The following are the three easy steps for building your first wordpress website:
STEP 1: Getting a domain and web hosting is the first step in setting up a wordpress website. You can go straight to part 2 if you already have a domain and web hosting.
STEP 2: WordPress Installation and familiarizing yourself with the dashboard.
STEP 3: Installing themes and plug-ins and adding content to your website.
Please note that this guide is all about WordPress and no other platform.
A look at the diagram below (percentage of websites by platforms) answers the question;
From the above diagram, almost half of the websites on the internet are running on WordPress.
In order for you to understand why I have choosen WordPress, you can read my article Factors to consider before choosing a platform for your website.
Now let get started.
Getting a domain name and web hosting:
In order to get a new website online, there are two things that you’re going to need and these are:
- A domain name (a web address like yoursitename.com)
- Website Hosting (a service that connects your site to the internet)
You can scroll down to Step 2 if you already have a domain name and web hosting.
The WordPress platform itself is free but hosting and domain name are not. Moreover, the combined cost per annum for the two services is less than the cost of lunch for two at any of the good eateries in town.
In order to look professional, you need to have your own domain name, instead of having a free domain that belongs to someone else (for example, yourbusiness.my-free-website.com.)
And having a quality hosting service will also help you make sure that your website won’t go down and that it loads quickly (very important for everyone who visits your pages.)
What kind of domain name should I pick?
When you’re choosing your domain name, there are a few rules you should keep in mind:
- If you’re setting up a business website, your domain name should match your company name. For example: YourCompanyName.com
- If you’re planning on making a personal website for yourself then YourName.com can be a great option.
Domain names usually end with .com, .org or .net, but in recent times, a large number of domain extensions (the last part of the web address, like .com or .org) have come out, ranging from .blog to .party.
My best advice? Avoid the unusual extensions and go with .com, .net or .org unless they precisely describe your website – and even then, it is usually better to go with a more common extension.
Any additional tips for choosing a good domain name?
There are a few things that can help you choose your domain name:
- Is it brandable? For example, if you make a site about clothings then best-clothes-website.net is not a good choice: clothescenter.com or uniqueclothes.com is much better.
- Is it memorable? Short, punchy and clear domain names are much easier to remember. If your domain name is too fuzzy, too long or spelled in a strange way, visitors may forget it.
- Is it catchy? You want a domain name that rolls off the tongue, describes what you (or your business) does and sticks in the head. Coming up with a cool name can be a bit tough since there are more than 200 million active domain names in the world right now – but don’t give up.
Steps to buying your domain and webhosting on Webend hosting site:
- Goto https://webendhosting.com
- Click on get started or enter your preferred domain name in the space provided and click on search
- You would be informed whether your domain name is available or taken. If available add to cart
- Then scroll down and click add shared hosting
- Select and ADD the STARTER plan to cart
- Go through the payment process.
After getting your domain name, you are ready to build your first website.
WordPress Installation and familiarizing yourself with the dashboard
First let Install WordPress
Getting WordPress installed is a very easy process with their simple to use user interface. Before you follow the next steps, make sure you are logged in to your webendhosting account.
- Log in to your webendhosting cPanel.
- Find the softaculous apps installer section and click “WordPress”.
- Click the “Install button”.
- Choose your directory where WordPress should be installed. Remember to change the http to https (this is because webend hosting gives free and auto installed SSL certificate)
- Supply your wordpress admin username and password (you must write these down so you can use them to login).
- Scroll down and click on the Install button.
Bingo! Your wordpress platform is installed.
You can see how easy it is to auto-install WordPress and launch a website. You can still do everything manually, but it requires some knowledge in using a hosting service provider panel (in most cases, cPanel).
Since this is a beginner WordPress tutorial, it’s better to stick to this easy WordPress installation method.
Once the WordPress installation is finished, you will be able to login to your WordPress dashboard.
Familiarize yourself with the WordPress dashboard
You can login to your wordpress dashboard by typing https://yourdomain.com/wp-admin (remember the username and password you supplied while installing wordpress?)
After you log in, your WordPress dashboard will welcome you. The WordPress Dashboard provides you with fast access to all of the tools you need to create your website pages, add content, and fine-tune your website functionality for the ultimate user experience. Your first step towards mastering WordPress is learning the dashboard.
