It is hard to know where to start when you want to start your own travel website. The technical aspect can be overwhelming and it can be difficult to work out where to start. The below process is one way to get started.
Ready to start? There are three options:
- Do it yourself. Further down the page, there is a simple guide for setting up your own website.
- Join a group of travel writers like Remote Traveler – write an article about your favorite destination, your contact details, previous writing experience, your chosen country/region and submit it to us at: info @ remotetraveler . com
- Find a website design company that can do it for you. An example of a company that makes websites designed for traffic is:
During the below process, there are links to affiliate programs that we recommend. Thankyou for your support if you are to choose these options.
1) Buy a domain name that matches your website/blog name & hopefully your theme:
Choose a short Domain name, make it memorable and recommended to have it end in .com (yoursitename.com).
Cost: free to $20 per year.
Coming up with a name for your new blog might be the hardest step. You can start brainstorming by coming up with a short mission statement or by listing words that describe your style of traveling, your lifestyle, etc.
Characteristics of an ideal blog name
- Easy to spell
Once you have some potential names in mind for your blog, you’ll need to check their availability. Since .com is the standard domain suffix, keep trying potential names until you find one that is available in .com. Don’t resort to hyphens or other punctuation marks to make it work!
2) Find a reliable web host.
A web host stores your website and makes it accessible to the world wide web. In other words, your website “lives” on your web host’s servers.
We are currently trying out Blue Host and consider there current cloud based offer to be great value.
Cost: $4 to $15 per month.
3) Install WordPress.
WordPress is easy to use, open source & you can customize it to your needs.
4) Install a WordPress theme.
Your WordPress theme will determine the look, feel and functionality of your website. This is one of the most important decisions you can make.
Cost: free to $500+.
Now we’re getting to the interesting part! This is where you find a theme to match your style, your ideal layout and the functionality you want to have.
What to look for in a WordPress theme
You want a theme that is:
- Well designed. Your theme should suit your aesthetic and offer the features you want. The theme should also be coded by someone who knows what they’re doing.
- Responsive. Responsive designs are built to provide an optimal viewing experience for your visitors, whether they’re visiting from their computer, phone or tablet. That means your visitors won’t have to pinch and zoom just to read your posts—your text will already be a legible size.
- Optimized for search results. This goes along with the last couple of points, because a well-designed site will naturally rank higher in search results than a site built on a theme that is full of errors.
- User friendly. Find a theme that offers built-in design options so you don’t have to edit code to change basic stuff. These features will save you a ton of time. Your theme should make it easy for you to change your logo, color scheme, etc.
- Backed by great support. When you experience technical issues, a responsive support team and community forums are invaluable resources.
The bottom line: pony up some cash for a premium WordPress theme from a reputable provider. The time and headaches that you save down the road will make it money well spent.
Tips for designing a user-friendly travel website
When you’re tweaking the settings on your WordPress theme, keep these points in mind. You want to make sure that your posts are easy for visitors to:
- Navigate. Keep your blog design clean and uncluttered.
- Become followers. Place prominent links to your RSS feed, email subscription option and social media on every page.
- Share your content. Provide social media sharing buttons at the end of each post.
5) Set up Google tools.
Google offers invaluable tools and services like Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, Keyword Planner, Google business and Feedburner.
First, set up a new google account and email (gmail) address for your blog.Create a new gmail account here.
Once you have a google account, log in and set up the following tools:
- Google Analytics: helps you track blog traffic. (Note: install the tracking code in your WordPress SEO by Yoost plugin settings.)
- Webmaster Tools: makes sure your website is up and running. (Note: install the tracking code in your WordPress SEO by Yoost plugin settings.)
- Feedburner: allows your visitors to subscribe to your posts by RSS or email. Also helps you keep track of your subscriber numbers.
6) Install WordPress plugins.
Each of these plugins provide valuable features that do not automatically come with your theme.
Recommended WordPress plugins for food blogs:
- AddThis: I use this social bookmarking plugin to add a Facebook like button, Pinterest’s Pin-It button, etc. at the bottom of each post. If you don’t use AddThis, use a plug-in that provides similar capabilities so it’s easy for visitors to share your posts.
- Akismet: filters out spam comments without requiring CAPTCHA. Nobody likes CAPTCHAs.
- Comment Reply Notification: sends your commenters replies to their own comments via email if they leave the “Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail” box checked.
- WordPress SEO by Yoost: SEO is a complicated, multi-faceted beast and this plug-in will help you make sure you have covered your bases. You will need to take the time to go through all the steps and set it up properly, though. Be sure to use it to set up Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. It will be worth the effort!
Cost: Some plugins can be free and some cost $500+
7) Start writing!
Publish those experiences, stories and photos.
Cost: your time.