Whether you want to set up a blog or an e-commerce store, WordPress remains one of the best content management systems. It is versatile, user-friendly and flexible.
Despite its popularity and user-friendliness, developing a WordPress website from scratch can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the platform. That’s why it doesn’t hurt to use software development services.
But this article also covers the seven basic steps involved in setting up a WordPress website to get you started:
1. Plan your website
First on the list: decide on the website. You can always copy what others have done, but if you’re building a brand, you need a well-thought-out plan.
Many factors go into planning your site:
- What is the theme? Are you going to use the templates or use your own? The latter is more complicated, but you have more freedom over the appearance of the site.
- What is the purpose of the website? Is it a blog, e-commerce or membership page? What do you expect for the next few months or years? Your website should be scalable and easy to modify.
- Who is your target audience? This is essential when choosing colors, fonts and the general atmosphere of your website.
- What type of content will you have? You’ll want an easily navigable site with a search function if it’s primarily about written articles. If you’re selling products, sleek visuals and an intuitive layout are key.
2. Choose a host and register a domain name
A host is a company that provides space on its server where you can store your files. It also connects you through the Internet.
Meanwhile, a domain name is your web address. This is what your visitors will type into the search bar to find your site.
WordPress offers both, but you can also use other web hosting and domain name registration services. Keep in mind, however, that you still need to integrate them into WordPress.
Some hosts offer a one-click installation, which works similar to plug and play: with just a few clicks, you can already set up your domain on WordPress while using another host.
The most important thing is that you are comfortable and happy with your choices. Migrating your existing content to a new domain or the entire domain to another host is sometimes complicated.
3. Install WordPress
Installing WordPress is a simple process that takes less than five minutes.
- Download WordPress files from wordpress.org.
- Create a database for WordPress on your web server and a user with full privileges.
- Unzip the WordPress files and upload them to your desired location on your web server.
- Run the WordPress installer script by accessing the URL in a web browser.
- Provide information such as your site name and description, administrator username and password, and email address.
4. Configure your settings
After a successful installation, it’s time to configure your WordPress site.
- Choose the language you want to use.
- Select default settings for your posts and pages. For example, you can choose whether or not to display the author’s name.
- Specify how many posts should be displayed on the home page and whether comments are allowed or not.
- Set your time zone and date format.
5. Choose a WordPress theme
Now that everything is in place, it’s time to give your site a facelift with a WordPress theme.
A WordPress theme is a collection of files that work together to produce a GUI and overall design.
There are two types of themes: free and premium.
Free themes are available from the WordPress.org theme directory while premium themes can be purchased from third-party sites.
When choosing a theme, make sure it’s compatible with the version of WordPress you’re using, well-coded, and has good reviews. Choose a responsive theme that it can adjust to any screen size.
6. Write your content
Now that your site is set up and ready to go, it’s time to start writing your content.
Your content can be in the form of posts or pages. Posts are entries listed in reverse chronological order, while pages are static content items that do not change.
To write an article:
- Access the WordPress admin panel.
- Click on the “Messages” link in the left sidebar.
- Click the “Add New” button.
This will take you to a page where you can start writing your post.
To write a page:
7. Install plugins and widgets
Once you have content, you may want to add functionality to your site with plugins and widgets.
Plugins are programs that extend the functionality of WordPress while widgets are like plugins but they provide a specific function such as displaying latest posts or tweets.
You can install plugins and widgets in two places: the WordPress admin panel and the WordPress.org plugin directory.
To install a plugin or widget from the WordPress admin panel:
- Navigate to the “Plugins” or “Widgets” page from the left sidebar.
- Click the “Add New” button.
- Find the plugin or widget you want to install.
- Install and activate the plugin or widget.
Now that you know how to install WordPress, it’s time to start building your own website.
If you need help, there are plenty of resources available, such as the WordPress codex, support forums, and chat rooms. You can also get help from professional WordPress developers and consultants.