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Decided to take the leap and convert your entire site to WordPress yet worried about the process? No matter where you’re coming from the process can be a intimidating and I bet you’ll have some nagging questions about it all. Hopefully, this post will help answer some of those questions and put you at ease.

#1 Can I keep my domain name?

Absolutely. Domain names (if registered under your name) can follow you through any web host, site publishing tool or content management systems. The only time a domain cannot be transferred is when the original web host or web design person/company plays dirty and holds your domain hostage by refusing to change where it points to or refusing to transfer to another registrar without payment.

Most of the time, this is not an issue and you will be able to keep your domain.

#2 What will it cost? What kind of investments would I have to make?

WordPress (.org) is open source software which means you won’t have any licensing fees. That does not mean there are no costs. If you’re coming from a platform like Blogger where you’ve never paid for hosting or in some cases don’t even have a domain name, then those are the two costs that cannot be avoided.

Beyond that, additional costs only come in if you decide to purchase a premium theme, hire a designer, buy premium plugins or purchase books and informational guides. If you think you might need or want these, it would be wise to set aside some money so you have room to play.

#3 Can I set up a test site while I move?

If you are starting fresh with a brand new domain the answer is yes. If your domain is currently going to the old site, most web hosts can provide you with a temporary URL where you can access and work on the site before flipping the switch.

#4 My pages are static HTML. Is there an easy way to transfer them into WordPress?

Alas, you may be disappointed here. While there is a plugin that could help, what you have to keep in mind, static HTML importers require your pages to be uniform and well formed. Hopefully yours is. Plan on spending some time to clean up the imported pages as some may look a little strange after importing. If you only have a handful of pages it’s probably simpler to just copy and paste.

#5 Will I lose my readers or content?

WordPress has many importers and converters to help you move your content. Chances are, there will be no loss. You’re more likely to lose some formatting than entire pages and posts.

As for losing readers, followers and traffic, if you were operating on your own domain before and keeping that domain, they will still find you on your new site. In that sense, you won’t lose your traffic nor links pointing to your posts. If you were using someone else’s domain like sittingonmybackporch.blogspot.com and now getting your own, you can’t have them follow you automatically. However, you can and should modify your old site to display a prominent banner to announce and advertise your new site.

#6 What will happen to the URLs of my old pages? How do I redirect them?

If you try to keep your page and post names as similar as possible, WordPress can attempt to guess and redirect people to the right place. Sometimes, the automatic redirect doesn’t work as it should. You can help it along by using a plugin called Redirection to specify exactly which pages direct where.

You should also make sure you have the ’404 Not Found’ error page set up properly to catch the pages that fall between the cracks.

#7 Can I handle this by myself?

That answer lies in what you know and how determined you are. If you know even a little bit of HTML or HTML/CSS, you’re in a better position. If you know a tad of PHP you’re head and shoulders ahead. If you know none of that but are very determined and motivated, yes you can, but be well prepared to face major frustration. Getting a guide, set of tutorials or connecting to a group of WordPress knowledgeable people will go a long, long way.

A blogger who attempted the switch all by themselves had this to say, “The problem is not the lack of free tutorials but too many of them! It takes huge amounts of time to separate the good and bad ones, and on top of it all, I didn’t even know what I was looking for. Save your sanity, get help.” Great advice from someone who’s been there.

Lynette Chandler is the web tech go-to-gal to marketers and bloggers online since 2004. She teaches them about WordPress, related web technologies and invites you to grab free training at http://TechBasedTraining.com/free-training/?&aff_id=1694

 

The rumor mill is churning – Apple should be announcing the next generation iPhone on June 8th. Check out this blog for predictions on features: new iPhone.

Personally, I’m still on the fence – should I get a BB, iPhone, iPod or stick with the cell phone? (Verizon EnV specifically – so much more than a phone) Don’t they all do the same thing in different packaging?

What’s your gadget of choice? Perhaps you can influence my decision…leave a comment @ setufreeva.com/blog

As business owners we attempt to keep the balance between quality and cost effectiveness – meaning, if it’s free ‘HOW GOOD IS IT REALLY?’ Now, don’t misunderstand me, I like free, but it must be weighed against quality. Which brings me to the point of this blog – “Open Source Computing” or the new buzz word “cloud computing”? I read a great article in not be the best decision for all business owners” – translation: proceed with caution. We all want to save a few bucks, but not at the cost of our reputation. My favorite – and currently only – open source platform is PDF creator – works great! And of course, it’s free!

What are your favorites? Do you use open source software exclusively, not at all, or a mixture of both? Inquiring minds want to know? Leave your comments, suggestions, and opinions @ www.setufreeva.com/blog.

I used to be a diehard Internet Explorer user – through pure ignorance. If you are employed, you use what is provided – because bottom-line – any security issues are theirs (read Big Corporate Machine) vs. yours (business owner).

Through education via the virtual assistant forums, I learned that Fire Fox is a more secure, stable platform…needless to say I made the switch. If Fire Fox is your browser of choice, check out these time-saver add-ons:

1.Fox marks – seamlessly sync changes to bookmarks and passwords across all your computers
2.Shareaholic – share, bookmark and email web pages via your favorite social sites
3.Fotofox – organize your pictures or create an album without interrupting your internet browsing
4.Morning Coffee – like to be in the know at the moment? Use this tool to organize the websites you view daily
5.Reminder Fox – setup alarms/alerts to highlight those important dates/events – ex: “Mother’s Day – May 10th”
6.Tab Sidebar – an alternative to the main tab bar – why? Options are good!
7.Sxipper – keeps track of usernames, passwords and personal info; add-on allows you to store this data on your computer. Personally, I’m skeptical of this particular feature – I’ll stick with the password protected excel sheet ;-)

Do you use any of these or do you have a favorite to add to the list? Share it! Each one, teach one!

Leave a comment @ http://www.setufreeva.com/blog/

I read an interesting article in: LinkedIn and Twitter. Social networking is here to stay…and I’m sure you don’t want to be left out!

Do you have a presence on LinkedIn? Do you need assistance maintaining your presence on LinkedIn and other social media? I’d be happy to assist you; here’s mine www.linkedin.com/in/setufree.

As a virtual newbie, you are bombarded with information and need to make a lot of decisions. One of the biggest decisions: your virtual footprint – aka your website. By virtue of being virtual – how can you not have a website? So now that that decision is made – the next looming question: how much? The “how much?” is subjective given individual financial situations. Some individuals are blest with financial and/or technical abilities to have the “Rolls-Royce” (or whatever luxury vehicle you prefer) of websites. And some go the D.I.Y (do-it-yourself) route. What did I do? Both!! Let me explain, I went the D.I.Y route and couldn’t D.I.M (do it myself); I got some assistance and the finished product was better than where I began. In my desire to make my first impression an impressive and lasting one, I sought the opinion of a website guru and friend, Steve Jones, President of Websignia. After discussing the pros and cons of my current site and reviewing some of his work – quite impressive – I opted to enlist his company to produce my virtual footprint: (my website)

So, what route(s) did you take in your business? Did you have an experience similar to mine? Has my experience swayed you in either direction? Leave me a comment, I’d love to know!