A Forensic Interview with Agatha Christie

A Forensic Interview with Agatha Christie

As a writer, especially a writer of fiction, it is essential to create an online presence with a website, or blog, or my personal favorite, a multifunction site combining both of those functions and more. If you are new to the game, or if you have been devoting yourself to the craft of spinning tales in the belief talent alone will lift your stories and novels to the bestseller lists, please pause for a reality check. In this wildly exciting, immensely frustrating era of traditional vs. self-publishing, print vs. digital, it is up to you to build a reader base for your books. No one else is likely to do it for you. Thus, an eye-catching, entertaining website that offers genuine value to viewers can be your best and cheapest vehicle for reaching potential buyers. Regarding this, WordPress is, hands down, the best platform for you to use. It is free; it is constantly being updated and enhanced; it can be mastered even if you are not a techie. There are two versions– .com and .org. You want WordPress.org, because it is “self-hosted,” meaning you own your domain name and control all aspects of your website. Currently, there are more than twenty million sites using WordPress, which is about thirty percent of all the websites in the world. Before you can start building your site, there are three things you must do first: • Purchase a domain name. If you haven’t done this yet, go to the internet and search for “Top 10 Sites to Purchase Domain.” Whenever possible, buy a domain with the .com or .net extension. These are the ones people are most familiar with. There several good choices, but select a service that will also host WordPress. If .the perfect website name isn’t available, you can’t go wrong by purchasing your own author name. • Choose a hosting service. It is convenient to buy hosting services from the same company that sold you the domain name. By doing so, you will avoid the problem of transferring your domain from one registrar to another. • Install WordPress. Most of the well-known hosting services offer 1-click installation. There is an excellent website that provides instruction and tips about using WordPress. Let me recommend that wpbeginner.com is a MUST for newbies. And now, without further ado, let’s begin your journey with WordPress: From Start to Finish. Let’s Log In When you install WordPress through a hosting account (i.e. GoDaddy, HostGator, bluehost, etc.), the program will prompt you to set-up a unique user ID and password for your site. You will use these to access your website from the WordPress login page. When you log out for the first time, you will return to the login page and I recommend you save the page to your favorite places. However, you can find the login page anytime from any device by opening a new page in your internet browser and searching for your domain name and extension followed by /wp-admin. Dashboard: Welcome to WordPress! This is what you will see upon entering your site for the first time. The dashboard offers a collection of options to help newbies, but the real toolbox for WordPress is along the left side of the screen. Feel free to hover over items and click to explore the possibilities. Eventually, you will use every one of these functions and you will frequently import themes, plugins, and images to your site. You should set up one or more folders on your hard drive in which to download these files. I suggest creating three folders for WP Themes, WP Plugins, and WP Images. Go ahead and set those folders up now, because you need to acquire and activate several plugins immediately. (Don’t worry, they are all free.) Plugins Plugins are patches of software code that can add additional features and functions to WordPress. At this writing there are well over fifty thousand free ones available at WordPress.org, and countless others for sale on the internet. Be sparing in your use of plugins. When added to your site, plugins are easy to activate and deactivate, but they are difficult to delete. You must get into the code to eliminate one, and a bunch of deactivated plugins will clutter your website and slow down your processing time. There are five plugins that are valuable for use on your website. Go to WordPress.org; and download them to your WP Plugins folder: • User ID Changer; • Akismet Anti-Spam; • WP-DBManager; • Page Builder by Site Origin; and • SiteOrigin Widgets Bundle When WordPress sets up your user ID, it automatically makes you the administrator of the website—meaning you have full control of everything. The software defaults to make you “author-1,” and hackers have all kinds of nasty tricks to take advantage of this weakness. Fortunately, there is a simple way to make it harder for them to breach your user ID. Follow these steps: