Thinking about setting up a website but you don’t know where to start? Let me guess, you have great ideas but you’re completely new to WordPress. I know that not knowing where to start can be a little daunting and maybe a little off putting so I’ve created a simple step by step guide to help you build the perfect website for blogging or business.
Step 1: Setup
The first thing you’ll need is a domain name which will be your website address and name so choose wisely. Choose a name suitable to your blog or business. There are a number of sites you can purchase a domain name from for as little £0.99 for the first year.
Web hosting allows individuals and organisations to make their website accessible via the World Wide Web, in other words, in order for a website to exist it must be housed by a web hosting service. Depending on the web hosting service you choose you could be paying as little £10.
However, with WordPress you can sign up with one of their web hosting partners that offers a one-click install of WordPress. Their most recommended web hosting partners is Bluehost.
Bluehost powers over 2 million websites and offers the ultimate WordPress platform. Tuned for WordPress, Bluehost offer WordPress-centric dashboards and tools along with 1-click installation, a FREE domain name, email, FTP, and more. Bluehost also offers 24/7 support led by WordPress experts.
Step 2: Install WordPress
After you’ve set up your hosting with Bluehost, the next step is to install WordPress. Luckily with BlueHost’s one click feature, it should take longer than a few minutes:
- Login to your Bluehost control panel at: my.bluehost.com
- Once you’re logged in, you’ll be redirected to your Control Panel. From there, choose “Install WordPress”.
- This will lead you to the next page where you can choose your blog destination URL, this were you put your domain name.
Step 3. Familiarise yourself with your WordPress dashboard
Welcome to your WordPress dashboard! You can now customise your website using your dashboard.
The WordPress dashboard is pretty easy to use once you become familiar with the WordPress admin menu. Here are some of the menu items:
- Dashboard – This is the page you see right after logging in.
- Posts – Here you can write and publish new blog posts and view and edit old ones.
- Media – This is your media library with all the images, PDFs, videos, etc. you’ve uploaded.
- Pages – Here you can write and publish new pages and view and edit old ones.
- Comments – Everything related to comments. You can get familiar with this when you’ve published your first post and readers leave the first comments.
- Appearance – Here you can change what your blog looks like.
- Plugins – Here you can add and remove plugins, which add functionality to your blog.
- Users – If you create your content with others, you can add them as users here, so they can edit posts.
- Tools – Here are some additional tools you can use for publishing posts.
- Settings – Here you can edit your blog’s settings.
Step 4: Select your WordPress theme
We’ve reached the most exciting step of them all; choosing a theme. Although it can be time consuming trying to find the perfect theme suitable for your website, (and I recommend you take the time to find the right theme for your website because the WordPress theme is responsible for how your website looks) the search is worth every minute!
Things to keep in mind when choosing a WordPress theme:
- You want to keep the theme design simple as it’ll make it easier for visitors to navigate your website.
- You want to pick a responsive theme which allows the webpage to adjust depending on the device being used.
- You want to pick a fast working theme. To test a theme’s speed, use the Pingdom Website Speed Test, enter the URL of the theme’s demo, and see how long the page takes to load. If the load time is longer than three seconds, you might want to find a different theme.
- You want to pick a theme that is easy to customise. Many themes now come with page builders which makes customising easy.
Here's a video on how to add/change WordPress themes:
Step 5: Plugins & Customisations
WordPress plugins are apps that allow you to add new features to your website. Once you’ve added all your content to you website you can go ahead and customise your webpages using plugins. Using plugins you can add elements such as a contact form, calendar, social media links and more.
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