The most effective way to showcase your work to your target customers is to create your own website. Also, a blog can be a fun way to share your knowledge and experience. You can create cake decorating tutorials or share your favorite recipes. In this post, I show you how to start a cake website or cake blog in as little as five minutes. Simply start a blog about something you are passionate about. And the next thing you know, you will be enjoying it so much you will want to post something new every day.
Blogging is becoming very popular these day and almost everybody I know has or wants to own a blog. And why not? It’s so much fun! For me, blogging is writing a journal. Sharing my passion. Also, it's a great platform to tell your story, whatever it is.
Furthermore, today it has become very simple and easy to start a cake website. There are many good tools and templates available to you, free of charge. For example, WordPress, and Wix, just to name two.
I created my first blog just as a place to share my cake pictures so I could let potential customers see my work. And, my first blog post was a tutorial on how to make a doll cake. Guess what? It took off. And that's how I got started with blogging and sharing my tutorials and recipes. Boy, have I learned a lot in the last few years.
Is it really, so easy?
In fact, everywhere on the internet, you can find step-by-step guides on how to create your own blog or website. This includes creating your own cake website or cake blog. And, it is actually easier than you think. Hence, I wrote this simple tutorial to help you get started. I also provide a specific recommendation for a service provider that can help you get started on the right foot.
You see, the problem is not building the blog or website. It's what happens after that. Once the site is live. There is so much more you need to do after you launch the site. That's when you encounter issues and need help. That is when you can become helpless and frustrated. So much so that some people actually abandon their websites or blogs completely.
Now, if you are an expert SW programmer, or IT professional, you may be able to solve those issues on your own. However, if you are like me, a regular person with no coding or IT experience, you need help.
The good news is that there are professionals and service providers who can help. They can design, build, and maintain your site. The prices for these professional services can go from a few hundred dollars (one-time fee) to over a few thousand dollars! It all depends on how much you are ready to spend. I know a friend who spent a little over five thousand dollars because she really was so obsessed with her blog.
Can you afford that? Not me! I went the DIY route and guess what it really was easier than I thought. And I consider myself technically handicapped. Back then I knew nothing other than just using email. And yet, I learned a lot the hard way (including my sites getting hacked).
But there is another option
If I had the help that I have today back when I started blogging - my blogging life would be a lot less stressful and so much more enjoyable. What does that mean? Some of us can't afford to hire professional website developers because it's expensive. And doing everything yourself can be stressful and in the long run more expensive (correcting mistakes is a lot more expensive sometimes). But there is a third option. And that's what I want to share with you today.
We can divide the task of creating a website into two parts. The first part is designing and developing the site itself. The second part is the ongoing operation and maintenance of the site.
For the first part, there are several good tools and platforms that offer generic website designs free of charge. You can literally be up and running in no time. It's simple, easy, and doesn't require any technical skills. That's what I had used when I started my blog.
The second part is more challenging. It requires technical skills and experience. Most of us don't possess these attributes. So, we can try to do it ourselves, and learn the hard way. And yet, in my experience, that's a bad choice. It leads to costly mistakes, in terms of time and money. Furthermore, when your site is down it adversely affects your business. You lose customers, advertisers, and followers. That could amount to 100's of dollars every day your site is down
Wouldn't it be nice if there was someone who could manage and maintain our site for us? That way, every time we encounter a technical issue we can get immediate help and resolution. For example, issues such as website down, slow page loading, or changes we want to make to our website's design. Well, there is such a service. It's called WordPress Managed Hosting. I will explain more about it below.
First, for those of you that are new to creating your own cake website or cake blog - here's some general info.
In websites, you get what you pay for
Do you know that you can start a blog for free? Yes, you can! You won't own your blog. Your blog URL will be something like www.yourblogname.wordpress.com or perhaps www.yourblogname.blogspot.com. Rather than www. yourblogname. com. And yet, that's a reasonable compromise to make if you want to start fast and with minimal expenses.
It's a quick and cheap way to test your idea and see if this is right for you. Once you decide that you are ready to commit your time, energy and money into your blog, or website, you can buy your own domain name and select a hosting company that will host your website.
