CREATING A WORDPRESS WEBSITE IS CRITICAL
10 Minute Read
This guide is tailored to businesses planning to create a website from scratch – or brands moving from older, less flexible websites to a new WordPress hosted site. This guide will teach you how to create a WordPress website in 60 minutes and instil customer confidence in your products.
75 million websites have been created on WordPress, that’s 28% of all websites globally. 409 million people view WordPress blogs monthly – that’s the population of the US, UK and Australia combined.
If you’re operating a business in the chaotic climate of today’s market, you know
- How crucial it is to be online
- How much your website effects your brand
More important still is your ability to create a unique presence online. Many business owners assume that merely being present online is enough. This is false.
Your website is your brand and your digital showroom all wrapped into one, so it is vital that you have a presentable, aesthetic quality to your site.
Having a great website builds trust through legitimacy and professionalism. Through these attributes, you’ll cultivate a positive customer association of your brand.
So if you’re a time-poor, cost-sensitive business owner, with the right ideas for your product, but you’re just not sure how to show them effectively online – this is the guide for you.
BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO CREATING A WORDPRESS WEBSITE
STEP 1. Why Choose WordPress to host your site?
STEP 2. Get A Domain & Start Web Hosting
(10 Minutes to do)
- Choose your Hosting plan
- Choose Your Domain Name
STEP 3. Create & Design Your WordPress Website
(50 Minutes to do)
- Design A Professional & Unique Website
- WordPress Themes
- Customise Your Theme & Title
- Create A Header Menu
- Add Pages to Your Site
- Install Plugins to Your Site
Choose Your Hosting Platform
There are a myriad of CMS (content management systems) to choose from when establishing your brand online. The CMS must be carefully selected for ease-of-use and flexibility. Generally, the more flexible the CMS the more complex it is to use.
These steps are not designed to be complicated, but instead provide a thorough guide to novices without much experience with computers. Some platforms require you to know some HTML/CSS coding language, and should be chosen only if you’re at the right skill level.
This guide is centered around WordPress where minimal coding is required.
Easily Understood & Easy to Use
The WordPress platform is intuitive. If you know how to use standard Microsoft programs such as Word or Excel, then you’re already on your way to publishing your own content on the site you’re about to build.
WordPress can be easily customised with Plugins (function tools) that help you operate your site according to your business specifications. Simple and complex sites alike can be hosted on this platform – so your site can grow as you do.
If you find yourself struggling at any point, or your site has evolved beyond capabilities covered in this guide there is a great community of developers ready to help. There are also tutorials for operations and plugins alike.
Google loves WordPress
And customers love Google! Use this software to tap into your audience’s intent to buy when they search for your brand or products related to you. If you follow the guide below and use a basic WordPress template structure, you will be on your way to ranking at the top of your brand’s keywords.
WordPress is Powerful
The platform can run most types of sites with varying size and base specifications. Some of the busiest sites in the world are run on WordPress, but it’s important to start small, particularly when creating your original site.
Responsive & Mobile Friendly
Having sites that are optimised both for desktop and mobile should be at the core of your online practices. 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly-designed mobile site, so using mobile-optimised platforms such as WordPress will put you in their good graces. Google is prioritising mobile, and with traffic increasing – compared to desktop – it is vital to use mobile friendly website builds like WordPress.
Name Your Website & Give it a Home
Hosting your website on WordPress is an inexpensive way to start web hosting – fast. You’ll get a free WordPress domain name and URL when you sign up. This will come in the form of “YourWebsiteName.Wordpress.com”.
We recommend investing in your own URL disassociated from WordPress (www.YourWebsiteName.com). This feature not only provide faster website loading times, but it will optimise your site for SEO for a small fee. This will create prime real-estate for your brand online – owned and operated solely by you.
Choose Your Hosting Plan
Typically your hosting plan will be $3-$6 per month depending on the estimated value of your URL. If you’re serious about building your website then you need your own hosting and domain name.
It is far simpler when creating a website to use a web hosting platform in conjunction with your WordPress site.
Bluehost – Low-cost web hosting
Dreamhost – Provides “managed” hosting especially for WordPress sites
Flywheel – A service aimed at web developers, designers, and agencies
SiteGround – A popular option among WordPress users
WordPress recommended sites like BlueHost provide the technologies and services needed for your website or webpage to be viewed in the Internet. Websites are hosted, or stored, on special computers called servers. Consider the information below when choosing your hosting platform.
Will determine the type of plan you purchase, how much space and bandwidth you need, add-ons, and more.
Performance: This means your site needs to run fast and it needs to stay online (what is known as “uptime”).
Your web host should provide you with secure infrastructure that keeps your site safe from physical harm as well as hackers.
Depending on how large your site is or how many sites you run, you may need someone to manage the backend for you. Hosts like Flywheel offer this as a service and it’s called “managed WordPress hosting.”
