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How to Start a Website

Maybe you’re REALLY curious about how Salted Spoonful started, or maybe you want to start your own blog! I’m happy to share. It’s easy to start a website!

FYI, there are affiliate links on this page. That means that if you click on one and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you.

Hosting: DreamHost

I got started by purchasing my domain and hosting at DreamHost. I recommend this company SO much. Having made several websites and experiencing other hosting companies…. this one is by far the best and easiest that I’ve used. It’s not the cheapest, but with hosting, I’ve learned that you get what you pay for. Their user interface is straightforward and intuitive. I am really glad that I chose to go with them to start my website!

DreamHost

Web Design: ThemeForest

I bought my WordPress theme on ThemeForest. It’s soooo important to have a polished and professional looking website, and pre-made themes can help you get there. My theme is Sitka by Solo Pine. I almost always use the ThemeForest to find WordPress themes. Like I said in the Hosting paragraph, I’ve created several websites and almost all of them use themes from ThemeForest. Documentation and support are excellent—even someone who’s never built a website before should be able to figure it out because they give you step-by-step instructions and often answer support tickets quickly. Making a beautiful and professional website isn’t as hard as it looks!

Plugins

Several plugins that I downloaded right away are the WP Tasty plugins: TastyRecipes, TastyPins, and TastyLinks. These plugins are essential for any food blogger, and they were made by the Pinch of Yum team so you know they’re good.

TastyRecipes is how I get my recipe cards looking great. All you have to do is plug in your recipe and the rest is taken care of.

TastyPins helps me optimize my images for Pinterest. I’m able to add hidden photos that are perfect for Pinterest and add captions that will automatically fill into any image that’s pinned.

TastyLinks is a great plugin for affiliate links, which I’ll touch on in the next paragraph. This plugin makes it easy to add affiliate product links to all of my recipe cards.

Monetization

I monetize my site using ads from GourmetAds, Google Adsense, Sovrn, Media.Net. Most people start with Google Adsense because they are easy-peasy and they don’t have any site view requirements. It’s a great place to start, but don’t be afraid to branch out! All of these ad publishers are very easy to get started with. It’s a good idea to use ads from different companies to compare how they perform on your site. Careful though—you don’t want too many ads, or it can turn away your readers.

I also signed up for affiliate marketing programs with Amazon, DreamHost, ThemeForest, WP Tasty, and Sovrn. Affiliate marketing is when a company pays you for directing readers to their site. I use TastyLinks in my recipe cards to direct readers Amazon to purchase the products I use. If someone buys something, I make a small commission. I also have a whole page of products that I use, My Kitchen Must-Haves that are all linked to my Amazon affiliate links.

A lot of ad publishers have affiliate programs as well. So on top of earning money from ads, I can also earn money when I help you learn how to make money from ads! Win-win, right??

I hope this was helpful for you! If you want to start a website and still have questions, I’m happy to help. Email me at saltedspoonful[at]gmail[dot]com!