How to Make a WordPress Website step-by-step

WordPress is a number one best and simple web platform for the beginners who want to start a website for personal or business. Creating a website is as simple as creating Facebook nowadays. An easy step-by-step website setup guide written by web developers who have created hundreds of websites and helped thousands of others to create their own website.

A step by step tutorial – we start off with finding the right content management system, choosing a domain name, then the right web hosting service, adding the right themes, plugins and customizing your site’s appearance. By the time you are done with this how to make a WordPress website for beginners guide you’ll have a full fledged website ready to go!

What is a Content Management System?

A content management system (CMS) in simple terms, is a platform of sorts or a mechanism which permits you to create your content and publish it on a website. Let’s say that it is a coat hanger stand with the coat being your content.

It is software that is installed on your host’s server. Your host provider will likely have a one click installation process to help you get your CMS installed. Once it is installed, you can log in to your site as the admin and add photos, text and other content. You can use the content you’ve added to create blog posts and other forms of content like a product page or display a work portfolio on your website.

A CMS is way more than just a means to an end, you can install a theme which is a modified template to suit the specific niche and purpose of your site. With the template added, you can customize the appearance of your site. You can add plugins to add function to your site, for example a social sharing plugin to help spread the word about your site via social networks.

All of this and more can be accomplished with a Content Management System.

Which CMS is best for you?

An overwhelming majority of websites use WordPress. The other two options that lag way behind in comparison to WordPress (certainly in popularity) are Joomla and Drupal.

WordPress

The ideal option for someone who’s creating his or her first website. It has considerable scalability and works well with low and medium traffic websites. We receive 1.5 million views every month and we run WordPress, so that gives you an idea of what medium traffic constitutes if you were wondering. Even large websites such as TIME Magazine, CNN, TED, Techcrunch, NBC and others use WordPress to server millions of pageviews each day.

WordPress has a great number of points that can be made in favor of its use.

  • Easy To Install: Most hosting services have one click installation options for WordPress given the number of people who use it.
  • Strong Community & Open Source: It is free and used by a lot of people. There are a plethora of free themes and plugins that you can leverage for your site. Apart from the freebies, premium themes and plugins are cheap and come with excellent support services from their providers. If you ever have a doubt or a problem a simple Google search can answer your query. If fact, I’ll go so far as to say you’ll find the answer to your doubts answered by the first three results of a Google search. A strong community will aid in your WordPress initiation process should you ever encounter any hiccups. And you can always drop your comments here either Aigars or me will be sure to respond to the at the earliest opportunity.
  • Ideal For Non tech savvy online entrepreneurs: Most of the products associated with WordPress, such as themes and plugins are fairly straightforward and intuitive to use. Installing a Content Management System like WordPress is only the first step of the process, there is much more to website creation beyond that. Like WordPress which is easy to install and configure, the tools that you’ll require to make your website whole are easy to handle.

Two not so quite favorable things about WordPress

  • One drawback of WordPress, it may become unwieldy if your site grows far too large and receives an enormous amount of daily traffic. The cost of your hosting goes up. But we are talking about traffic in the order of millions here and it isn’t something you should let bother you for now.
  • Another potential problem is the quality of free plugins and themes. While most are good and have fairly high security standards, you’d should be wary of unknown third party plugins. WordPress is a secure platform out the box, but adding third party software while exercising poor judgement is a bad idea. That being said security vulnerabilities are generally fixed as soon as they are detected.
  • As you can see WordPress is by far the most popular content management system and is used by 65% CMS powered websites worldwide.The thing you need to know is all CMSs have one drawback or the other. And for a new web admin, WordPress is the best way to go! But I’ll talk about Drupal and Joomla, all the same. You should certainly be aware of them, should you decide to switch your CMS at a later point in time. And it will also tell you why perhaps Joomla and Drupal are not best suited to the needs of beginner.

    Drupal

    Unlike WordPress, Drupal is not too well suited for the technically inept or a first time website developer. Drupal is an open source CMS and is largely utilized by big corporations with vast websites and high traffic loads. It has its own customization possibilities with themes and plugins created to add value to Drupal sites. Drupal websites are a bit faster and little less taxing on the host’s server resources.

    But if you’re new to web development, it isn’t for you. Why? It is more complicated than it needs to be to meet your requirements. It is designed for complex, vast websites with high traffic loads, which your new website will not be to begin with. Given that, there is no need to add to the difficulty of the website creation process unnecessarily.  And besides, you can always switch to Drupal at a later date.

    Joomla

    Open source and free like the previous two platforms. It is a tad better than the other two when it comes to creating a community of users (like a small social network or tight knit community for your readers) and is far more amenable to creating social websites with a lot of interaction and engagement from users. It is easier to handle than Drupal and offers more than WordPress in terms of performance and tweakability.

    And again my reasons are the same for not recommending it for you, unnecessary complication that you do not need.

    WordPress – Probably the best option for you!

    If you are starting off with a new domain name with no traffic so to speak of, you are better off with WordPress. It is exceedingly easy to use, it is free and comes with an enormous number of premium quality free themes and plugins. The cost of hosting is low and many hosts provide for easy one click installation of WordPress. And since a growing percentage of online entrepreneurs do not know how to program in HTML, CSS and PHP, WordPress is the best choice as it offers excellent customizability even to WordPress newbies.

  • Now that you have chosen the best platform for your website you can proceed with the next step.

Before you choose a domain name, you’ll need be sure of the niche you’d like to concentrate on. Selecting a niche area to focus on, is an important task in and of itself. To create a revenue generating website it is critical that you research the target keyword pool and the niche it is derived from. For the time being, just make sure it is something you like and are genuinely passionate about. And ensure that you have reasonable expertise in the subject matter involved.

You can literally register any available (not registered yet) domain name but here is something I recommend:

  • Business website – If you are making a website for your business it would be best to choose a domain name that is your company name or brand. An example domain name would be YourComapanyName.com or YourBrandName.com
  • Personal website – If it is going to be your personal website it would be great to go with com
  • Hobby website – The sky’s the limit 🙂

Most popular domain names extensions (the end part of website address, like .com) are .com, .org, .net, but in recent years a huge amount of new domain extensions have been introduced (Wikipedia). Now you can register crazy domain names such as

YourCompanyName.pizza, YourCompanyName.green, or YourName.ninja.

However, for your first website I recommend to stick with .com, .net and .org. New domain extensions haven’t gone mainstream yet and might confuse your visitors. Even some social networks, services and apps have problems displaying these new domain names that’s why I advice to avoid them, at least for now.

Choosing The Right Domain Name

The next step in our process involves choosing a domain name. A domain name is basically the URL one types into a browser’s address bar to visit a particular website.

Getting the right domain name is crucial. A few things you need to keep in mind while considering domain name choices.

  • Short – Shorter names work better when it comes to remembrance and are easy to type as well.
  • Brandable – Remember your domain also runs to your brand, make sure it isn’t memorable for all the wrong reasons.
  • Memorable – People forget easily, come up with a name that first time visitors to your site are likely to remember.
  • Catchy – You want a domain name that rolls off the tongue and describes what you do.
  • Easy to type.
  • Includes keyword (optional) – Identify the right keywords or combination of keywords. The closer your domain name is to your site’s niche, the better for search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Niche specific (optional) – If you are writing a website about a specific niche check if there are popular abbreviations that you can use. For example, in WordPress there are many highly ranked websites with “wp” as part of their name. WPEngine.com, a managed hosting service for WordPress.

Funny domain name mistakes

Here are some domain names someone have registered without realizing what a huge mistake they have made:

  • Speedofart.com – Speed of Art
  • Choosespain.com – Choose Spain
  • Gotahoe.com – Go Tahoe

Hosting

You really have two options when it comes to hosting provider types recommended for WordPress newbies.

  • Shared Hosting
  • Managed WordPress Hosting

I do not recommend anything other than a shared hosting plan for first time webmasters. All other forms of hosting that you may have heard of like Virtual Private Hosting (requires reasonable technical know how), managed WordPress hosting (too costly) might not be the right choice for your first website. As your knowledge and business grows you might consider VPS or fully managed WordPress hosting but let’s leave that for another post.

Shared hosting is the way to go and later we can talk about upgrading your host. We’ve recommended two shared hosting services and have also added elaborate installation processes for WordPress with both of them. Both hosting providers offers domain registration and website hosting and that’s exactly what we need to create an awesome website.

NameCheap Host

To make WordPress installation process easier we have created a short video that will guide you through installation process.

Click here to visit NameCheap and proceed with your first website setup.

If you had some problems understanding setup process outlined in video you can follow steps below.

  1. Choose the right hosting page. I’d suggest the starter package. It offers plenty of speed, performance, functionality and storage for your first website. You can upgrade your hosting plan as your website grows>
  2. You will be prompted to choose a domain name as you can see in example below. Double check your domain name to avoid typos.
  3. And on the next screens, enter your personal information and credit card details. And complete payment.
  4. In Bluehost cPanel (administration panel), find a button which says Install WordPress
  5. Click on a green Install button to proceed with WordPress installation
  6. Now select if you want to use your website with or without “www.” at front of your website name (www.YourWebsite.com or YourWebsite.com). If you can’t decide you can leave it as is. It can be easily changed afterwards
  7. The details for the WordPress installation like email ID, username and password can be set. And tick all the necessary conditions under a licence agreement.
  8. And install.
  9. Once installation is complete you will see a clear message on top saying “Your Install is Complete!” and button saying “View Credentials”
  10. By clicking on that button you will be sent to a page where you will be able to find your newly installed WordPress login credentials.
  11. Now you can login on your website by clicking link that says YourWebsitName.com/wp-admin.

SiteGround

SiteGroud’s shared hosting plan has a similar, equally easy to use WordPress installation and domain registration process. The site asks you whether you have a domain name or need to register one, in our case since you are creating your first site you need to register a domain.

Following the domain registration you can follow this easy to use this three step tutorial for a guided WordPress installation. It is best to select “Get WordPress Preinstalled in this account” and you will not need to get your hands dirty. You’ll need to set admin email ID, username and password, you’re set!

Now that your domain is registered, hosting paid for and your WordPress installed. What’s next?

WordPress Admin Screens

  • Go to yourwebsitename.com/wp-admin.
  • Type in the username and password you previously entered during the WordPress installation process.

Your WordPress admin menu is available on the left side of the screen. Allowing your cursor to linger over them will open sub menus.

  • Dashboard
  • Posts
  • Media
  • Links
  • Pages
  • Comments
  • Appearance
  • Plugins
  • Users
  • Tools
  • Settings

That is a lot of stuff which you deal with. But I’ve promised to get your site up and running. So for the purposes of this post I will not be talking about Settings, Tools, Users or Your Dashboard.

I will talk about the rest of the menu options which are part of your WordPress menu. Let’s get started.

Customizing your site’s Appearance and activating a WordPress Theme

Themes (Appearances > Themes)

    1. Open Appearances > Themes. From here on have a look at the heading of each subsection if you have doubts with regards to accessing a particular part of the WordPress menu from the admin screen.

install-new-wordpress-theme

    1. And click on the “Add New” button on the top. And choose from one of the themes displayed or search for a specific theme. For a list of awesome free themes, you can check out this theme collection.

install-sparkling-theme

    1. Install a new theme that you fancy and activate it.

The next part involves customization of a theme. You can access this under from Appearance > Customize. You can do a number of things to your site’s appearance from here. But that’s not the crux of this post, a theme is sufficient to start a website.

Widgets (Appearances > Widgets)

Widgets are preset modules or pieces of code that add to a certain function which will prove useful for your website in some capacity or the other. Your sidebars, footers and headers can be loaded with widgets.

wordpress-widget-manager

As you can see in the above screenshot, there 6 widgets in the sidebar.  These widgets include a search bar, a recent posts widget, recent comments, archives, categories and meta. Then you can see 4 footer areas where you can add widgets just the same. The number of footer, header and sidebar areas available to you depends on the theme you are using.

Widgets are not plugins, but they are small chunks of code that add a bit of function. Sometimes it may help with navigation, sometimes with social media, you can even use to add HTML to a text widget which will function as coded to do so. So widgets are a very useful tool but you need to learn a bit about them before you can use them to the fullest.

Menus (Appearances > Menu)

Menus are an extremely important for any website. They offer a means to navigate your site and its content. After all, what’s the point in creating captivating content and if your visitor can not find it easily on your site. Bad menus and navigation can lead to a high bounce rate (the number of visitors as a percentage who leave your site after just viewing just one page).

You may have seen websites with menus on the top or the side and even at the bottom. We can do all of this.

You’d like to include pages like “About”, “Blog”, “Contact” and “Our Services” as part of your primary menu. Any page you’d like displayed on your menu can be added. The number of menus and their placement on your site depends on your WordPress theme.

You can add all the stuff that you see on the left to the menu ranging from pages to products as part of your menu. Again what you can include as part of the menu depends on your WordPress theme.

wordpress-menu-manager

A good menu,

  • Is concise and minimal.
  • It is a representation of all your site’s offerings.
  • Very intuitive to use and maneuver around your site.

Keep that in mind and you should be fine.

Background (Appearances > Background)

Many website choose to have plain single color background and I am big fan of that.

The Bigsweb blog has a plain white background and it keeps things simple. But the homepage of the site is pretty awesome with a purple background and our tagline.

Websites that are media heavy, examples would include photography sites or portfolio websites have great backgrounds. If you want your website to send across a powerful visual cue to your audience use a powerful background image. Else you can simply opt for a plain color which is appropriate for any blog that emphasizes readability.

A background should not be confused with a slider image which is basically a constantly changing image that moves across or your screen or changes with fancy animation.

Adding New Plugins (Plugins > Add New)

Plugins are a scripts or pieces of code written to perform a very specific function or set of functions on your website.