When Internet users want to view your website, all they need to do is type your website address or domain into their browser. Their computer will then connect to your server and your webpages will be delivered to them through the browser – this happens every time you access any website.
Choosing a Domain Name
Your domain name should be:
The best domain names use relevant search information to inform their URL and page heading decisions. Below are some of the main things to consider when creating that irresistible URL.
Create you’re domain from the results with a unique flair that will get you recognised and keep you in the audience’s minds. Never copy or repeat any element of an existing domain, instead create your own identity.
Keep your Domain Unique & Simple
Ensure your keywords clearly identify your unique brand, thus ensuring that you will be quickly discovered in any google search. Never copy or repeat any element of an existing domain, and refrain from using hyphens. Create your own identity.
When building a brand make sure you go for a .com, com.au .org, or .net, URL ending in that order.
Make your Site Memorable & Concise
It is important to have a site that is easy to spell and memorise. Length and relevance play a large role in determining the effectiveness of creating a clear and concise brand.
By having a URL that is synonymous with your brand, you can take advantage of word of mouth and intuitive searches. This also gives you far more visibility with SEO when general user searches involve your brand name or associative business words.
Create and Design Your WordPress Website
You’ve decided on and purchased your domain name, now it’s time to create your website. Remember, your website is how customers immediately perceive your brand’s value and accompanying services/products – so make it look professional!
First step is to install WordPress.
When you download WordPress, this guide recommends following the one-click installation procedure. Most web hosts have this feature embedded within their dashboard – to have you up and running as quickly as possible.
If you have chosen to use any of the hosts mentioned above to host your site, there is a ‘one-click-installation’ button provided within each.
Design Your Website to look Professional and Unique
You’ve established your domain name, configured your web hosting account and installed WordPress. The final step is to design your website. This is arguably the most important, as every successful website must reflect:
- A Customer-friendly navigation style
- A unique design that represents your brand identity
A professionally designed website has the power to build trust, an invaluable asset when converting leads generated through Social Media advertising.
To enhance customer experiences on your website you must customise your style to suit your industry and products. Your website must have:
- An intuitive website flow
- Straightforward menu selection options (Top and bottom of main webpage)
- Multiple webpages (levels) to host selection criteria above
- Engaging Visuals and theme
- Copy that supports your brand profile
- Top of funnel lead generation tools (subscribe buttons etc.)
- Services section
- Testimonial section
- Insights/Blog section (Recommended)
The default theme installed once you start your design journey is this basic HTML.
It is a simple and clear design that provides an easy web flow for your future customers to navigate. However, to create a unique touch to your site, your layout should also add value to your design.
It is thus recommended that you browse themes offered in WordPress to find one that is the right fit for you. Just remember that your site should be easy for you to edit and simple for customers to navigate.
Below is a comprehensive guide on each of the main variables present in the left options tab. This beginner’s guide gives you a rough idea of what each of the options are, and how to customise your site. It focuses solely on the necessary attributes to create your website. Covered below will be:
- Choosing your theme
- Install and Customise your theme
- Create a Header Menu
- Add Pages to Your Site
- Add Pages to Your Homepage Menus
- How to Install Plugins
- Why use Plugins for Your Blog
Themes are packaged designs that produce a uniform look and experience across the front end of your site. They act as a base for when you style and customise your site.
FREE themes often lack the capacity or specifications to operate specific tasks. These templates are also very run-of-the-mill starting points – with little flexibility around alterations – perfect for flash sales. It is recommended that you use a premium theme to create a more professional-looking site.
Premium themes offer professional designs with more robust capabilities. They have a reliable code base and superior support for traffic and troubleshooting support. Mobile traffic as a share of total global online traffic in 2017 was 52.64%. This makes it extremely important that your website functionality supports different devices.
WordPress premium themes have adaptive qualities that accommodate for different devices. They’re more aesthetically appealing and can be readily altered to suit your unique design goals.
Theme Forest offers quality themes with advance handling capabilities.
MyThemeShop offers quality themes for beginners, supported by automatic updates and robust code.
Images & Designs
To make your website pop in 2018, you can use additional design features that range from ready-to-use stock images for blog posts, web templates, fonts, backgrounds and more. Use Unsplash for great images and Envato Elements for website feature designs.
Make sure all photos uploaded to your webpages are .Jpeg files and are no larger than 700KB in size. Also ensure all of your photos have a title and alt text (e.g. Facebook_Statistics). This will improve the loading time of your site, your layout and your score on Google’s page ranking system.
Customise Your Theme & Title
WordPress themes are easily modifiable, with changes to your site’s front end accessible from your admin panel. Making these changes is easy through your Customisation page. The steps below explain this process (using the Twenty Seventeen as an example).
To start customising your WordPress theme, first go to Appearance -> Themes Page
Once on this page, select the active theme by clicking the Customise button next to its title.
