In modern business realities, having a website is a necessity as most of the operations take place online, and people prefer looking for information, checking the assortment, and even buying services or products on the Internet.
That is why even small local businesses consider the variant to move online and build a website. Fortunately, there are possibilities to create a website quite easily. A website constructor such as WordPress (platform for building websites) is one of the best platforms for doing this, offering so many free attributes, themes, and plugins for free, so you will be able to launch your site from scratch absolutely for free. If you use WordPress, you can create a website of any complexity and purpose: landing page, blog, eCommerce site, etc. Here are the steps to follow on the way to creating a prosperous WordPress site.
How to start a site on WordPress: WordPress Checklist?
Determining the topic
Choosing a topic is a responsible task. I can advise you on two rules to make it easier to determine the direction. Start a project either about what you are an expert in or in a niche that is interesting to you, and you want to study.
I begin the description from this point, as in the future, the theme will affect further settings (design, widgets, etc.)
Choosing a WordPress hosting. Domain Registration
Domain (domain name) is the name, site title, the name by which visitors will get to your blog.
How do you choose among domain names? 2 recommendations:
- The shorter the word, the better;
- If the domain you need is busy, try adding numbers or dashes if it is logical and continues to be read clearly.
Web hosting is a storage space where all the files and website information are stored. There are many types. I will tell you about two that are suitable for beginners.
Regular, also called share hosting, is the cheapest option, great for new projects because the site is still lightweight, that is, you need a little space, and so far there is little traffic, you need few resources to process requests.
But when the site traffic exceeds 1000 visitors per day, you will either have to buy a higher price plan or move to VDS hosting provider.
Installing an SSL-Certificate
SSL certificate provides a secure connection between the website and the visitor. Recently, this is a must-have setting for both search engines and visitors to consider your site safe. As a result, your project will be available at https: //, not just http: //.
There are two methods to install WordPress.
1 – manually
2 – using hosting tools (if the hoster has such a function)
I often choose the first because you create all the data yourself, and the hosting automates part of the process. In any case, no matter which method you choose, it will take you no more than 10 minutes.
Choosing a web design template for the WordPress website
Although there are so many WordPress themes available for free, I recommend everyone to use paid templates, and I myself only use purchased templates on my sites. As a rule, paid templates have more features and more customization to make the website as user-friendly as possible. These templates usually have different icon fonts, which greatly improves the quality of the site.
But if you are a beginner and/or do not want to spend money, then choose the free WordPress theme option to start.
Installing and configuring a template
Each template will have different settings, especially for paid ones. So in this section, I will only give general instructions.
Theme settings are located in the “Appearance” tab – “Customize”, or “Appearance” – [Theme Name], or in a separate tab with the theme name;
- Customize the title and description of the site in the upper left corner, or upload a logo;
- Choose a size and family for fonts (headings and typesetting);
- Choose the main website colors for elements and font;
- Make settings for the bottom of the site (footer).
Plugins are add-ons for the website.
Initially, the WordPress system was not configured properly to promote and add the necessary functionality to the site. To make it customized for your needs, we will add the necessary plugins. There are a lot of plugins for WordPress, tens of thousands, they are developed by ordinary people, users, companies.
The plugins I recommend for each website are:
- Clearfy pro;
- Yoast SEO;
- WP Super Cache;
- All In One WP Security.
Settings to improve SEO
It is important to prepare blog posts for SEO promotion to increase SEO ranking in Google, as visitors from search engines are the main source of traffic.
I use the Pro plugin. I must say right away that it is paid, but this is a mega-investment in your site. It combines two qualities, it is lightweight, does not load the system, and combines many important settings for the proper operation of the website, SEO, cleaning up unnecessary garbage, and protecting against intruders.
Setting up protection on the site
You need to protect the website from two troubles, this is spam and hacking.
To combat spam, I use the Akismet plugin.
All In One WP Security is Anti-intruder Plugin: a basic plugin for protection against hacking. Has many useful functions.
So, we have created the website, configured the template, SEO, and protection. Now let’s see what additional elements we can put on our project to make it even more effective. As a result we share a useful SEO checklist for website redesign
Most popular add-ons:
- Contact forms;
- Email newsletter subscription form;
- Modal window (Popup);
- Pictures in a modal window;
- Related posts;
- Social media buttons;
- Ad banners;
- AMP and Turbo pages.
This was a short guide to create your own website on WordPress, which will be ready to use and have all the things needed for the best user experience: domain and hosting, site navigation menu, content management system, admin dashboard, photo galleries, login page, etc. Of course, your business and its needs will grow with time, and you may need to extend and expand its functionality, buy new templates, plugins, add new functions. But with WordPress, you are more than able to create and launch a ready-to-use prosperous online platform for your business.