27% of all websites on the Internet are built using WordPress – and for good reason. There is has a loyal community and so many are dedicated to bring better features to the system all year round. We are going to teach you how to create your own WordPress Website.
This blog post is for those who are new to WordPress and web design. It is for those of you who want to build their own WordPress website and are not certain of how to go about it. We will go through how to set up WordPress, the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org, hosting, domains, themes, plugins and some important pages.
If you don’t understand everything in this article, don’t worry about it. CHAK is here to help and if you have any questions at all, click here. We will be happy to take any of your queries.
The difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org
If you have never used WordPress before, you may get confused in the beginning. But hopefully by the end of this article you will have a clearer picture of what WordPress is all about.
WordPress is an open-source software package and is free to everyone around the world.
WordPress.com is similar to social media site where you create an account / website on the main server. Websites on wordpress.com are hosted on the WordPress server. You can sign up for a free account and get a fully functioning website. But with the free account, you only be able to use a WordPress.com subdomain, for example myblog.wordpress.com.
The free version gives you everything you need. When you’re ready to step into the realm of advanced customisation, with your own domain name and other options, then you can go for the premium version or get your own hosting plan elsewhere.
There is a slightly bigger learning curve with WordPress.org, but there is also a lot more functions and add-ons you can use (e.g Plugins). The biggest difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is the hosting provider. When using WordPress.org, you need to organise YOUR OWN hosting. WordPress.org is where you’ll find the free WordPress software that you can download and install with your own web service provider, for example; Black Knight.
Choosing A Hosting Package
Choosing a hosting provider with excellent service, we feel, is the most important thing for beginners. This will give you access to someone in a live chat or in a ticket service that can help you out immediately. Switching hosts is easy enough, so you can change at any time. We have a great relationship with Spiral Hosting.
Setting Up A Domain
At this stage, you should have thought about what name or “domain” you want to call your website, e.g. mycrazyblog.com. If you have contacted a hosting provider, try to purchase the domain and hosting package simultaneously, it may work out cheaper for you.
WordPress.org makes our lives easy by allowing us to download the WordPress Application. Click on the download link at https://wordpress.org/download/ and you are good to go. If you are using a system such as cPanel and Softoculous, the WordPress app can be downloaded through their interface and managed there.
Choosing A Theme
Choosing a theme can be the most difficult decision to make. The theme relates to how your website will look visually when people are on your website. There is some very basic themes and there are some really advanced themes.
There are free themes and there are paid themes. This website is built using the Vantage theme by SiteOrigin (free). If you are looking for theme with more feature and a greater learning curve, try the Avada theme.
Depending on the type of theme you choose, you will need to add a certain amount of plugins to increase the number of functions and widgets you can choose from. With the Vantage theme – Page Builder by SiteOrigin, SiteOrigin CSS and SiteOrigin Widgets Bundle are all recommended to download.
In this section, we want to share with you, what we feel, are the three essential plugins when starting out. Plugins are usually associated with one task but they can be highly effective and powerful.
1. SEO YOAST
If you know anything about web design, you will have heard of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). This is the process of “optimising” your content, so you are visible by search engines such as Google. The better your site is utilising SEO, the higher your website will rank for the keywords you want to rank for (There’s a little bit more to it than that but anyway).
SEO YOAST is an all in one SEO package and helps you create unique meta descriptions and it gives you an easy way to check if each page is Search Engine Optimised.
Jetpack is a monster plugin that has become so feature-rich that it actually takes up more space than WordPress itself. This is not a problem because it provides some genuinely great functionality.
From contact forms to social-sharing buttons to improved galleries, Jetpack offers a huge range of features.
3. INSERT HEADERS AND FOOTERS
This is a very important plugin because it allows you to copy and paste the tracking code you will need for Google Analytics. You can create a fee account with Google Analytics and use Insert headers and footers to copy the code into head or body text of the back end.
Google Analytics track the number of visitors on your websites, where they come from, how long they stay on your website, how many pages they visit and a whole range of other information that is valuable for measuring your sites performance.
Now that your WordPress website is set up – YAY – you can start adding in your own content and making it your own. Here are 3 pages we will feel are necessary when creating your first website.
1. HOME PAGE
The home page is the first page everyone sees on your website so it is important for it to display your companies name, logo, your message, what the company does and for it to be welcoming.
2. ABOUT PAGE
The about page has become the standard for most websites, it can be used to tell a companies story or for a personal website it may be used as a CV or resume. The information on the about page can give the reader a good feel for what the website is all about, so make sure it says what you want it to say.
3. CONTACT PAGE
We still find is strange to find people without a contact page, or websites that make it difficult to find the page. It should be clear to the reader where the contact page is and when they get onto it, the details are also clear.
Phone number, email address and the company address are the basics for any website. We use a contact form so it is easy for people to fill in the necessary fields and send us a direct mail. We also make our social media buttons nice and visible so people can engage with or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.
Also now days, many websites use Google Maps to indicate their location. This is available via a plugin such as Simple Google Maps Short Code, or you can use Google Maps’ embedding functionality.
Creating and building your own website is a glorious thing. We love it and we hope you will too. There is no such thing as the perfect website so keep working on it, keep learning about WordPress and most importantly, have fun!
Let’s Create Something Together
We would love to help you make something amazing.
Reach out to us and let’s get it started.