If you want to create a website for business or professional reasons, chances are that you have definitely heard of the “thing” called WordPress. WordPress is a Content Management System that is highly easy to use and intuitive. Simply put, WordPress makes it easy for anyone, be it experienced people or newbies, to construct web pages. Content on these web pages can be static or refreshed periodically.
WordPress has become almost a household name for anyone interested in setting up a business and it is no wonder that today 27% of the websites on the internet are powered by WordPress.
The DIY nature of WordPress makes setting up a website a breeze. From choosing themes for the websites to changing colours on the website, everything can be accomplished easily on WordPress.
Here are 9 easy steps in which you can set up your own WordPress website today.
1. Choose and Buy Your Domain Name
Your domain name is going to be your permanent address on the web for some time to come and although, technically you can change the name, it is going to lead to lots of unnecessary headache. TO avoid all this, it is better that you spend time thinking about the name that you would like to give.
Go for a name that is a good mix of brand and context. When choosing your domain name, ideally, go for a .com name for a business as these are the most common and recognisable names. Don’t use hyphens in between names as websites with hyphens are not easy to remember and are confusing. Similarly, don’t go for longer domain names as shorter names are easier to remember.
2. Sign Up for Web Hosting
Your domain name and consequently your domain or website needs to be hosted somewhere. This is where a web hosting company comes in. A web hosting company will also help you register your domain name and manage your domain.
Most Web hosting service providers will offer you a free domain name in order to give you an incentive to take their service. You’ll install WordPress on this host and use it to store all your content. Since you will be installing WordPress, make sure that the host offers WordPress hosting. Many web hosting companies offer 1-click WordPress installs as well. You can easily get professional web hosting for anywhere between 3 -6 dollars per month. Quick tip: Choose a web hosting service that offers 1 click WordPress install or ask for one that has Cpanel. We will explain this in a later step.
3. Connect Your Domain and Web Host Services
Once you’re done choosing your hosting partner, you’ll receive instructions on how to log in to your account and the address of your host’s name servers (two series of numbers). You can copy the nameserver information, go to your web hosting company and add this nameserver information to your domain name. This is basically like giving directions to the web hosting company telling it where the domain name should point to.
4. Install WordPress
As discussed above, most web hosts today give you the option of quickly installing WordPress through their own one-click button auto-installers. You fill in details such as URL to which website should be installed, language in which you want WordPress to be installed, Administrator username, Administrator Password, Website title and the installation of WordPress on to the host happens automatically.
The second option is installing WordPress using cPanel. You will need to find the icon named cPanel and click on it. This will open the cPanel dashboard. In this you‘ll find an ‘Auto installers’ section. Here among other options you should see “WordPress”. This will lead you to a new screen where you will see a ‘Install Now” option. Click on it and follow the instructions. It is as simple as this.
When the installation is complete, you’ll get a link to the new website and a password. You should change the password once you receive it.
5. Browse the WordPress Dashboard
The best part about WordPress is that interface remains the same even after it is upgraded which means that there is no guesswork involved in looking around for different functions on the dashboard.
Once you log in with your username and password, you will be taken to the WordPress dashboard. You’ll see a menu on the left with all the standard options.
The menu will consist of the following options:
Dashboard: The homepage of your dashboard
Posts: Blog Articles
Media: This contains all the pictures or videos that are added to any page on the webpage will be stored in this folder.
Pages: All the static pages on your website such as “About us” page or the “Contact us” page or the “Services” page are stored here.
Comments: You can see and moderate all the comments left on your site by visitors. You can also allow or disallow comments or block certain visitors from the site.
Appearance: It from here that you can manage everything about your site’s appearance such as the theme, organize sidebar widgets and create menus.
Plugins: You can add, delete or edit plugins from here.
Users: You can manage permissions from here and decide who will have what level of access to the site. For example, ‘authors’ on the site might have editing rights which will not be given to ‘visitors. Similarly, admins will have the right to change a theme but the ‘author’ may not do that.
Tools: You can import and export WordPress data from here.
Settings: As the name indicates you can control everything from here about how your blog is accessed, how comments are posted, how the content URLs look, plugin settings and more.
6. Choose a WordPress Theme
WordPress offers tons of paid and free themes that you can choose for your website. Click on “Appearance” and then “Theme”. The default theme can be left as it if you like it or you customize it and change things such as colour and header. If youdon’t like the existing theme, you can choose a theme you like, click on it and then select “Activate”. Apart from the theme given there you can also install themes from external sources by first downloading the theme to your computer from the source. (another website). Then, you come back to your WordPress dashboard and click “add themes” and then” upload theme”. You can now upload the theme which you have saved on your computer. Once it is uploaded you follow the previous steps of “Install” and Activate”.
7. Setup Sidebar Widgets
Widgets can be found under Appearance>>Widgets in the WordPress dashboard area. Widgets are a great way to customize your website as you can add different features and functionality without having to worry about writing code. For example, you might want to add “recent comments” as a feature to your sidebar on your WordPress theme. In this case, you simply need to drag and drop the widget called “recent comments “on to the sidebar. Now, visitors can see the recent comments on your posts on the website.
The sidebar is also a good place to add email list widget or an affiliate product code. Depending on your theme you could have more than one sidebar and sometimes the location of the sidebar can be flexible.
8. Set Up Your Plugins
Plugins are handy tools to add features and functions to your site without you having to learn any code. There are plugins for almost every conceivable purpose on WordPress but you need to make sure that you install plugins that have high ratings and good reviews. Some of the most mandatory plugins that any good website should have are related to security, cache (to improve website speed and performance), backup and SEO.
As stated above, plugins are available under the Plugin option on the WordPress admin dashboard.
9. Add Content to Your Website
You can add content to a WordPress Site in two ways.
- Page – A page is for content that is static and won’t change frequently. For e.g. “Contact us” or “About us” pages.
- Post – A post is for content that is time-sensitive and will change frequently. It could change on hourly, daily or weekly basis. The content of posts are usually displayed in reverse chronological order with the latest content being displayed first.
Although both Posts and Pages have content and titles, the look and feel of the website remains the same for the two.
You can add images, video and audio to posts and pages both. Video from external websites such as YouTube and Vimeo can be also embedded on the site.
Mobile apps and desktop blogging apps are also available to blog in a location independent manner.