WordPress runs 30 percent of all websites on the internet, which approximates to at least 60 million websites. You’d be wonderstruck on realizing how many Fortune 500 companies use WordPress to power their websites and blogs.
Starting from Sony Music to The Walt Disney Company, The Rolling Stones, and even BBC America, all use WordPress. Having a website is essential if you are running a business or you really need a good one-stop platform to showcase your skills and content.
The best thing is you don’t have to be a tech-whizz to build your website; WordPress will do that for you. All you need is a clear vision: what purpose is your website for?
With this in place, we’ll help you navigate the not-so-complicated process that creates your website on WordPress.
For our layman’s understanding, WordPress is a website builder. It is open-source software that creates the website for you, per your liking, without learning to code. More technically, it is an open-source CMS (content management system) written in PHP that uses a MySQL database.
It manages the creation and modification of digital content. Since it is open-source software, it has been developed in a collaborative public manner. While there is a team of core developers at the centre leading projects, anyone can help in fixing bugs, suggesting and making features, etc.
WordPress as a software is completely free in isolation and allows you to build your website. However, once created, you can either create your plug-ins (if you are hands-on with coding), buy various plug-ins, themes, e-commerce features, etc., or get a developer to create them for you.
Purpose Of Your Website – WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org
Most beginners aren’t aware that there are two different platforms – WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Many people confuse the two or believe them to be the same, which leads them to choose the wrong medium for the website.
While WordPress.com is a freemium blogging service, WordPress.org is an open-source CMS software. Anyone who wants to blog for leisure and hobby will find WordPress.com more resourceful since it’s small-scale and limited.
If you are serious about blogging and want to monetize it or want an own website for your business, WordPress.org is your go-to. To simplify the difference between the two, WordPress.com is like renting a room, whereas WordPress.org is like owning a house. This guide is for establishing your website with WordPress (.org).
1. Buying Domain Names
To make your website, you have to begin by thinking and finalizing a domain name. Nowadays, it is preferred to name your company vis-à-vis the available domain name.
You might spend time coming up with an attractive name for your business only to realize that the domain name is taken. Instead of taking up the hassle of changing your business name later on or juggling with a different domain name and a different business name, it is better to buy a suitable domain name for your website.
Your domain name is the web address people will search to find you—for example, www.yourwebaddress.com. You can also buy other domain extensions such as .net, .org, .co. And if you’d be operating at only national level, you can go for .in, .co.in, .us, .uk. You can buy a domain name from any domain registrar – the most common and secure being Domain.com or GoDaddy.com.
2. Web Hosting
After buying a domain name for your website, you have to purchase web hosting. Web hosting is purchasing a space to host your website. This ‘space’ or server will store your website and its contents and make it available to anyone who searches for it (using the domain name).
You can buy your web hosting plan from a secure web hosting providers such as Bluehost and Media Temple. Web host providers often also sell domain names (and vice versa) but keeping your website’s security in mind, better to buy both from different providers. It is prudent to buy them from the specialists of each.
3. Linking and Installing WordPress
You have to link your domain name to your web host using nameservers, also called account DNS. You’ll have to log in to the website you registered your domain with and then change the nameservers for the domain. This is called pointing your domain to the web host provider.
If this step is too confusing, you can always reach out to the customer service of your web host provider, and they will do it for you. Now that your domain and web host are in place, you can (finally) install WordPress. All hosting providers offer a one-click installation for WordPress on their dashboard. It’s that easy.
4. Themes and Plugins
This is where the fun part begins. You can start customizing your website and modifying it up to your liking. This creative process begins with choosing a ‘theme’ or template for your website. The theme you choose is how your website would look to the users.
Themes are like sample houses. WordPress has a free collection of themes, you can view a demo and pick the one which suits your website the best. Visualize how you want your website to look like and pick a theme accordingly. You can also buy different and fancier themes from secure third-party sites like ThemeForest and Pixelgrade.
You can also configure your website by buying plug-ins. These are softwares that add certain features to your website to make it more efficient. Some popular WordPress plug-ins are Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, etc.
The website that you dreamt of is now up and running. All that is left is for you to add content to it. You can add posts and pages. You can write blogs that will be listed under the blog section of your website as posts, the recent being on top.
Besides blogs, you are supposed to have some basic static pages – Home page, Contact page, an About Us page, and a dedicated page for every goods and service you are offering. How you want to go about the content of your website is completely on you. Though, keep updating your website at regular intervals.
While this might not be an exhaustive guide to creating the best website in the world, it sure will help any newbie or tech-handicapped person get a great website up and running. Once you reach there, you can update yourself with the newest trends and keep investing in good plug-ins to evolve your website even better.