Do You Need To Know Code For WordPress?

One of things that seems to put people off the most when it comes to starting a blog or website is knowing how to code. The question is though; do you need to know code for WordPress? The short answer is no, you don’t need to know code for WordPress. This is one of the reasons why we love WordPress so much and no doubt why millions the world over do so too.

Below we’ll take a closer look at this question (do you need to know code for a WordPress?) and assess why you don’t.

Do You Need To Know Code For WordPress?

Over the last year we’ve built 7 different websites for ourselves and paying clients using using WordPress and Bluehost. Bluehost provide the hosting and automatically install WordPress when you open an account. The whole process can take as little as 15 minutes to have a website up and running. All of this with absolutely no need to do any coding.

We didn’t know anything about coding before we started and that remains the case today albeit from the very basics of HTML. But the reality is that we’ve been able to build websites and start businesses with no coding knowledge.

Between Bluehost and WordPress there’s no need for us to learn code and it would be the same for you.

Lets take a wider look at why you do not need code for WordPress:

WordPress Is Very Easy To Use

The main reason overall that you don’t need to know code for WordPress is the fact it is super easy to use. The way we see it is, if you’ve ever used Word or anything similar or you can navigate your way around a desktop, search online etc then you can figure out how to use WordPress fairly quickly.

Everything on there is designed to be straightforward and it feels quite intuitive even if you are just a rookie.

The other great thing that makes WordPress so easy to use is the fact that whenever you’re stuck on something you can just jump on Google or YouTube and find the answer to your questions. We routinely jump on Google to figure out how to do something we’ve never done before on WordPress and there are tons of resources available.

Ready To Go Themes

Perhaps the biggest reason why you don’t need to know code for WordPress is that it comes with thousands of pre-coded ready made themes for your website. A theme is basically how your website looks and operates. It determines the style, layout, menu structure, functionality etc.

There a lots of free themes as well as paid for options. Most themes are also constantly updated and tweaked regularly.

All this means is that you can build and operate a WordPress website without having to touch a single line of code.

Excellent Choice of Plugins

As well as an excellent choice of ready-made themes, the other main reason why you don’t need to know code for WordPress are plugins. Plugins are basically little packages of software that can be added to your WordPress site to perform specific tasks or add additional features. For example we have a plugin for adding table of contents to our articles and another one to insert code into certain parts of the theme.

Plugins really do allow you to extend the functionality of your site and do things without coding that would not have been possible in the earlier days of web development if you didn’t have that kind of expertise.

What we like about plugins is that you can take a fairly basic WordPress theme and kick it up a gear without needing to write any code through using plugins.

A lot of the plugins available have free versions which will give you most of what you want though many have add-ons you need to pay for.

Conclusion: Do You Need To Know Code For WordPress?

So, after all is considered do you need to know code for WordPress? The clear answer based on our experience is that you do not need to know code to build a WordPress website. This is part of the beauty and appeal of WordPress and means creating a website is accessible to anyone willing to learn the basics of WordPress.

Ready to start your site with WordPress? Check out what Bluehost can offer you in addition to automatic WordPress installation.

Do You Need To Know Code For WordPress?: Tell Us Your Thoughts

Is Canva Any Good?

If you’re looking for a design application or software you may have come across Canva and be wondering; is Canva any good? If so let us tell you that yes it absolutely is. Canva is not only good it’s brilliant.

It’s something we’ve been using for all our designs on our sites and it’s served us very well.

Note: The links in this article are affiliate links and as such as we may earn a small commission if you purchase a product through the link. This does not impact what you pay.

Is Canva Any Good?

Let’s take a look at the reasons why we feel Canva is such a great choice if you need to design just about any type of visual.

It Will Make Anyone Look Good

Canva can make pretty much anyone willing to put some effort into it look like an absolute pro. Okay so it won’t make you magically better than you are at design but it will do a pretty god job of taking what would otherwise be average pieces of content and making them look awesome.

It’s Super Simple To Use

One of the most attractive features of Canva is how easy it is to use. Putting together designs is made easy by the click and drag options available on the platform.

Excellent Templates

Whether you want to post on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or just need a blog banner, Canva will have you covered as they have hundreds of ready made templates ready to go for each platform.

We love this aspect of it because you don’t have to start from scratch with a design. If you’ve ever stared at a blank page when starting to write you know how daunting that white space can be. This is 10 times worse when you need to design something (or at least some of us think so). That’s why Canva is so great; you can get started with their ready-made templates and then tailor it to your needs.

This has saved us a ton of time as we don’t sit there looking at a blank screen for 20 minutes thinking about how to structure the post.

Is Canva Any Good?
Is Canva Any Good?

Re-size Designs

If you’ve ever spent lots of time and effort on a design for one platform then had to spend just as much rejigging it for another platform then you’ll really appreciate Canva’s resizing function. This will for example, take a post designed for Pinterest and resize and reformat it for Facebook. This has saved us a lot of time and means you only have to worry about designing a post for one platform and then sending across all of your various social media platforms.

Now admittedly some styles of posts work better than others for this but overall it’s an awesome feature.

Great Photo Collection

The last thing you want when you’re designing a post is having to head to different sources to pull it altoghter. The classic time suck is trawling through stock photo sites for images.

This is why Canva’s photo collection is such a welcomed part of their toolkit. You get access to millions of photos that you can drop straight into your design without having to leave the app.

Awesome Icons

One of the areas (out of quite a lot it must be said) that really stands out on Canva is its “Elements” selection. These are a truly wide range of grapics, icons, illustrations, shapes and more that can be used to help elevate your designs and convey various messages.

Rather than having to design your own icons or find them from other sources, Canva provides a wide range of options and you have the choice in many of them to customise them to an extent particularly when it comes to the colour.

Great Choice In Text

It doesn’t matter how great your design is if your text game is weak.

Canva has you covered in this area as it not only offers a great selection of attractive texts but also provides you with some great text combinations to make your designs really pop.

Music For Your Designs

Another cool feature which makes Canva quite an attractive option and something we only noticed recently is the ability to add music to your creative work.

Music can make an average piece of content stand out and its great that you now have the option of adding a soundtrack to your designs.

Create Your Own Brand Kit

If you’re going to be using Canva consistently (like we do) for a particular brand then you’ll love their brand kit feature which allows you to setup your own unique styling features for your brand.

This includes your logos, specific colour palettes as well as the opportunity to upload your own unique font.

This is an excellent feature that allows you to maintain brand consistency across all of your posts with relative ease.

Conclusion: Is Canva Any Good?

So, is Canva any good? As you may be able to tell we definitely think so. No doubt there lots of other design apps out there but from what we’ve seen Canva ticks all the boxes and manages to do it in a way that pretty much anyone can pick up and run with.

Try Canva Pro Today

Is Canva Any Good: Tell Us What You Think

Why Do Most Bloggers Fail? Top 4 Reasons

Why Do Most Bloggers Fail? - Main Title Image
Why Do Most Bloggers Fail? Top 4 Reasons

We’ve often come across anecdotal stats that say most blogs fail within the first 3 months. Another stat is that apparently most bloggers never make $100 in their journey. These stats help to tell us that a lot of blogs and bloggers fail.

Today we wanted to take a closer look at why do most bloggers fail from the perspective of those who are still inside their first year of blogging but who’ve made it past 3 months and made more than $100 so far. The fact is from the outside that may not seem significant but there have been plenty of times when things looked bleak.

Now the best part of a year into the experience we felt it could be interesting to reflect on why so many people fail when it comes to blogging based on the things that have almost derailed us.

Why Do Most Bloggers Fail? Top 4 Reasons

There are probably thousands of reasons why individual bloggers fail but we’ve looked at what we believe are the top 4 reasons based on our experience so far.

#1 – They Give Up Too Soon

This may seem pretty obvious but we believe the first reason why most bloggers fail is that they simply give up too soon. The 3 month mark feels significant because within that time you’ll probably experience:-

  1. Elation and excitement with getting started
  2. Disappointment when you start posting but are getting no traffic
  3. Temptation to give in
  4. A decision point – do I keep going and hoping things change OR give up?

That’s a lot to go through in the first 3 months but when you look a it 3 months is not a long time. It’s barely enough time to get your site’s presence felt on Google. It takes on average 3 – 6 months for a website to start ranking on Google. In fact, research by AhRef’s, shows that most articles appearing in the top 10 positions on Google are 2 years and above. It also showed that only 22% pages in the top 10 positions were created within the prior 12 months.