A simple example would be social sharing plugin, it helps share your content across different social platforms and helps get the word out that your content is awesome. Similarly, people have developed plugins for search engine optimization, security purposes, creating and maintaining a portfolio of images, to create contact forms, for caching the list is endless.

Adding Pages (Pages > Add New)

Pages on a website help divide your website into a requisite number of pieces to present the different sections of your site’s content. Pages are to themes like widgets are to plugins. With pages you can create specific template styles that can be called on command for different purposes that require the same or similar design. Pages are more than posts and are used for specific purposes on your site. You can create pages specifically to cater to the requirements of a Contact Us Page or perhaps create landing page.

add-new-page-wordpress

And you are greeted by a New Page, which you can now fill up. From this new screen, you can create a new page and assign page attributes.

If you either need to create a template that you’re likely to use often or need to recreate a section of your site for a specific purpose, creating a page is the way to go.

Comments (Access from WordPress menu)

Websites need readers to make them successful. Comments are a very powerful means to establish a great debate on your site and this only further adds value to your site. Hardly, one percent of the traffic that visits your site will ever comment. And that is assuming that the content is great to begin with. Driving interaction with passive readers on your site is difficult and takes time and effort.

A great post with a pre-existing comment history helps your site receive more comments. Aigars wrote an awesome post on BigsWeb a while back, yet till this day it still keeps receiving comments and continues to be a great source of traffic.

And remember, WordPress allows you to link your site when you comment on another person’s blog. And this may send visitors your way, if you play your cards right and make genuine attempts to offer something constructive. For this same reason, many people will leave their comments on your blog as well.

If I feel your content is great and a particular post that you’ve written is awesome, then I’ll almost jump at the chance to leave my comment first and best anyone else to first comment. Because I know eventually it will lead a few visitors back to my site.

Comments are a great way to build an awesome readership and a loyal following for your site.

Adding Content

Content is king may be a cliched line. But it is true now more so than ever before. There are many more websites now than there ever were before. You name a niche, any niche and it is bound to be saturated to the hilt with websites producing content about said niche. WordPress is a very profitable niche. Why? 50% of websites use it and many of them are new to WP. WordPress newbies and even intermediate level users require a few resources to help them get started up and make changes to their WordPress sites, not too dissimilar to the content on BigsWeb 😉 But a website like BigsWeb works well and generates revenue only when we offer value to our readers.

We publish a great number of articles on premium WordPress themes and should you choose to buy one of them after clicking on our links we receive a small commission on your purchase. But truth be told, our most popular and widely read articles aren’t the ones that describe premium WordPress themes or plugins, rather they are WordPress tutorials and posts dedicated to free themes, plugins and other WordPress related articles. Because it is only when we offer value to readers that our site grows.

So based on your site’s niche and your expertise,  you need to produce content that genuinely offers value to would be readers. If you intend to create your site purely for monetary purposes, it will not be successful in the long run. No wait a minute, it may still be profitable but certainly not as successful as it could have been had you tried to genuinely help your audiences.So focus on good content.

Pick your niche and offer great value to your readers. And watch your traffic grow steadily and if you are lucky, perhaps even go through the roof!

So how do you publish your content on WordPress? What are the formats available to you apart from just plain ol’ text?

Posts (Posts > Add New)

The beating heart of your site or most sites anyway. At the end of this tutorial when all’s said and done, you’ll be here to populate your site with posts. WordPress has a very easy to use posting mechanism and this one of the reasons, it is so popular.

You have two ways in which you can write your posts: one is the visual editor and the other is HTML editor. You can opt to use the visual editor to begin with, but you should know the HTML editor (referred to as text editor) is a very powerful tool to help you create the right formatting for your posts. The sooner you are comfortable with the text editor, the better of you will be. You may notice I am using the visual editor and truth be told, once I’ve added all the necessary formatting I prefer the visual editor.

add-blog-post-to-wordpress

The visual editor is very much similar to most text editors and permits you to add bold / italic effects to your text, change its font, add bulleted lists and numbered lists, align content differently and add hyperlinks. There is also a distraction free writing mode which gives you a fullscreen version of the editor.

Categories (Posts > Categories)

Categories are a means to divide your content. Categories are a big more important when your site publishes content on a number of issues. You can add categories from your Post editor or you can access it under Posts > Categories.

Now you can name the category to create one and then you can add a slug which is basically a URL add on of sorts for all your site’s posts on that specific category. For example, if I know that BigsWeb produces a lot of theme collection content, I can Google search BigsWeb + collections and the first search result link is – https://BigsWeb.com/wp/category/collections/ . With this I can view only the posts that have been published under the category, “Collections”.

So it is a very effective way to divide your site’s content and make finding stuff on your site much easier for a visitor.

Tags (Posts > Tags)

Tags are very similar to categories, except each post generally has its own set of tags. Tags are a tad more specific than categories but that apart they are the same and they aid in helping visitors find your content more easily.

Media (Media >Add New)

Media as in photos and videos are important to normal websites. They are even more so for media heavy websites. Adding media is easy with WordPress. You can either add media from Posts or you can add media directly to the media library.

You can add the image title, a caption, description to the image. But it is also important you also add the alt text which helps search engines identify your image. It is a small step in ensuring good search engine optimization.

There a lot of effects and stuff you can do to your imagery like make it pop up or use a lightbox with WordPress plugins. But that’s for another day.

Your Profile

Setting up your WordPress profile. This is rather easy to deal with. You can edit your profile from the “Edit Your Profile” on your WordPress admin screen on the top right hand corner. You can describe yourself and add the necessary social media links as well.

And to add a profile picture for your WordPress ID, you’ll need to get a Gravatar account. You’ll need an account from WordPress.com with which you can login to your site’s admin panel.

Just Start!

We have far too many inhibitions, starting stuff is one of them. It opens the door to failure.

Creating the website and generating revenue is no joke. It is hard work, sometimes seemingly unrewarding work.

Over the next few weeks and months, we’ll be launching our “Getting Started With WordPress” post series to help you out.

And apart from that if you need anything else, do let us know in the comments below! Aigars and I will always be happy to help you out 🙂

5 Tips to Stay Safe on Internet

As the Internet becomes an increasingly integral part of daily life, questions about privacy and security on the Internet are on the rise. Keeping your personal information, private data and finances safe can be difficult, but by following a few tips, you can avoid the vast majority of scams, spyware and privacy breaches.

Tip 1. Be Aware

The best tool to avoid spyware and stay safe on the Internet is your own brain. Free software with no potential upgrades or strings attached, websites that are covered in flashy ads, and free Wi-Fi in an unexpected place are all signs that something may be wrong, and ignoring that intuition can get you in trouble. By staying aware of what you are doing, and thinking about your security while you live your online life, you stand a better chance of avoiding potentially dangerous situations.

internet safetyTip 2: Check for website safety

The Internet can be dangerous because so many websites require your personal information to either log in to your account or to complete a transaction. Hackers, thieves and spyware programmers realize this and often try to intercept your information during these transactions, so make sure you are always dealing with secure websites and companies. First, only provide your information to reputable businesses, then ensure that the company’s website uses a Web address that starts with “https” and has a padlock symbol either in the address bar or at the bottom of the browser. This means that the site encrypts your information, making the data nearly useless to any thieves or hackers who may intercept the transmission.

Tip 3: Choose strong and varied passwords

For most people, a password is the strongest protection to ward off hackers and thieves, and yet so many choose passwords that are barely worth the time it takes to enter them. When creating a password, always use a mix of letters and numbers, and include a symbol if the website allows it. While more difficult to remember, this will make your password almost impossible to guess.

More importantly, you have to use different passwords for different websites. Think about how often you use the same username and password for many online accounts. Hackers specifically target low-security sites to gain access to large lists of usernames and corresponding passwords, knowing that many people use the same combination of credentials for things like online banking.

Additionally, take advantage of any two-factor authentication offered by these sites. This requires not only a password to log in, but a code that’s sent to a dedicated device or to your smartphone as an SMS message. This makes it very difficult for a third party to hack into your account.

Tip 4: What is spyware? How do I stop it?

Spyware probably poses the biggest threat to privacy and security on the Internet, yet so few people really know what it is or how it works. Put simply, spyware is any piece of software that records your actions or information without your knowledge. Some spyware is fairly benign, tracking browsing history and keeping the data it receives anonymous, while other spyware is specifically designed to get your online banking credentials so thieves can clean out your accounts.

Because it’s almost impossible to avoid spyware on your own, having anti-spware and antivirus programs running on your computer is a must. These programs will automatically scan any piece of incoming software for malicious signatures and block the installation if the program looks suspect. They’ll also scan existing files and monitor Internet traffic to ensure that spyware isn’t hiding somewhere on the machine and sending your information to some hacker’s terminal.

There are free anti-spyware programs out there, but you have to be careful when trying to save a buck or two — quite a few of these programs are really Trojan horses in disguise, looking to infect your machine instead of protect it. Instead, your best option is to go with an industry leader. These companies have no interest in scamming you, and are big enough to ensure that their databases are constantly updated as new threats emerge. The best options also offer a free trial, so you can see the anti-spyware program in action before paying some of your hard-earned cash.

Tip 5: It’s not all about spyware and scams

With all this talk about spyware, hackers and Internet security, it’s important to remember that most people with privacy issues on the Internet put themselves in that position. Think about social networking sites and just how much personal information you have posted there. If someone were trying to steal your identity and needed your father’s middle name or where you went to elementary school — two commonly used security questions — you need to think about how a thief could locate those facts. If you’re concerned about Internet privacy, you have to consider staying away from social networking sites, minimizing the information you put out there, or maximizing privacy settings on these sites.

Complete privacy and security on the Internet is a tough goal to reach, these tips will help you go a long way toward keeping yourself safe. Millions of people use the Internet, and thieves will inevitably go for easy targets. People who give even the smallest amount of thought to security and privacy, and take steps in that regard, will find themselves passed over as thieves search out greener pastures.

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Free Learning 48 Languages Online : Spanish, Chinese, English & More

Not many parents out there would be against their child Growing up bilingual. Did you know that the best time to learn another language is alongside the first language and that the brain at the age of <18 months is perfectly capable of processing more than one language without confusion?

What a great talent to add to your child’s repertoire with many bonuses such as  making them more culturally sociable both at home and abroad and making them more attractive in the work place later on in life. Furthermore, studies have now shown that bilingual children have increased attention and cognition abilities.

How to learn languages for free? This collection features lessons in 40 languages, including Spanish, French, English, Mandarin, Italian, Russian and more. Download audio lessons to your computer or mp3 player and you’re good to go.

Free Learning  48 Languages Online

Arabic

  • Arabic for Global ExchangeWeb site
    • From Carnegie Mellon, a mini-course for individuals with no proficiency or extremely limited knowledge of Arabic language and culture who are about to begin study or work in an Arabic-speaking context.
  • Arabic Language Lessons Web Site
    • The US Peace Corps serves up 10 free lessons that will teach you the Arabic spoken in Jordan. The web site includes a useful transcript.
  • Arabic for Beginners 1 – YouTube Free
  • ArabicPod – iTunes Free
    • Includes mp3s and PDF transcripts.
  • Foreign Service Institute Basic Amharic – Web site
    • Lessons in dialogues, drills, exercises, and narratives. Includes samples of speech, explanations of basic language structures, and a variety of practical exercises. Two textbooks (PDF) and eleven audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute Written Arabic – Web site
    • Spoken exercises in Arabic and the printed transcriptions. Four textbooks (PDF) and 31 audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute Levantine Arabic – Web site
    • Introduction to pronunciation. Textbook (PDF) and 19 audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute Saudi Arabic – Web site
    • Covers the urban Hijazi dialect. Textbook (PDF) and 51 audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute Comparative Arabic – Web site
    • From Eastern to Western Arabic, and Levantine-Egyptian comparative study. Two textbooks (PDF).
  • Survival Phrases Arabic – iTunes Free
    • Provides the essentials you’ll need to get around.
  • Written ArabicWeb Site
    • Presented by the Foreign Service Institute, this Modern Written Arabic course focuses on reading modern printed Arabic. It also provides information on the Arabic writing system.

Bookmark our free Arabic lessons section. Bambara

  • Bambara in MaliWeb Site
    • Lessons from the Peace Corps.

Bulgarian

  • Bulgarian Survival Phrases – iTunes Free – Feed
  • Foreign Service Institute BulgarianWeb site
    • Two textbooks (PDF) and 75 audio lessons (MP3).

Cambodian

  • Foreign Service Institute Basic CambodianWeb site
    • Two textbooks (PDF) and 45 audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute Contemporary Cambodian – Web site
    • Textbook (PDF) and 60 audio lessons (MP3).

Catalan

  • One Minute Catalan iTunes FreeFeed
    • A good way to get going with a language still spoken by some 12 million people, many living in Northeast Spain.

