Back in the day, building a website used to be a complex and costly project. The entire structure of the website needed to be built from scratch, and businesses had no other choice but to hire an online marketing company that would charge them an arm and a leg to create the site. That was your only option if you wanted to have a professional-looking website to represent your business.
Fortunately, things have changed greatly over time. Now, anyone that wants to create a unique-looking website can do so by using simple software designed especially for that – WordPress. No matter the type of website you want to create, WordPress is your best bet if you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on web development. In fact, more than 39% of the websites available online are powered by WordPress.
But how can you use WordPress to its best capacity?
This comprehensive guide will walk you through the basic steps of making your own WordPress website, as well as a list of useful tips and techniques. So, let’s dive right into it.
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Decide on a name and secure your domain
Contrary to what some may believe, choosing a name for your website is not the hardest part. Finding a domain name that is available seems to be one of the biggest challenges business owners face when creating a website for their business.
Your business may already be registered with an amazing name, and that’s the name you should be using for the website, but what do you do if the domain name is not available? You are forced to come up with a variation of your business name that is not taken.
When this happens, it is advised you start playing with the options available. If you need to add some extra words to your business name for the domain, try to stick to words that can be easily associated with the business you do. For example, if you own an Indian restaurant that is called Bombay, the following can be good options if the domain Bombay.com is taken:
Choose a hosting provider
Once you settle on a name and you register your domain, it is time to choose a hosting provider. If your domain name acts similar to a home address, the hosting provider is the home. Without one, your website won’t have any place to live on an online server.
Your hosting provider is crucial since it affects the speed, security, and reliability of your website. There are plenty of options to choose from when picking a WordPress hosting provider, so you only need to find the one that is best for you.
As a general rule, WordPress has three hosting requirements for providers, so make sure you choose one that meets all: HTTPS support, either MariaDB version 10.1 or above or MySQL version 5.6 or above, and PHP version 7.4 or above.
Determine the type of website you want to create
There are many types of business websites you can create, depending on your particular needs.
If you only want to establish an online presence so that people can get to know your business, a “business card” website is what you need, and WordPress is perfect for this. The main purpose of this type of website is to tell the world who your business is, what it does, why they should choose you, and where to reach you. The pages you need include a landing page, an About Us page, a contact page, and a portfolio.
If you also want to sell products or services on your website, you will need to create an eCommerce website. You can do this with WordPress as well, but other options may be better-suited and far less complicated to use because they are eCommerce-focused.
Last but not least, if you also plan to add a blog section to your website, you can’t do better than WordPress. It has all the tools and plug-ins you need to develop a blog that will look good and behave impeccably. Doing so will make web creation a breeze, even if you don’t have professional help.
Start picking out a theme for your website
Now comes the fun part – tweaking the appearance of your website. You can personalize your WordPress website with one of the numerous themes and templates available, each with a variety of layouts, styles, colors, fonts, and many other visual options.
WordPress installs a default theme that is very basic, so it may not make the right impression to online visitors. Whether you choose a free or paid option, your website will look far more appealing and professional to your potential customers if you use a custom theme rather than the plain one WordPress provides.
Doing some research online and consulting WordPress theme websites will surely provide you with a range of options to choose from. These themes are easy to install, and most of them can support in-depth customization so that you can turn your website into anything you want it to be.
Populate your website with content
Now that the structure and looks of your website are all set, it’s time to start adding content – the bread and butter of your website. WordPress wants to be helpful, so it allows you to create content in two ways: either as a post, if you also have a blog section, or as a page, if you only want to add pages to your website. You can use only pages, or you can use both; what matters is that your decision fits the purpose of the website.
There is no way to tell for sure what type of pages to add to your website, as this is something that can vary based on the type of website you choose, but there are a few standard ones you should make sure to include: a home page, a contact page, an about page, and a product and services page. These are enough to get you started, but you can always add more in the future.