Now this doesn’t necessarily mean that just waiting and hoping will get you onto Google but what it does mean is that those bloggers who quit within the first few months of starting out never actually give themselves enough of a chance.

#2 – Unrealistic Expectations

The other key reason for failure, especially early failure, is that perhaps bloggers set out with unrealistic expectations of what they’ll be able to accomplish and in what time scales. One of the things that have helped us stay the course thus far is that we set out with big hopes but realistic expectations. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be ambitious (otherwise what’s the point?) but what it does mean is that you need to be realistic with what you expect to see in terms of results a month in, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months etc.

If you set out expecting to see 100 visitors from your first post on day one, you know it’s probably not going to happen.

Study the area your going into. See what others have been able to achieve and calibrate your expectations accordingly. It doesn’t mean you should limit your ambitions to those that have gone before you in the long-term but certainly to begin with, you should have a good understanding of what results to expect so that you’re not disappointed when you check your reports for the umpteenth time to find no activity.

From our perspective what helped us initially is understanding that it was going to take at least 6 – 9 months before we started to see more than a few visitors a day and even contemplate a sale. When these things happened a lot earlier than we envisaged it was exciting but we still kept the perspective that it was a long-term play we were after.

#3 – No Strategy Or Process

Another reason why bloggers may fail is because they’re not following any kind of strategy and process. In the past we’ve failed with sites not only because of reasons #1 and #2 from above but also because we had no overall strategy mapped out and no process at all to back up any kind of strategy. When that happens you can find yourself trying out every new idea or tweak you come across in the hope it will bring quick results.

Instead what we’ve seen actually work is having an overall strategy and framework that guides your actions. So for example our first site is built around an SEO strategy that prioritises high user intent over anything else. This may not be to everyone’s tastes as it means we ignore or at least pay little attention to super-high volume keywords if we don’t think there’s a high level of intent and too much competition. This has helped to guide just about every we do and focus on. The process we’ve then built around this strategy is designed to support it in every way.

Now this may not necessarily be the best strategy we could have opted for and no doubt there are plenty of better ones out there. But the key point is that at least we have a strategy to follow and a framework and process to support it. This allows us to calibrate our timescales (#1) and expectations (#2) based on what has worked for others who have followed a similar strategy.

#4 – They Don’t Educate Themselves

When you try anything new one of the best ways to ensure you success is to try and learn as much as you can about whatever it is your doing. This helps you learn the best techniques as well as pitfulls to avoid. Perhaps one of the reasons why bloggers fail is that they don’t take the time to educate themselves in the various tools and techniques needed to succeed. We only speak from experience as our prior attempts with sites were hamstrung by some stuff that now feels pretty basic only because we’ve educated ourselves.

Part of the issue is that when people think of educating themselves, too often they’re taken back to their school classroom and quickly lose interest. In reality self-education today couldn’t be further from that and couldn’t be any easier.

Through podcasts, YouTube videos and guess what, blogs, we’ve managed to pick up enough knowledge and then apply it to be able to give ourselves a much better chance of succeeding.

A prime example of where we previously contributed to our own failure due to a lack of self-education is trying to get on Google. We’d launched multiple websites in the past and then just waited and hoped we would be found on Google. We’d keep checking weekly only to find we couldn’t find ourselves on search engines. Little did we know that the best way for a new website to be found on Google is you guessed it; tell Google you exist! It seems stupid not to think of that but that’s the thing with ignorance; it takes no prisoners. All it would have taken is some quick research to discover what is needed to get on Google.

Conclusion: Why Do Most Bloggers Fail?

So why do most bloggers fail? There are no doubt a ton of reasons why various bloggers fail but based on the albeit, still relatively short, experience we have it seems like a lot boils down to being suitably prepared in various ways. When we look at our top 4 reasons it looks like #4 is the most critical. With self-education you can tackle just about any of the other 3 issues.

Why Do Most Bloggers Fail? Tell Us Your Thoughts.

Is An SSL Certificate Worth it?

Is An SSL Certificate Worth It?
What Is SSL Certification?

