiful online catalog for the many properties it has for sale. The grid-style setup is perfect for property listings.

      Trinity Hawaii exclusive listings page.

      Choosing a strong headline and crafting your descriptions to do each property justice takes practice. However, the effort you put in now can pay off over time in increased visits and conversions.

      Build a Following with Real Estate Marketing

      Now that you have some stunning images and listings up on your new website, you may be wondering about the best way to get the word out. There are a couple of marketing tactics real estate agents should consider at this stage.

      One way to build a following is to add testimonials to your site. As consumers, we typically like to hear what other people are saying about a service or product before we try it. Even if you haven’t been in business long, you can ask permission to post a testimonial from a previous client to get started.

      Testimonials for Trinity Hawaii.

      Another popular way to draw attention to your site is to use drone photography to capture amazing shots of your properties. You can invest in a drone if you’re interested, but there are services you can employ as well if you just want to give it a try.

      Additionally, letting your potential clients get to know and trust you through a blog can be a smart move.

      The Trinity Hawaii real estate blog.

      If you do decide to set up a blog, there are some best practices to consider for keeping its information up-to-date. Featuring lots of new and accurate content on your website lets visitors know that you’re active and trustworthy.

      Lead Generation for Agents and Brokers

      The real estate business might have you on the run all the time, but you can rest easy knowing your listings are displayed beautifully thanks to our professional WordPress website builder. Plus, many plugins can help you manage image galleries, property information, and more.

      Here at DreamHost, we want you to focus on making your customers’ home buying dreams come true, rather than worrying about whether your website maintenance or support is taken care of. That’s why we offer complete WordPress hosting solutions with reliable support, so you can focus on selling that dream home!



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