Within this page you will be able to modify the front-end of your site in real-time. Any changes made will be reflected in the website window on the right. The list of options available on the left, provide you with changes that you can make to your site.
Use these tools to make your website look different, aesthetic and welcoming. Don’t go overboard with multiple colours or variances in design – it is better to have a consistent colour scheme throughout all the pages on your site.
You will also be able to modify your site’s title and tagline easily, through the Site Identity option. The subheading will let you alter text to create a title for your overall site – this will appear in the browser’s tab for your site.
You also have the option to change the image alongside this text – this is your site icon.
Create a Header Menu
WordPress menus are navigational tools to help your user find their way through your site. For users not to get lost navigating your website pages, you will need clearly defined headings to guide them through the key information pages of your site. This tool also informs the user what the most important parts of your website are.
- Create the pages you want to share on your site. When users click on the menu icon or text, they will need to be provided with a separate page where your content is. About Us -> www.yourwebsitename.com/AboutUs.
- Go to the Appearance tab in the selection list on your WordPress homepage. Click on menus. From here you’ll be able to set up your menu.
- On the left is a widget that contains all the content that exists on your site. Search or browse for pages you want to include. Click Add to Menu under Menu Structure in the right-hand box.
- Use the Menu Settings tool to then drag and drop your menu’s pages into which ever order you want. Hit the Save button, and your changes will go live on your site.
Add Pages to Your Site
A page is a static layer within your website not listed by date. Contact pages, and the about section of your site are included in this category.
Posts are content entries listed in reverse chronological order on your blog’s homepage. Recent posts are displayed at the top of the webpage, and can be sorted by categories or tags.
Adding both pages and posts are similar and straightforward.
In the main options menu on the left of your WordPress home screen is the pages tab. Click on this, then click on the ‘Add New’ option. The WordPress text editor interface will appear in another window.
To print your text directly to your site, you must first make sure the ‘visual’ tab is selected above your text box (the text option is used for coding your back end). The WordPress text editor is a great word processing tool with all the basic editing options present in Microsoft Word.
Enter a title for your page at the top & begin writing.
To see how your text will appear on your site before you publish it, click the Preview button on the right. This will open a new tab and give you a template for how your page will look when published. If you’re not ready to send your page live, you can click “Save Draft” to save a copy of your page.
Add Pages to Your Homepage Menus
Menu headings provide an anchor for the user to navigate your site without having to return to your homepage. This increases time spent on your site, and directly brings customers to relevant pages.
To integrate pages into the menu bar of your WordPress website, you’ll need to follow these 3 easy steps.
- Click ‘Update’, to make sure you save any of your content that you’ve created on your page.
- In the Dashboard sidebar Click ‘Appearance’ and then ‘Menus’
3. The page that you’ve just created will be displayed in the “Pages” box to the left of center. Check the boxes for pages you want added to your menu, then click ‘Add to Menu’. In the “Menu Structure” section, you can change the order of your pages by just clicking and dragging them into position.
How to Install Plugins
Plugins are extensions installed into the WordPress CMS that increase the capabilities of your back-end operative functions. They add extra features, usability, tools and data analytics to your site that aren’t inclusive in the WordPress website suite.
They can provide SEO optimisation and Google ranking assistance through plugins like Yoast. Or assist with sales processing within online stores and forums.
To install a plugin, select the ‘Plugin’ option on the left side options tab within your WordPress home screen. There are 30,000 Plugins available so search for plugins relevant to your site and industry. You can refine your selection by searching ‘Best WordPress plugins for (enter industry here)’.
When installed, the plugin will work automatically. There is generally no need to update settings for each plugin. Managing them, however, is important to improving your WordPress experience – delete the ones you don’t use.
Plugins can be managed from your Plugins tab within the home page of your WordPress. Simply click through to ‘Installed Plugins’ to edit them.
Why Use Plugins for Your Blog
Due to the incredible functionality offered by Plugins, it is crucial that you use them throughout your site. Specific Plugins are also offered to help you boost your blog. This is an incredibly important page to keep updated. Not only do Plugins provide your follower base with valued information, but they help Google index your site – putting your brand at the top of the SERP for multiple keywords because of increased user experience.
Yoast offers great feedback on your SEO score and readability (using the Flesch Reading Ease scale). Smush is a great tool to make your blog images functional, by shrinking file sizes and loading times.
At Sydney Digital Marketing we have an experienced team of highly qualified website designers, that specialise in tailoring specific designs to your brand.
Although it might now take you 60 minutes to build and design your website, our team of digital designers will create a seamless information flow for the customer to follow. Each website layer we design is crafted to produce the best results – always linking back to your customer site experience and website conversions.
67% of users say that a website is a direct reflection of a business’ brand, so trusting our team of experts with your website design can do wonders to both your brand image and your online sales.