Chinese

  • Real Chinese – Web Site
    • Presented by the BBC. A lively introduction to Mandarin Chinese in 10 short parts with video clips from the Real Chinese TV series.
  • Beginner’s Chinese – iTunes Free
    • Introductory audio lessons provided by the Open University.
  • Chinese Course – Seton Hall
  • Chinese Basic – Web
    • A web-application developed by the University of Cambridge Language Centre for basic level students of Chinese. It focuses on listening and reading skill but it also includes many activities that help learners prepare for speaking and writing. Note that you can also download Intermediate Chinese here.
  • Chinese Learn Online – iTunes Free – Feed
    • A dialogue-based introduction to Mandarin Chinese. Load the lessons on your mp3 player and get up the Chinese curve.
  • Chinese Lessons with Serge Melnyk – iTunes Free –Feed
    • Weekly lessons in Mandarin that get very strong reviews from iTunes users..
  • Chinesepod.com iTunes Free – Feed
    • A series of well-reviewed lessons that will let you learn Mandarin on your own terms.
  • CSLPod – iTunes FreeFeed
    • Here, native Mandarin speakers teach you Chinese as a second language. Audio and transcripts are available on the website. The lessons also place an emphasis on understanding Chinese culture.
  • Foreign Service Institute Basic Cantonese – Web site
    • Two textbooks (PDF) and 30 audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute Standard Chinese: A Modular Approach – Web site
    • Designed to give a practical command of spoken standard Chinese with nine situational modules. Each module consists of tapes (MP3), a student textbook (PDF), and a workbook. In addition to the core modules, there is a resource module and eight optional modules.
  • iMandarinPod.com – iTunes FreeFeed
    • This series of lessons teaches Chinese by talking about Chinese culture or what is happening today in China. More advanced than others.
  • Mandarin Chinese Characters – iTunes Free
    • Created by Emory University, this series of video lessons will help you draw several characters and numbers.
  • Mandarin in China – Web Site
    • Lessons courtesy of the US Peace Corps
  • News in Slow Chinese – iTunes FreeWeb Site
    • Designed for intermediate Mandarin speakers. Improve your language skills by listening to world news delivered in slowly spoken words.
  • Numbers and Radicals – iTunes Free
    • Emory University teaches you the proper form for writing numbers and radicals. In Video.
  • One Minute Mandarin – iTunes Free – Feed
    • A quick way to cover the very basics…
  • Popup Chinese – iTunes Free – Feed
    • Offers lessons for beginners and also students at intermediate and advanced levels. In addition to language lessons, Popup Chinese provides annotated short stories, HSK test prep materials and a variety of speaking and listening exercises. They broadcast out of Beijing, and all voice actors speak the standard northern dialect.
  • Survival Chinese – iTunes Free – Feed
    • Learn the phrases you need to get by while traveling in China.
  • World Learner Chinese – iTunes Free – Feed
    • Another in the mix of possibilities.

Czech

  • Foreign Service Institute Czech FastWeb site
    • Textbook (PDF) and twelve audio lessons (PDF).

Danish

  • Dare to Danish iTunes Free
    • This is not your usual series of language lessons. Here, a “dirty Dane” teaches you “stupid phrases and more.”
  • One Minute Danish iTunes FreeFeed
    • We get a lot of requests (believe it or not) for Danish. So here’s another useful primer created by the One Minute series.

Dutch

  • Laura Speaks Dutch – iTunes Free
    • Lessons that will help you travel to Holland. It’s worth checking out the accompanying web site.
  • Learn Dutch – iTunes Free
    • Culturally relevant lessons that are easy to listen to.

English

  • Connect with English – Web
    • Featuring the story of Rebecca, an aspiring singer on a journey across America, Connect With English offers 50 fifteen-minute video programs that will teach English as a second language to high school students, college students and adult learners. Produced by WGBH Boston.
  • The English We Speak – iTunes Free – Web Site – RSS
    • Each week, the BBC looks at phrases used in the English language.
  • American English Speech – Web
    •  The OLI American English Dialect course from Carnegie Mellon supplies the necessary reinforcement of dialectical structure, audio, production technique and phonetic representation for each sound.
  • 6 Minute English – iTunes Free – Downloads – Web Site – RSS
    • Learn and practice useful English with the BBC.
  • Better @ English – iTunes Free – Feed
    • Focuses on conversational English, with an emphasis on idioms and slang.
  • Business English – iTunes Free – RSS
    • Learn the English you will need to function effectively in an American business environment.
  • Effortless English – iTunes Free – Feed
    • It gets solid reviews.
  • English as a Second Language – iTunes Free – Feed – Web Site
    • A very well liked collection of ESL lessons. Over 100 episodes in the collection.
  • English in the Real World – iTunes Free
    • The focus here is on the business world and things financial.
  • English for Spanish Speakers (’Por Fin Aprende Ingles’) – iTunes Free – Feed
    • Si usted haya asistido al menos a un curso de ingles, y usted necesita la oportunidad de escuchar al ingles y hablar el ingles, entonces ‘Por Fin Aprende Ingles’ es el podcast perfecto para usted. Presentado por Carla Staufert-Sauvier, una profesora de Mexico, y Jade Lindquist, una profesora de los EE UU.
  • ESL Business News – iTunes Free – Feed – Web Site
    • A weekly wrap of international business news read in slow, clear English. Listen to the broadcast and follow along in the accompanying script.
  • Film EnglishWeb
    • Site promotes the innovative and creative use of film in language learning. All of the lesson plans revolve around the use of video and film to teach English. Recently won a British Council ELTons awards for Innovation in Teacher Resources.
  • Grammar Girl – iTunes Free – Feed – Web Site
    • Grammar Girl provides short, friendly tips to improve your writing. Whether English is your first language or your second language, these grammar, punctuation, style, and business tips will make you a better and more successful writer.
  • Speaking English – iTunes Free – Feed – Web Site
    • 100+ lessons focusing on English pronunciation and vocabulary.
  • Tu Ingles! – iTunes Free – Feed – Web Site
    • “Tu Ingles” is designed to help Spanish-speakers improve their ear for English. The weekly program features drills of verb conjugation, interviews, advice about idioms, and excerpts of speeches and other recorded spoken material from famous English speakers.

Farsi

  • Easy PersianWeb Site
    • Easy Persian offers online lessons in listening, speaking, reading, and writing Persian or Farsi as spoken in Iran. In addition to Persian language lessons, the site introduces contemporary Iranian poets with English translations of their poems. You’ll also find free Farsi/Persian software, Persian names with English translations, Farsi writing drills and much more.

Finnish

  • Foreign Service Institute Conversational FinnishWeb site
    • Transcripts of the Finnish dialogues with idiomatic English translations plus notes on structural pattern and explanations of essential points of grammar. A variety of exercises with instructions in English.
  • Special Finnish Web Site
    • For listeners with some command of Finnish YLE Radio Finland offers daily broadcasts in “Special Finnish”. The five minute broadcasts cover items of current interest. To ease understanding, we simplify the language and slow down the delivery. Some grammatical forms are not used at all. The level of Finnish used is planned to match the expected ability to understand Finnish shown by persons in Level Two Language Command (ofFinnish) as defined by the Council of Europe.”

French

  • French in Action – Free Web Site
    • Produced by Yale University, these video lessons uses the storyline of an American student and a young Frenchwoman’s adventures in Paris to teach the language.
  • French 1 & French 2 from Carnegie Mellon – Web Site
    • The French courses are introductory, interactive video-based courses intended for use by university students and independent learners on the Internet.
  • Ma France – Web Site
    • The BBC offers 24 video lessons that will teach you French.
  • Easy French Poetry – iTunes Free – RSS
    • A French as a second language program, using poetry as a topic for discussion using everyday conversational French.
  • Foreign Service Institute Basic Course: Volume 1 – Web Site
    • The cours is designed to enable you to reach conversational proficiency. You learn how to control the French sound system by listening to the tapes and repeating each phrase. The dialogues present natural spoken French in a variety of contexts, such as, greeting people, registering at a hotel, getting a train ticket, and shopping.
  • Foreign Service Institute Basic Course: Phonology – Web Site
    • The Introduction to French Phonology course provides additional drills for those who wish to sound like a native speaker of the language. The course may be used beneficially at any stage of learning the language.
  • Foreign Service Institute French FastWeb site
    • Designed to familiarize you with situations encountered abroad, and to provide you with the language skills you need to cope effectively with those situations. Includes lessons for metropolitan and sub-Saharan French.
  • Foreign Service Institute French: Headstart for BelgiumWeb site
    • Textbook and culture notes (PDF) and sixteen audio lessons (PDF).
  • French for Beginners iTunes Free Feed
    • Fun, effective lessons for beginners. Provided by the French Ecole.
  • FrenchPod.com – iTunes Free – Feed
    • A series of well-reviewed lessons that will let you learn French on your own terms. Lessons are accompanied by text expansion exercises and other tutoring aids.
  • Le Journal en français facile – iTunes Free – FeedWeb Site
    • Nightly news from RFI presented in slowly spoken French to assist you with your comprehension.
  • Learn French – iTunes Free – Feed – Web Site
    • A well-reviewed series of lessons for beginners and those who want to brush up on their French.
  • Learn French with Coffee Break French – iTunes Free – Feed – Web Site
    • The producers of the very popular Coffee Break Spanish now offer a program that will teach you French.
  • Learn French with Daily Lessons – iTunes Free – Feed
    • These lessons are brought to you by French teachers from Paris. They are best suited for those who already have some beginning French under their belts.
  • Native French Speech Podcast – iTunes – Web Site – RSS
    • Listen to interesting conversations between Native French speakers and learn about everyday life in France and cultural French topics
  • News in Slow French – iTunes Free – Web Site – RSS
    • Program discusses the Weekly News, French grammar, and French expressions in simplified French at a slow pace.
  • Talk French – Web Site
    • A lively introduction to French presented by the BBC.
  • The French Pod Class – iTunes Free
    • A very popular collection that teaches students the French language and different facets of French culture.
  • University of Texas: Francais interactif – iTunes FreeWeb Site – RSS
    • UT provides a series of interactive vocabulary lessons. Media can be downloaded from the site.

Bookmark our free French lessons section.

Gaelic

  • One Minute GaeliciTunes FreeFeed
    • Get a quick grounding in the basics…

German

  • Deutsch – warum nicht?
  • Mission Berlin – iTunes – Web – RSS
    •  Learn German through a mystery adventure. Created by Deutsche Welle.
  • Basic German Web
    •  A web-application developed by the University of Cambridge Language Centre for basic level students of German. It focuses on listening and reading skill but it also includes many activities that help learners prepare for speaking and writing.
  • Radio D Series 1 iTunesSeries 2 iTunesSeries 1 RSS – Series 2 RSS
    • German for beginners: Paula and Philipp are Radio D reporters who have several mysterious cases to investigate. Join them as their research takes them across Germany — and learn German along the way! Created by Deutsche Welle.
  • Slowly Spoken News – iTunes – Feed
    • Deutsche Welle provides a nightly news broadcast in German that’s spoken slowly so that you can work on your comprehension.
  • Talk German Web Site
    • A lively introduction to German by the BBC. Presented in ten short parts.
  • Deutsch – Lernen – Text
    • 10 German lessons for total beginners and 24 German grammar lessons. No audio; text only.
  • Deutsch InteraktivWeb
    • 30-part self-study course in German. Features authentic videos, slideshows and audio texts that convey a vibrant picture of life in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Created by Deutsche Welle.
  • Foreign Service Institute German Programmed IntroductionWeb site
    • The text (PDF) and tapes (MP3) present, in a programmed learning style, the structural features and vocabulary contained in the first six units of the FSI German Basic Course. Serves to accelerate the progress of students who subsequently move to the Basic Course.
  • Foreign Service Institute German Basic Course – Web site
    • Two textbooks (PDF) and 24 audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute German Fast – Web site
    • Textbook (PDF) and ten audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute German Headstart – Web site
    • Textbook (PDF) and fourteen audio lessons (MP3).
  • GermanPod 101 iTunes Free – RSS
    • Offers materials for beginners, intermediate and advanced.
  • German Podcast.de iTunes FreeWeb Site – RSS
  • GerGermanGrammar iTunes Free – FeedWeb Site
    • German grammar lessons aimed at American students.
  • Lernen Wir Deutsch iTunes Free – FeedWeb Site
    • Presented in video, these “vodcasts” get high marks for being not only educational but also very entertaining.
  • MyDailyPhrase.com iTunes FreeFeed
    • Learn German phrase by phrase over a course of 20 weeks. Lessons cover all the language you need to know to get by on a visit to a German-speaking country. This series is put together by the same people created the popular series “Coffee Break Spanish.”
  • One Minute German iTunes Free – Feed
    • Presented by the Radio Lingua Network
  • Slow German iTunes Free – Feed – Web Site
    • Annik Rubens reads slowly and clearly from parts of her popular program, Sleepless in Munich (Schlaflos in Munchen).

Bookmark our free German lessons section.

Greek

  • Foreign Service Institute Greek Basic – Web site
    • Representative of the Kathomilumeni variety that is the “standard” speech of educated Greeks. Three textbooks (PDF) and 75 audio lessons (MP3).
  • Learning Greek iTunes Free Web Site
    • From the Hellenic American Union, these lessons will teach students Modern Greek. For those who already have some foundation in the language.
  • Ancient Greek IntroductionWeb Site

Hebrew

  • HebrewPod 101 iTunes Web Downloads Blog
    • A way to learn some quick Hebrew on the fly.
  • Elementary Hebrew iTunes Free
    • The audio and video files come from a course taught in a seminary.
  • Foreign Service Institute Hebrew Basic – Web site
    • One textbook (PDF) and 40 audio lessons (MP3).

Hindi

  • HindiPod 101iTunes
    • Learn Hindi with fun, interesting and culturally relevant lessons that are easy to listen to.
  • I Speak Hindi iTunes Feed Web Site
    • Coversessential words and phrases that you need for your trip to India. There are also Beginner Hindi lessons for those that want to seriously start to learn the language.
  • Learn Hindi from Bollywood Movies iTunes Free Feed
    • This looks like a fun approach to learning a language.
  • Namaste Dosti – Learn Hindi iTunes Free Feed Web Site
    • There are few options when it comes to learning Hindi so the author decided to fill the void.
  • Hindi: An Active Introduction – Textbook
    • A short textbook by DN Sharma & James Stone on behalf of Foreign Service Institute (FSI).

Hungarian

  • Foreign Service Institute Hungarian – Web site
    • Two textbooks (PDF) and 24 audio lessons (MP3). Also includes a graded reader.
  • Let’s Learn Hungarian iTunes Free Feed Web Site
    • Learn with Steve or Gyorgyi, a native speaker.

