Are you looking to build your own WordPress website? As a business owner, being able to create a WordPress website is a pretty valuable skill to learn. While you may want to consider hiring a WordPress development agency for more complex website solutions, you can certainly learn the basics yourself.
The great thing about WordPress is it’s quite user-friendly, so we won’t go into every single mouse click here. This step by step guide is here to talk you through the basics of creating an attractive, functional website by yourself.Start the conversation
1. Buy your domain and choose a hosting provider
As a task you don’t do every day, many people are daunted by the idea of getting your domain and website hosting set up. But relax, it’s easier than you think!
This is your website’s name, and subsequently your URL. For example, ours is www.humanpixel.com.au. Try to pick your exact business name, but if it’s not available, you may be able to purchase it with a different extension such as .org or .biz. There are plenty of extensions you can access if your number one choice isn’t available.
Simply search for ‘domain name’ on Google and find a reputable provider to purchase from. They’re all very intuitive, and they’ll provide suggestions if your preferred domain isn’t available.
Every website needs hosting, and your needs will depend on the size of your website and features you want (such as number of email addresses, website size, additional security etc. Much like domains, a simple Google search will point you to some great web hosting services. Browse their packages and purchase one that suits your needs.
2. Link WordPress to your hosting provider
Once you’ve purchased your website hosting, it’s time to get WordPress set up. Most reputable hosting providers give you the option to set up WordPress directly. It’s nice and easy, just choose your user name, and the hosting provider will make sure your domain name and website are linked to your WordPress account.
This means you don’t have to mess around with your hosting provider much at all in future. Certainly not for your website creation, as this will now all be done on the WordPress platform.
3. Start exploring your WordPress dashboard
Firstly, before we get carried away building webpages, it’s a good idea to get familiar with the WordPress user interface. You’ll have a menu down the left-hand side of the screen, and the rest of the screen is all the important information you need.
It’s very easy to navigate, however we still recommend checking everything out so you get a good feel for what comes next. Which is, of course, actually designing your site!
4. Basic setup without a WordPress development agency
There are a few basics you should consider setting up before you get too far into content creation. Naturally, everybody is different, so maybe only some of these will apply to you. But we definitely recommend looking through all of the available settings for each part of your website to make sure you’re happy with everything.
Permalinks: These are the individual URLs for each webpage you plan to create. For example, a pizza store’s pricing page would be www.johnspizza.com/prices. Always try to keep your links simple and relevant. You can also set these as you create pages if you’re not sure exactly which pages you’ll have yet.
Going public: If you want search engines like Google to index your site, go to the ‘Reading’ menu, and next to ‘Search Engine Visibility’. Make sure the box is unchecked next to ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site.
Title and tagline: In the General settings, choose your website’s name and a tagline. The title appears at the top of a user’s browser, so keep it relevant. The tagline may show up in various parts of your website and on search engines. It’s not compulsory to have one, but if you do, also make it relevant.
Comments: You can allow or disallow comments on your website. This is going to be most relevant for blog posts. If you don’t want comments, disable them in the Settings/Discussion menu.
Time zone: While this may not appear visibly on your site, it helps to have the right time zone recorded. You’ll be using it for things like scheduling blog posts.
Menus: In the Menus section, you can set what type of menu you want on your page. You can also select which pages will appear on there.
5. Choose a theme
WordPress has thousands of themes to choose from which allow you to choose the look and feel of your site. If you want something completely custom designed, you’ll likely need a WordPress development agency. But if you’re happy to explore the themes yourself, there are plenty to pick from. Some are free, and some are paid, so start browsing to find the perfect look for your site.
While WordPress themes are pre-designed templates, you certainly can customise most of them with different fonts, colours and background images. Again though, for more complex customisation you may need a WordPress development agency to help you out.
6. Start creating pages
If all the previous steps felt a little daunting, then this is probably the biggest one. Creating the actual content on your pages is your next step. Fortunately, its easy tog et your basic content uploaded. Just click on ‘pages’ in the main menu, and select ‘Add New’. This takes you to the section where you can create and edit your page.
We won’t go into every little aspect of page creation because this part of WordPress is very user-friendly for you to navigate around and add content as you like. However, bear in mind that the actual look of the page will default to your website’s theme. For complex design, contact a WordPress development agency to help you out. Alternatively, there are certain plugins (which we’ll address next) designed to make designing the visual aspect of your pages a little easier.
7. All about plugins
Plugins are best likened to apps, but for your website. There are thousands of plugins out there, designed for a range of different tasks. Some of the main categories are:
Features: Adding features to your site like forms, image galleries, and even connecting your site to Google Analytics for easy activity data.
Security: For tasks such as backing up your site and keeping it free from malware and other internet nasties.
Optimisation: Tools to help you optimise your website for SEO and other functions like improving page load speed.
Design: There are some plugins available to give you more control over editing your pages. It could be laying things out in blocks, or even a more ‘drag and drop’ style of editing.
Much like themes, some plugins are free, others you need to pay for. Many plugins are definitely worth paying for, however make sure you factor these costs into your budgeting. To access and install plugins, simply go to your Plugins menu, and start searching. When you’ve found one you like, you’ll be helped through the installation process.
Do I need a WordPress development agency?
Once you’ve got your basic website set up and you’ve got your page content uploaded, you may feel it’s not quite what you want. In that case, you can go back to the drawing board and play around with different themes or features. You could also contact a WordPress development agency for assistance.
Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. If you’re happy with a basic website to showcase your business, you can likely build it yourself with this helpful guide. However, if you need your website to deliver more, calling some website development experts in may be beneficial.
It’s not all about the look and feel of your site either, because a WordPress development agency does a lot more. They can analyse your business needs, and build solutions to really make your website work for you. It’s all personal preference, but if you choose to go it alone these steps will help you get the job done. For further help, feel free to contact us at Human Pixel today.Start the conversation