The internet has made the world smaller and the distance shorter. The internet continues to transform the way we are interacting with the world, sharing and connecting information. The World Wide Web was invented in March of 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee. He also introduced the first web server, the first browser, editor HTTP and HTML. The first website was published in 1991 by Tim Berners-Lee. Internet users account for 57% of the global population. On average people spend 6 hours 42 minutes each day on the internet. Now using a very low investment, one can create a web presence in the form of a website. There are over 1.5 billion websites on the world wide web today, out of which 200 million websites are currently active. So for expand your market or getting more users a web presence is essential.
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) used by small personal blogs o corporate websites. One-third of the World’s websites are powered by WordPress. WordPress is the most used website building package, followed by Joomla and Drupal. The main advantage of WordPress is it is userfriendly and simple. You can install and run a WordPress website within minutes without any technical knowledge. You can extend the WordPress features with plugins, you can also available themes for multiple options. You can get themes for making personal blogs, services offering websites, directory, portals, magazines, newspapers, and eCommerce websites. WordPress also gets enough support and help from its largest online community. You can easily update your website, plugins, and themes. WordPress is SEO friendly and responsive. So you can access a WordPress website on your mobile phone. You can easily customize your website by customizing the theme and plugin. You can easily manage the contents by yourself, you can also assign authors, editors, and administrators by assigning the roles. Moreover, WordPress is open-source software.
These are the steps for starting your WordPress website:
- Choose a domain name
- Find a hosting provider and choose a package
- Install WordPress
- Choose theme and plugins to customize your site
- Install and update themes and plugins
- Learn to use the dashboard, start to create posts and pages
Choosing a domain name
The first step for building a website is to choose the right domain for your website. The first thing to do is to select a keyword that targets your area. Make the keyword memorable, easy to type. Our domain Coolefriend (CEF) is an easy to remember, unique domain name, so you can easily spot by just typing it on a search engine. Through the domain, we are intended to tell others that we are an electronic friend (efriend) who wants to share cool technology tricks, tips and ideas. The keyword plays an important role in the domain. For example, if you are going to build a website about auto, Autozone, Autoblog, Autonews will rank higher on search engines than any other keywords. You can also choose a unique brandable domain like Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, etc. It is a good idea to avoid numbers and hyphens in the domain name, as it is not easily memorable. If you want to create a blog, you can read Start a blog-complete step by step guide.
Find a hosting provider and choose a package
So you have chosen a domain name for your website. Good, before rushing to register your domain (you will get a free domain-continue reading), you have to decide a hosting account to host your website. If you are registering your domain with a domain registration company and you are hosting your site in another company, you need to transfer your domain to your hosting company by paying a transferring fee. So, before going to register to, select the hosting account that you need. Commonly, there are three types of hosting accounts, Shared, VPS, and Dedicated accounts. Shared hosting is the cheapest option if you are building your first website. Shared hosting is like an apartment. You are sharing common resources like lifts, car parking, elevator with others. In shared hosting many other websites using the same server. They are using the same resources as CPU, ram, storage, bandwidth, etc. The biggest problem is with security, if anyone of the websites in the server is hacked, the intruder can access other websites in the server. There is a great chance to get overcrowded the server, which limits the storage and bandwidth. The Virtual Private Server (VPS) is similar to shared hosting, but the server is partitioned to different virtualized server environments. VPS offers a baseline of guaranteed resources. VPS is fast, secure and scalable. You can increase or decrease the server resources based on your needs. In dedicated hosting, your website is hosted on a single dedicated server. You are the only resident in your rented home, so you can enjoy the dedicated server by yourself, you can customize the server to your needs, so it is expensive. If you are going to build a personal website, a blog or a startup website a shared hosting is enough. If you are planning to build a site that requires some computing resources, more security and needs root access to configure your server a VPS server is the best. If you plan to build a large scale website, a social networking community, or a video sharing platform that requires dedicated hardware resources, then go for dedicated hosting.
These days for hosting WordPress websites, a separate dedicated for WordPress hosting is available. This hosting is optimized for WordPress with load-balanced servers. Your hosting plan is automatically set up with WordPress installed and ready. It also offers daily backups. For example, Bluehost offers managed WordPress hosting plans with a free domain for one year, instant WordPress installation, automated updates and backups, unlimited bandwidth, and 24/7 WordPress expert support. Their eCommerce package includes everything you need to sell online Shopping carts, inventory management, PayPal processing, all included in that package. If you are using a managed WordPress plan, you don’t worry much about WordPress installation and setup. If you need a shared or VPS plan, select a plan first (you can upgrade the plan later), enter the account information, then enter the hosting package information (you can choose and pay for 12, 24, or 36 months) a domain name that you want. You will get free domain registration, free Let’s Encrypt SSL encryption with the package. Fill out the information pay for the package.