Icelandic

  • Icelandic Online Web Site
    • Created by University of Iceland. The lessons use various media – text, flashcards, videos and so on. Lets you track your progress. Available up to expert level. (Requires registration.)
  • Viltu læra íslensku? Web site
    •  21 TV episodes of Icelandic lessons. Each episode deals with daily life and common situations in Iceland. Accompanying every episode is a thorough summary, explaining the subject of the episode. The episodes have Icelandic subtitles, making the dialog easier to follow.
  • A Beginners’ MP3 course in Modern IcelandicWeb Site
    • This is an experimental eight-hour beginners’ Icelandic course, based on Alaric’s experiences living in Iceland in 2010,

Indonesian

  • Learning Indonesian iTunes Free Feed
    • A complete online Indonesian course geared towards developing conversational fluency in the Indonesian Language.

Irish

Italian

  • Talk ItalianWeb Site
    • A lively introduction to Italian presented by the BBC.
  • Foreign Service Institute Italian Fast – Web site
    • Includes the original and updated courses, each with textbooks (PDF) and audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute Italian Programmed Course – Web site
    • Textbook and instructor’s manual (PDF) and 18 audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute Italian Headstart – Web site
    • Textbook, glossary, culture notes (PDF) and 21 audio lessons (MP3).
  • ItalianPod.com iTunes Free Feed
    • A series of well-reviewed lessons that will let you learn Italian on your own terms.
  • LearnItalianPod.com iTunes Free Feed
    • A series of Italian language lessons that will get you up and running. I have personally used them and found them effective.
  • Let’s Speak Italian iTunes Free Feed
    • This collection will help you learn Italian in small, manageable 5-minute bites.
  • MyDailyPhrase.com iTunes Free
    • Learn Italian step by step over a course of 20 weeks. Lessons cover all the language you need to know to get by on a visit to a Italian-speaking country. Created by the same people who put together the popular series “Coffee Break Spanish.”
  • Speak Italian with Your Mouth Full – Web – YouTube – iTunes –
    • MIT instructor Dr. Paola Rebusco uses cooking to help her students learn to speak Italian.

Bookmark our free Italian lessons section.

Japanese

  • Foreign Service Institute Japanese – Web site
    • Student guide, textbook, glossary, flashcards (PDF) and nine audio lessons (MP3).
  • JapanesePod101.com – iTunes Free – Feed
    • Over 100 quality lessons aimed at the beginner. Users give it high marks.
  • Kanji Characters – iTunes Free
    • Learn the proper form and stroke for several important Kanji characters. From Emory University.
  • Learn Japanese – iTunes Free – Feed
    • Japancast teaches Japanese using lessons from anime and everyday conversation.
  • Learn Japanese Symbols – iTunes Free – Feed – Web Site
    • These lessons teach students how to work with Japanese symbols, such as Kanji, Hiragana, and Katakana.
  • Let’s Speak Japanese Basic – YouTube
    • 26 video lessons produced by the Japan Foundation.
  • Let’s Learn Japanese Basic II – YouTube
    • 25 video lessons produced by the Japan Foundation.
  • Survival Phrases iTunes Free Feed
    • Learn the must-know phrases for traveling in Japan.

Bookmark our free Japanese lessons section.

Korean

  • Foreign Service Institute Korean – Web site
    • Includes the original and updated courses, each with textbooks (PDF) and audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute Korean Headstart – Web site
    • Textbook, cultural notes, and eight units of audio lessons (MP3).
  • KoreanClass101 – iTunes Free
    • Features daily audio lessons, video lessons, word of the day, etc.
  • Korean Langauge Adventure Web Site
    • These lessons have been developed in the theme of travel and adventure, allowing learners to take a virtual journey to Seoul and its nearby popular tourist destinations.
  • Korean Learning for Correction Pronunciation Web Site
  • Let’s Speak Korean Season 1 – YouTube
    • 130 video lessons produced by Arirang TV.
  • Let’s Speak Korean Season 3 – YouTube
    • 130 video lessons produced by Arirang TV.
  • Online Intermediate College KoreanWeb Site
  • Pathway to Korean: Beginning Spoken Korean from ZeroWeb Site
    • Created by the National East Asian Languages Resource Center at The Ohio State University.
  • Survival Phrases – iTunes Free – Feed
    • Gets the phrases that will get you by.
  • Talk to Me in KoreaniTunes FreeWeb Site
    • Korean learning made simple and easy. Quite possibly the most thorough, frequent, slick, and entertaining language-instruction podcast of any kind.
  • Traveler’s Korean Season 1 – YouTube
    • Six video lessons produced by Arirang TV.
  • Traveler’s Korean Season 2 – YouTube
    • 25 Six video lessons produced by Arirang TV.

Lao

  • Foreign Service Institute LaoWeb site
    • Basic textbook, reading textbook (PDF), and two parts of audio lessons (MP3).

Latin

  • Nightly News in Latin – Web Site
    • “Nuntii Latini – News in Latin – is a weekly review of world news in Classical Latin, the only international broadcast of its kind in the world, produced by YLE, the Finnish Broadcasting Company.
  • The London Latin Course – YouTube
    • Learn Latin from the ground up. This is a serial course, structured to bring you to a high level of Latin fluency. The pace is slow and unhurried. This course is suitable for all ability levels. Restored Classical Pronunciation.
  • Latin Introduction – Web

Lithuanian

Luxembourgish

  • One Minute Luxembourgish iTunes Free Feed
    • Another niche language covered by the Radio Lingua Network.

Maori

  • Toku Reo Web Site
    • Learn Maori, the language of New Zealand’s indigenous people. Although these lessons accompany a television programme that is currently running, the essential bits of the episodes are available to be watched right here on this site. The course starts at square 1. Site includes video lessons. Another useful site for learning the grammar can be found here.

Norwegian

  • Foreign Service Institute Norwegian Headstart – Web site
    • Textbook (PDF) and eight audio lessons (MP3).
  • One Minute Norwegian – iTunes Free – Feed
    • Learn Norwegian in minutes with the Radio Lingua Network.
  • Easy-to-Read Newspaper – Text
    • This is not audio, but it’s useful nonetheless. A newspaper that helps you learn Norwegian by using large fonts and basic language.
  • Norwegian on the WebWeb Site
    • Free introductory lessons from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Includes audio, video, and a downloadable textbook.

Polish

  • One Minute Polish – iTunes Free – Feed – Web Site
    • Another helpful audio series provided by the Radio Lingua Network.

Portuguese

  • Brazilian PodClass – iTunes Free – Feed – Web Site
  • Brazilian Portuguese 101iTunes Video Free
    • 45 lessons by Semantica.
  • Brazilian Portuguese Pronunciation – iTunes Free
    • Emory University presents audio & video for learning the Brazilian Portuguese alphabet.
  • Foreign Service Institute Portuguese Programmatic Course – Web site
    • Two volumes including textbooks (PDF) and audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute From Spanish to Portuguese – Web site
    • Textbook (PDF) and three audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute Brazilian Portuguese Fast – Web site
    • Two volumes including textbooks (PDF) and audio lessons (MP3).
  • Ta Falado: Brazilian Portuguese Pronunciation for Spanish Speakers – iTunes Free – Feed – Web Site
    • Created by the Texas Language Technology Center in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at UT-Austin.
  • Talk Portuguese – Web Site
    • A video introduction to the language in 11 short parts with audio clips for key phrases.

Romanian

Russian

  • A Spoonful of Russian iTunes Free Feed Web Site
    • Recommended by our readers.
  • A Taste of Russian iTunes Free Web Site
    • This “isn’t a boring Grammar course, it is a real chat on different topics which can be heard in everyday life. It is a chance to listen to the native speakers talking at home, at work, at the shop, at the party, etc.”
  • Business Russian Web
  • Everyday Russian iTunes Free
    • Everyday practice for Russian language learners of all levels.
  • Foreign Service Institute Russian Fast – Web site
    • Textbook (PDF) and eight audio lessons (MP3).
  • Russian GrammarYouTube
    • 50 free, short videos on topics in basic Russian grammar. Funded by a grant from the University of South Carolina, the videos were created by Curtis Ford, a senior instructor at the University.
  • Russian Literature iTunes Free Web Site
    • Also presented by UCLA, the lessons help users improve their comprehension and vocabulary by listening to excerpts from Tolstoy, Gogol, Chekhov and other Russian literary greats.
  • One Minute Russian iTunes Free Feed Web Site
  • Russian Essentials – Web 
    • A web-application developed by the University of Cambridge Language Centre for basic level students of Russian. Russian Essentials concentrates on basic language, with eight sections covering key spoken and written language.
  • Russian for Beginners 1Free YouTube Video
    • A series of instructive videos from Olga Viberg at Dalarna University.
  • RussianPod101 iTunes Free Web Site
    • Helps you learn Russian and Russian culture at your convenience.
  • Russian HandwritingWeb Site
    • Brown University provides animations showing how to write Russian letters by hand.

Bookmark our free Russian lessons section.

Serbo-Croatian

  • Foreign Service Institute Serbo-Croatian Basic – Web site
    • Includes two textbooks (PDF) and twelve audio lessons (MP3).

Sign Language

  • American Sign LanguageWeb Site
    • Lessons that will get you started with the sign language prevalent in North America.

Spanish

  • 5 Minute Spanish 1  – iTunes
    • Self-paced course from University of Arkansas offers a good introduction to Spanish for those who have never studied it before, or a good refresher for those who have. The course focuses almost exclusively on Spanish grammar.  If you would like to take a more well-rounded approach to learning Spanish, click here for David Nance’s Spanish textbook, available free for the iPad.
  • Destinos: An Introduction to Spanish Web Site
    • This telenovela, or Spanish soap opera, immerses students in everyday situations and teaches speaking, listening, and comprehension skills in Spanish.
  • Mi Vida Loca Web Site
    • An immersive video mystery set in Spain to help you learn simple Spanish. Created by the BBC.
  • Coffee Break Spanish iTunes Free – Web Site
    • Learn Spanish in a low-key, effective way. Currently the #2 overall favorite on iTunes Free.
  • Show Time Spanish – Tunes
    • Produced by the same folks who created Coffee Break Spanish, this podcast is for intermediate and advanced learners.
  • Foreign Service Institute Basic Course: Volume 1 –  Web Site – Web Site
    • This course in the Latin American dialect prepares students to function effectively in conversations. Pronunciation, inflection, and intonation are heavily stressed. Find related texts here.
  • Foreign Service Institute Spanish Programmatic – Web site
    • Two volumes including textbooks (PDF) and audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute Spanish Basic – Web site
    • Four volumes including textbooks (PDF) and audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute Spanish Headstart for Puerto Rico – Web site
    • Student text, glossary (PDF), and four modules of audio lessons (MP3) with self-evaluation quizzes.
  • Foreign Service Institute Spanish Headstart for Spain – Web site
    • Textbook and cultural notes (PDF) and four modules of audio lessons (MP3).
  • Foreign Service Institute Spanish Headstart for Latin America – Web site
    • Textbook (PDF) and fifteen audio lessons (MP3).
  • Finally Learn Spanish – Beyond the Basics iTunes Free – Feed
    • If you’ve had some Spanish classes and you need experience listening to and speaking the language, then Finally Learn Spanish has lessons for you.
  • Insta Spanish Lessons iTunes Free – Feed – Web Site
    • Weekly comprehension and grammar exercises for students of all levels. One of the more popular programs on iTunes.
  • Learn Spanish Survival Guide iTunes Free – Feed
    • If you’re planning a trip to a Spanish speaking country, and if you don’t know the language, this will help get you up to speed.
  • Learn to Speak Spanish iTunes Free – Feed – Web Site
    • Learn to speak Spanish in just 15 minutes per day.
  • Medical Spanish for Healthcare Providers – Web Site
    • This site is presented as a free medical Spanish immersion, with vocabulary including greetings, history, examination, and everyday speech, all with translation and audio. It is designed to be helpful for a variety of medical personnel. Created by a general surgeon turned Spanish teacher.
  • Notes in Spanish iTunes Free – Feed – Web Site
    • Produced by Ben Curtis and Marina Diez, a husband-and-wife team out of Madrid, Spain. Ben is British and Marina is Spanish and they too have built quite a large following for their conversational Spanish lessons, (for beginners, intermediates and advanced students), which promise to teach listeners “real Spanish” the way it is actually spoken every day in Spain.
  • One Minute Spanish iTunes Free – Feed – Web Site
    • Covers the absolute basics of Spanish, focusing on the pronunciation used in most parts of Spain.
  • One Minute Latin American Spanish iTunes Free – Feed – Web Site
    • Same as above but focuses on the Spanish spoked across South America.
  • Rojas Spanish Language iTunes Free – Feed
    • “No English is spoken here. These lessons are for the Intermediate and Advanced Spanish Speaker who would like to sharpen their Spanish skills. The fine points of the language will be presented and explored through a variety of topics to include; music, history, culture, food.”
  •  Spanish 1 – Free iTunes iOS CourseSpanish 2 – Free iTunes iOS CourseSpanish 3 – Free iTunes iOS Course
    • A self-paced Spanish course by David Nance at Arkansas.
  • SpanishPod iTunes Free – Feed – Web Site
    • A series of well-reviewed lessons that will let you learn Spanish on your own terms.

Bookmark our free Spanish lessons section.

Swahili

  • Foreign Service Institute SwahiliWeb site
    • Includes “Swahili: An Active Introduction” and basic course with textbook (PDF) 150 audio lessons (MP3).

Swedish

  • Foreign Service Institute Swedish Basic – Web site
    • Includes textbook (PDF) and sixteen audio lessons (MP3).
  • Klartext Feed Web site
    • News in easy-to-understand Swedish.
  • Learn Swedish with SwedishLingQ iTunes Free Feed Web Site
    • Our readers have been waiting for Swedish lessons to come along. Here it finally is.
  • Swedish Survival Phrases iTunes Free Feed Web Site
    • From the makers of the Survival Phrases series.