The WordPress dashboard has three main parts:
- Left-side menu – this is where you can find all the admin options.
- Top toolbar – here you can preview your website, refresh the dashboard, or logout.
- Middle section – this is where you will be able to manage certain settings and content depending on which admin option you select in the left-side menu.
Let’s take a closer look at the admin options.
Dashboard, or the Dashboard Home Screen, provides you with quick access to your website content. It contains five widgets by default:
- Welcome – the first card you will see on top of the screen. Here you can access the links to the frequently used admin options when setting up a brand new website.
- At a Glance – informs you about the number of posts, pages, and comments on your site.
- Activity – here you can see if you have any scheduled posts, recently published ones and the newest comments on your blog posts.
- Quick Draft – this widget allows you to publish a new blog post quickly.
- WordPress Events and News – this widget features the latest news from the WordPress blog. Here you can find out about local
- WordCamps and meetups as well.
The Posts admin option enables you to manage the content on your blog. You can use it to add new content and manage previously added content. In the “Posts” admin options you have access to:
- All Posts – click on all posts, and you will be able to see all articles in the dashboard. This option provides the most efficient way to edit single or multiple posts.
- Add New – this option enables you to create a new blog post.
- Categories – if you create blog posts under different categories, you will see all categories listed here.
- Tags – if you tag your posts with specific keywords, here you’ll be able to see them, manage them, or add new tags.
WordPress CMS allows you to manage the media you have on your website. You can use images, videos, and audio files to make your content more appealing and engaging. The media admin option enables you to preview, add, edit, and delete media files. It comes with two options:
- Library – use it to view and manage all media elements of your website.
- Add New – use it to add new media to your website.
The Pages admin option enables you to manage your pages and the content on your pages. You can use it to add new content and manage previously added content. In the “Pages” admin options you have access to:
- All Pages – use it to list and edit all pages of your website.
- Add New – use it to add new pages to your website.
Once your blog gets some traction, your readers will start to interact with each other. The Comments option allows you to check for new comments and directly interact with your readership. This option also puts you in a position to approve or deny comments if you deem them inappropriate.
You will find the appearance option for admins as a lovely one if you enjoy fine-tuning the look and feel your website. You can make all sorts of customizations ranging from installing WordPress themes to changing your site’s background. In the appearance section, you will have access to:
- Themes – search for and install WordPress themes.
- Customize – access customization options for the theme you are using.
- Widgets – add widgets to your website.
- Menus – create and add menus to your website.
- Background – change the background color or set an image as a background.
- Theme Editor – edit theme code to fine-tune appearance or functionality.
Once you install a WordPress theme, additional options may appear under “Appearance.”
You can look at plugins as mini web apps that you can add to your website to enhance functionality, change how it feels and looks, or get reports and analytics about your website performance and usage statistics.
From this menu item, you will be able to control plugins:
- Installed Plugins – see what plugins you currently have installed on your site. From this page, you will be able to activate or deactivate plugins, or even completely delete them from your site.
- Add New – when you decide to install additional plugins, you will do that through this settings page. Plugins can be installed by searching the free ones through the WordPress repository, or by uploading ZIP files (premium plugins usually come in ZIP files, and need to be uploaded to WordPress separately).
- Plugin Editor – for more advanced users, the Plugin Editor lets you directly change the code of the plugins you have installed on the website.
The “Users” section allows you to control permissions for existing users, add and delete users. WordPress has support for several user types:
- Administrator – this user has permission to do everything on a website. In most cases, the administrator is the site owner.
- Editor – the editor can edit website content, including pages, posts, comments, tags, and categories.
- Author – the author can publish and edit articles.
- Contributor – he or she can write and edit their posts, but can not publish them before getting approval.
- Subscriber – these users can only read content and write comments.
Tools enable you to get some additional things done. There are several options under “Tools”:
- Available tools – here, you can access all of the available tools on your WordPress site. By default, WordPress comes with a Categories and Tags converter where you can convert one to another if necessary.
- Import tool – WordPress import tool allows you to use data from other CMSs. This is important if you are migrating your site from another CMS to WordPress.