If you’ve been setting up a website, you may have come across the term SSL Certificate and are wondering is an SSL Certificate worth it? The short answer to your question is that an SSL Certificate (Secure Sockets Layer) is most definitely worth it and is now something that is seen as a norm in terms of website security.

Below we’ll take a look at various factors to answer the following questions:

  • What Is An SSL Certificate?
  • Is An SSL Certificate Necessary?
  • Is An SSL Certificate Worth It?

Note: Please feel free to use the above image for your own purposes however, please do reference this page via a link.

What Is An SSL Certificate?

An SSL Certificate (Secure Sockets Layer) essentially enables a secure connection between a website and a user’s browser. Any information exchanged is encrypted and is therefore protected from unauthorised access.

This is important with any website but particularly so for those that exchange user logins, email address, personal details and bank details.

You can tell if a website offers SSL data protection as it will usually have a padlock symbol next to the URL or simply state “Secure”.

The other way to tell is that sites with SSL will start with HTTPS whilst those without remain with HTTP.

Is An SSL Certificate Necessary?

There are many reasons why SSL Certification is now essentially a must-have for website operators.

Data Protection Is A Visitor Priority

Data security and protection is a visitor priority now more so than ever before. Data breaches can result in serious consequences for users and website owners alike.

The SSL certification tells your visitors that you value their data security and are taking the necessary steps to try to protect it.

It provides an automatic seal of legitimacy and professionalism whether you’re a big or small site.

Google Sees It As a Must Have

Google, Firefox and other browsers have essentially made SSL Certification a must have by displaying the “Not Secure” warning on URL’s that are not encrypted with SSL.

This red flag can put off visitors immediately and keep them away.

In addition, Google will de-prioritise sites without HTTPS. Without it you will not be able to access some features that users come to expect as standard from their online experience such as geolocation.

Ranking Factor

Another major reason why an SSL Certificate is now effectively a must for any serious website owner is that Google has indicated previously that it is ranking factor.

That means if you don’t have SSL Certification for your website you’re likely to see your ranking negatively impacted and with it traffic to your site.

Match Your Competitors

There are many fields in which it literally pays to stand out amongst a crowded field. This is not one of them. You do not want to be one of the only operators in your chosen niche to not have an SSL Certificate.

This would give potential customers who have an endless list of choices a quick way to eliminate you as an option no matter how good your content is. Why bother take a risk with you when a competitor has this base covered?

According to Google, Chrome and Mac users spend over 90% of their online time on HTTPS pages demonstrating how imperative SSL Certification is for your website.

Is An SSL Certificate Worth It?

By now it’s probably clear why an SSL Certificate is most definitely worth it for your site.

The benefits outweight the actual cost of an SSL quite significantly. It’s very easy and relatively inexpensive to get an SSL Certificate for your webiste.

Bluehost offer free SSL Certification alongside their hosting packages.

Do I Need A Web Host To Start My Blog?

Do I Need A Web Host To Start My Blog?

Do I need a web host to start my blog? The short answer is yes you do need a web host to start your blog. Simply put you can have a blog or website live on the internet without a web host.

If you intend to build a solid foundation for your blog or website then you’re better off investing in a reliable web hosting partner from the off.

Let’s take a look at what web hosting actually is, why it’s important and some of the potential options you have.

What Is Web Hosting?

Simply put web hosting provides a home for your website. It’s where all of your websites content and data is stored (written content, media files, HTML, CSS and much more). Web hosting stores all of the things that allow your website to operate and stay live on the internet. Without a host, you wouldn’t have a place for your website to take shape.

Web hosting companies offer server space for you to rent for your website. In exchange for a fee they’ll provide everything necessary for your website to function and be found by anyone on the World Wide Web.

But in order for your website to be found, it needs to have any address. That’s where a domain name comes in. A domain name is like the address in your rental property – whenever someone types in the address they will be directed to your website.

There’s not much use having a hosted site without a domain and likewise having a domain name without a place to host your website is also pretty useless.

When it comes to creating websites and blogs you always have the option of choosing free platforms as well as paid.

Do I Need A Web Host To Start My Blog?

So now we know what web hosting is; do you really need it? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why it’s important to have a web host.