Tagalog

  • Viloria.com Pinoy iTunes Free Feed Web Site
    • Learn to speak Tagalog to give you the advantage when you travel to the Philippines.

Thai

  • Foreign Service Institute Thai – Web site
    • Textbooks (PDF) and 50 audio lessons (MP3).
  • Learn Thai: Free English Thai Audiolearning Course iTunes Video  Web Site
    • Apparently the lessons are good, but they’ve been having some technical problems and not all lessons are always available.
  • Thai Alphabet iTunes Free
    • Emory University presents flashcards for recognizing letters in the Thai alphabet.
  • Thai Survival Phrases – iTunes – Feed
    • Covers the basics.

Turkish

  • Foreign Service Institute Turkish – Web site
    • Textbooks (PDF) and 50 audio lessons (MP3).
  • One Minute TurkishiTunes
    • A quick primer.

Twi 

  • Introduction to the Twi Language Web Site
    • 17 audio lessons by the Peace Corps will get you started speaking Twi, one of the most widely spoken of the 70 languages in Ghana.

Ukrainian

  • Ukrainian – Web Site
    • More lessons from the US Peace Corps.

Urdu

  • Introduction to Urdu AlphabetiTunes Free
    • Emory University offers a quick primer on the Urdu alphabet and pronunciation.

Vietnamese

  • Foreign Service Institute Vietnamese – Web site
    • Included familiarization course and basic course with two volumes of textbooks (PDF) and audio lessons (MP3).
  • Survival Phrases iTunes Free Feed Web Site
    • You get the gist from the title. Learn here some phrases that will help you survive in Vietnam.

Welsh

Yiddish

General How-To

  • GLOSS – Defense Language InstituteWeb Site
    • These lessons (6,000 in total) are developed for independent learners to provide them with the learning/teaching tools for improving their foreign language skills.  Reading and listening lessons are based on authentic materials (articles, TV reports, radio broadcasts, etc.) and consist of 4 to 6 activities. GLOSS offers certificates providing documentation of work accomplished.
  • The WWW Virtual Library: International Affairs Resources Web Site
    • This website directory, which is part of the WWW Virtual Library System, features over 2000 carefully selected, annotated links in 37 international affairs categories. The site offers a great way to understand our changing world, but it also includes its own section of language learning resources, and it includes sections dedicated to Spanish, French and German.
  • Teach Yourself a Foreign Language iTunes Free
    • This program discusses how to go about learning a foreign language on your own. Some people liked it, some didn’t. Check it out and judge for yourself.

    Our collection of foreign language lessons has been featured in the New York Times, Princeton University’s Humanities Resource Center, and The New York Times again, and yet once again in The New York Times.

 

Download Wikipedia to Read Offline

Download Wikipedia content on your computer to read full Wikipedia offline for free wherever you are in the world. Wikipedia officially makes available free database dumps for personal use, thereby making it easy for interested readers to download the full Wikipedia content and browse it offline.

I am sure that many of us love to read the comprehensive information provided by Wikipedia, an authoritative resource on every topic compiled by voluntary editors and contributors. But downloading Wikipedia database dumps and processing them for reading is not as simple as it sounds, and specialised Wikipedia readers make the task easier. Simply download complete Wikipedia on your computer and its easy to spend reading time on your next long flight.

Download Kiwix Wikipedia reader

To get started, download the most popular Wikipedia reader Kiwix, an open source free software for reading web content offline and is specially recommended for reading Wikipedia content offline. First you can start by downloading the version of Kwix for your operating system like  Mac, Windows, Linux and more. I chose to download the Windows version on my computer.

kiwix-install

and here is what the start-up screen looks like.

kiwix-wikipedia-reader

Download Wikipedia ZIM Files

Then you need to download the full Wikipedia .ZIM file which contains all the articles of Wikipedia to the particular date mentioned on the download files. ZIM files are an standardised open format to store wiki content for offline use.

wikipedia-zim

These files are frequently updated and right now I can see to English versions on the website. You can download an older version since 2010 which has 45,000 articles with pictures (3.7GB), or download the latest full version which contains all Wikipedia articles till January 2012, but contains no pictures to reduce the download size. I decided to download the latest January 2012 version, but it was a huge 9.7 GB download file! Pre-indexed ZIM files and the Kiwix Wikipedia reader are also available for combined download (9.2GB). You can download the bittorrent versions of these files also.

If those huge downloads seem too time-consuming for your broadband Internet connection, you can choose to download smaller versions of the Wikipedia which might be more useful to your needs like the simple English Wikipedia (730MB), 6000 child friendly Wikipedia articles (2.6GB), or the 30,000 best Wikipedia articles (2.3GB). They are available in the other section below the links.

wikipedia-resources

After you install the ZIM file, you can get started with the Kiwix Wikipedia reader.  I installed the simple English Wikipedia, a 730 MB download which came in under half an hour on an 8 MBps broadband connection.

download-zim-file

Read Wikipedia Offline

In Kiwix, Click Open File, load the ZIM file and the entire Wikipedia content loads instantly. The software will ask you to index all content for faster searching, and you should enable that option.

browse-wikipedia

Their screencast video shows you how you can use the Kiwix reader to browse Wikipedia articles offline, search for content and find your needed information quickly and easily.

I hope you download Wikipedia easily after using this tutorial and like me get ready to read Wikipedia offline on your laptop during the next long air travel, and make good use of your time and expand your knowledge.

Simple Wikipedia for Students

Have you ever read the Simple English Wikipedia? It is different from the English Wikipedia you would normally visit. Wikipedia contains in depth authoritative articles on possibly every popular topic in the world, but sometimes it is difficult for children, students and people with poor English to comprehend.

Simple English Wikipedia

The Simple English Wikipedia is a subpart of the main Wikipedia itself and was designed specifically for the purpose of simplicity – and when you might just not need so much information.

Just compare this article about Javascript on Wikipedia and Simple Wikipedia. Notice the difference in length and complexity of article.

wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JavaScript
http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Javascript

The main highlight is shorter sentences and more use of easier grammar. The use of basic English is encouraged here. Simple English Wikipedia is targeted for use by children, students, and people learning English. It helps them understand common topics of interest in an easy to understand language.

Right  now there are over 100K articles in the Simple English Wikipedia, compared to over 4.5 million articles in Wikipedia. Similar to Wikipedia, people can edit wiki pages to improve and create new pages on Simple English Wikipedia.

There are some amazing encyclopedia articles there which children will find easier to understand –  do give it a try.

Facebook Popup (Like Box Widget) for WP Sites

There are many ways to prompt the viewers to request for like the site. One of the powerful method is Facebook Like request Facebook Popup Box widget.

Here’s a fantastic way to increase facebook likes for your blog or website.  Add this enticing widget to your site and a facebook like box will pop up with the lightbox effect when a user visits your page.  The facebook widget will show up on your page about 20 seconds after the page loads (but can be customized).  This is a surefire way to dramatically increase your likes.

Add Widget to Your Site

Add the following code anywhere in the body section of your template. Or simply click the “add to blogger” button for blogspot blogs.  For WordPress themes, Weebly templates, and Tumblr, you will need to manually copy and paste the script into your template.

Html code for Facebook Popup Box

How to Customize

Where to find the code?
If you’ve installed the widget by clicking “Add to Blogger” you’ll need to locate the code in order to make customizations. In order to find the html go to the blogger dashboard>Layout. Click “edit” on the “HTML/Javascript” gadget.

facebook like box widget

Enter your facebook username
Search for the line of code below and replace Big-Tips-Tricks with your own facebook page username. If you don’t have a username you can easily create your own here.

Change the 20 Second Time Delay
By default the widget pops up 20 seconds after the page finishes loading.  Search for the code below and change the number 20000 to a greater or lesser number.
1 second = 1000.  10 seconds = 10000. 60 seconds = 60000.

Popup every time the page loads 
By default, the like box widget only shows up the first time the user visits your page.  If you would like the facebook box to popup every time the page loads, then remove this line of code:



Display only when user visits your homepage
You can do this by surrounding the widget code with these conditional tags below. Go to Template Edit HTML. Now search for the </body> tag. Place the facebook popup widget right above this body tag.  Make sure to include the conditional tags below.



Having trouble seeing the facebook widget?

By default, this facebook like box widget is only displayed once every 30 days. You may need to delete your cookies if you would like to see it again.  Or check out the “How to Customize” section above, in order to display the widget every time a user visits your site.

Facebook Like request Floating Box for your website code

Everyone who is having Blogs or Websites wants more Facebook likes but most of us don’t know how to get it. There are many ways to prompt the viewers to request for like the site. One of the powerful method is  Facebook Like request Floating Box widget. This tutorial will explain how to make it by step to step guides.

View Demo

You can see a demonstration of this facebook widget on the right side of this page. Hover over the facebook image with your mouse. A facebook like box should appear.

Add Widget to Your Site

facebook floating widget

Step 1
Add the following code anywhere in the body section of your template. Or simply click the “add to blogger” button for blogspot blogs.

Html code for Floating Box

Step 2
If the floating facbook widget is not working properly after step 1, then you need to add jquery to your site. Follow the instructions below.

  1.  Go to Design>Edit HTML
  2. Search for <head> and just below it paste the following JQuery code.

Html code for JQuery

How to Customize

Where to find the code?
In order to find the html go to the blogger dashboard>Layout. Click “edit” on the “HTML/Javascript” gadget.

Enter your facebook username
Search for the line of code below and replace Big-Tips-Tricks with your own facebook page username. If you don’t have a username you can easily create your own here.

facebook.com%2FBig-Tips-Tricks

Best Hosting Provider – Namecheap

We have been using Namecheap for the last six year for our domain registration, and have found their user interface and range of services to be by far the best we have seen. We have recently looked into their web hosting services with surprising results. They are actually pretty good. Before we get onto the review, there are a few things we wanted to tell you about Namecheap. They have been around for around 16 years (since 2000). They claim to have nearly 1 million users, managing over 3 million domain names, and have repeatedly won awards and surveys for their domain registration services. Not only that, they are one of the cheapest around too. What’s more, you can easily pick up a Namecheap Coupon to bring the cost down even further.

Namecheap Hosting Plans

Namecheap offers three main shared hosting plans; Value, Professional and Ultimate.

Value Shared Hosting

Their value hosting has the following main specifications:

  • 25 GB disk space
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • hosted domains
  • cPanel control panel
  • FREE email hosting

Professional Shared Hosting

  • 100 GB disk space
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • 26 hosted domains
  • cPanel control panel
  • FREE email hosting

Ultimate Shared Hosting

  • Unlimited disk space
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited hosted domains
  • cPanel control panel
  • FREE email hosting

All the different hosting plans use the same hardware, so feel free to start off with the Value plan and upgrade as and when required. For most people with just a couple of sites, the Value plan should more than suffice.

Shared Hosting Features

Namecheap comes with all the main features that you might expect from a good quality web hosting provider.

cPanel Hosting

When looking for a host, having cPanel is one of our must haves. Not only is it an easy to use interface, but many hosts offer free cPanel to cPanel transfers for your site. This makes moving from one host to another super easy. Some hosting providers use their own interface to make it more difficult for you to move, and in some cases (GoDaddy) this has proven extremely successful. The wiser among us however, will always choose a host that uses cPanel.

Softaculous

This is another somewhat standard feature among web hosts these days, but then you will be surprised that a few hosts still don’t use it. It makes installing websites such as WordPress super easy, as well as over a 100 other popular applications. Highly recommended.

Reliable Servers

Now, every host you talk to will boast of high uptimes, and the latest technology hardware. For many this is just bluster, because if you dig a little deeper there are many places that will indicate whether hosts are having problems. Many of the cheaper hosts for example, will oversell their servers and will be subject to many micro-downtimes that can actually be extremely annoying. We are pleased to report though, that Namecheap has an incredibly good reputation in this regard, so you can be sure that their typical server (8 x Xeon CPUs, 24GB DDR3 ECC RAM and WD RAID 10 HDDs) is reliable. One of the reasons for their incredibly uptime is also their Cloud Technology (see below).

Cloud Technology

Like all good hosts, they use a customized version of software such as Linux to increase stability and add other functionality. In Namecheap’s case, they use a custom version of the Cloud Linux operating system, which reduces costs associated with cloud hosting as well as providing an optimized performance and uptime. Awesome.

Great Support

Now we have to be a bit honest here. Our experience with the speed of their support is not as good as other hosts, but the quality of the support when the ticket is responded to is pretty good. If you have a small simple query we highly recommend using their livechat, as this will significantly speed up the resolution of any issues.

Conclusion

Whilst we think there are some more innovative, and better hosting providers out there, we actually think Namecheap is a pretty good host, and we would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for a good quality hosting provider.

Visit Namecheap.com

Buy top level domains .com .net .org etc for $6 dollars with special discount coupon buythedomain
Click here to buy!

Protect Yourself Online – Internet Safety Tips

Protect Yourself Online - Internet Safety TipsInternet threats continue to pose a problem for anyone that surfs the Internet — and yes, that includes you reading the headline and thinking you know it all. In this article we will show you how to protect yourself using some “best practices” for safely surfing the Internet, all without spending a dime.

Background on Internet Threats

Anyone can throw around terms such as “spyware” and “viruses”, but what exactly are they? It helps to know before trying to figure out how best to avoid such problems. Here are the basics:

  • Malware: Short for “malicious software”. Resides and runs on a user’s computer without their consent or knowledge. Malware can be used as an all-inclusive term for viruses, spyware, keyloggers, worms, and Trojan horses, and other Internet threats.
  • Spyware: A type of malware that collects information about users, including personal information and habits (sites they visited). It can also trigger popups and install additional malware.
  • Virus: A type of malware that can replicate itself and infect other computers through a network or media (such as a flash drive). Viruses can do multiple harmful things to a user’s computer, such as taking it over and using it for malicious purposes.