Today, there are many hosting companies to start a blog. I myself have used a few.
My blogs are currently hosted by WPOven. They are like lifesavers for me. They provide managed hosting services for WordPress websites. I came to WPOven when I really needed help getting some technical work done and they helped me no questions asked.
In addition, their monthly fee can be as low as $20 dollars. Also, there are other hosting companies that offer lower cost options. Some are as low as $5 dollars a month. And I've used them in the past. And yet, you get what you pay for. Personally, I'd rather pay $20 for the quality service and peace of mind. Rather, than pay less per month and get lesser service and risk website "blackouts" (site is down for an extended time). Every day that my site is down costs me $200. So it's a very simple math for me - it is worth every penny.
Another advantage of using a hosting company like WPOven is that you get your own dedicated VPS server, rather than a shared server with multiple other clients. That's part of the reason why their monthly fees are not as low as others.
Another company that comes highly recommended is Hostgator. And yet, I have not used them so I cannot give you a true recommendation.
What is managed - WordPress hosting?
You can think of Managed WordPress hosting as having a dedicated person on call or a concierge service to help you manage your website server 24x7.
What does WPOven offer?
The guys at WPOven believe that you should spend your valuable time developing content for your website and not maintaining it. They manage the technical support of your site, so you can manage your business. Let them handle all your WordPress website maintenance so that you do not have to worry about any of that.
Also, WPOven provides all the tools that you need to run a successful business website. Here's what they offer.
We will take care of:
- Your server and site's security. We provide free SSL certificates, free CDN support, daily malware scans, free malware clean-ups and daily off-site backups across all plans.
- Daily advanced site analytics for all sites.
- Manage your clients. If you are a web developer or a web agency, you can manage and bill all your clients and their sites using our client Manager.
- WPOven is a CloudFlare certified partner. Which means you can integrate and use CloudFlare directly from your WPOven dashboard.
- We provide one free email with all servers across all plans.
- Use the inbuilt recipe builder to create great looking WordPress sites in minutes. The recipe builder has a number of premium themes and plugins to choose from at no added cost.
- WPOven also provides add-on packages for any custom development work that you might need, site speed optimization and SEO optimization.
- Get our highly experienced WordPress support staff to resolve any issue with your WordPress site quickly and efficiently.
You see what I mean by - you get what you pay for? At $5 a month, you get nothing other than an account to build your site. You will need to do all of the above on your own. I bet some of the things above sound scary, like CloudFlare. Guess what? With a WPOven it's ok, they take care of it for you. Which is why I think paying a little extra for peace of mind is worth every penny for me.
A step-by-step guide to get your website started
Step 1: Sign up with WPOven from here.
Step 2: Select a plan
Once you have signed up with WPOven, you can create a SuperFast and optimized server for your sites. Before creating a server you need to select a plan. You can find all the details for the plans at the Plans and Features page.
Step 3: Select the server
Once you have selected the plan that best suits your requirements, you need to select the server location. If your site targets user from a particular geographic location, for example, Australia, then you can select Sydney as your data center location. And, if your site targets visitors globally, then we would suggest our Dallas or New York datacenter.
So, if you are based in the US then you want to choose a location in the US so your website will load quickly.
Here is the list of the available Data center locations:
- Australia datacenters: Sydney
- US datacenters: New York, Texas, Newark, Fremont, Atlanta,
- Europe datacenters: Netherlands, London, Frankfort,
- Asia datacenters: Japan, Singapore, India
Step 4: Select payment method
You have an option of either :
- Creating a monthly subscription via PayPal, or
- Use your credit or debit card
Step 5: Create your server
After you have selected all the options, simply click on the ‘Create Hosting’ button and your server will be created.
Step 6: WPOven dashboard
You can manage and view various stats for your newly created WPOven server from the WPOven dashboard from the 'Servers' tab.
Step 7: Adding your domain to WPOven dashboard
Now that you have created your server with WPOven, you can start by adding your domain to the WPOven dashboard. To add a domain/site to your WPOven server, simply log in to the WPOven dashboard and navigate to the 'Sites' tab. You will now see a form to add a new site. Fill in the form and your site will be installed on your WPOven server, with the latest WordPress version installed on it.
