The internet is a powerful tool for marketing your products and services. It’s essential to have an online presence if you want to compete in today’s market. When it comes time to design your website, you’ll need something that speaks to consumers and search engine crawlers. WordPress is the perfect platform for this because of its ease of use, accessibility, and user-friendly interface. In this article, I will teach you how to create a WordPress site from scratch and some tips on designing the layout so that it looks good and works efficiently.
Before starting any WordPress project, the first thing you will need is a domain name or URL address where people can find your site over the web – think “www.yoursite.com.” You will need this to store your files and content that people will see when they visit your site (where you place things like images, videos, etc.). Once you have this, you can purchase hosting space or sign up for a hosting account. If you want a great, cheap option for hosting and domain name purchasing, we recommend SiteGround. Using this link will also give you a special discount.
Once you have these two essential elements plus a working knowledge of HTML and CSS, you’ll be ready to get started. If you don’t have a working knowledge of HTML and CSS, it’s ok. It just might not look as great as you want. You can still create a website with WordPress.
Below is a detailed guide on how to design and develop your site from beginning to end:
Step 1: Setting Up WordPress
Now that you’ve chosen a domain name and hosting space, the next step is to install WordPress on your site.
First, to set up WordPress, you’ll need access to your “hosting space.”
If you have access to your hosting space through cPanel, log in and click “Install WordPress.” (Note, this section could be different for different hosting platforms). Follow the steps to install WordPress just as if you were installing a program on your Windows or Mac machine.
If you do not have cPanel access, you will want to contact your hosting provider as these the following steps can be tricky. It involves installing MySQL, Apache, creating databases, and manual installation of WordPress.
Once you have completed this, you should have access to WordPress on your site.
Step 2: Accessing WordPress Admin Panel
Now that you’ve successfully installed WordPress, it’s time to log into your admin panel.
You can find the admin panel by going to “yourdomain.com/wp-admin.” You’ll have administrator access from this point on – you can add posts, edit your theme, and use the widgets that WordPress offers.
WordPress Admin Panel Quick Reference Guide
Here is a quick reference guide to get you started with some of the basic features:
Dashboard – View general information about your site, such as how many posts have been written since last login, current time, number of comments on your latest post, etc.
Posts – Posts will allow you to view blog posts, create new posts, add new categories, etc.
Media – This is where you will upload images, video, audio files to your posts.
Pages – Here, you can view static posts (meaning they rarely change or don’t change at all) and create new pages.
Comments – View comments on your latest post or check all comments for your entire site. You can also moderate comments by removing spam or inappropriate content.
Appearance – This is where you can change the appearance of your site for your users. You can choose themes, widgets, etc., here.
Plugins – Install plugins that give additional functionality to your site (ex: AdSense plugin) or deactivate/uninstall any inactive ones.
Users – View information about your site users, create new user roles, and make changes to existing ones.
Tools – This is where you’ll find the Import option if you are migrating from another platform or service. You can also export content that you want to repurpose later on.
Step 3: Designing Your Site
Now that you’ve set up your WordPress site and logged into the admin panel, the next step is to design your website using themes and widgets.
Themes – A theme defines how content will be displayed on your site. You can use one of the free or premium themes available for WordPress, or you can design your own in WordPress’ theme editor. WordPress allows you to switch and customize themes by uploading a new one or adding different WordPress widgets.
When you think of themes, think of branding. The theme is the primary location for site-wide headers/footers. Themes help you set site colors, from text, backgrounds, buttons, and more. You can also manage typography and fonts through your theme.
Widgets – WordPress widgets add functionality to your site without the need for coding skills. WordPress widgets can be added to an available sidebar when using WordPress’ drag-and-drop website builder. WordPress widgets can be beneficial for site navigation, recent posts, and displaying other types of content.
Step 4: Add New Content
WordPress offers different ways to add and manage content that you wish to publish on your website. WordPress allows you to create three main types of content:
Posts – You can use posts to publish new information for your site’s visitors. Posts are then categorized into categories, making it easy to organize your website’s different kinds of content. WordPress uses its internal tagging system that is used for SEO purposes as well.
Posts are usually considered your blog post area or resources area for your visitors.
Pages – WordPress allows you to create additional pages you may need for your website manually. Pages is where you will make your “home” page, “about” page, etc. Technically speaking; pages are “static” pages. These pages are not typically subject to as much change as a post.
Comments – Comments work as feedback from visitors on your WordPress site. WordPress allows you to moderate these comments, so there is no spam or inappropriate content on your website. You can use comments to build a community around your site by allowing visitors to leave their input and thoughts on various posts.
Step 5: Plugins
So, when learning how to create a WordPress website, you can make life easier by using plugins. Do you not like the way your pages/posts look when editing in the native editor? Then fear not, there are plugins for that. Not sure how to make a working form? There are plugins for that as well. Honestly, there are plugins for about anything you can imagine. Let’s go over our favorite plugins (and themes) that we believe will help you.
Elementor – Oh yes. Anyone familiar with WordPress probably saw this one coming. Elementor is a page builder plugin that allows you to edit the way your posts and pages look. Elementor has a drag-and-drop layout so you can lay everything out exactly how you want it, as well as preview changes immediately. You can also use Elementor for widgets or any other type of content you wish to display on your site.
WPForms – This plugin allows you to create a form using various field types and customizations. You can make contact forms, subscription forms, or even a form for your site’s visitors to submit an idea. Need a form for your website? WPForms is the plugin you want.
Astra Themes – Astra, and Astra Pro, can make your job of preparing the theme for your website much more straightforward. Matched with Elementor, this can be a winning duo! When you get the pro version, you also get particular widgets that allow you to have an incredible amount of control over your website.
Yoast – SEO is an essential part of any website. Yoast is a plugin that helps you maintain optimal SEO with your WordPress page and posts. This plugin will help make sure your site is as search engine friendly as possible, giving it the best chance to rank on search engines such as Google.
Well, this is the list of things to get your website created with WordPress. We haven’t gone over many other items, such as how to design your website to get clicks and ultimately get sales. But that is best discussed in a different blog. perhaps one day we will make an ultimate guide.
Hopefully, now you can begin working on your WordPress website and open yourself and your business to the possibilities offered by the World Wide Web!
If you decide that you need assistance creating your WordPress website or your digital strategy, we are here to help. Contact us today!