Build your WordPress website in a weekend
Are you ready to create your WordPress website today?
You might have wondered if you could have your own website, and what it would take for someone to create it. I have good news: with WordPress, you can do it yourself quickly and easily.
For beginners, I strongly suggest sticking to a self-hosted WordPress site.
Owning your own domain name looks far more professional than having your site on someone else’s domain, and it’s affordable too.
WordPress is an easy platform to use, but it’s flexible and powerful enough to suit everyone from bloggers and hobbyists to small business owners and entrepreneurs. And it’s easy enough to do it yourself, even if you don’t know HTML.
Get a domain and web hosting
Before you start to work on your WordPress website, you need two things:
- A domain name
- A hosting service
Having your own hosting service allows you to connect your site to the internet and be able to upload media to your website, but it also make sure your website loads quickly and won’t go down for hours at a time.
You’re probably asking yourself: Where do I get a domain name and hosting?
I’ve mostly used GoDaddy as a web hosting and domain registrar. They often host WordPress sites and handle the necessary installations and updates.
They’re very affordable, have good customer service, so it’s definitely worth checking them out.
Customize your website
Changing Your Title and Tagline
If somebody searches and sees your website, the title explains to searchers what your website is about. Titles are also a big part of SEO, so place your keywords here (but in a natural-sounding way).
Choose a Theme for your website
Once WordPress is successfully installed, you need a theme – a design template that tells WordPress how your website should look.
There are thousands of awesome, professionally-designed themes you can choose from and customize for a site, even if you have no HTML experience.
Here’s how to find a theme you like:
- Log into your WordPress dashboard
- Go to Appearance in the left hand side menu, and search for themes.
You can search for specific keywords and/or use filters to find themes that suit your style. Finding the perfect theme can take a while, but it’s worth it.
You should also look for themes that are responsive; this means that they will look good on both desktop or laptop computers and on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
Once you have found a theme you like, install it by clicking “Install”, followed by “Activate”.
Changing themes won’t delete your previous posts, pages, or content. You can change themes as often as you want without having to worry about losing what you’ve created.
Adding and editing pages
Most websites have “About me” and “Contact” pages. Mine too. This is how you create a new page:
From the left side menu, click on “Pages”, then “Add New Page”. In the text editor, you can add pictures, text, links, etc.
Adding and editing posts
If you have a blog on your website, you need to post regularly. You can use different categories or tags to group similar posts.
You can use the categories or the tags shown on your sidebar. I will tell you more about these later.
Creating the menu
If you want a link to a specific page to be included in your navigation bar (at the top of the website), click on “Appearance” -> “Menus” in the left sidebar of the WordPress Dashboard
Find the page you want it to be in the menu, and add it to the list by clicking the checkbox next to it, and then “Add to Menu”.
Editing the sidebar (widgets)
Most WordPress themes have a sidebar on the right, left, or both sides.
This is a great place to put quick links to your blog posts, tags, categories, your lead magnets, and things you sell, along with a search bar. Here is how:
- Go to “Appearance -> Widgets” in the WordPress Dashboard.
- You just drag and drop sections to add different “boxes” to your sidebar, or remove the items you don’t want.
8. Installing Plugins
“Plugins” are extensions that expand WordPress’ capabilities, adding features and functions to your site that aren’t built-in.
There are countless plugins. You can use plugins to do everything from integrate and manage Google Analytics, create opt-in forms, to improve SEO, or even develop a whole ecommerce store.
How to install a new Plugin
To start installing plugins, go to “Plugins -> Add New” and type your plugin’s name, or start searching.
Installation is easy – once you find a plugin you like, just click “Install” and activate it.
Setting Up a Static Front Page
You can have your blog posts on your home page, or set up a static page like most websites have.
A static page is a page that doesn’t change. It is designed as a home page that will be the same every time a visitor comes to the website. If you have your blog posts as your home page, that will change every time you write a new post.
To set up a static front page:
- Create a page as we discussed earlier.
- Go to “Settings -> Reading”
- Choose the static page that you have created.
If you don’t choose a static page on your own, WordPress will take your latest posts and start showing them on your homepage.
If you followed these steps, and created your content, now you have a full website.
Take care of it. Add new content, update your plugins, learn more. Creating your own website is a never-ending story, and you are the author. Now go ahead and build your own!