Three Steps to Internet Safety

This guide will take you through three relatively simple steps to protect yourself on the Internet:

  1. Install Mozilla Firefox
  2. Install the McAfee Site Advisor tool
  3. Change your online habits

Step One: Install Mozilla Firefox

Yes, “Install Mozilla Firefox” may be clich; however, there is sound reasoning why this is a good piece of software. Let’s cut the marketing nonsense — here are the tangible things I like about Firefox:

  • Pop-up blocker: Pop-ups are perhaps the most annoying form of advertising, and Firefox takes care of them for you. It will let you know a pop-up was blocked in case you were expecting one.
  • Unsafe site warnings: If you go to a website that is fraudulent, untrusted, or has known security problems, Firefox will actually prevent the site from loading.
  • Integration with anti-virus software: Firefox works with your resident anti-virus program to scan downloaded files for security threats.
  • Automatic updates: Firefox automatically updates itself, so your defenses stay current.
  • Private browsing: Firefox normally remembers what websites you visited, however in private browsing mode (which is easy to toggle on and off), it will not remember anything you did. This feature is handy when logging into banking sites that you want to leave no trace of on your computer (or someone else’s). Private Browsing can be activated from the tools menu and clicking “Start Private Browsing”; do the same to turn it off:

Without further delay, follow this link to Mozilla’s official website and download Firefox for your computer.

Firefox is a small 8MB download. Click Download and thensave the file to your computer to a location you know (such as My Documents). Double-click the downloaded file and install Firefox with the default settings. Done? Great! Those familiar with Internet Explorer should be able to adapt to Firefox without much trouble — it gets natural after a day.

Step Two: Install the McAfee Site Advisor Tool


Certain websites are created with malicious intent; for example, some might try to infect your computer with malware and others might be fake phishing sites designed to steal your personal information. McAfee, a computer security company, has a Site Advisor tool that displays ratings next to links in search engines (such as Google and Yahoo), indicating whether or not the listed sites are safe (see here for thorough information on how it works). Site Advisor works with both Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer. Simply download and then install McAfee Site Advisor using the default settings (leave everything as-is, though I recommend unchecking the option to install the unnecessary Yahoo toolbar).

Once installed, restart Firefox and test Site Advisor out. Make sure your default search provider is set to McAfee first — in the top right next to the search box, click the down arrow and select McAfee Secure Search:

Now search for something and check out the results page — each link has a little icon next to it that indicates whether the site is safe or not.

Green means good, yellow is caution, and red means unsafe/untrusted. A question mark indicates the site has not been scanned yet. As a rule of thumb, only click on the green links.

Below is an example of what search results look like after installing the Site Advisor tool:

And yes, NotebookReview.com is totally safe — but you knew that.

The Site Advisor tool is great to have when you are searching for things you do not usually search for (and thus might be unfamiliar with sites that come up). It never hurts to double-check. As always, use your judgment when clicking on links. If something is too good to be true, it is.

Step Three: Change Your Online HabitsProtect Yourself Online - Internet Safety Tips 2

The single greatest danger you face on the Internet is yourself. More specifically, there is no software that can compensate for your poor Internet safety habits.

Let’s start with how much critical information you willingly give away. This is the Internet — information posted online can be seen by almost anyone, and secure websites can be hacked. Even restricted pages such as your Facebook profile are not entirely safe — someone with access (such as your “friends”) could copy and paste the information to a Web page that isn’t truly private. The bottom line here is that you need to be extra careful with yourself on the Internet. Below are a few of the habits I see daily that present huge security risks to the users:

? Connecting to unsecured wireless networks: You know that coffee shop down the street that offers free Wi-Fi? That free Wi-Fi access could cost you a lot if it is unsecured (Windows will indicate whether a network is secured/unsecured when you try to connect). An unsecured connection is an open network that allows anyone to connect — information passed from your laptop to the wireless router and vice versa can be intercepted by people with the right tools since it is not encrypted. Additionally, network attacks can be made from other computers connected to the network.
Internet Safety Habit: Avoid unsecured Wi-Fi

? Accessing secure websites in public: Even on a secured network, remember that people can see what you type on your laptop screen. All it takes is one person to walk by with a camera phone and snap a picture of your online banking page. The same is true at your office, where all it takes is one nosy coworker poking over a cubicle wall or an unscrupulous network administrator spying on your workstation to snag your passwords.
Internet Safety Habit: Access secure websites only at home

? Saving personal information on shopping websites: Most shopping sites offer to save your credit card and address information for easier checkout in the future. While this is convenient for the few sites you shop at regularly, please do not opt to save info on every site you shop. Though the information is supposedly secured, successful hacking attempts have occurred in the past and personal data has been stolen. Also, there are too many stories of personal information getting “lost”.
Internet Safety Habit: Don’t save credit card numbers on shopping sites

? Posting personal information on social networking sites: I find it amusing that people post the details of their personal lives on social networking sites such as Facebook, give a platoon of their “friends” access, and then complain about privacy issues. Am I the only one that can see the issue here?
Internet Safety Habit: Only post information online you want everyone to see

? Keep your computer personal: Internet browsers such as Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox make it easy to store password and form information (such as names and addresses used in order forms). Anyone that opens the web browser on your computer can check your browsing history, visit your “secure” sites (like your Web-based email) and automatically log in as you because you opted to have the browser save your password. Avoid storing passwords, or better yet, password-protect your computer and lock it when not in use (press the Windows key and L to lock your computer). Make a second account on your computer for other people to use so your information is kept separate, and make sure that account is password-protected and not an administrator.
Internet Safety Habit: Never save passwords on any computer that you share

? Do not install software you do not explicitly want: Many software vendors try to sneak additional pieces of software on your system during the install process. For example, toolbars for your Internet browser, updater tools, and other unnecessary (and annoying) items. If you wanted those pieces of software, you would have installed them on your own.
Internet Safety Habit: Install as little software as possible


10 Tips to increase your Facebook Fans

10 Tips to build your Facebook FansFacebook is one of the most powerful tools for all online marketers since it enables us to promote products and services by using highly targeted campaigns with relatively low cost. Either you are using ad campaigns or viral techniques, one of the main targets is to Increase your Facebook Fans of your pages.

In this article, we will provide 10 fast, ‘simple’ and creative ways to increase Facebook Fans and we will describe the first steps that one should take to creatively build a genuine fan base of truly engaged fans.

Firstly, we must consider why a Facebook Fan ‘likes’ a page. Except of ‘just for fun’, there can be an array of more or less obvious reasons like getting exclusive content or education, show support to friends, get coupons or special promos and discounts. Taking into account all these reasons we list the 10 following ‘miraculous’ ways:

1. Use applications

Free or paid, applications are the online marketing tools that will enhance your online Facebook Strategy. Either you create a coupon, an online streaming or contest application; the opportunities for Marketers are many and need to be investigated. There are literally thousands of applications that can help you improve your visibility. A great place to look is the website AppBistro.com.

2. Invite your email contacts-subscribers like your page

Just click ‘Build Audience’ and then ‘Invite friends’ in the Admin Panel of your Facebook Page. Each admin can immediately invite friends and instantly be supported by Facebook contacts. In the past it was also possible for simple users to invite their friends, but this functionality was disabled to fight spam and of course increase FB’s advertising revenues.

3. Organize campaigns

Creative posts around industry related subjects for a specific time period can be a dynamic way to attract new audience.

4.  Offer valuable quality content

Avoid auto-posting and emphasize mainly on personal creative inspired messages of added-value: tips, photos, videos etc.

5. Run a contest

As we discussed in a previous article, social media contests are a great way to gain visibility in social media channels and increase audience. Often organizing them involves lower costs than using paid ads.

6.  Facebook ads

This tool is similar to Adwords bidding vehicle nevertheless it allows you to serve much more targeted banners depending on the interests of the user. Thus it is worth to explore and invest on it as an advertising tool. Don’t forget though that Facebook is an image-driven network and thus the pictures that you will use on your campaigns will significantly affect your Click Through Rate.

7. Link to Twitter


Twitter and Facebook posts can be linked by using various applications. Connecting the two channels is usually a good move nevertheless you should not ignore your initial Twitter strategy and practice.

10 Tips to build your Facebook Fans likes8. Provide exclusive content for fans only

Providing exclusive content to the people that liked your page can help you increase your fan base. Coupons, exclusive offers, content for fans, special events, previews, and trials can become great incentives for your users.

9. Invite fans to tag your page like they tag on an image

As already discussed, Facebook is image-based and thus tagging your page on images related to your product/service is a clever way to increase your publicity.

10.  Add a large button linking from your website

As we mentioned several times in the past, adding social media buttons on strategic places on your website and blog is a basic but extremely effective way to enhance your target audience and convert your visitor into a follower/fan.

Following the above tips can help your increase your fan base, nevertheless one should not forget that listening to the feedback and comments of your users is an important and essential task:

True Engagement, personal immediate interaction and feedback are important in order to show and prove that YOU CARE.

Tips for Google Adwords PPC campaign

Tips for Google Adwords PPC campaign

Google Adwords PPC campaign is very successful if you concentrate on some tips like Decision making and Planning.

Decision making

Identify the audiences, the goals considering the available budget and define what conversion means to your campaign:

  • Brand awareness
  • Sales
  • Registration
  • Just to inform

Planning



Adwords is a marketing tool which can be successful when used as a part of a general strategy and not as a stand alone action. A careful planning can help you avoid a full-size failure in the competitive environment of the search market. Adwords platform provides options to plan when, where, how as well as  the ad spend of your campaign.

Building the campaign

Build a theme based structure with separated ad groups for different categories of products. Separate ad groups, to enclose clear messages, describing what you are offering. Link your ads to a customized landing page containing relevant information  with a user friendly structure in order to interact.

Endorse your values in a clear message including all the information a user needs to respond to the call to action.

Users are always seeking answers to questions like:

  • What does the website offers?
  • Why should I click here?
  • Which are the benefits for me?

 Promoting the message



The path a message follows to reach the right audience using Google Adwords,  starts with a carefully selected and fine-tuned keyword list.

Write down  keyword lists with specified theme, use related phrases, synonyms, misspellings etc.
Tips:

  1. Use different keyword matching      options
  2. Define negative keywords to      filter the traffic and reduce the campaign cost
  3. Enable product extensions
  4. Enable various devices targeting
  5. Target both search and content network

 Action

Let`s say the message has reached the audience. Now the action begins.

During this stage you need to forget the term “audience” and focus to the client. The user’s experience in online business is a high priority. Pay attention to the landing page. The design should emphasise to user’s experience as a matter of usability and easy navigation that will drive to conversions and not a good impression for the design aesthetics

Customers are seeking profitable solutions to their needs, fast simple and easy. So all you have to do when a user is clicking on your ad is to make the conversion process as easy as possible.

Tips for Success

  • Use customized landing pages with easy navigation
  • Remove possible obstacles (i.e. too many clicks or too many forms to complete)
  • Make the user feel safe to interact
  • Just make it simple

Ongoing adjustments

  • Frequently monitor the campaign performance and adjust the bidding settings.
  • Eliminate the keywords that do not perform.
  • Try alternative ad text and/or different call to action.
  • Experiment with the landing page and monitor the performance using different layouts

Tips for Make Money with Blog Advertising

 Increase Your Blog Advertising Success and Income

There is more to making money from your blog and to blog advertising success than publishing a few Google AdSense ads and calling it a day. Blog advertising success actually takes time, testing, and effort to find the right recipe that works for your blog audience and generates the highest income for you. Use the 10 tricks below to set up your blog so it can make the most money possible through advertising.Continue reading

WordPress – Why should you use?

So what is WordPress and why is it raved about so much? We listed good reasons why you should be using it for your business or personal  website. AS the description on the main wordpress.org site says, WordPress is simply web software that creates beautiful websites or blogs. It started in 2003 and is now the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, and is used on over 60 million sites that are seen by tens of millions of people every day.

WordPress is an Open Source project which means nobody ‘owns’ it. You are FREE to use it for anything, from your dog’s home page to a FTSE 100 web site without paying anyone a license fee.

You may hear about WordPress.com and WordPress.org  for which there are differences:

  • WordPress.com is hosted for free, but comes with limited functionality (you have to pay to upgrade to use this added functionality).
  • WordPress.org can either be hosted by yourself or if you don’t know how to do that, then a web designer will arrange your hosting (most likely all you’d pay is the cost of the domain name which is often $10 a year). This is the better choice as all the functionality of WordPress is available. The code can easily be ‘hacked’ and any adaptations easily made (see point 5 below).

With WordPress you can build a blog, a website, or both together as one.  It lets you create both pages and posts for your site and use the benefits that come with both.

WordPress is a powerful Content Management System (CMS) that can be used for more than just blogging. It can store all your images, files, documents, links and easily retrieve and use them as you see fit.

It is designed and suited to publishing and changing content easily. You don’t have to have working knowledge of html or css to create a great looking site.

Using the functionality of WordPress (such as widgets, plugins, and themes) requires no code experience or expertise, as anything can be added, removed, and rearranged within the WordPress Administration panel.

So rather than having to rely and pay someone to update it for you, you can log on an have full access to do whatever you want – amend spelling mistakes, add and delete pages or posts, change the look and feel of your site. You name it, there will be a way to do it, and all within your control.

There are thousands of widgetsplugins and themes available to transform your site into almost anything you can imagine:

  • free design themes to give your site a completely different look at the click of a button
  • the ability to extend your website with logos, polls, newsletter sign-ups, contact forms, ratings or hundreds of other cool features
  • eCommerce shopping cart plugins can list products, services and digital downloads and take any means of electronic payment.

All tools are available without having to hire a web developer to install or set up and configure them.

There are hundreds of people all over the world working on WordPress to continually update and improve the way it works and what it offers.  The wordpress.org/support site is fantastic and features extensive forums as well as documentation on anything you can think of to do with WordPress.

