You probably landed on this web page because you are interested in building a website with WordPress. You have heard about its mighty power, and you want to test the waters. More than 25% of all websites are powered by WordPress. That’s for a reason, WordPress is a great platform.
Creating a website with WordPress is the subject of many books. Apart from these, online guides can also teach you how to do this. However, many of them are so long that they frighten people, usually the newbies. It’s true that creating a website is a broad topic and no one can cover it in just a few lines. But here is an outline of the necessary steps to create a website using WordPress. Its unique feature: expressing as much as possible in as few words as possible.
1. Website Destination
Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” This statement is valid in the online world too. Create a detailed plan of your website before making any purchases. First, establish if this site is just for fun or you want to make money from it. Second, choose its purpose. Is it a portfolio, a presentation, or a business site? Maybe it’s a blog, a news magazine, or a resume. Third, chose a suitable domain name. It should be short, memorable, and thought-provoking.
2. WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org
WordPress.com is the proper solution if your only purpose is to have a website. It allows you to create a website, and you don’t have to worry about hosting, security, and maintenance. Sign up for an account, and you have full access to the dashboard. It comes with a few limitations, but it’s completely free to launch your website.
WordPress.org is the place where you can freely download the software to install on your server. WordPress.org gives you much more freedom, but it also has more issues. Unlike WordPress.com users, you have to choose a hosting provider.
3. Hosting Provider
A reliable hosting provider is capital. The better service you want, the more you will pay. But it’s not only the budget that matters. 41% of the hacked websites were hacked because of the host’s vulnerabilities. The host platform also plays a pivotal role in the site’s loading speed. If you care about your website’s future visitors, focus on making it load quickly or even instantly!
If you plan to make serious money from your website, and your clients are based worldwide, consider using a Content Delivery Network (CDN).
Briefly, these networks make your website load faster regardless the server location. This table can help you choose the best CDN provider for your project.
Most hosting platforms streamline setting up WordPress on a server and creating a database for it. If you can’t handle it yourself, I suggest two simple solutions. First, most hosting providers offer valuable support. For a particular issue, you can ask for help, and a support staff member will guide you accordingly. Another solution is to hire a Fiverr WordPress specialist; for a decent price, you get full services.
The next step is to choose a theme. It may take a few minutes or a few days to do. There are a couple of factors to consider when selecting the theme, including the following:
– Website purpose
– User skills
– Theme features
If you are on a tight budget, a free theme is a good solution. A premium theme is bundled with tons of features, and the creators offer support. However, all these come with a cost; usually in the range of $30–150. Additionally, many web design agencies create and sell WordPress themes. Simply put, you have tons of themes to choose from. Here are heavily visited marketplaces to buy themes:
Making the best decision is difficult. Luckily, we will continue posting round-ups of WordPress themes. Subscribe and you will receive theme suggestions and tips to improve your website in your inbox.
5. Essential Plugins
WordPress is at the core of many types of websites. In fact, you can build any website using WordPress. Plugins are responsible for adding extended functionality. These are housed in the WordPress repository or are for sale in various marketplaces. Regardless of your site’s purpose, some plugins are almost irreplaceable. I strongly recommend using one plugin from each of these categories:
– Spam prevention
– SEO and speed optimization
– Social media
Perhaps you are too busy to search and find a plugin. In that case, I advise you to take a look at these. We have a great tool to streamline the testing process. Go to Addendio, search for the plugins to test and use our magic tool. It creates a WordPress sandbox, and you can see the plugins in action. The words are useless, so it’s better to check Addendio!
Akismet is the most used plugin for spam protection. It’s been downloaded over three million times, and it has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. Download it, install it, and simply forget about spam! Its contribution is priceless, and the Akismet creators let you decide how much you pay for this plugin. The premium account requires a $9/month subscription while the plus account costs $5/month. The payment for the basic plan is up to you, and Akismet does its job even if you don’t pay anything.
WordFence is the most downloaded security plugin and for good reason. The free version is more than enough for beginners, and the premium version is suitable for businesses or heavily visited websites. It blocks attackers and aggressive crawlers and bots, enforces strong passwords, and scans core files, themes, and plugins.
W3 Total Cache is another plugin trusted by hundreds of thousands of users. Its primary job is to cache your website files. Additionally, it improves web server performance, compresses and minifies scripts, and reduces page-load time.
Nobody can ignore social media, and WordPress users have many social media plugins to select from. AddToAny Share Buttons is a free plugin with many customization options. It is compatible with 100+ social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. The buttons are responsive and customizable, their placement is adjustable, and it displays share counts. The plugin is also easy to install and use.
6. Settings, Pages, and Posts
At this stage, your website is online, but the layout design isn’t adjusted to represent your brand, and you don’t have any copy. Head over Settings and tick off the best options for your website. For instance, opt for the most convenient date and time format, choose how to deal with comments, and determine the best permalink format.
Pages and Posts are specific to WordPress, and these represent the pillars of your website. Usually, Posts are used for blog posts while Pages are aimed at static content.
Generally speaking, these are the steps to follow in your quest to create a WordPress-powered website. This small guide can’t cover all the issues you may have, but at least you have a strategic overview of the situation.
Stay in touch with us because we will share with you precious tips to create, launch, and maintain a website. Keep in mind that the creation of a website is only a half the battle. Getting visitors and keeping a website up to date requires at least the same effort as its creation.
Let us know your ideas about creating a website with WordPress. Have you ever created a website with WordPress? Was it difficult or easy?
Daniel Pintilie is part of our editorial team and he enjoys writing articles about WordPress, development, and Internet Marketing. In his spare time, Daniel plays video games and reads non-fictional books.