Choose theme and plugins to customize your site
After installing WordPress, you can log in to the WordPress dashboard by visiting the URL www.yoursitename.com/wp-login.php, where yoursitename is your domain name. Enter the username and password, you will be welcomed to the WordPress dashboard. You can install any WordPress theme on your WordPress website. You can find a huge number of free themes and plugins from the WordPress website. Most of the free themes also have a Pro version with more features. You can purchase the pro version form the respective websites. For example, if you want to start a Travel agency, you can use the Travel agency WordPress themes. If you want to run a magazine website, you can install a magazine WordPress theme. If you want to start an online education site, you can use the education pack WordPress theme and Plugins pack. You can create whatever website you want with WordPress, you can check ThemeForest to find the huge list of themes for your project. Before installing the theme check the demo available on the website to see how the theme works and check the features that you want. You can easily clone the look and feel of the demo using the demo importing function that is available with the theme. Remember, the demo importing function is good for a new website, for existing sites take enough precaution to avoid rewriting of demo content above the existing content.
Install and update themes and plugins
Install and activate a Theme
Click on Appearance, you can see Themes, Customize, Widgets, Menus and Theme editor. Click on Themes, you can see the available themes. Click on a theme to see Activate and preview button. You can preview the theme before activating it. Preview themes to select the best match for your website and its needs. If you need a new theme, click Add new in Themes. Search themes by entering a search term like magazine, shop, etc. Select the theme you want and click install. The theme installed on your WordPress website. You can see the new theme in Themes. Preview the theme, if you are satisfied, you can activate the theme.
Install and activate a Plugin
To install a theme, click plugins>Add new. Search plugins and click install. You can also install plugins by uploading a plugin. To upload plugin, Plugins>add new>Upload Plugin. Select the plugin (in compressed .zip format) using Choose File. After uploading hit the Install Now to install the plugin. If you are purchasing plugins from a third-party vendor, you can upload and install the plugin using this method. Remember, some plugins may cause some errors in your WordPress website, some plugins may not work properly as displayed on the manufacturer’s website. It is a wise idea to install the free version or lite version of the plugin first to check whether the plugin works as mentioned. If the plugins make any problem in loading your WordPress website, just remove the newly installed plugin from the WordPress plugin directory using an FTP tool and reload your site.
Learn to use the dashboard
In the WordPress dashboard, on the left side, you can see Dashboard, Posts, Media, Pages, Comments, Appearance, Plugins, Users, Tools, and Settings. All are self-explanatory, the Posts are for posting or viewing blog posts. Media is for adding and viewing media like images on your WordPress website. Pages are to create and edit pages. Comments are to view and moderate comments submitted by your readers. You can customize your theme in Appearance>Customize. You can add logo, favicon, ad banners, and can change posts and page display. The Pro version of WordPress themes offers different methods to customize your theme to meet your goal. You can add pages from Pages> Add new. You need to create a Home page and post page to display it as Home and post pages. Create Home and post pages first and publish it, then go to Settings>Reading, to view Reading settings. In Reading Settings, under Your homepage displays, choose A static page (select below), the for Home page select the Home and for post page select Posts that you created just before. Modern WordPress themes support WordPress page builders like Elementor, Siteorigin, Wpbakery, etc. You can visually create and edit your home page and other pages using these page builders. To use a page builder, just install the page builder using Plugins>Add New and search for the page builder to see the available page builders. Most Pro themes come with the premium version of the page builders.
Start to create posts and pages
To create a new post, go to Posts>Add New. Enter the title, add a description, add images and videos. After creating the post, on the right side select the category of the post (you can create categories from Posts>Categories), add tags, add a featured image to display above the post and click Publish. If you want to keep the post as a draft, click Save as a draft, if you want to preview the post-click preview. If your post is ready to publish you can publish the post. In the same way, you can create new pages on your WordPress website. If you are editing an existing post, the Publish button will be changed into Update. So you can update the existing posts any number of times. You can learn it by doing, so create posts and pages to familiarize yourself with the WordPress dashboard.
Attract visitors and monitor your traffic
You can attract visitors to your website using search engines. You can also publish posts to social networking sites with links to attract visitors from social media. You can add Google Analytics or any website analytics code to track your website traffic. Google Analytics is the best feature-rich free tool to track and analyze your website traffic. You can make money by placing advertisements, selling the ad space, selling products and services, and promoting other people’s stuff.
How to Build an online store with WordPress
As I mentioned earlier, WordPress is a feature-rich, highly customizable platform. You can create online stores using WordPress and Woocommerce. WooCommerce is a customizable, open-source eCommerce platform built on WordPress. You can install and activate Woocommece from Plugins. WooCommerce comes bundled with the ability to accept major credit cards, bank transfers, checks, and cash on delivery. You can sell physical or digital products using Woocommerce and accept payments through different methods. Bluehost , Liquidweb and others offer dedicated e-commerce hosting based on WordPress and Woocommerce. It auto-installs WordPress and Woocommerce for you with the Storefront WordPress theme. You can get a huge number of free and paid Woocommerce themes to use in your store.
There are a number of reliable hosting providers offering high quality managed WordPress hosting, shared, VPS and dedicated hosting. Hostinger, iPage, Media temple, Liquidweb, Interserver, Webhostingpad, and Namecheap are some quality hosting providers. For domain names, Namecheap domains offer low priced domains whereas Hostinger offers several low-cost values for money hosting plans.