Creating a Website: An Easy Step-by-Step Guide to WordPress
If you’re a service provider or a business owner, having a website is a must. You might be thinking that it’s expensive or time-consuming to make, but it’s not as scary as it looks. Website builders make website creation easier than ever — no coding skills required. The cream of the crop? WordPress.
Why Choose WordPress
While there are many content management systems out there that creates websites in minutes, WordPress is the tool of choice by many for good reason. In fact, 32% of all websites use WordPress. It’s user-friendly, SEO-friendly, secure, and has fast loading times. It can also run any type of website, whether you’re a small organization or a big e-commerce company. The best part? WordPress is absolutely free!
WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org
Before we go any further, it’s important to know the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. In a nutshell, they differ on who’s hosting your website. WordPress.org allows you to host your website or outsource a web hosting service. There’s also a WordPress software you install. On the other hand, WordPress.com hosts for you. Here are some more detailed comparisons:
- You have your own domain name. For example, bagsnewzealand.com
- Highly customizable themes, you can upload your own.
- Install plug-ins to maximize website functionality
- Gives access to backend code and website files
- Free, but you pay monthly or annual fees for your web hosting provider
- Your URL will be a subdomain of wordpress.com. For example, bagsnewzealand.wordpress.com
- Theme uploads are not allowed.
- Plug-ins are not allowed
- No access to backend code and website files
- Free, but you must pay for additional features
For businesses purposes, you obviously want WordPress.org to build a professional and independent website.
How to Create Your Website Using WordPress
The great thing about WordPress is you don’t have to learn a lot of coding to have a website set up. Manually building a website takes a lot of time and money. Learning HTML, CSS, and PHP will take you a minimum of 6 months to learn, and if you’re looking to launch a website in a few days, manual set-up is simply out of the question.
Here’s how to get started:
STEP 1: Sign up to a web hosting provider and pick a domain name.
A web hosting provider is simply a service that connects your website to the internet to make it visible, while your domain name is your company URL, like newzealandnews.com.
- Once you’ve chosen a web hosting service (BlueHost, Hostinger, HostGator Cloud), select your hosting plan. You usually have a few options, differing in features and price points. Basic plans are cheaper and is fine for smaller websites with less traffic, while premium plans are for bigger sites that expect large traffic. Whatever you choose, shared web hosting is usually inexpensive, ranging from $0.99 to $10 a month.
- Choose a domain name that matches your business name. For instance, if your brand name is Sportswear Auckland, your domain name should be as simple as sportswearauckland.com. Take note that you can choose from a variety of extensions such as .co, .me, .online, and .best. However, it’s strongly recommended that you stick to .com, .net, or .org so as to minimize confusion.
STEP 2: Install WordPress
While you can manually install the WordPress software, most established web hosting providers have a one-click installation. Simply log in to your account and look for the WordPress icon in the control panel.
STEP 3: Design your website.
Now, it’s time to get creative and work on your web design. Without a doubt, web design is one of the most vital parts of creating a website. It’s the thing that greets your customers first, and decides if they want to stay and explore your brand or make a purchase.
While hiring a skilled web designer is important to make sure that everything in your website is following the best practices, you can choose from over 1500 WordPress themes to dress up your site for now.
- To select a website theme, go to your WordPress dashboard and select “Appearance” -> “Themes”. From there, you are presented with tons of professionally-made themes. If you have a specific look you’re going for, you can type in keywords and make use of filters to narrow down your search.
- When you’ve selected a theme that suits your taste, click “Install” then “Activate”
Note: Themes can be changed whenever you like, they’re not a fixed choice. Switching to a different theme won’t delete any pages or content you have on your site.
STEP 4: Create your content.
Once you have your web design in place, it’s now time to fill up your website.
- Add web pages such as “Products” or “Our Brand” by clicking on “Pages” -> “Add New”. You will be taken to an interface where you can layout your text, images, and other elements.
- Want a blog for your website? Go to “Posts” -> “Add New” and start creating or uploading any blog posts you might have ready to go. You can group similar posts into categories, too.
STEP 5: Make some tweaks.
A great advantage of WordPress is that it’s highly customizable. Here are a few things you can do to make your website more professional and functional:
- Set up a homepage. A homepage will be the first thing your audience sees when they visit your site. If you don’t set up your homepage, WordPress automatically shows latest blog posts. To create a homepage, go to “Settings” -> “Reading” and choose a static page or “Front Page” you’ve created.
- Install plug-ins. Plug-ins are extensions you can install to add functions to your website. Click “Plugins” -> “Add new” and choose from thousands of plug-ins. You can add ones that help with SEO, conversion rates, additional security features, backup storage, and more.
When you’re satisfied with your web design, content, and the overall look of everything, — and raking in profits!
Now you’re ready to boost your brand with an engaging web design and an effective SEO campaign (click here for tips).