- Export tool – you can export your current content and use it on a fresh WordPress installation. The export tool offers one way to backup your site’s content.
- Site Health Status – This tool shows critical information about your WordPress configuration & items that require your attention. This includes inactive plugins and themes, versions of PHP, and its modules, as well as if you’re using secure protocols.
- Export Personal Data – if a user of your site requests their personal information, this is the tool that will let you do that. After entering the username or email of that user, an email will be sent to the user asking them to verify the request. This tool creates a ZIP file that contains all the personal data about that specific user.
- Erase Personal Data – if a user requests that you remove all their personal data from the website, this is the tool you will need to use. After entering the username or email of that user, an email will be sent to the user asking them to verify the request.
In WordPress Settings, you can set up various options for your website. Settings are put in several categories:
- General – you can set the site’s description and name, timezone, administrator email, and date format.
- Writing – here you can set the default categories for your content.
- Reading – reading settings allow you to set the homepage of your website and how many blog posts will appear on it.
- Discussion – gives you control over the comments section on your blog.
- Media – WordPress has default sizes for images you upload to your blog, here you can customize the size.
- Permalinks – these options enable you to completely customize the URL structure of your website, which is quite handy if you want to start doing search engine optimization (SEO) from the start.
Installing themes & plug-ins and adding content to your wordpress website
For the next step, we’ll be diving into WordPress themes and how to use and customize them.
WordPress themes are design templates that make changing your site’s looks a lot quicker and easier.
Luckily, WordPress has loads of themes to choose from. The official WordPress theme directory alone contains more than 8,000, which are completely free to use.
You can access themes directly from within WordPress without having to navigate to an external site.
For that, simply go to Appearance > Themes, and click the large + sign that says Add New Theme.
Then use the search bar to find a theme that suits your site.
You can click on any theme in the listing to view a demo of it and read more about its features on its Details & Preview screen.
My advice here is that you should always look for themes that have demo content.
Once you find a theme you like, install it by clicking the Install button in the Details & Preview screen.
Once the install process is complete, click the Activate button that appears where the Install button used to be.
Usually, after installing and activating a theme in WordPress, a list of recommended plugins is displayed and all you need to do is to click on the ‘Install’ button. However, there are many plugins available for WordPress, both free and premium. In the official WordPress plugin directory alone, you can find close to 60,000 plugins that can add all kinds of new features and functionality to your site. Plus, there are many more available from third-party marketplaces.
To install new plugins, navigate to Plugins > Add New.
You’ll be presented with a list of some of the most popular plugins currently available. Use the search field to find anything else you are looking for.
To get plugins onto your site, hit the Install Now button. Wait until it has been downloaded and then click Activate. You can find all plugins on your site plus the possibility to activate, deactivate, and delete them under Plugins in the WordPress main menu.
As to what plugins you should install, some choices worth considering include:
- Yoast SEO – A top search engine optimization plugin that adds on-page optimization prompts to every page and post plus the option to customize Open Graph social media tags.
- Jetpack– Includes a wide range of features to improve website speed, optimization, social media integration, digital marketing, contact forms, and site search.
- Woocommerce – This is the most popular e-commerce store plugin for WordPress and makes it easy to set up an online store. More on it further below.
- Contact Form 7 – This plugin helps you create your contact forms, especially for your contact us page.
Adding content to your WordPress website
The content on a WordPress website can be divided into two categories: pages and posts. Pages are static types of content such as your About Us or Contact page, while posts are part of your blog. Adding content to WordPress is very easy. Let’s see how you can add Pages and Posts.
To add a new page to WordPress, you should do the following:
- Log in to your WordPress dashboard as the administrator.
- Click on Pages > Add New
- Use the Page Editor to add page title and content.
- Click the Publish button and the page will go live on your WordPress website.
To add new blog posts, you should do the following:
- Log in to your WordPress dashboard as the administrator.
- Click on Posts > Add New
- Use the Post Editor to add post title, content, format, tag, and category.
- Click the Publish button, and the post will go live on your WordPress website.
If you have any problem understanding any of the steps, please call me on +2349014501924. I am always willing to help.
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