There are also thousands of other support sites, blogs, forums, Twitter feeds, newsletters, videos, podcasts and more all focusing on top tips and tricks to get the most out of WordPress. Any help you need is literally just a Google search away!

You can of course makes an amazing site, but this is pointless unless it can be found easily through the many different search engines available. Luckily WordPress provides many excellent seo benefits and most are completely free. This includes guiding search engine crawlers through posts, pages, and categories, the ability to create permalinks, plus blogrolling, and pinging. There are also a large number of third party plugins and hacks which can be used for search engine optimization (SEO).

It really is. You shouldn’t be asking yourself  ‘why should I use WordPress’  for my site but really  ‘why shouldn’t I be using WordPress’!

I use it daily to create websites for friends, colleagues and customers, for both personal and business use.

All sites that I have created in WordPress have been perfect for their owners and have really impressed.

Know About – What is WordPress?

WordPress is a self hosted blogging tool in the world. It provides you dashboard which helps you in uploading your contents or posts onto the webpage. Here, you will be provided by thousands of plugins, widgets, and themes accordance to your preferences. It is an easy way to set up your own blog. But thanks to the efforts of a large “open source”. The wordpress designs are based on the “themes”. Their are several kinds of themes available in the market which you can use according to your thoughts and imagination.

Most of the times people wanted to build there own blogs but they don’t know that how to build and from where to build there blogs.

Most of the people are not aware from wordpress.

What is wordpress?

Blogs and blog hostingplatforms abound on the internet. If you’re looking to start a basic blog with minimal features, you have your pick of several blog services. However, if you want to take blogging seriously, you’ll end up importing your entire blog to WordPress in the long run. It may be easier to just start with the service

While WordPress.org is a completely free posting service, its companion site, WordPress.com, is a blog hosting site. You still have the option of posting for free, yet you will more than likely want to upgrade or get a premium theme to take advantage of every feature WordPress has to offer. For years, every one of WordPress’s competitors has raised their standards to meet the services that this blog platform offers.

With WordPress and other blogs, you can amuse, inform, promote or rant to your heart’s content with ease. Whether you’re an experienced blogger or new to this electronic expression of your thoughts, you’ll find every feature you’d ever need from traffic tracking, widget addition and even spell check. As it has been for the past few years, WordPress still deserves the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award for the best blog sites.

Design Tools

While WordPress is designed to be simple enough for non-coders, it does allow you to customize templates. There are many open source templates out there for you to choose from, or if you like (and you have knowledge of CSS), you can alter your own to fit your needs. If you’d prefer to stick to standard WordPress templates, you still have hundreds to choose from, so you won’t be limited in designing your blog. You can customize the templates with your own header image, font color, sidebar widgets, plugins and more. Once again, if you are new to blogging, you can go with a standard setup in your chosen theme and it will look great. WordPress leaves it up to your experience when it comes to appearance and customization.The posting box is easy to operate and can be used in either text or HTML mode. The standard text box operates a lot like a word processor with similar controls. For instance, there are buttons and fields that allow you to change fonts, increase font size, bold text, change text colors and perform many other standard formatting options. The WordPress posting box also has a spell check and a preview. You can easily add links, videos and images to each post. While it may be a non-issue, the images do need to be in .jpg format.

The HTML-based posting box is for people who both know HTML and prefer more exact control over their content. The WordPress apps fully support embedding video, podcast and music players in your blog by simply copying the embed code into the HTML viewing pane.

Another benefit of using WordPress is the wide variety of plugins and widgets that you can use on your blog. WordPress is very popular, so many people have created additional plugins to increase functionality. These widgets and plug-ins can be whatever you want them to be. You can add an archive list, add a list of your top posts on the sidebar and even show recent comments on the blog.

As you can see, WordPress does a good job of catering to people that need simplicity as well as those that prefer advanced options and functionality.

Feature Management

The problem with many blog sites is that they place ads on your blog posts to justify the fact that they’re providing a free service. WordPress allows you to place ads on your own site, but the only person benefiting would be you. You can run banner ads, Google ads or affiliate links in as many widgets as you like. For the clutter-free approach, you also have the option to leave the ads off entirely.

A feature we love about WordPress is the ability to moderate comments. You can choose to turn the comments off. However, if feedback is important to you, there are discussion settings available to allow you to see and approve every comment before it’s officially uploaded. We chose to let comments automatically be approved if the commenter was previously approved. These discussion settings give you a clear view of the spam that would overtake your comments section if you didn’t have strict settings.

Once you’ve posted a video or image into your blog, your media library will carry that file forever. This will help you if you reuse certain images or need to look for family pictures, such as if you run a “mommy blog.”

Promotion

WordPress.com sends your blog information to Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines, and it allows readers to subscribe to RSS or Atom feeds. We found our sample blog on Google within a day.One of the most incredible features of WordPress is the quality of traffic stats available; especially considering it’s a free service. It keeps track of views for individual posts, both daily and all-time views, and overall page view numbers for your entire blog by day, week and month. There is also a list of the top referring sites, the top keywords that brought people to your blog and the links that people clicked on while visiting your blog. The average user looking to create a personal blog will probably only be concerned with how many people visit, but if you want to create a following or report on a particular industry, the other stats will prove quite useful in monitoring growth and finding out how people have found your blog.

WordPress has the edge over many blogging sites by allowing you to incorporate your website name without including the awkward “.wordpress.com” after. Owning your own site name does require you to pay services like bluehost.com or godaddy.com, but you can hardly find a better site creator than a simple WordPress template.

Help & Support

While you may never need to refer to any support channel while using a WordPress theme, the fact that there are several resources out there is good insurance. The help section directs you to a knowledgebase where you will deal with the majority of your problems, the dashboard. There are also expansive community forums, where there’s a good chance that others have run into the same problems as you.

You’ll also find troubleshooting tips and FAQs. If there’s one problem with WordPress, it’s that there are so many customization options that you may get overwhelmed. We found that the FAQs and the WordPress advice blog cleared up common problems.

Summary

If you want to eventually make money just by writing a personal or business blog, WordPress is the best place to start. They offer free blog hosting, but you will quickly be tempted into spending a few dollars more to get a premium theme or to host your own site using the WordPress dashboard. We highly recommend this blog service to new and experienced bloggers looking to maximize and capitalize on their site traffic.

PROS / The dashboard and design tools are crisp-looking and top of the line.

CONS / You will most likely want to buy a premium theme or host your own site, making the experience no longer free.

 VERDICT / WordPress provides hundreds of widgets and plug-ins but keeps the experience easy enough to run a professional-looking blog.

This wordpress tool can be used by your web browser, iphone and android also.

So try it today and enjoy!!
Hurry up..

Homepage : www.wordpress.com

 

Know About – What is Google Blogger?

Blogger is Google’s free tool for creating blogs. It can be found on the web at http://www.blogger.com.

Blogs, short for web-logs, are a form of online journal.

Getting Started With Blogger

You can use blogs for everything from updating your friends and family about your life, giving your own advice column, discussing your political views, or relating your experience in a topic of interest. You can host blogs with multiple contributors, or you can run your own solo show. You can even use Blogger to make your own podcast feeds.

Although there are fancier blog tools out there, the mixture of cost (free) and flexibility makes Blogger one of the best deals around.

 

Setting Up Your Blog

Setting up a Blogger account takes three easy steps. Create an account, name your blog, and choose a template. You can host multiple blogs with the same account name, so you only need to do that part once. This way you could separate your professional blog about your business from your personal blog about dogs, for instance.

Hosting Your Blog

Blogger will host your blog for free on blogspot.com. You can also use Blogger to automatically ftp your blog posts to your own web space. Make sure you have the correct server settings from your internet service provider, otherwise you may have unpredictable results.

Posting

Once your blog is set up, Blogger has a basic WYSIWYG editor. (What you see is what you get) This is not necessarily a bad thing. Most blogging tools do not have robust html editors, and the ones that do often require java or other plug-ins.If you need more formatting options and a larger window, you can use Google Docs to post to your Blogger blog. You could also do advanced editing with HTML. Blogger has an HTML tab to let you do this directly, although it does not allow JavaScript.

Email Your Posts

You can optionally configure Blogger with a secret email address, so you can email your posts to your blog. This is handy for making updates on the fly or updating from your cell phone or other mobile device.

Pictures

Blogger will let you upload pictures from your desktop and post them to your blog. You can choose the basic layout and size of your images, and they’ll be uploaded to Bloggers’s server space, so you don’t have to host the pictures on a different website.

That doesn’t mean you can’t post with pictures that you’ve hosted elsewhere on the Web. You can also use Picasa Web Albums to post pictures to your blog.

Google Video and YouTube videos can similarly be directly linked into your blog posts.

Know About – What is a Blog?

Blog Definition:

A blog (also called a weblog or web log) is a website consisting of entries (also called posts) appearing in reverse chronological order with the most recent entry appearing first (similar in format to a daily journal). Blogs typically include features such as comments and links to increase user interactivity. Blogs are created using specific publishing software.

Variations of the term blog:

  • Blogging: The act of writing a post for a blog
  • Blogger: A person who writes content for a blog
  • Blogosphere: The online community of blogs and bloggers

The World Before Blogging:



There was a time when the Internet was just an informational tool. In the early life of the World Wide Web some 20 years ago, websites were simple and provided a one-sided conversation. As time went on, the Internet became more interactive with the introduction of transaction-based websites and online shopping, but the online world remained one-sided.

That all changed with the evolution of Web 2.0 (the social web) wherein user-generated content became an integral part of the online world. Today, users expect websites to provide a two-way conversation and web logs (or blogs) were born.

The Birth of Blogs:

The earliest blogs started in the late 1990s as online diaries. Individuals posted information on a daily basis about their lives and opinions. The daily posts were listed in reverse date order, so readers viewed the most recent post first and scrolled through previous posts. The format provided an ongoing inner monologue from the writer.

As blogs evolved, interactive features were added to create a two-way conversation. Readers took advantage of features that allowed them to leave comments on blog posts or link to posts on other blogs and websites to further the dialogue.

Blogs Today:

As the Internet has become more social, blogs have gained in popularity. Today, there are over 100 million blogs with more entering the blogosphere everyday. Blogs have become more than online diaries. In fact, blogging has become an important part of the online and offline worlds with popular Bloggers impacting the worlds of Politics, Business and society with their words.

The Future of Blogs:

It seems inevitable that blogging will become even more powerful in the future with more people and businesses recognizing the power of bloggers as online influencers. Anyone can start a blog thanks to the simple (and often free) tools readily available online. The question will likely become not, “Why should I start a blog?” but rather, “Why shouldn’t I start a blog?”

How To Start Making Money Online

Making money online is not as difficult as some people may think, but making a substantial ongoing income online is actually pretty difficult. This is especially true if you are just starting out and aren’t sure what the best way to get started is. Keep in mind that most methods for making an online income will take a bit of time and/or money to gain traction. Also, you should be aware that there really are no quick and easy shortcuts to making money on the internet. It may take anywhere from a few months to a year before you begin to see substantial results.

While there are a number of different ways to make money online including article marketing, social media marketing, PPC (Pay per Click), etc, there are two main ways that I recommend to get started making money online:

1. Make Money With Affiliate Marketing: This means choosing the best affiliate programs or offers with high conversion rates. This would include joining the affiliate programs of popular sites like eBay, Amazon, Clickbank and Google Adsense.

2. Make Money With PTC (Paid To Click) Sites: A PTC site is a website that pays its members for the ads they click and view, on a daily basis. Popular and trusted PTC sites include ADFLY, LINKBUCKS, Neobux, Clixsense and GetBuxToday.

I have written a fairly comprehensive guide to earning money with PTC Sites and you can download it for free here.

Getting Started

With either of these methods there are only three things that you need to get started making money: A domain name, a web hosting account and an auto responder.

Domain Name

To get started the first thing that I would recommend is to register a domain name. I personally use NameCheap. I would suggest using a registrar that is separate from your hosting company. The reason that I recommend keeping your hosting and domain registrar separate is so that you can switch to a new hosting company easily if you ever find a better deal on a hosting package.

Web Hosting

Next, you will want to go to Hostgator and get a basic web hosting account. You will want to get a plan that will allow you to have an unlimited number of domains, and this should cost you around $5.00 per month. I use WordPress as the content management system for all of my sites, and if you purchase your hosting account through Hostgator, it’s really easy to set up. Just go to the “Fantastico” link on your control panel and create a new WordPress install

If you are working on a really tight budget, you can get started by using a site like Weebly to create a website for free. As soon as you can afford it however I would recommend paying the few extra dollars each month for hosting and you can have full control of your site with no banners or ads.

Autoresponders

What exactly is an autoresponder?  Basically, it is a program that enables you to automatically send emails to people (your leads). Now an autoresponder will not compose emails for you and it doesn’t involve spam or sending unsolicited email. What it will do is allow you to set up a sequence of pre-written emails that are sent out to the prospects in your database at regular, frequent intervals.

The importance of having a reliable autoresponder cannot be underestimated. As you go along in your internet marketing career, you will hear all of the internet marketing gurus tell you that the money is in the list. There is a good reason for this. Online marketing specialists know this to be a fact: The more prospects (leads) that you have on your mailing list that are interested in your products or services, the more sales you will make.

 

 

How To Submit Your Website On Google, Bing & Yahoo search engine

How do I submit and get my web pages to appear on the search engine results pages?

It is vitally important to get your website listed on the major search engines such as Google because it is by far the best way of attracting free, targeted traffic to your site. This website gets most of its traffic from the search engines who send visitors to our web pages.

In this post, we’ll be looking at how to submit your site to each of the major search engines and learn what they look for on your web pages to help you rank higher. Knowing this will enable you to improve your content and overall website by implementing some search engine optimization (SEO) methods.

How Do Search Engines Rank Your Site?