1 – Complete Control

One of the most important reasons for hosting your website on a platform like Bluehost is that you have full control of your blog or website.

When you opt to launch on a free platform in order to carry on operating you have to abide their terms and conditions.

If for whatever reason you inadvertently break one of their rules you could find your website taken offline and losing visitors as well revenues in the meantime.

2 – Take The Hassle Out Of Web Hosting

When you sign up to a web hosting package you are getting rid of the headaches that would come with trying to host a website on your own. If you don’t have a highly technical background and the experience to match it, hosting your own website would be near enough impossible to do well. If you’re just starting out on your online journey then signing up with a web host like Bluehost is the best option.

3 – Brand Recognition

When you sign up for a free blog hosting platform in most (if not all) cases you won’t be able to create your own unique website name. You’ll have to take whatever name is available from their list and then add the platforms overall address in the URL (web address). So for example if you wanted to started a blog about flavoured teas you might find only (platform = the provider). This may result in visitors not taking you seriously. It will also mean you can’t develop a brand image as easily separate from the overall platform. This not only hurts your credibility but will also limit how much you can customise your site.

It also often means you’ll have whatever adverts they want running on your website. This will limit your own ability to earn ad revenues as the site grows. With some free options you won’t be able to place your own adverts at all.

In addition, as you don’t pick the adverts that run on your blog they may go counter to the message or articles your trying to promote.

When you have your own paid hosting plan you’ll be able to fully customise your website and opt only for the type of advertising you wan.

4 – Full Access To Plug-Ins

A major plus for having your own hosted package for your website is the complete access you get to plug-ins. On free options you’ll only get limited access to plug-ins. This can seriously impact your site’s ability to grow in all kinds of ways. For example there are certain plug-ins that will help you to optimise your site for search engine traffic (SEO); a lot of these aren’t made available on the free hosting options and this could make or break your efforts.

With a full hosting package from Bluehost for example you get WordPress installed automatically and have access to its full range of plug-ins.

What Type of Web Hosting Do I Need?

Once you’ve made the decision to purchase web hosting services, you’ll notice there are a number of different types of plans available.

What would be best for you will depends on what you’ll need in terms of technical knowledge required, storage, technical support, speed and how much you want to spend.

Let’s take a look at the types of web hosting available.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is usually the cheapest option available and the one that requires the least technical knowledge upfront. Because of this it’s probably the best option for you if you’re just starting out with little or no previous experience of setting up a blog or website.

Shared hosting is based on website owners sharing server space with lots of other site operators space from a web host. A server is shared amongst all of the websites on that particular server.

For the price you pay and the little technical knowledge needed, it’s where we’d recommend you get started if you’re new in this space.

Shared hosting works best for static websites (e.g. blogs and information sites) that don’t require much interaction. If you need to load high quality files and media eg image galleries etc then you may want to look at a VPN option.

Best Shared Hosting Provider

#1 – Bluehost: They get our vote as the best shared hosting providers. They’re the only webhost we use and they proven to be great for our needs.

Cloud Based Hosting

Cloud based hosting is a setup where your site is hosted on a network of servers. Simply put your site uses the resources from a collection of servers for its needs.

The collection or cluster of servers is termed as the “cloud”.

This can be a good option for websites that expect to get a high level of traffic.

This is because the load of your server is distributed over a number of different servers.

Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting

A Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting plan is based on a certain number of users sharing a server but each having allocated resources to share between them. Whereas on a shared hosting plan multiple users share server space with no guarantee of resources, on a VPN plan users share allocated memory, space and hardware.

Each user as part of a VPN has their own virtual machine running a copy of an operating system.

This type of web hosting is well suited to website owners who have outgrown a shared hosting plan but don’t want to pay for a dedicated server for hosting.

Dedicated Server Hosting

Hosting via a dedicated server is the ultimate form of hosting if you want complete control and customisation.

Unlike the other hosting types, with dedicated server hosting you site is the only one on the server. This gives you access to more resources and a higher level of performance than the other types of hosting.

This is the most expensive type of web hosting and tends to suit websites that have high levels of traffic (think millions of visitors a month) and need significant resources to run at their best.

Do I Need A Web Host To Start My Blog?