Have a site with another host?
But what if you already have a website that is hosted by another hosting company? As I previously mentioned, I had my sites at another hosting company and I had no clue how to transfer them to WPOven. No problem. WPOven will help you transfer your site for free. Yup, they do it for free!
Step 8: Migrating your site
If you wish to migrate your site from your previous hosting, simply click on the 'Request Migration' button and fill in the migration form. WPOven offers free migrations for all your sites.
Step 9: Update your DNS records
Once your site has been added to your WPOven dashboard, you can then update the domain’s DNS records as mentioned here. This was new to me too but WPOven has it all detailed very well. And they helped me with mine.
Log-in to your WordPress site
All WordPress site log-in are usually: yoursitename/wp-admin. So just go to google.com and type your domain name followed by wp-admin.
For example: if your site is happy cakes, you would type https://happycakes.com/wp-admin. Bookmark that page for future use so you always have it ready to log-in.
Use the username and password you just created to install the WordPress Site.
This is your WordPress dashboard
From now on you will be working out of this dashboard. This is where you will work on your blog/site on a regular basis. Installing your theme, plugins, back-ups, write your post etc. It all happens right here.
Congratulations on your new blog!!
Design your new blog – this is the fun stuff
Remember that I suggested putting a little of your personality into your blog? Well, it starts here. Your blog’s design and content say a lot about you. Just as when you go to someone's home. It kinda tells you about the person. Doesn't it? Similarly, you want your blog to reflect you and the image of your company.
In WordPress, we use themes to design our blogs. Themes come with everything designed for you. You just customize it to your own preferences. There are FREE and paid themes. And here too “ you get what you pay for”.
Most premium themes cost between $45 to $60. Some can go over $200. I think that there are many good themes for under $50. So spend wisely.
The disadvantages of free themes
- Your blog looks like all other blogs instead of being unique or one of a kind.
- The functionality you get for free is pretty basic. So you need to add plugins for other useful functions. More plugins can slow your site. That is very undesired by your target customers/readers.
- There is no customer support with free themes.
- A free theme is very rarely updated. In fact, often they are abandoned by their developers.
- Free themes are less secured. This can lead to malware and spam on your website.
Following are some recommended themes from Theme Forest.
Some useful plugins for your food blog
Once you start your blog these are some of the first few plugins you want to install. Most of these are free unless you decide you need extra features and want to upgrade.
- Akismet - It's a free plugin against spam comments on your blog. Here is a simple video on how to set it up - Akismet Plugin set up.
- SEO by Yoast - The best free plugin for your blog SEO.
This a great video showing you how to set it up - How to install and set-up WordPress plugin SEO by Yoast.
- WordPress Backup to Dropbox - This is a free plugin to backup your site in Dropbox.
Here is a video on how to set it up - Backup your WordPress site in dropbox.
- Comment Luv or Disqus - These are two different comment plugins - both are good therefore you can go with either one. I use Comment Luv
- Finally, If your site has recipes use a recipe plugin. I use Easy Recipe PRO. The free version is also good as a start.
- Google Analytics - A very useful analytics tool, which gives you insight about your visitors. Demographic, location, age, device etc. Setting up takes a little effort but once done it is very valuable. I strongly suggest you set it up. Here is a video that can help you set your Google Analytics.
- Shareholics - Is found in the plugin section; helps share your social network connections so your visitors can share your posts on different social networks.
- Contact Form - Found in the plugin section as well. The contact form is a better way to let visitors contact rather than making your email address public.
I hope you will find this information to be useful. Please let me know if you have any questions. Simply write them in the comments section below and I'd be happy to help. Have fun blogging. I'd love to hear your suggestions.
- What should I blog about?
- Choosing the right name for your business.
- 10 simple ways to monetize your blog.
- How to start your own cake business from home
- Three Tips for an aspiring cake decorator
- How to price your cakes - how much should I charge for my cakes.
- Time management of an effective cake decorator
- Cake Decorating as a profession or hobby
- How to find your cake decorating style