Now, before we look at how you go about submitting your website to the major search engines, it’s important that you learn the fundamentals of what they look for when ranking your website/blog. The higher you rank on Google, Bing & Yahoo, the more traffic you will receive. But being listed doesn’t necessarily mean you will attract traffic, you need to optimize your site for the search engines to ‘see’ you properly.

Every search engine works differently from one another. This is because each uses its own unique algorithms to rank web pages. Generally, these take into account your; Page Title, Meta Description, Keywords within your content, Number of Inbound Links, Bounce Rate, etc. Don’t worry, it’s actually a lot less complicated than it sounds.

As I say, each search engine is different. One may prioritise the number of people linking to your page, where as another may look more favourably towards Targeted Keyword usage. I wouldn’t worry too much about which aspect is more important, as long as you know the general features that the search engines look for, you can optimize your web pages to rank higher.

Read our post on ‘On-Page SEO Techniques‘ to learn more about what the search engines are looking for on your pages.

Do I Need To Submit My Website To Search Engines?

All search engines use programs called ‘Spiders’ to crawl the web. These search the internet for new content, which is then added to their databases/index. When people conduct searches on search engines, the results come from this database, so it is important for your site to be listed on this database.

Technically you don’t need to submit your site to any search engines, as eventually they will find your site by crawling the internet. However, this can take time, time in which you are loosing potential traffic by not being listed. By submitting your site yourself, you speed up the whole process by being automatically added to the search engines database.

Create An XML Sitemap

When search engines crawl individual websites, they look for the site’s ‘Sitemap‘. This is a very basic page that lists all of the URL links of a website. Look at our sitemap for an example.

Search engines use this to see when new content has been added to a website, so it can keep it’s database up to date. So when you publish a new post on your blog, or new page on your website, it appears on your sitemap for the search engines to see.

Now, you could create your own sitemap manually, but that is a lot of hassle. Instead I’d recommend installing the ‘Google XML Sitemaps‘ WordPress plugin.

This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap of all of your website. It supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages as well as custom URLs and it automatically notifies all the major search engines (i.e. Google, Bing, Yahoo) every time you create a new post (you need to sign up first though).

Submit Your Site To Google & Get Ranked

Google is the king of the search engines, it’s the most used site on the planet with billions of searches everyday! This is why if you only end up submitting your site to one search engine, make sure that it is Google.

It’s a pretty straight forward process to submit your site to Google. Sign up with ‘Google Webmaster Tools‘ and you will be able to click on ‘Add Site’. This lets you enter the URL of your website (this just needs to be your homepage, not every page of your site!) which you then submit. To finish the process, you need to ‘Verify Ownership‘ so that Google knows that you and not someone else is trying to sign up to their Webmaster Tools.

To verify your site you need to ‘upload a HTML file to your server‘. This is a unique file from Google that contains a unique ID code that corresponds to your site. Once uploaded, you can verify your site and Google will see that you have added the HTML file.

So now that you have submitted your site to Google, there is one more thing to do and that’s to add your sitemap. On your ‘Webmaster Tools‘ dashboard you should now see your website. If you click onto it, you will be taken to a page showing statistics about your site (this will become more useful when your site starts ranking). Go to; Site Configuration>Sitemaps>Submit a Sitemap and point Google in the direction of your sitemap.

That’s it! Now, when you add new content to your site, your site map will automatically be updated via the ‘Google XML Sitemaps‘ plugin, which will also automatically inform Google that you have new content.

Submit Your Site To Bing/Yahoo & Get Ranked

Bing and Yahoo are search partners, which means that once you set up a Bing ‘Webmaster Tools‘ account and submit your sitemap, you are listed in both Bing and Yahoo’s search database.

This is exactly the same process as before, so it’s pretty straight forward. To begin you will need to sign up to ‘Bing Webmaster’ which is exactly the same Google’s ‘Webmaster Tools.

Once signed up (you can use your existing hotmail login info) you can click on ‘Add Site‘. Add your URL and you will again need to verify that you are the owner of the site. Download the unique HTML file from Bing and upload it to your server, just as you did before, and verify your site.

Lastly, you need to add your sitemap. Click on your website on the Bing dashboard then go to; Crawl>Sitemaps (XML, Atom, RSS)>Add Feed and point Bing in the direction of your sitemap.

Why Only Submit To Google, Yahoo & Bing?

Whilst you can submit your site to other search engines such as; Ask, AOL, MSN Search, etc. the vast majority of traffic comes from the big three; Google, Bing and Yahoo!

Once you start listing in these big three, you will end up being listed on the other search engines anyway.

Next Step – SEO

So, that’s it! You should now be listed on all three of the major search engines. But as I said earlier, that won’t guarantee traffic. You need to optimise your web pages with On-Page SEO techniques to make them rank highly on search engine results pages (SERPs). The higher you can rank, the more traffic you can generate.

12 Ways To Encourage Your Visitors to Stay

We all want more traffic, more loyal readers, and more sales. I know I do. For most of us our blog is the precious stone we chisel our artwork into. We slave over making our website as good as we possibly can and don’t want our work to go unnoticed and unappreciated. I know exactly how you feel and that’s why I’ve put together 12 ways to compel your visitors to stay.

Whether you’re looking to increase your readers loyalty, improve your website’s accessibility and friendliness, or build a community these tips will help you achieve your goals.

1. Simplify your websites navigation – You should focus on the most important elements of your website and display those in your navigation and eliminate the rest.

It can be very confusing and annoying to make visitors click on everything.

Your navigation should give them clear direction to what your site is about and how to navigate it.

2. Choose an engaging color scheme – Your website should have two or three primary colors that stand out.

You want to break your content apart and allow your audience to see your website as different sections of content

Don’t overdo it though. Too many colors can turn visitors away as quickly as it can entice them stay.

3. Use images to break up the content and add personality – Images have a way of speaking to people the way that words never can.

Use images to convey emotion and draw your audience in.

4. Make your websites header (logo) and tagline stand out – It’s one of the first things a visitor sees on your site and can make your site look either professional or glued and pasted together.

Your headline and tagline should be clean and clearly display what your website is about.

5. Add more calls to action – A call to action is simple and often only a sentence long.

Ask people to comment, twitter your post or take some other action.

Whatever you decide to do get them in the habit of taking action.

In fact don’t forget to comment at the end of this post

6. Create strong, emotional headlines – Other than your posts picture your headline is immensely important.

If your posts title doesn’t get any attention readers aren’t likely to click on your little read more icon.

In fact they will probably ignore your post all together.

7 . Simplify your readability – While your content may make perfect sense to you it doesn’t mean your reader gets it.

Most readers want the information they are looking for to be easy to read, highly memorable, and easily accessible.

8. Offer more at the end of your post – Your post was absolutely amazing, now what?

Did you add a related posts section, a call to action or a request to comment?

If you want people to stay engaged give them more of what they want, or they’ll find it somewhere else.

9. Use sub headlines to break up your content – Most readers like to skim content. I know I do, and I bet you’ve done it too.

If your writing a long post or speaking on multiple topics break your content up with bold, larger, or different color sub headlines.

You’ll please the skimmers and the loyal audience, and most likely get more return traffic.

10. Change your content or change your audience – Your content may be great, monumental even, but if your audience isn’t reading it then you may need to change your audience or change your content.

If they’ve already heard your content a million times over by everyone else, then you need to teach it to an audience that hasn’t heard it as much and wants to learn it.

Or create fresh and new content for your existing audience.

The reason teachers have students is because students don’t know as much as their teachers.

If they did then we’d have no schools.

You need to find fresh minds to grow and build relationships with, which brings me to my next tip.

11. Create a monthly post questionnaire – You know it all don’t you? I know I do (just kidding

Writing a post every month or so and asking your audience what’s most important to them will do wonders for your blog or business.

It’s about as direct as you can get.

Ask them to comment about what’s on their minds, what they need the most help with, and what they think you can do better.

It will help you uncover topics, and idea’s you’ve never thought of “guaranteed!”

12. Build relationships with peers – We all love the A list bloggers, but building relationships with those that are at the same level as us is a great way to gain additional insights, followers, and contributors.

It helps you expand your reach, get your name into the blogosphere, and become known.

One of the best things about sharing idea’s with those in your niche is the motivation that you get.

It helps you reshape your thinking and build new principles to help you reach success.

If these tips have helped you than please contribute in the comment section with your own tips.

I’m sure it will not only help me improve, but help those that read your comments as well.

Your participation is just as important as this post! Thanks again, and have a great week

DOMAIN NAME SEARCH and REGISTRATION – Website

DOMAIN NAME SEARCH and REGISTRATION

Once you find someone to host your website (ie. store your website files on their server), you need to come up with a domain name. This is that familiar name which always follows the www in a website address. The best domain names are short, descriptive, and to the point so that they are easy for your visitors to remember.Some good domain name examples are:

yahoo.com,
google.com,
ucla.edu and
cntower.ca.
The ending after the dot simply helps to describe the type of site you have (commercial, educational, government, organization, etc) or the country of origin (Canada). When picking your new domain name try to avoid using odd short forms, uncommon acronyms, and words which are often misspelled.
 
Once you have settled on a domain name which will become your website’s address, then it is time to check if that name is still available or if someone else is already using it. Remember that your website address must be unique. No two websites can have the same domain name or address. So your next step is the domain name search. There are many companies on the internet which can do this for you (even for free) and some are listed at the bottom of this page. If your chosen domain name is available then you are in
luck and can proceed with domain name registration. Often these companies will search, register, and even host your website.

 

Below are advertisements and links to websites which
specialize in domain name searching and registration.

Namecheap.com - Cheap domain name registration, renewal and transfers - Free SSL Certificates - Web Hosting
Namecheap.com - Cheap domain name registration, renewal and transfers - Free SSL Certificates - Web Hosting

 

Start your own Website

Is so easy and simple

Once upon a time creating a website is huge task because you should know lot of thinks like webmaster skill, web designing and HTML code etc… Nowadays its so simple like using a facebook!! The origin of the internet can be traced back to educational institutions like MIT, UCLA or UC, so it should come as no surprise just how many educational websites are currently in existence. What’s even more impressive is that unlike the enormous budgets of commercial institutions, most educational websites exist on minimal budgets and are created and maintained with time donated by teachers and students.

The number of educational websites is increasing very quickly, so if you have been thinking about starting your school, classroom, or personal website then you are not alone. Here is a short and simple guide to the concepts you should know before making a website. We hope you find the following useful.

Hosting

You really have two options when it comes to hosting provider types recommended for WordPress newbies.

  • Shared Hosting
  • Managed WordPress Hosting

I do not recommend anything other than a shared hosting plan for first time webmasters. All other forms of hosting that you may have heard of like Virtual Private Hosting (requires reasonable technical know how), managed WordPress hosting (too costly) might not be the right choice for your first website. As your knowledge and business grows you might consider VPS or fully managed WordPress hosting but let’s leave that for another post.

Shared hosting is the way to go and later we can talk about upgrading your host. We’ve recommended two shared hosting services and have also added elaborate installation processes for WordPress with both of them. Both hosting providers offers domain registration and website hosting and that’s exactly what we need to create an awesome website.

Namecheap Hosting

To make WordPress installation process easier we have created a short video that will guide you through installation process.

Click here to visit Namecheap and proceed with your first website setup.

If you had some problems understanding setup process outlined in video you can follow steps below.

 

Namecheap.com - Cheap domain name registration, renewal and transfers - Free SSL Certificates - Web Hosting

Namecheap.com - Cheap domain name registration, renewal and transfers - Free SSL Certificates - Web Hosting

Free PositiveSSL and WhoisGuard with Every Domain Purchase

How to Create a WEBSITE

Just like every document or photo you have in your computer is stored as an electronic file on your disk drive, so will be the pages of your website. The difference is that your website will not be on your computer, but on a large and powerful computer permanently connected to the internet and made specifically for that purpose. This type of a computer is called a ‘server’. So one of the first things you
must decide is: who’s server will be ‘hosting’ your website.

Here you have two main choices which differ in cost and flexibility. You probably noticed that some website names are very simple such as “www.myschool.com” and some might have a longer address such as “www.yahoo.com/school/newyork/k-12/myschool.com”. The difference is that in the first example the school owns their own ‘domain’, where as in the second case the school uses some of the server space available in the “yahoo” domain (that’s why the address starts with “www.yahoo.com”) . Think of it like owning your own city block (your own domain) or renting an apartment in a tall building (part of someone else’s domain).

Obviously being part of someone else’s domain has some restriction such as amount of space available for your website, number of email addresses available, number of visitors you can have, and of course the choice of your website address. The main advantage however used to be the low cost. Many internet service providers (the people that connect you to the internet and give you an email address) will often let you use some of their own server space to host a small website for free. On the other hand, having your own domain means that you have significantly more freedom and resources available to your organization. The cost of having your own domain used to be relatively high, but with the continuing growth of the internet and the progress of the associated technology, the cost of owning your own domain has dropped significantly and is now less than the cost of owning your own cell phone. Furthermore, there are now some very easy ways to have the website pay for itself (more on that in part 4).
 When looking for a website (or domain) hosting company, you need to have an idea of how much space you will require on their server. Typical websites containing text and some pictures require a moderate amount of space, perhaps 50MB (50 mega bytes). So a school website with 20 independent classroom sites would require only about 1000MB=1GB (1 giga byte). What requires a lot more server space are websites which contain video clips or audio files. Our advice is to start small and if your site(s) begin running out of server space then your hosting company will probably notify you, and you can simply increase your server allowance for a few extra dollars per month. 

Below are some ads from different web hosting services available on the internet. Some will not only host your site but also offer to create your website for free, or at least give you the software which will allow you to do it yourself. If you pick the right hosting service they will walk you through the rest of the points we are about to describe.
Namecheap.com - Cheap domain name registration, renewal and transfers - Free SSL Certificates - Web Hosting

Namecheap.com - Cheap domain name registration, renewal and transfers - Free SSL Certificates - Web Hosting